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30 Pedals in 30 Days 2014: Sweetwater’s Exclusive Keeley Bootlegger Overdrive




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The biggest name in pedal mods is teaming up with the biggest online retailer to build an exclusive overdrive pedal?

Where in the hell do we sign up?

For 30 Pedals in 30 Days 2014, had a chance to check out Sweetwater’s exclusive, Robert Keeley designed Bootlegger Overdrive.

Robert Keeley has been leaving his mark on pedals for years. Literally. For those who have played his modified screamer pedals with a seemingly misplaced footswitch bursting out of the logo, Robert Keeley is a name they will never forget. It wasn’t long before Robert Keeley branched out from doing mods to start producing his own line of pedals. Not surprisingly, his pedals are already becoming a staple for discerning players.

Okay. We’re going to get a bit technical here for a bit. But don’t worry. You’ll thank us when we’re done.

Two of his most popular mods are the “Mod Plus” and the “Baked.” Originally integrated into the TS-9, the Mod Plus included metal film resisters to improve signal to noise ratio. Film capacitors were dropped into the tone section to create a smoother midrange and better high frequency and bass response. Finally, a Tone Cap was included to increase the low-end tone with no mud or dullness. The result was a TS-9 with more meat to it and gain to it.

Then there’s the Baked. For players that didn’t find enough gain in the TS-9 or the TS-9 Mod Plus, Keeley went all out and gave players enough gain to knock out an elephant. While the original TS-9 screamed, the TS-9 Baked MOD roared.

Arguably, what Keeley had created was two completely new beasts that were a giant step in evolution from the original. So, it wasn’t a surprise that both of these fan fav Mods were eventually put into Keeley’s own Red Dirt Overdrive.

Enter Sweetwater.

When the largest Internet based music instrument retailer knocks on your door, you tend to get up off the couch. Impressed with Keeley’s work, Sweetwater wanted to provide its customers with something special. And the Bootlegger Overdrive was born.

The Keeley Bootlegger Overdrive is the same set up as the Red Dirt with one huge exception: A germanium transistor.

We’ve talked plenty about germanium around here, and the consensus is unanimous: Germanium creates a warmth and low end that you simply cannot replicate with a silicone transistor.

Line 6

Does that mean it’s better?


It’s up to you.


Besides for being filled to the brim with sweet majestic germanium goodness, the Bootlegger incorporates an ascetic that will appeal to the raging alcoholic in every player. Three knobs Drive, Nerve, and Louder create a wide spectrum of intoxicating drive tones, from slightly inebriated to completely freaking wasted. Like Frank the Tank from Old School, once you get a taste of the Bootlegger’s gain, it’s impossible to stop until you’ve done so many beer bongs that you’re left running naked down the street. A switch on the face gives players the option between 80 Proof and 100 Proof. Players looking for just a little a couple of shots to unwind will be perfectly content with the 80 Proof. For those looking for complete obliteration, well, 100 Proof is the way to go.

We here at are probably going to be hung-over when we wake up tomorrow, but Sweetwater’s exclusive Keeley Bootlegger Overdrive was worth it for 30 Pedals in 30 Days 2014.

In case you weren’t paying attention, the only place you can buy the Keeley Bootlegger Overdrive is at


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Filed Under: FeaturedPedals3P3D-2014

About the Author: Marc published his first novel Becoming in 2010. It’s a kick-ass book with monsters and dreams and stuff, and you should buy it. Since then, he’s written thousands of articles for, many of which have been picked up for circulation by manufacturers and other news outlets. His next book, Drugs and Pancakes, should be available early 2014 if his alcoholic editor can find time to work on it in-between destroying his liver and screaming about punctuation. He graduated from Roosevelt University with honors, which means that he’s not as dumb as he looks. He’s been playing guitar for over 25 years, which is almost twice as long as most of his students have been alive.

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