Xotic SL Drive Overdrive Pedal

94 out of 100. Incorporating 300+ ratings and reviews.

Gearank Recommendation

The Xotic SL Drive appeared on our recommended list for Overdrive Pedals in 1 edition from February 2021 until October 2022 when it was removed due to the price limit for the list being reduced to $100.


No guitar sound is more iconic than the roar of the mighty Marshall Super Lead. Colloquially known as the “Plexi”, this mythical beast of an amplifier was created to do one thing: Go loud. However, as time goes by, more and more guitar players are starting to prefer more, manageable stage volumes and so the tone of the Plexi has faded to near obscurity. This is because the Plexi’s roar cannot be contained under polite stage volumes.

The Xotic SL drive was designed to emulate this famed tone. While many would think that this is a distortion pedal and not an overdrive, the SL drive was meant to add the feel and character of the famous Super Lead/Super Bass series to an existing amp rather than be a standalone pedal for gain. It does have plenty of gain on tap but as you turn it up, the gain only gets thicker, similar to pushing the power amps of the amplifier it seeks to replicate.

The SL drive is housed in one of the smallest enclosures in the market. Despite this, it has great tweakability thanks to its internal dip switches for Super Lead/Super bass mode, and other EQ options to tailor your sound. One thing to note – the dip switches can only be accessed by opening the pedal up. This can be a pain when you need different tones on the go.

The Xotic SL drive is a cult favorite among Plexi connoisseurs. the small size, versatile tonal options and unmistakable growl of its namesake won the hearts of many guitarists (and even bassists!). Get it if you want to add some Marshall flavor to your rig. The SL Drive is one of, if not the, definitive Marshall-in-a-box pedals.


  • Controls: Drive, Level, Tone, Internal dip switches for various modes
  • Analog
  • True Bypass
  • 9-Volt Adapter/Battery
  • Used by: Andy Timmons, Nile Rodgers, Guthrie Govan