Changing Pickups: Part 1 – Why?

This conversation was originally posted to my Twitter feed.

Just dropped the green Strat off for a pickup swap. I was going to wait until I could do a before-and-after demo, but honestly I’m not a very good (or musical!) player. You’re not missing out.

I think the pickups that Fender use in the Player Strats make sense, if you assume it’s a budget guitar aimed at newer players. They’re a little more mid-rangey than the classic Strat sound, a little hotter, and quite forgiving.

I’m dropping a (mismatched) set of 63s from Bare Knuckle into it. Originally bought bit by bit for other guitars, but for various reasons never got fitted.

Pickup swaps are always a bit of a gamble. Until you try them, you never know if they’ll suit that particular guitar, and your rig, and your playing style.

Pickup swaps in Les Pauls seem to be the worst. Raven (my Sig-T) took 5 different sets until I finally found ones that worked in that particular body. All great pickups, just a difficult guitar.

Why swap pickups at all? Why not stick with the stock pickups in a guitar?

Honestly, if you’re happy, stick with them. It’s your guitar. Don’t swap pickups just because others do.

I swap pickups either because I don’t like the originals, or because I’m looking to change the character of the guitar in some way.

I started swapping the pickups on Raven, for example, because the stock Gibson pickups sounded too shrill and ice-picky. Raven’s quite a bright guitar, and it needed pickups that would tame that.

With the green Strat (it doesn’t have a name yet), I’m swapping the pickups because I want to get closer to the Strat sound in my head. I want to make a guitar I like even better.

I’ll let you know what I think when the guitar’s back 🙂

First Impressions: Fender Vintera 60’s Modified Telecaster

This conversation was originally published to my Twitter feed.

I picked up one of the new Fender Vintera ‘60s Modified Teles today. I don’t care that it’s made in Mexico. It’s a good guitar.

I grew up with Strats, and fell hard for Les Pauls about 7 years ago. Teles – I’ve never understood. Will this one finally change that?

When we were kids, Teles were the choice of kids who played rock-n-roll … Status Quo, stuff like that. They had fat necks and you could drive a bus underneath the strings – at least, that’s how I remember them!

The neck on this doesn’t feel fat to me – but my tastes in guitar necks have definitely shifted in the last 12 months. The action is higher than I’m comfortable with, but quite low for a Fender.

The main thing to talk about with this guitar is tone.

It’s got an unusual amount of low-end output for a Tele – more than the two USA Teles I’ve owned. Makes for a warm sound, yet not muddy at all.

There’s plenty of clarity and cut too, with good dynamics and good string separation. The attack has definition without sounding too sharp. Might be soft for a Tele? Not experienced enough to say.

I’m finding the bridge pickup a little weak compared to the neck pickup. In position 2 with the S1 switch on, that makes for a surprisingly good dirt rhythm tone. Huh. S1 switching not a gimmick for a change!

Let’s quickly compare them to the Twisted Tele pickups I have in my American Deluxe. (The Elite is the equivalent model in the current Fender lineup.) Two very different guitars with very different pickup sets.

The Twisted Tele pickups are designed to make a Tele sound more like a Strat. As a result, there’s less mid-range, and more presence to the tone. If a Tele could wear a tux, this one would.

By comparison, there’s a lot more mid-range and rawness to the Vintera (to my ears at least). And thump. I can’t think of a better way to describe it. There’s a weight to the notes that works well. If this one wears a suit, it’s with a cudgel in one hand 🙂

Right now, I think the pickups are excellent, and I can’t see me wanting to change them. They sound great on their own, and should provide a great complementary tone to my American Deluxe.

I’ve no idea if other examples will sound like this, or whether I got lucky with this one. It’s the only one they had. I’ve not been able to compare it to others. If what I’ve said piques your interest, make sure you try one before you buy.

With this, and the Fender Player series too, Mexican-made Fenders are well worth a look. They’re not the badly made, lifeless planks of wood that they once were. And they stand up well against USA-made Fenders.

New Arrivals For June 2019

I’ve spent nearly all of June away in Scotland, enjoying a much-needed break from work out on Orkney. Just before I left, I picked up a few items to enjoy when I got back.

These are my initial impressions of the gear I’ve bought this month. I’ll delve into them in a lot more detail when I’ve had more time with them.

Vox Mini Superbeetle Amp

My friends Andrew and Adam are both massive fans of the Vox AC30 sound. Andrew loves getting all his tones by going straight in, and Adam loves driving his with his growing pedal collection. I tried one, and it wasn’t for me. Too big, too loud.

