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The Engine – Your Foundation Tone or Marshall in a Box?

Simply put – The Engine is both!

DryBell_TheEngine_Alberto Barrero
DryBell The Engine – Photo by: Alberto Barrero

Why do we refer to The Engine as a “Foundation Preamp” instead of just an Overdrive/Boost or “Marshall in a box” (MIAB) pedal?


There are several reasons. You probably know that in most cases your clean tone isn’t exactly pristine clean Hi-Fi tone. There’s always something that adds just a little bit of flavor to get it to sound just right. That missing ingredient in most amps could easily be The Engine.

Wondering why?


Playing your guitar connected directly to your amp can be fun, but what do you do when it’s not and when you feel it’s missing something? The main reason is probably lying in your Foundation tone.

Some tips for setting up the foundation tone in general

There are a few “golden rules” that need to be applied while playing with drive pedals in general to get the best results:

  • Ensure your clean tone has a flat EQ. That doesn’t mean that your potentiometer markings on the amp need to be on the same number, but on some amps they could easily be. You don’t want to hear too much Bass or Treble frequencies because you’ll lose all of your Middle tone, which is essential for a good guitar tone.
  • Once you have your clean tone adjusted, make sure that you can hear all 6 strings equally. Trust your ears; adjusting pickup heights may be necessary.
  • Keep in mind that drive pedals, in general (which includes different shades of Fuzz), simply don’t work well with overly bright amps. They tend to sound shrill and harsh. Another important thing to keep in mind is that new speakers tend to sound harsh/cold with a spiky treble tone. That will go away once the speaker “breaks in”.
  • The last important thing is the Volume. Everything sounds better at a higher volume. That doesn’t mean you need to crank everything up to 10 and blow your ears, but if you play it really quietly, most of the frequencies won’t come through and only the shrill/spikey tones will bleed through your speaker. That won’t work well with any distorted sound. And this is exactly what we wanted to fix with The Engine – To have the ability to play it at a reasonable volume on any amp you have, get everything to sound smooth and inspiring, and to have full control – from clean to mean just with the Volume pot on your guitar.


Now, when you’re satisfied with your clean sound and playing volume, turn on The Engine’s side A with gain at zero and adjust the Level. The Engine’s A side works best if you set the volume to a relatively equal level as your bypassed clean tone, preferably at unity gain. In most cases, players leave the side A turned always ON. In that case, The Engine becomes their Foundation tone, and they build everything up from that point.


DryBell The Engine – Photo: DryBell archive

The importance of mids for guitar tone

Some amps don’t have a Middle control (which is essential for distorted sounds and guitar tone in general). That’s why we added the “Shape” control. Adjust it clockwise until you hear just the right amount of mids/treble. You can use the same “Shape” control if your amp/setup has too much mids. It’s an insanely useful control.


Now, compare The Engine’s tone with your bypassed tone. The goal is to have a bit more mids with just enough treble to hear all 6 strings, but not too crisp. After that, you can adjust the Gain. If it tends to sound too shrill, play with the Tone/Shape and Treble control on your amp.


Side B of The Engine has a pretty useful set of controls, lifted from our Unit67. It is designed to help you boost either the front of The Engine or the back. We’ll explain what we mean by that.


The beauty of The Engine is that you can also put it anywhere in the chain and get great results. One of the reasons for that is the “Order” button. If you put the “Boost” pedal in front of the Overdrive, the most noticeable thing you’ll get is more gain. But, if you put it after, you will get much more volume, gain, sparkle, and detail in your tone. That all depends on your amp’s clean headroom, of course. So, with the “Order” button, you don’t need to rearrange your pedals. You just need to push the button. It’s a very handy feature.

A plethora of sonic combinations

Dallas Rangemaster Treble Booster
Dallas Rangemaster Treble Booster – Photo ©


There are lots of “Boost” pedals available today, but we decided to put an old-school type of boost based on a 60’s Rangemaster on the B side of The Engine.

You can get some really inspiring tones playing with both sides. Combining Gain and Range at the same time will get you right into the “Marshall” territory. Those types of tones could easily go from a late 60’s Plexi to early 80’s JCM era Marshalls. And not only that. By playing with the controls on both sides, you can easily tweak it all the way to the Vox AC30 territory.


We have spent a lot of time adjusting these frequencies in the pedal while trying to capture the exact response and tone of our favorite Marshall amps through vintage 4×12 cab. Some of those (early) amps had very pronounced low frequencies, and that was a part of the design. We wanted to capture slightly later instances, equipped with EL34 tubes and without a tube rectifier. They tend to sound much tighter and are a  bit more aggressive. In general, people like that low-freq chug you get while playing loud through a vintage 4×12 cab. Those old NMV amps paired with 4×12 speaker cabs emphasize those strumming frequencies even more, combining it with cabinet vibrations. It’s a very special feel.


