Are you looking for the best dual-overdrive pedal around?
Need a pedal that’s built all in the USA and with high quality parts?
Look no further than the Fulltone Full-Drive 2 V2.
Since its introduction in the late nineties, the Full-Drive 2 has gone through multiple iterations, each one seeming to get more and more tonally diverse than the last.
The Version 2 of the Full-Drive 2 adds more control to the second drive channel and can get you every sound from clean boost to full stack overdrive.
At a Glance…
What we like: Added tonal/EQ control and smaller footprint from previous models
What we don’t like: Can’t assign different clipping to each channel
- True Bypass switching along with “Anti-Pop” circuit
- Smaller than the Full-Drive 3 by 15%
- 9-18V DC operation
- Multiple clipping options
- Uses coveted JRC4558 chip
Our Verdict: Fulltone has continued to improve upon their already successful Full-Drive 2 design by adding a volume control the Drive 2 channel and an additional toggle switch for further tone shaping, all while reducing the footprint of the pedal.
It may not have owners of previous versions ditching their old pedals, but it improves upon the original in all the right ways and there were few improvements needed to begin with!
Who is the Fulltone Full-Drive 2 V2 Best Suited To?
Because the Full-Drive 2 V2 is such a versatile pedal with a practical design, it could fit a lot of different needs for a lot of different players.
The person that I think would benefit most from this sort of pedal design is someone who has a small pedal board and is looking to get the most mileage out of a single overdrive pedal.
It could also be a great choice for someone that is building a session board and is looking to have a wide array of drive sounds available for recording.
Features and Benefits
Build of the Fulltone Full-Drive 2 V2
As has been the case since the nineties, the Full-Drive 2 V2 is made with the highest quality parts and is 100% USA built. The pedal is constructed with 16 gauge rolled steel and has two thumb roll access points on the side of the pedal so you can easily access the battery compartment.
It utilizes a JRC4558 chip that was made famous by the 808 Tube Screamers of the early 80’s. The V2 still uses true bypass like previous models, but the pedal has been updated to include an “Anti-Pop” circuit that is exclusive to Fulltone products.
It operates with either 9V or 18V power for additional headroom.
Controls of the Fulltone Full-Drive 2 V2
There have been some updates to the controls with this new version of the Full-Drive 2, so even if you had the original you have some new parameters to work with. Most notable is that the previous “Boost” control has been relabeled and redesigned as “Drive 2”.
- Left On/Off: True Bypass
- Right Drive 2: Works as a Channel Select switch for Drive 1 or 2.
- Volume: Large volume controls the overall output for Drive 1
- Tone: Global tone control that shapes top end
- Drive 1: Distortion for Drive 1
- Drive 2: Distortion for Drive 2
- Left 3-Position Toggle:
- Comp Cut: No clipping diodes. Cleaner setting with more headroom
- Flat Mids: More transparent, flat EQ setting.
- Vintage: 90’s era asymmetrical clipping with more midrange
- Right 3-Position Toggle:
- Wide: Mosfet/Schottky Diode combo for less compression and more clarity
- Standard: Slightly asymmetrical
- Half-Clipped: Only top portion of wave clipped for another form of clarity and touch response.
- Drive 2 Volume: smaller volume control that adds volume on top of Drive 1 Volume setting
Fulltone Full-Drive 2 V2 Sound
I personally own the Fulltone Full-Drive 2 Mosfet 10th Anniversary and used it on my board for years.
From listening to the demos of the new V2 and comparing it to my experience with an older model, I’m happy to report that the V2 is capable of achieving all the sounds of the old Mosfet 2 pedals. What’s exciting is that the new V2 adds more control and range of gain.
The Full-Drive series of pedals have long been described as a “Tube Screamer on steroids”, and this is an apt description considering that the Full-Drive 2 V2 shares the same chip as the old 808 Tube Screamers. You can especially hear the Tube Screamer sound in the Vintage clipping mode.
However, I think this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what this overdrive pedal can do. My personal favorite is the Comp-Cut mode, which acts as a great clean boost and colors your amp/guitar tone minimally. If you want that same transparency with more grit, the Flat-Mids mode is the mode for you.
It can even get you borderline fuzz territory with the Standard mode on Drive 2 when paired with humbuckers and a crunchy amp setting.
- Effect Type: Dual Overdrive
- Signal: Analog
- Power Requirements: 9-18V DC
- Dimensions: 4.45W x 4.2D x 2.5H”
- Features: True Bypass, Anti-Pop, multiple clipping modes, Battery power
Limitations of the Fulltone Full-Drive 2 V2
While the old versions of the Full-Drive 2 could be criticized for their size (even though are still smaller than two individual overdrives), the V2 carries some serious versatility in an even smaller footprint.
The only limitations I can see with this pedal are that the clipping options are universal, meaning that you can’t set up different clipping options for Drive 1 and Drive 2 channels.
The pedal is also just expensive enough to be out of range for budget-minded players. However, it is still cheaper than buying two individual drives under $100 each, so if you can front the cash, it’s quite the deal.
Popular Questions about the Fulltone Full-Drive 2 V2
With the inclusion of Fulltone’s “Anti-Pop” circuit, the V2 should be noiseless when turning on/off. If you hear a popping noise, your pedal is likely damaged, and you should contact Fulltone’s customer service.
To my ear, the Fulltone OCD provides higher fidelity distortion, whereas the Full-Drive V2 is smoother sounding overall with a greater range of tonal variety. The OCD is a hard-clipping pedal, whereas the Full-Drive 2 V2 has multiple forms of soft clipping.
While Dumble amp tones vary widely from unit to unit, the Full-Drive 2 V2 can emulate the smooth, clear, and moderately compressed tones that these amps are famous for. I’d recommend using the “Wide” setting and set the pedal to Fulltone’s recommended “Pristine Rhythm/Blues setting shown below.
(My pedal does not show the second 3-toggle control. This should be set to “Wide”)
Possibly the Only Overdrive You Need
The Fulltone Full-Drive 2 V2 is an updated version of Fulltone’s modern classic pedal with additional clipping, wider gain range, and a smaller enclosure. All this is achieved with 100% USA parts and manufacturing, while coming in at an attainable price point.
While I love my old 10th Anniversary Mosfet edition, I have to admit that the newest version makes this circuit that much more usable. It could easily be the only overdrive pedal you need on your board if you work with classic rock distortion tones.
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Davis Wilton Bader is a professional guitarist/writer based out of St. Louis, MO. He plays in the bands Lumet and The Outskirts.