First Impressions: Mad Professor Amber Overdrive With Midas Touch

This photo is a close-up of my pedal board.

There are two pedals shown: the original Amber Drive, and the factory-modded Amber Drive with Midas Touch Mod.

The only visual way to tell the two pedals apart is the black 'CUSTOM' sticker that has been added below the footswitch on the modded pedal.

Apart from that, the two pedals look identical.

Both have 'Volume', 'Drive' and 'Tone' controls on the top, along with side jacks and a power jack next to the 'In' jack on the right-hand side of the pedal.
The Mad Professor Amber Overdrive with Midas Touch Mod, next to the original Amber Overdrive pedal.

I recently picked up a new (to me) factory-modded Amber Overdrive pedal, made by Mad Professor.

This is the third pedal in their Custom series that I’ve tried. I really enjoyed the first two. Will I enjoy this one as much? Read on for my First Impressions.

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TIL: The Amber Drive And Golden Cello Are The Same Drive Pedal

When it comes to pedal manufacturers, I’m a huge fan of Mad Professor pedals. I’ve owned pretty much all of their older (pre-Simple) drive pedals over the years, and I’ve probably logged more hours playing these pedals than any other brands’.

So I was floored when I recently read that the Golden Cello is actually an Amber Drive with added delay (a la the Bluebird Overdrive). How did I miss that?!? But it’s true.

The reason I hadn’t noticed this before? I’ve always used my Golden Cello with the delay turned up a bit (it’s endless hours of fun with an ebow), and it’s an older delay design that doesn’t feature a dry signal blend. ie, the delay colours the sound quite a bit.

Turn the delay off, and hey presto: the two pedals are identical.

So if you’ve always been curious about the Amber Overdrive, but found the second hand prices too high, keep an eye out for a Golden Cello. In my experience, the Golden Cello often goes for rock-bottom prices.

I guess I’m not the only one who didn’t know about this!

One Control Baby Blue Demo

Mike Hermans has posted a demo of One Control’s Baby Blue Overdrive pedal.

This is a pedal designed by Bjorne Juhl. If you haven’t heard of him, you might have come across BJF or BJFe designed pedals from Mad Professor or Bearfoot FX. The guy’s a legend in the pedal community, and arguably one of the top pedal circuit designers of all time.

I’ve got plenty of his designs on my own board or close to hand in my pedal cupboard. Whether it’s the Sky Blue Overdrive, Sweet Honey Overdrive, or the Uber Bee, his pedals have been at the heart of my guitar tone for many years now.

So what about the Baby Blue Overdrive?

This reminds me a lot of the Amber Overdrive – a fuzzy overdrive pedal trying to sound like a cranked Fender amp. [The Amber Overdrive is actually chasing the sound of a vintage fuzz into a cranked Marshall stack – Ed] Both designs need to be first in your signal chain, like an old-fashioned fuzz pedal. In practice, the Amber Overdrive is challenging to dial in. I haven’t found that sweet spot yet on the two examples that I’ve owned.

The Baby Blue looks like it might be a little more forgiving. Had to say for sure without trying one. Speaking of which …

New for 2018, Bjorn is hoping to ramp up production of pedals based on his designs, and bring the prices down to more obtainable levels. He’s going to be doing this through One Control, and it seems that his long association with Bearfoot FX has come to an end.

Elsewhere in the same forum thread, Bjorn says that this new version of the Baby Blue OD is built using modern components (the original ones were built using NOS components that he can’t get any more). As a result, it does sound different, and he thinks it’s closer to the sound in his head than ever before.

Unfortunately, I can’t find one to buy just yet. I’ll keep looking. I really want to put this side by side with the Amber Overdrive to see how they compare.