That’s just one of the many things that we wanted to capture with The Engine.


The Engine transcends conventional pedal categories; it’s more than just an Overdrive, Boost, or MIAB pedal. The ultimate praise for a pedal is to serve as a dependable foundation in any setup, and we’re glad that we have achieved that with The Engine.




Red Hot Unit67 just released!


Since the release of Unit67 five years ago, so many gear lovers recognized the power of this pedal that makes everything sound better. For many of you, Unit67 has become an essential part of your sound, and we’re thrilled that we are in this musical journey together.

Experience a sleek makeover of the Unit67 – your favorite tone-shaping device as it celebrates its 5th anniversary!
This versatile, always-on ‘Swiss knife’ remains a coveted addition to countless pedalboards around the world, now flaunting a smokin’ hot new look in vibrant red!
It is released in limited quantity so don’t miss out! 🙂




DryBell’s deep history interview featured in the latest Tonequest Report!


We have very exciting news, DryBell’s deep history interview is featured in ToneQuest Report Magazine!

This interview delves deep into DryBell’s rich history, with Zvonch revealing the never-before-told tale of our journey that stretches far into DryBell past.
Beside some very cool unreleased pictures and story, the ToneQuest Report issue also features raving reviews of all our pedals, shining a bright spotlight on our craftsmanship and innovation.

We are truly excited to have an opportunity to share our brand’s evolution and passion on a bigger scale and we would like to extend our gratitude to the wonderful team at ToneQuest for the chance to collaborate and share our inspiring journey with a wider audience!

You can read the interview and reviews here. (PDF file)

Discover the complete issue September 2023 Vol.24 No.11 and further explore ToneQuest Report by visiting their official website.

Stay tuned for more updates as we continue to make waves in the music world!



DryBell at Guitar Summit 2023!


We are really happy to report that we will be attending the Europe’s Biggest Guitar-Show in Mannheim, Germany – Guitar Summit 2023!
Join us at booth 528 (Level -1) from September 22nd to 24th! Get up close and personal with our incredible pedals, meet Martina, Zvonch, Kruno and Tom from our team, and take advantage of exclusive trade show discounts on all our products!

We’re excited to see you there!

DryBell Sonic Experience



We wanted to take a moment to remind you about our “DryBell Sonic Experience” demo series, which we periodically publish on our YouTube channel.
Our goal is to showcase some of our favorite stompboxes from a vast sea of incredible effects that work in synergy with DryBell effects. Our team member Kruno Domacinovic, who is a lifelong guitar gear enthusiast and lead guitarist of one of the most popular Croatian rock bands, ‘Majke’, plays and produces these demos.
We put a lot of time and effort into making these demos, and we’d love to hear your thoughts on them. If you have any favorite effects that you’d like to hear compared to DryBell pedals, let us know!
In our latest demo, we feature The Engine with the vintage ’79 MXR Phase 45. With this combo you can easily get that warm 70’s vibe you’ve heard on numerous recordings. It sound so nice and can easily be mistaken for the Univibe, but it’s just a plain old Phase 45.
We’re excited to hear your feedback, so please leave a comment on our demos or send us an email.
If you enjoy our demos, please subscribe to our YouTube channel and share them with your fellow musicians. We’re a small team, and your support means a lot to us!

Limited supply of The Engine and Unit67 B-stock models!


We have a limited supply of The Engine and Unit67  B-stock models!
Although these pedals may have minor cosmetic imperfections, such as scratches or powder coating flaws, they are brand new and fully functional. Plus, you’ll receive a 12% discount and the full DryBell warranty! 🙂

Offer is valid while stocks last so, hurry up!

B-STOCK FOR EU Customers

Click on the link to see our B-stock up close:
B-STOCK Unit67
B-STOCK The Engine

London Calling


We are happy to announce that we’re going to present our gear at the 1st edition

of The London Synth & Pedal Expo in cooperation with Delicious Audio! ?


Come to our booth and you’ll get 10% OFF and Free Shipping on all our pedals! 🙂


When: Saturday, March 18, 2023 (11.30-5.30 pm)
Where: Motel Studios 1-2, Hackney, 406-408 Long St, London
Admission Price: Free
(8-min. walk from Hoxton Station)

See you there! 🙂

Module 4 is released!



Dear friends!