I’m hoping that Vox’s Mini Superbeetle is the compromise … something that’ll be the perfect AC30 substitute for someone who’ll only use it occasionally. It’s not a sound that I need a lot; I’m mostly going to be testing pedals with it to educate myself.

It’s a nice-enough amp, but I honestly don’t know what I’m doing with it yet. The whole Vox tone is completely new to me, and I’ve no idea how to get the best out of it as a pedal platform. I guess I’ll be watching That Pedal Show videos to learn a bit more 🙂

Boss Katana 100 Head

When my local guitar store announced it wasn’t going to be a Roland / Boss dealer any longer (it’s no longer profitable for small, independent outlets like them), I decided it was time to pickup a Katana before they ran out of stock. Good job too, as I snagged the very last one they had.

Why a Katana? Not everyone in the #HomeTone community can afford a real valve amp, and not everyone wants one. The Katana’s become a mainstay of amateur home musicians – and I’m not comfortable answering questions about them when I don’t have one of my own.

In the shop, I ran this into a Marshall SV112 1×12 fitted with a V-Type speaker. As a reference, I put Fender’s Santa Ana Overdrive in front of it. It’s one of my favourite drive pedals. I loved the results: big and fat and warm, three words I’d normally never associate with a V-Type speaker!

Expect to see a bit more of this later in the year when I finally get my #CoffeeAndKemper series off the ground.

JRAD Blue Note (Tour Edition) Overdrive Pedal

Rewind to 2012. YouTube is just starting to become the place to go to learn about the vast world of boutique pedals. And the JRAD Blue Note Overdrive pedal (in its original form factor) feels like a regular guest star in many of those videos.

Since then, this is a pedal that’s largely dropped off the radar. Good for me – I was able to snag one at a great second hand price. Maybe you can too?

In person, I was surprised at just how low-gain this pedal is. Even gunned with a big fat Les Paul running into it, there’s barely enough gain to use for rhythm work. This is a pedal that needs a helping hand – or needs to be used as a helping hand itself.

As a quick test, I threw the MP Audio Brit Blue in front of it (I need to compare thees two pedals, I suspect they’re quite similar), and got a lovely fat tone out of the pair. Roll on some free time, when I can explore this pedal a lot more!

SviSound Overzoid od1 Overdrive Pedal

This is my second Overzoid. My first one died a year or so ago, and thanks to the #CoffeeAndKlon series I write on the weekend, I’ve been missing this pedal more and more. It’s such an affordable pedal, I don’t know why I waited as long as I did to buy a replacement.

I feel like I’m approaching this pedal from a better perspective than I did the first time I bought one. I think the only pedal I’ve owned for longer than this is the Forest Green Compressor. Back then, I definitely didn’t have a clue about what I wanted or stacking pedals together. You can be the judge of whether that’s changed or not over the years … 🙂

I love how I can use it to add a bit more drive to my lower-gain pedals like the Sweet Honey Overdrive, all without drastically changing the tone or slamming the front-end of the pedal with a hotter signal. Although it is a very bright pedal, it doesn’t have the ear-fatiguing top-end sparkle of something like the TC Electronic Spark.

I’m looking forward to comparing this with the legendary Timmy pedal into a cranked amp in the near future …

New Arrivals For May 2019

At a recent post-gig band rehearsal, we decided that I needed to start adding effects to my acoustic rig. The plan this month was to build out a full acoustic board – one that’ll run into the amp for shows, and also directly into a PA for open-mic spots.

Sadly, my timing’s off, and the pedals I’m targeting for the acoustic board have been out-of-stock every time I’ve gone shopping for them. In the meantime, there’s been a few unexpectedly good bargains crop up on eBay, so I grabbed those instead.

Here’s a list of all the new gear that arrived in May, along with my first impressions of each item. I’ll do a detailed writeup about each piece of gear when I’ve had a bit of time with it.

Fender Player Stratocaster, in Sage Green

I admit it – it was the unusual colour that grabbed my attention. There aren’t too many of these in sage green kicking around these parts. This particular one has one of the better-looking pau ferro fretboards – nicely-cut figuring, and very little red in it.

What kept my attention was the playing experience. The neck profile is really comfortable for me, and the satin finish means there’s nothing grabbing my hand and stopping it moving around. It reminds me a lot of the necks on the old American Special line, it’s that good.

