There’s no two without three. And here is the third mini pedal of the Xvive (distortion of course)… The T1 Golden Brownie of the Xvive, a fantastic Marshall plexi sounding pedal in mignon format. Its purpose is to recreate the Marshall Super Lead sound.

The Xvive T1 Golden Brownie is part of a signature series of four pedals designed by Thomas Blug, German guitarist famous for his touch, who helped create these effects.

In these two articles the Xvive O1 Tube Squasher and it Xvive DynaRock T2, where the first had a negative opinion, while the second was positive. Of the three I must say that this is the one I liked the most.

The packaging

As for, it Xvive O1 Tube Squasher and it Xvive DynaRock T2, even for the Xvive T1 Golden Brownie the packaging cuts a good figure. Inside the same (obviously embellished by the signature of Thomas Blug himself) the pedal is pleasantly wrapped in a nice thick protective plastic, together with an information leaflet and a strip of adhesive velcro in case you want to fix it to the pedal board. Class ????

Xvive T1 Golden Brownie

The metal box used for the case is the standard Hammond small size, in die cast aluminum, 1590 series, IP54, 92.6 x 38.5 x 31mm. This time it was painted brown (brownie …) with lighter spots. painted in matt and rough black, also with the inevitable signature of Thomas Blug,

The power supply is standard, 9V with central negative, however, unlike other pedals of the same size, here there is no possibility to power it by battery, due to lack of internal space. The activation button is of the true-by-pass type, as in the best families.

Like the other two from the same house, the Xvive T1 Golden Brownie also looks well made, with the only note of the potentiometers to betray that feeling of solidity that transpires from the outer box. Maybe they are excellent and ultra resistant, nothing to say. Only, the impression they give to the touch is not something that can be mistreated in a live in a hurry and without too many regards.


The test was carried out on purpose with two completely different amplifiers, a Marshall 3310 (mosfet) and a DV Mark Little jazz (always transistor). Why not a tube? For two reasons. First, because if you throw any pedal into the input of a good tube, it’s pretty much obvious that it sounds good! But do it with a transistor amp … Second, simply because I don’t have a tube at home to test it with ????

As guitars, two families at the antipodes have also been used here, but which represent two classics in rock: Stratocaster and Les Paul.

There are four potentiometers: drive, level, tone and presence . The first three are the classics found in any overdrive / distortion effect, the last is an additional treble control that works just like the presence of an amp. Great for smoothing out that kneaded sound that can arise when using humbuckers like in the Les Paul, it makes the sound more crisp and helps it to come out better in the mixer.

Xvive T1 Golden Brownie and Xotic SL Drive

The sound is fat, full-bodied and beautifully full, as per Marshall tradition. A nice crunch is produced at low distortions, but as the drive knob opens the sound becomes mellow and compressed . It has a good level of distortion, I would say that we arrive at the 80’s metal. The dynamics are all there , obviously the less you play with the drive and the more there is, vice versa the dynamics are less in favor of a really natural compression.

By decreasing the sound with the volume of the guitar the Golden Brownie reacts like a book, cleaning the sound as one would expect from a real Marshall tube head, giving that typical “chime”.

Compared to the Xotic SL Drive, another reference Marshall-in-a-box, the difference in terms of sound is really minimal. Setting the SL Drive with the internal deep switches as super lead (default Xotic) the sound is more than the same, which is a really good thing. Obviously, even if with one less potentiometer, thanks to the internal switches the Xotic manages to have more tonal expressions at its disposal.


Recommended? If you find it used or in any case under 40/50 euros absolutely yes! With a modest expense, you can put a jewel in the pedalboard that can emulate the Marshall heads that made history, all in a mini format.

Compared to the Xotic SL Drive? The sound quality of the Xvive T1 Golden Brownie is pretty much the same, it doesn’t go too far. Clearly the build quality changes, apart from the outer box everything else seems much cheaper, starting with the potentiometers which, as in the other two effects of the Xvive, seem a bit mushy. The Xotic looks like a tank in comparison. And I would like to see well, with what it costs …

On Amazon the Xvive T1 Golden Brownie is under 40 euros shipped, while on music market or the price is a little higher. Six months ago, at the beginning of 2020, it was quietly at half price, both on the market and on ebay, new. You can see that it is a good pedal, you can’t find it used (whoever has it maybe keeps it) and the price goes up.

However, at more than 50 euros, I personally wouldn’t buy it. It’s nice, it pretty much sounds like the Xotic SL Drive, but at that point I’d rather (budget permitting) buy the used Xotic. A used SL Drive can easily be found around 90 euros, and while it is true that the Golden Brownie would be new and the SL Drive would not, it is also true that if you resell a new pedal you will lose something anyway (and the Golden Brownie is not levels of the Xotic), while on the used one no. In addition, the Xotic is of decidedly superior build quality, even if used it is unlikely that you will find it damaged. And with its internal deep switches, the Xotic has more tonal expression to offer than the Golden Brownie.

Published on on: 12/06/2020.