After almost two years of intense working on this beauty, we can finally say, the Module 4 is released!

As with all previous DryBell designs, we wanted to bring something special and inspirational to your gear arsenal.

It has been a challenging but fun two year journey for us and now it’s up to you to try the Module 4 for yourself. We hope you’ll like it as much as we do!

  • You can read about the Module 4 on our Product page
  • DryBell official demo is HERE
  • Also, more demo reviews are coming out today: Brett Kingman, Pete Thorn, Mike Hermans and Perfecto De Castro – check them out!

The first batch of Module 4 pedals is available for purchase exclusively from the DryBell shop.

So, order your Module 4 now, you won’t be disappointed! ?

Your DryBell team


Back from NAMM!


We’re finally back home, trying to fight the jet-lag, but we’re feeling thankful and happy after this amazing NAMM/California experience! 🙂
It was really great seeing a LOT of people & friends coming to our booth to try our old & new pedals. Seeing them with a satisfied smile after they’ve tried ’em, we knew it was all worth it.
We were fortunate enough to attend the great Michael Landau’s gig in Baked Potato in LA and even had a chance to meet and talk to him! He bought our Vibe Machine back in 2015 and it has been on his pedalboard ever since. What an incredible person and a gentleman he is!
Module 4, our brand new pedal introduced at NAMM 2022 for the first time, is a highly versatile take on a classic vintage compressor, inspired by Dan Armstrong’s Orange Squeezer. It features two analog compressor voicings (OS + Full range compressor) and MUCH more in a brand new custom aluminum enclosure! ✨
We are thrilled with the first feedback from musicians that tried it at our booth and that makes us even more excited about the release. A planned release is in early October, so stay tuned! 🙂

DryBell at NAMM 2022


Finally! After a LONG wait, we’re happy to report that we will be attending this year’s NAMM show! We are really excited to reunite with our customers & friends and to show you something we’ve been cooking last year 🙂 Hopefully we’ll see you there!

We’ll be sharing a booth with some other great companies under Delicious Audio Stompbox Exhibit 5239 shared booth (Hall D) so feel free to visit us! 🙂

Vibe Machine V-3 is released!


Dear folks!

Here at DryBell our 10th anniversary celebrations have just begun and we proudly present a brand new version of the Vibe MachineV-3 is here!

It’s an exceptional sounding Vibe, a bit different from the previous versions with its own unique sound, character and depth.

We are delighted to share this 3rd edition of the Vibe Machine with the World and can’t wait to hear your feedback after you’ve tried it out. 10 years have passed since the release of the first Vibe Machine and we are very proud that our Vibe has found a fond place on so many of your pedalboards around the world.

We’re doing our best to leave our mark in the pedal world.

This is another big and special year for us. Aside from the fact that we’ve just released a very compelling third version of the Vibe Machine, we have also expanded the space of our workshop and hired a new engineer who has seriously strengthened our R&D department. This gave several projects a significant boost, as a result our next unique pedal will be released next year!

But for now, let’s focus on the Vibe Machine V-3!

We wish you a lot of fun with our new creation and we hope you enjoy discovering new sounds in the vast universe of the Uni-Vibe!

Feel free to contact us any time!

Your DryBell team



Everyone gets free 2-3 days worldwide shipping until Oct 10!

(applies to all DryBell products)

FREE Outdoor L.A. Pedal & Synth Expo 2021


Oct 1 – Starts a celebration of DryBell 10 Year Anniversary with a NEW product launch!

Oct 2-3 – If you are in the neighborhood, we’re inviting you to visit FREE Outdoor L.A. Pedal & Synth Expo 2021 on October 2-3 (Santa Monica’s Truetone’s Parking Lot)! All DryBell pedals will be available for trying, including a new product which will be launched the day before the event :-). We’ve prepared a special event discounts for you!

Our representative Brad Myers will be there for you to assist.

More about the event you can read in HERE.

We can’t wait for Friday!

Stay tuned!


Welcome Kiki!


It’s been dynamic in the DryBell camp for the past months. We’ve extended our workshop’s premises and hired another engineer to strengthen our R&D forces.

So, we’d like to welcome a new member of the DryBell teamKristijan Golub (Kiki). He’s a highly skilled electronics and embedded engineer with wide experience in audio systems and also a guitar enthusiast in love with the music. A perfect addition to the existing DryBell natives team 🙂

Welcome Kiki! 🙂

DryBell Sonic Experience


If you’re already subscribed to our YouTube channel, you may have heard about the newest demo series called “DryBell Sonic Experience“.