The reason I brought it home? It sounds much better than I was expecting. It’s not a dead plank of wood like the Mexican Strat I bought back in the 90s. Dial the volume and tone down a bit to take the edge off the pickups, and it’s a very usable Strat sound.

To my ears, those pickups are a little bit bite-y, and there’s a little bit more mid-range compared to the classic American Strat sound. They’re very usable, and that extra mid-punch works well if you’re predominantly playing through a dirty amp or through drive pedals.

I am going to change the pickups at some point. I mostly use a Strat for clean tones, and I think this guitar more than good enough to justify the cost of dropping a set of after-market pickups into it. In fact, I’m enjoying this Strat so much it’s getting the set of Bare Knuckle pickups that were ear-marked for the American Performer …

Gigrig Cinco Cinco Patch Bay

I need to tidy up my cabling a bit. I’m planning on building a little practice pedal board (which is where incoming pedals will get tested), and a second little pedal board for my acoustic gigs.

With two amps to test pedals against – and two pedals to stick into the effects loop whenever I want to switch amps – it’s all a bit messy atm. I find that I’m not switching amps as much as I probably should, and when I do, I never move the cables for the f/x loops.

I’m hoping this is where adding a patch bay will make things easier. I’m just waiting for the pedal boards themselves to arrive in stock so that I can cable everything up and find out.

PedalPatch Solderless Cable Kit

I’ve been using the Planet Waves / D’Addario solderless cable kit for years, for making patch cables for my main pedal board. It’s cheaper than the stuff you’ll see featured on That Pedal Show, and for home use it’s perfectly reliable.

The one and only downside is that no-one could ever accuse it of being a compact or low-profile solution. The jacks are big (the original ones even bigger), and the cable is pretty thick. I’m looking to make a couple of small boards this month. I could use an alternative.

PedalPatch are a UK company that I first saw advertising on Facebook. Their kits are even cheaper than the D’Addario ones, and look small and compact. I thought I’d pick one up and see how I got on.

Mixed results, I’m sad to say.

The first couple of cables I made sucked tone away. Specifically, there was an audible loss of high-end frequencies. The symptom? Seems to be when you pop the shield cap onto the jack. If it takes force to get the shield cap in place, that cable won’t sound right. I found that I had to make sure that the cable was firmly in the jack and bent the full 90 degrees at the right spot so that the cap just dropped into place.

With solderless kits, I expect to make the odd cable badly, and doesn’t carry any signal at all when I plug it in. A cable that isn’t dead, that just loses some of the signal spectrum … I found that really put me off. Can’t put my finger on why it’s any different to making a dead cable, but somehow to me it is.

For my gigging board, I might just say sod it and order the proper stuff from Gigrig. I do not want to have any problems at all with that board.

Pedaltrain Nano+ Pedal Board w/ Soft Case

I’m looking to build two boards this month: one for home, for tidying up where I test incoming pedals, and another for my acoustic gigs. Both need to be very compact. The testing board needs to fit in a 19 inch space, and the acoustic board is another thing to carry to/from gigs, so the smaller the better there.

Pedaltrain’s Nano+ boards are nice and small. But are they maybe a little too small for what I’m doing? The two problems are placing the power, and placing the patch bays I bought earlier for this project.

The acoustic board is the easier one. I can’t guarantee easy-to-access (or clean) mains power at a gig, so the whole board needs to run off of batteries. Pedaltrain do a rechargeable power supply called Volto, which fits underneath the Nano+ board. Earlier versions had mixed reviews, but the new Volto v3 appears to have finally cracked it. No space for the patch bay though atm.

Problem with the testing board is that I use Friedman’s 10-port power supply for testing pedals. It’s worth every penny to know I can run just about any pedal that takes 9v without trouble – even a power-hungry beast like Fender’s Tre-Verb. There’s no way that’ll fit on the Nano+, and neither will the patch bay.

This board doesn’t need to be able to travel; it just needs to sit there and help me keep that area tidy. I think I’m going to snag a 1U rack shelf, sit it under the board, and then put the power supply (and the patch bay?) at the back of the shelf.

Well, when the 1U shelf arrived, I discovered another problem: the Nano+ doesn’t fit on a 1U shelf. It’s just slightly too long to do so. How did no-one think of that when the Nano+ was designed? I’m going to have to come up with a more creative solution.

