The Friedman IR-D Combines Cutting-Edge Technology with Glowing Tubes and Fits Your Pedalboard

The Friedman IR-D Combines Cutting-Edge Technology with Glowing Tubes and Fits Your Pedalboard

There’s an expression that always goes with Friedman products: high-end. Yes, the brand has been making the tools of expression for guitar maestros and virtuosos since its foundation in 2008.

But Dave Friedman isn’t just enjoying success kicking back and sipping margaritas in an undisclosed location in the Caribbean. On the contrary, he’s working hard to bring fellow players the best new solution for their tone-thirsty hands in the shape of a pedal.

After the success of the IR-X, Friedman unveils a new Frankenstein that brings 100-year-old technology and cutting-edge digital developments together in an easy-to-use, relatively affordable pedal.

Are you ready to rock? Because the Friedman IR-D surely is.

What’s the New Friedman IR-D?

The brand new creation Dave Friedman just put out is a replica of the Friedman Twin Sister head in a pedal housing. In case you didn’t know, the Twin Sister is the dual-channel version of Friedman’s critically acclaimed take on the Marshall JTM45, the Friedman Dirty Shirley.

This means that the voicing of this pedal aims for that compressed clean with bite, and the crunchy breakup that makes early Marshall amps the go-to sound for ‘60s and ‘70s rock tones.

Furthermore, since it’s a fairly clean amplifier, it works for pedals too.

Speaking of pedals, this one is equipped with two different channels (with a boost) allowing you to go from clean or overdriven to full-on mayhem by just stepping on a footswitch.

But that’s not all, this pedal is revolutionary in many ways, let’s deep-dive into it.


One of the most important aspects of this pedal is that it’s a true valve preamp inside a pedal housing. Indeed, the heart of the pedal’s tone and circuit features dual 12ax7 preamp valves running at amplifier voltage. This means they’re not there to just warm up the signal a bit but bring true vintage color to everything you play.

I know what you’re thinking, “Tubes inside a pedal? They’ll break in the first tour!” Well, I thought that too, but Friedman took special care making the housing and the valves positioning in such a way you won’t get to the gig and fire the thing up to realize you just busted the tubes on the way to the gig.

Finally, all knobs and switches are similar to those you find in a Friedman amplifier in terms of quality and operation. This pedal is truly built like a tank.


The Friedman IR-D is a great pedal if you want to add colors to your current setup, makes a great studio tool, and can be thought of as your amp as well.

This is because of the TRS balanced out (with ground lift), the USB, and the MIDI connectivity. But that’s not all, because if you’re like me and love that lush spring reverb sound on your amp, you can just plug in your favorite pedal through the amp’s effects loop.

Sound-wise, the versatility that this pedal gives you is enough to work your way through most gigs. Indeed, if you’re a fan of the British sound of Rock n’ Roll’s golden age, this pedal is exactly what you need.

But it gets better because, as the name implies, Friedman uses digital technology to emulate the power section of the amplifier. This means you have some IR options to load your IR-D with and just go straight to the mixing board or the PA.

When you purchase the pedal you have access to 12 IRs created by Dave Friedman himself using state-of-the-art technology to capture legendary cabs. The unit allows you to choose 3 IRs for each channel. As a factory preset, what you have is Dave’s favorite 4x12, an ‘80s 4x12 with 20-watt Celestion speakers, and a Dirty Shirley 1x12 cabinet.

You can load different ones (your own or third-party creations) very easily and replace the factory presets.
This pedal is versatile enough to cover most sonic ground you’ll ever encounter. That said, its operation is simple enough to be playing in less than a minute.

A True Amp in a Box

There are many ways you can use this new Friedman IR-D in your signal chain because it’s truly an amp in a box.

For starters, what most of us would do with it is take it to the gig, place it after our pedalboard, and go straight into the PA system. Furthermore, if you don’t need any gain stages (and you probably don’t), you can connect the entire pedalboard to the effects loop of the pedal and use liquid delays to play Gilmour solos until the candles are no longer burning.

Another great way to use this pedal is in front of your regular amp. Yes, for example, if you have something like a solid-state amplifier or an amp you don’t exactly love the tone of, you can hook this pedal in front of it and play the night away with your favorite tones in a more traditional setup.

Finally, and this is my favorite, you can use the Friedman as a late-night companion or a home practice amp. This is because the headphones out can be connected to your favorite pair of cans and you can play using all your sounds without disturbing your neighbor. Moreover, you can also plug this pedal into the computer and let it be your audio interface to record great-sounding guitars in a breeze.

The Bottom End

Friedman isn’t the only company out there selling souped-up Marshall designs to rock guitarists around the world. But what has been setting it apart for the past decades is the same thing that sets this pedal apart from the competition: audio and construction quality.

In a line, the Friedman IR-D is one of the best-sounding IR pedals out there with the true heart of a tube amp.

Although it’s not a cheap pedal, it costs a little over 1/6th of the Friedman Twin Sisters head.

Happy (vintage & British) playing!


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