The idea behind it is to feature some of our favorite stompboxes from a vast sea of incredible effects working in synergy with our pedals. They may be some unobtainable vintage, or brand new, we love ’em all. Each demo is played and produced by Kruno Domacinovic who has also been the main player in every DryBell demo since 2009. There’s a ton of great combinations and it’s a great world to explore!

Hopefully there will be something for everyone so make sure you’re subscribed to our channel!
Let us know what you think about it and what would you like to hear next in the comments 🙂

Unit67 received a Platinum Award from Guitar World!


Unit67 just received a Guitar World’s Platinum Award, along with a glorious review! ?


THE KEY TO getting great live guitar tone is by following a similar approach to what an engineer does in the recording studio: using a high-pass filter to cut excess bass, adjusting key EQ frequencies and applying high-quality transparent compression to tighten up the overall sound and bring it forward in the mix. By combining a Rangemaster-style treble booster, versatile EQ section and compression based on the revered Urei/Universal Audio 1176 compressor/limiter, the DryBell Unit67 provides the sweetening functions of expensive studio processing gear in a compact, stageworthy stomp box format.

You can read the whole review in here.


The Engine received Premier Gear award!



We’re proud to say that The Engine received a great review in Premier Guitar’s October 2020 edition and earned a “Premier Gear” badge! ⚡️


“The Engine is a combination of good design, a keen ear for vintage sound and dynamics, and considerable thought for how a modern player might use these tones. Both effects are outstanding, but combined they take the amp-in-a-box to a higher level. And let me tell you, this preamp is loud. It might be one of most powerful and robust gain circuits I’ve ever played.” – Jason Shadrick, Premier Guitar

You can read the whole review in here.

The Engines are ready for delivery to our authorized dealers this week!



We have started our Engines, thoroughly tested them and fine-tuned them for maximum performance, and now they’re ready for delivery to our authorized dealers this week!

Lots of packages left our workshop today so you may expect to see your favourite new pedal at your favourite dealer shop very soon! 🙂

In the meantime, we have prepared The Engine’s video demo playlist with lots of great players, so check it out!

The Engine is released!


We’ve put our hearts and souls into developing this beauty, we hope you’ll like it as much as we do!

Ladies & gentlemen, we are proud to present: The Engine
As with all our releases, the first batch will be available for purchase only from DryBell shop!
Besides DryBell official demo, more demo reviews by Pete Thorn, Andy Martin, R.J. Ronquillo, Brett Kingman, Mike Hermans, Mick Hayes and Gwyn Ashton are coming on their YouTube channels today. Check them out!

Earthquake & Coronavirus


We hope you are well and that you’re coping with the current restrictions and measures imposed by our governments because of the coronavirus.

Last week was a living hell in here. Our capital city, Zagreb was hit by its biggest earthquake in 140 years while in coronavirus lockdown.

Luckily, our team is fine and no one got hurt but, unfortunately, one of our team members, Kruno, lost half of his home. You may know him as a guitar player from every DryBell official demo. Needless to say, it’s a bit of a challenge to stay perfectly normal at these times, but we will try to keep our minds busy working and focus on what we do best.

We imposed some safety measures directed by our government, so guys and Martina are working from home while Zvonch is working alone in the DryBell workshop, making sure that everything goes as planned for the release of our newest pedal – The Engine.

Kruno and his family had to temporarily move to another location because staying in their home isn’t safe anymore. They will need to invest a significant amount of money in repairing their home after the quake. We’re taking this opportunity to invite you to join our charity action by giving a small donation to his family. We know that lots of people are going through tough times now, but any small help will be highly appreciated.

Here is a PayPal link that goes directly to his private PayPal account. Thank you all for your generosity in advance!

Stay healthy and well!

Much love ?

P.S. Just to let you know that DryBell is normally taking orders and all your orders are processed without any delay, usually within 24 hours.

We’re back! :)

We’ve just got back from sunny California and we’re still under impression from this beautiful experience ? From colorful San Francisco, through Anaheim down to mesmerizing waves of San Diego ? In the middle of this road trip, we had 4 days of NAMM Show and met some old and some new friends.
We’d like to thank our neighbors at Stompbox Exhibit + Delicious Audio shared booth, especially Chris from Dusky Electronics, Tom from Spiral Electric FX and our friends from Mission Engineering, Inc. and Crazy Tube Circuits!
Huge thanks to everyone who visited our booth and hopefully we’ll meet again next year!
Now we need to focus on The Engine!

Unit67’s 1st anniversary!

We are celebrating Unit67’s 1st anniversary! It’s been a great and successful year for DryBell after the release of the Unit67. Happy customers are our biggest reward.

