A lot of pedals try to do the Marshall-in-a-box thing, but few do it with as much class as the now discontinued Vemuram Karen. Aside from its incredible name, the deal with this remarkable-looking unit is that it’s made by hand in Tokyo by a team who seriously know what they’re doing, using a full brass enclosure. Yeah, that’s right. Each circuit is made individually, not just banged out of a machine, and every board is manually modified to make it dead on. Karen is Vemuram’s version of the 4-input Marshalls of the late ‘70s, early ‘80s like the JCMs’. Karen sports controls for Volume, Gain and Tone, with an extra pot in the shape of Vemuram’s signature ‘trimmer’ control. This is a dial that lets you choose how high the overall gain can go, so you can truly dictate how your beautifully-crafted, true-bypass distortion behaves. Driving perfectly into natural compression, this is a killer pedal!