JRAD Archer Ikon Klon Klone Pedal

This one completes the family line-up: silver Archer, gold Archer, white Archer. It gives me another flavour of klone to try with different types of guitar. Am I going to enjoy this one as much as I did the silver Archer, or am I going to be as disappointed as I was with the white Archer?

I’m glad to say that I’m definitely not as disappointed as I was with the white Archer pedal.

I haven’t spent much time with Archer Ikon; really I’ve just plugged it in to make sure it wasn’t DOA. It’s not immediately obvious to me how it’s different from the silver Archer pedal. I’m going to have to sit down and A/B them both to work it out.

JHS Angry Charlie v2 Overdrive Pedal

I’ve had JHS’s Charlie Brown v2 pedal for years now, and I like how it sounds through my Marshall Origin. Where the Charlie Brown is aimed at the JTM-45-in-a-box kind of sound, the Angry Charlie is more the JCM-800-in-a-box thing. That sounds like two complementary tones that’ll go nicely together into a ToneStack. And I’m all about finding complementary tones 🙂

This pedal has gotten me thinking … is it the only drive pedal out there that targets the JCM 800 sound? Everything else I’ve ever tried either does the Plexi thing, or one of Marshall’s older / vintage / boutique amps.

I need to A/B this pedal against the JRAD Animal and my Synergy 800 amp.

Bearfoot FX Honey Bee Overdrive Pedal

Bearfoot FX is a company you might not of heard of. And, I’ll be honest, part of me wants to keep it that way, so that I’ve got more of a chance of finding their pedals at a good price on the second hand market.

They used to make hand-wired versions of Bjorn Juhl’s (of BJFe fame) legendary designs. That partnership came to an end recently, which can only mean that second hand prices of their pedals are going to continue to climb. I’ve already seen some examples going for King-of-Tone-on-eBay prices!

The Honey Bee Overdrive Pedal is considered to be one of Bjorn Juhl’s finest designs. I’ve already got the Uber Bee, which I love, and the Mad Professor Sweet Honey Overdrive, which is related but reportedly does have its own sound.

Fender Tre-Verb Digital Tremolo / Reverb Pedal

This one is very much an impulse purchase. I’m really enjoying using the Blackstar Studio 10 6L6 for clean tones. It isn’t a Fender Deluxe-Reverb Re-issue (DRRI), but it’s close enough for me. Can I turn it into a poor-man’s DRRI by adding the Tre-Verb’s emulation of the DRRI’s tremolo and reverb to the amp’s blackface-like clean?

First time I plugged it in, it sounded so much like a wet-only signal that I spent a couple of minutes hunting for some kind of ‘wet-only’ toggle switch on the damn thing. Turned out the order of the mono and stereo input jacks is different to what I’m used to, and I’d plugged into the second jack by mistake.

I’ve found this a challenging reverb to dial in. In that respect, it’s definitely like the reverb I remember from a DRRI! It’s so easy to nudge the Blend control just a hair and lost the sweet spot that seems to be around 9 o’clock. I wonder if this pedal will shine better in a wet-dry stereo rig?

In the end, this pedal didn’t stay on my practice board very long. I’m just too used to modern designs which keep the original dry signal and blend in the wet signal behind it. That doesn’t make this a bad pedal. It’s just all personal preference.

#CoffeeAndKlon 7: Too Much Sparkle?

This conversation was originally posted to my Twitter feed.

It’s #CoffeeAndKlon time again. And I want to talk about a pedal I think everyone should try – the TC Electronic Spark Booster. What, you didn’t think I’d forgotten I’d talk about this one, did you? 🙂

This boost pedal is arguably famous because it was a regular guest star in any Andertons YouTube vids. I know I got mine because of them 🙂

I guess they got tired of it? I can’t remember the last time they mentioned it in a video.

Anyway, every time I plug it back in, I think it sounds top-drawer. The ‘clean’ setting in the middle sounds flat, and I can dial in extra dirt or adjust the EQ – and keep the output volume down too.

But it’s what it does to the top-end of the frequency spectrum that I love the most.

I can’t stand guitar tones that sound like someone’s thrown a duvet over the speaker cab – or that sound like they’re coming through the wall from another room. I want a guitar tone that sounds like it’s right there in front of me.

It’s one reason (amongst many!) that I’ve gone from digital to tubes, when the trend is definitely going in the other direction.

There’s something about the presence from the Spark that sounds just right to me. I don’t know if it’s boosting the high frequencies or simply not filtering them, but I like whatever is going on.