Unit67 is recognized as a truly unique and special piece of gear, which is a great accomplishment in the over-saturated pedals market nowadays. We had a vision and we hoped that people will recognize its magic. Now, after a whole year of being on the market and many Unit67 users who fell in love with it the moment they played it, we can only say that we’ve succeeded in our mission.

We decided to celebrate with you by producing a small batch of limited edition Unit67 pedals in the color of the Vibe Machine V-2, our longtime pride and joy.

Unit67 LIMITED EDITION pedals in a dark metallic finish are offered exclusively in our shop. Take the opportunity to own 1 of 50 Unit67 pedals from this special offer.

These might sell out soon, so hurry up and grab one while they are still available!

Unit67 demo playlist


Since it’s release, the Unit67 received several really fantastic videos and we’re hoping to get some more in the near future! 🙂

We have created a playlist for every official demo for your viewing pleasure so, make sure you haven’t missed any of them because they are really fun to watch ?

You can watch it in here.


DryBell’s NAMM 2019 Experience


Our first NAMM show is behind us and we’re still overwhelmed with the positive response you gave us!
We had amazing 4 days, met a lot of great people and had a really great time. HUGE thanks to our friends in our shared booth and everyone who visited us! 🙂

Hopefully we’ll meet again next year! 🙂

DryBell at Winter NAMM 2019


We are pleased to announce that we will be attending the 2019 Winter NAMM show in Anaheim, California! 🙂
This will be the first time for DryBell to visit and participate in such an important music event and it’s a great opportunity to connect with our customers, fans and dealers.

We’ll be sharing booth with some other great companies under Delicious Audio Stompbox Exhibit 3231 shared booth so, take a chance to personally meet Zvonch, Kruno and Martina from DryBell! 🙂

Unit67 is released!



Yes, the big day has finally arrived and we are SO proud and excited to announce our new product!

We know that some of you have been really curious about our new pedal and we have to thank you for your patience. It’s been a long trip but hopefully, it was worth it 🙂

So, without further ado, ladies and gentlemen: The Unit67


Completed the 1st batch of our new pedal


It’s been a looong hot summer (still is..) but we managed to complete the very first batch of our newest pedal. It was a really complex process all along but we had so much fun doing it, we learned quite a few new tricks and we’re very proud of what we did.

There are lots of other (smaller) things that need to be finished, but we are quite confident that our new pedal will see the light at the end of this summer.

We know that some of you are eagerly awaiting our new product, but the clock is ticking.. please be patient just a little bit more 🙂

New pedal production


Many hours of research and development is finally behind us and we’ve started with production of the FIRST batch of our new pedal 😀
A release is planned for the end of the summer, so stay tuned!


V-1 & V-2 Differences


Since we released Vibe Machine V-2, lots of people asked us “what’s the difference between V-1 and V-2 Vibe Machine?”

Well, here‘s a nice info sheet where you can see the main differences side by side.

Of course, some people prefer the simplicity, other prefer endless tweaking possibilities and additional features, but as long they are happy with the way it sounds, that’s all that matters.

You can download PDF version in here.

P.S. If you want to be informed about latest news of our new products,  follow us on Facebook  & Instagram

New pedal demo


As you may know, we’re preparing a brand new pedal for you and we’re getting closer each day to make it happen.
Right now it’s in the pre-production phase, so it shouldn’t be very long..
This picture is taken after a very long weekend at the very end of the new demo filming.. we’re missing some key members in here but it was very late..
You can expect some fine tunes in the new pedal demo from these guys and that’s just a part of it.. so stay tuned 🙂

Photo by Silkfatblues

Testing, testing…


Most of you who follow us on Facebook or Instagram already know about our new pedal which is in final testing stage at this point. We’re playing with it every day on various setups and preparing a new demo for your viewing & listening pleasure. It’s a long but fun process and we are very pleased with the results. Hopefuly you will be too! 🙂 Stay tuned..

New pedal in development


Something new is cookin’ in the DryBell kitchen 😀 Our electronic wizzard Zvonch is using some special home-made recipes for our new pedal and this time it will be a completely different cookie.
What will it be? Well, it won’t be a Vibe pedal..

We will keep you updated so, stay tuned!

Tone Report TOP TONE award


We are proud to announce that we received Tone Report’s TOP TONE award!

“The Vibe Machine V-2 from Croatian tone chemist DryBell takes all the fat and chewy holographic undulations from the past, trims out the chaff and propels our vintage vibe fantasies into the future.”

There’s a lot more in this new review, so if you’re interested, you can read the rest of it in here.