Has anyone tried Mad Honey

Mad Professor "1", Golden Cello, Sweet Honey Overdrive Deluxe in the test

by Thomas Jeschonnek,

Mad Professor from Finland calls his brown metallic glittering distortion-reverb combination pedal, which is dedicated to the so-called brown sound, simply “1”. The Golden Cello offers singing solo distortions that can be refined with echoes.

The Sweet Honey Overdrive, on the other hand, as a low to medium gain overdrive, has long been one of the most popular Mad Professor distortion pedals. The new deluxe version is much more flexible than the still available standard pedal thanks to additional treble and bass controls as well as the adjusted efficiency of the focus potentiometer.

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Analog meets digital

All three subjects belong to the series of Factory Pedals, which are developed by Mad Professor in Finland and manufactured in Taiwan. The distortion circuits of all three pedals have an analog structure. “1” and Golden Cello represent combination pedals whose reverb and echo effects are digitally generated and mixed in without the original signal leaving the analog world.

Brown, Golden & Sweet Honey Sounds

„1“: In the original, Eddie Van Halen created his brown sound from the end of the 1970s with a Marshall Super Lead Amp that was torn open to the limit, in combination with an adjustable transformer (Variac) and a dummy load box. The original heavy distortion sound created in this way contains clear fuzz components and not only delights EVH fans. The Mad Professor "1" has planned a lot to recreate this popular sound in an appealing way. The pedal belongs in front of an amplifier set as clean as possible. “Level” should be turned back quite a bit at first, because this controller has huge reserves. Nothing goes undistorted with the “1”, I didn't expect that either. But this full-bodied, guttural EVH-Marshall sound, which stands out so clearly in the middle, is already present even with moderate "Brown" settings. However, the pedal only really “shows its teeth” as soon as Brown tears up further and the height content is adjusted with Presence to match the equipment.

Now the sustain increases continuously, overtones and deliberate feedback flow with ease from the fingers and these distinctive, rough fuzz parts, which give the Brown sound its high recognition value, are clearly audible. A sound to enjoy, which is extremely defined, harmonious and without any muck in both solos and riffs. With the reverb potentiometer, an excellently coordinated reverb effect can be added, which is based on a studio reverb from the late 1970s. What I also like very much is the fact that this reverb seems to merge with the guitar from about half of its control range and thus becomes malleable.

Price RRP / Street: approx. € 259 / € 199

Golden cello: Even the golden cello wants to be plugged into an amp that is set as undistorted as possible. The aim of this kicker is to create singing solo sounds, optionally including delays, with a single kick. Even with the gain potentiometer turned up rather weakly, a full, warm and pleasing distortion / fuzz sound surrounds the guitar tone. The resulting sound is somewhat reminiscent of a Big Muff Fuzz, but appears considerably more stable and not nearly as fibrous and woolly. With more gain, the sound becomes richer in overtones and sings with a lot of sustain, but without muck. A guitar with humbuckers is recommended if the gain is high to prevent hum interference.

The echoes, which can be regulated in their strength, are ideal for this gigantic, universally applicable solo sound. They breathe life into the solos, especially when finger or lever vibrato comes into play. The fixed delay time is approx. 350 mS, if you want, you can adjust the delay time and the number of echo repetitions inside the pedal using two trim potentiometers. The treble decreases slightly from delay to delay, similar to a tape echo device. If you turn the tone potentiometer on the guitar and preferably use the neck pickup, the singing cello becomes a hollow flute. Also a very seductive sound! The pedal's tone control adds the finishing touches, shaping the treble range and never drifting into dull areas.

Price RRP / Street: approx. € 259 / € 199

Sweet Honey Overdrive Deluxe: This pedal from the Finnish boutique forge by Mad Professor shows its high quality already in "idle mode", when Drive is on the far left and all three tone controls are in the middle, as there is no difference in sound or background noise to the true bypass mode. So you can slowly feel your way from clean boost to low to medium gain in order to get to know the range of the Sweet Honey Overdrive Deluxe better. The distorted spectrum is pretty British, with a clear Marshall note.

The strengths of the pedal lie on the one hand in the ability to roughen the guitar tone only minimally if necessary and to be able to gradually increase to medium-strong tugging and on the other hand in its high sensitivity to touch. This is where the focus potentiometer comes into play, which is both a sensitivity regulator for the distortion intensity controlled by the strings and the tone potentiometer. "Bass" is in front of the overdrive circuit and "Treble" behind it. In this way, wonderful amp-style break-ups or sweet and creamy solo sounds can be created. The only thing is that the pedal does not penetrate into the high-gain environment. The Sweet Honey Overdrive Deluxe is ideal for pushing an already distorting amplifier, or you can use it like an additional amp channel.

Price RRP / Street: approx. € 269 / € 219 to € 245



Combining EVH's Brown Sound in the “One” pedal with a 70s reverb is just as successful as the Golden Cello with its expressive, large-sounding solo sound including a tape-style delay. With its low to medium gain Marshall sound, the Sweet Honey Overdrive Deluxe also expands almost every guitar amplifier by an additional channel and, thanks to the newly added 2-band EQ, offers considerably more sound options than the standard version.


  • excellent effects
  • Component and signal quality
  • original combination effects ("1" and golden cello)
  • many possibilities, compact dimensions

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