Going back and forth between the Overzoid and the Spark, I’d say it’s the main difference between the two. The Spark has a … sparkle … that isn’t there with the Overzoid.

If I love the tone so much, why is the Spark rarely shown out on my practice board? Well, after about 10-15 minutes, that extra sparkle has caused ear fatigue for me. My ears just don’t like being blasted with sounds in the upper register 🙁

Maybe I could dial back that treble control and try and tame it? My ears need time to recover first!

I think it’s as bright as it is so that we can use it as a treble booster into an amp, where the saturated preamp should swallow up the extra frequencies? I’m guessing. I don’t know if that’s the case.

Anyway, when my ears recover, I’ll be putting the Overzoid back on the board for now.

As always, this is just personal preference. Try one for yourself. You might like what they do 🙂

So, what’s coming up next time? I haven’t talked about Tubescreamers, and I haven’t talked about the Klon’s legendary rival, the Timmy. They’re more for boosting amps than pedals though.

I’ve still got a few more alternative boost pedals to share with you before I break out a cranked amp or two. And I should talk about some more klones too 🙂

#CoffeeAndKlon 6: My Reference Boost Pedal

This conversation was originally posted to my Twitter feed.

For this #CoffeeAndKlon, I want to follow on the last one, and talk about an older boost pedal – the MXR Micro Amp. How does it compare with the Klon, and with the Overzoid I featured last time?

(Yes, that’s a Kemper sat underneath. I promise I’ll talk about it for #HomeTone soon!)

This is an old design – as old as I am! They first came out in the 70s, and they’re basically a clean boost version of the MXR Distortion+ drive pedal.

I’ve talked about treble boosters and transparent overdrives previously. Let’s talk about clean boosts. They aim to produce a louder signal (a volume boost) without colouring the input signal (flat frequency response).

And they don’t come any cleaner than the MXR Micro Amp. It has a perfectly flat response across all the frequencies that matter for guitar.

If you gun this pedal, you’ll get added dirt simply because the pedal’ll run out of headroom. At more modest levels, the output from this pedal remains clean, and you get extra gain from whatever you’re boosting because you’re slamming it with a hotter signal.

I think the MXR Micro Amp is a *great* reference pedal to own. And they’re not that expensive either. If you want to hear what *any* other boost pedal is doing, A/B it with the Micro Amp.

I don’t often use the Micro Amp when noodling at home. There’s a reason ‘transparent overdrives’ colour the signal. It’s rare that simply turning the volume up makes a tone better.

The other thing for me, though, is that I don’t always want to slam the input on a pedal. I want to shape the tone, not crush it.

I really like how something like the Overzoid can get a bit more drive out of a pedal by adding a bit more drive itself. I think that works really well with just about any pedal – especially those with low input headroom. (I must test that!)

#CoffeeAndKlon 5: Transparent Overdrives

This conversation was originally posted to my Twitter feed.

In this #CoffeeAndKlon, I thought I’d talk out the term ‘transparency’. And I shall do my best to do so with a straight face 🙂

Why this topic? Because I got another one of these this week: the SviSound Overzoid od1 🙂

Before the term ‘klone’ was popular, people used to refer to them as ‘transparent overdrives’. I have no idea if Bill Finnegan (creator of the Klon) ever used the term.

These days, if you google the term, you’ll see all sorts of pedals come up in the results. Whatever meaning it had, it’s been hijacked by the quest to be on the front page of search results. Thank you, Google, for turning meaning into a sodding game.

The Klon is famous for its 1 Khz (ish) mid boost. Klones also do this, and many of them also muck about with other parts of your tone. Doesn’t sound very transparent, does it?

  • A ‘transparent overdrive’ is basically a ‘sound better’ pedal, rather than a ‘sound different’ pedal. You kick them on, and smile.
  • ‘Transparent overdrive’ pedals are also ‘always-on’ pedals. You’re not kicking it on for a solo boost (as a general rule). You’re kicking it on to sound better all the time.
  • ‘Transparent overdrives’ aren’t the main source of dirt in a signal chain. They’re run into a dirty amp or pedal to influence what that source of dirt does.

Have I missed out any essential properties of a ‘transparent overdrive’ at all? I think those 3 cover the important bits.

It’s easy to see why the term has been hijacked to such a degree. Who doesn’t wish for a magical thing that instantly – and effortlessly – makes us sound better? There’s money to be made from catering to dreams like that.

