The holy grail for many overdrive builders has long been the ‘British sound in a box’ – a classic, dirty-rock tone that can span the gamut from muscular rhythm parts to (with a twist of the gain knob) singing, saturated leads. Nowadays, you’re spoilt for choice in terms of which ‘amp in a box’ to get. Most approaches choose to replicate a classic tube amp preamp, but there’s still the question of whether you can model a tube amp in discrete solid-state circuitry, or if a purpose-designed overdrive circuit combined with your amp would work better. So, with that in mind, how close have these builders gotten to the real deal? Let’s get stuck in and find out!