I've been playing guitar in the studio lately and have been curious about trying out more pedals to increase my sonic palette of guitar sounds. I was very happy to hear that I'd be able to review Jim Dunlop's latest offering, the new il Torino Overdrive pedal from their MXR Custom Shop. To find out if this little blue pedal would really be worthwhile for guitarists, I put the il Torino to the test.
A Bit of Background
The il Torino was designed by Carlo Sorasio, Italy's premier boutique amp and pedal builder. It uses MOSFET technology to re-create the gain structure of classic tube preamps. The il Torino was intended to do a couple things well; provide touch response saturation and natural sounding compression. I'm inclined to like equipment that's designed with a definite purpose in mind, and has a set of simple, clear controls on it. I had a feeling I'd like the il Torino from the start.
On the Surface
The il Torino is a small pedal that delivers big sound. It comes housed in a cute blue metal chassis and on the front panel you'll find a three-band EQ, a master volume knob and a gain knob. There's an OD and Boost switch that toggles between the two modes of the il Torino and a footswitch that allows you to toggle the pedal on and off. On either side of the il Torino, there's an Input and an Output for 1/4'