Success, in the world of manufacturing, comes at a cost, and one of these costs is finding out that competing companies are creating products similar to yours. In the pedal realm, where 80% of new devices are “inspired” by existing ones, this is a particularly common practice.
But while most companies are busy recreating modern takes on vintage fuzzes or tweaked versions of the Tube Screamer, Chinese company NUX seems to be taking this practice to the next level, releasing extremely affordable reinterpretations of very popular boutique pedals.
We start to see a pattern here: their new Fireman Distortion, quite explicitly inspired by the Friedman BE-OD Deluxe (a Plexi-style overdrive, follows the 2020 NUX Steel Singer Drive, inspired by the… Dumble Amp inspired Vertex Steel String.
In the case of the NUX Fireman, the differences with the original are not minimal: it’s still a dual-channel distortion that can operate at 9 or 18v, but it has a more limited knob panel, in particular in the EQ section – the two channels share one EQ circuits, while the original had separate EQs (and a tight toggle switch) for each channel.
However, there are few improvements as well, like the switches on the back that easily allow changing voltage and True Bypass/Buffered Bypass.
YouTubers seem to agree the NUX Fireman does a good job in producing that Plexi boutique am sound, and with its solid build and at just over $100, it seems like a great deal for anyone with a low budget interested in giving their distortion a new flavor.
We added this pedal to our guide to the Best Plexi-style Distortion Pedals.
The NUX FIREMAN is based on the legendary amplifier builder’s famous distortion pedal. It’s a very amp-like distortion pedal with Modern Brown Sound. We designed it with 2 independent VOLUME, GAIN control knobs to fit rhythm and solo applications. FIREMAN offers a True-bypass / Buffer-bypass toggle switch, and a 9V / 18V toggle switch. The 18V position doubles the working voltage inside to give you wider dynamic range.
?BASS: Adjusts the low-end response of distortion sound.
?TREBLE: Adjusts the high-end response of distortion sound.
?PRESENCE: Adjusts the ultra-high-end frequency of distortion sound.
?TIGHT: Shapes the low frequency content. ( Turn it down to tighten the sound.)
?VOLUME1: Adjusts the output level while in Channel1.
?GAIN1: Adjusts the distortion situation of the sound while in Channel1.
?VOLUME2: Adjusts the output level while in Channel2.
?GAIN2: Adjusts the distortion range of the sound while in Channel2.
?1/2 Foot-switch: Chooses the current Channel for 1 or 2.
?ON Foot-switch: Engages or disengages the distortion sound.