With the Klon, the mid-hump makes a low gain tone sound better by emphasising frequencies we all hear well.

And the gain fattens the tone too. A little bit of dirt can make a ‘clean signal’ sound big and warm and fat by the way it messes with our hearing.

But, not every tone needs that, and not every pedal can cope with being on the receiving end of what the Klon does best. And, for me, that’s where the Overzoid fits so nicely.

Let’s take one of my favourite drive pedals – the Sweet Honey Overdrive. For me, the pedal’s sweet spot is with the gain at about 2 o’clock. That’s where I think it sounds best. But I wish it had more usable gain on tap.

With the Overzoid, I can add a little bit of gain on the signal into the SHOD – which gives me quite a bit more gain out the far end. All without changing the overall tone, at least to my ears. It’s far more transparent than a Klon.

I love having this option to hand, because of how I dial in my Les Paul. I predominantly use both pickups together, with both volumes rolled back a bit. Neck is normally between 4-6, and the bridge between 8-10.

Dialling back the volumes like this reduces the output of the guitar (amongst other things). So a low gain pedal like the SHOD becomes an even lower-gain pedal. The Overzoid helps me put that gain back into the end tone, and even add a bit more on top.

Critically, it doesn’t really change the tone much at all. Which means that I’m not getting that ‘out of the mix’ lift that a Klon gives me. And that’s great when I’m recording multiple rhythm guitar tracks, imho.

I’ve had an Overzoid for years, from way before I’d even heard of a Klon. Probably the first boost pedal I ever owned. I think I’ve only had the Forest Green Compressor (which I also use as a boost!) for longer.

So how does the Overzoid compare to an older design, like the MXR Micro Amp – or a newer design, like the TC Electronic Spark? I’ll have a play, and try and answer that next time 🙂

#CoffeeAndKlon 4: Before There Was Klon

This conversation was originally posted to my Twitter feed.

For #CoffeeAndKlon this week, I’m continuing the these of ‘before there was Klon’, with inspiration from my local guitar shop and the mighty demo god that is Pete Thorn.

Although I promise a klone will make an appearance before I’m done 🙂

So what have I got on the board this morning? The .45 Cal is JRAD’s JTM45 amp-in-box pedal. I think it’s a nice crunchy rhythm pedal that sounds great with a Les Paul.

Next to it – a treble booster. I picked this up on eBay for a lot less than other treble boosters go for. I’m using this one today because it’s mains-powered, rather than battery powered.

In this recent video, @petethorn did a great job of showing how classic rock sounds relied on treble boosters to deliver those iconic tones.

And it got me wondering … what would happen if I ran a treble booster into an overdrive pedal?

This is probably going to be a terrible idea …

Pedals (generally) aren’t a recreation of an amp’s preamp circuit. They’re trying to produce a compatible tone. That doesn’t mean they’ll behave the same way to various input signals.

One area where pedals can differ greatly from amps is their input headroom. Some pedals will happily accommodate being slammed with a hotter signal. Others will fart out or turn into fuzz pedals instead.

Fortunately, the .45 Cal takes hot signals well. I didn’t know that before I started this morning 🙂

I’ve tried to set the .45 Cal up to mimic the base tone that Pete Thorn dialled in for part of his video. The .45 Cal can sound a lot better than that 🙂

Engage the treble boost, and I’m very quickly into Ride The Lightning territory. Here are the settings that I’m using to relive my childhood between tweets 🙂

Might be hard to see from that photo: the .45 Cal has plenty of gain dialled in. That treble booster needs something to work with. Dial the gain back, and this is a pairing that IMHO doesn’t do anything interesting at all.

Tell you what I am interested in though: what does a klone sound like, on the receiving end of a treble booster? I’m sure there’s a very good reason no-one has ever asked this …

I’m going to try the original Wampler Tumnus. I’ve picked it because this pedal has a bit of a following as a primary overdrive in its own right.

The first challenge is trying to make it sound dull and lifeless without overdoing it. This is the first time I’ve tried this as an overdrive. It sounds really good.

Add in the treble booster, and I’m not convinced that I’ve made the tone any better. There’s some kind of phasing issue in the end result, at least to my ears.

I do like the idea (for fun!) of trying other boost pedals with klones in the future. I’ll come back to this topic another time.

If you’ve had a play with treble boosters and pedals – or klones with boosters – I’d love to hear how you got on.

Have a great day 🙂