Copper Gear Distorta Obscura


In keeping with the CopperGear tradition of user customization, we would like to introduce the Distorta Obscura. Unlike a digital fx processor that uses software to try and emulate the sound of multiple types of pedals and pedal arrangements, the Distorta Obscura allows the user to use real components to create a dizzying myriad of true analog "fuzz" and "distortion" type effects.

Many guitarists agree that your pedal collection isn't complete unless you have a "fuzz" type pedal. But the daunting task of sifting through and trying so many vintage and newer pedals is not only financially unfeasible, but often times not even possible due to the rarity of some vintage effects.

The Distorta Obscura's customization ability comes from the use of the ugly blue-green component in the center of the unit called a "ZIF" (zero insertion force) socket. By lifting the small arm connected to it it unlocks the socket so circuit components can be replaced. By pushing the small arm down the socket locks the components placed into it in place and completes the circuit.

So what does all this ZIF arm-up-down-lock mumbo jumbo mean?

It means total and unequivocal control and customization of the pedals sound. Many vintage pedals utilized roughly the same type of circuit design (i.e. 2 transistors and input and output capacitors) just different values of the same types of components. The Distorta Obscura allows you to work with the same premise. Just by mixing and matching the 2 transistors as well as the input and output capacitors you can create a truly mind bending amount of possibilities as well as the potential to recreate some rare vintage sounds.

The Distorta Obscura comes with 5 pair of NPN transistors and 6 pair of ceramic capacitors, but virtually any NPN transistor or capacitor can be used. Electrolitic, tantalum, polyester, oil filled, or even handmade capacitors. Each type has its own effect on the sound as well as the different values of each type. Most transistors have operational and gain differences. These differences are utilized to create the "fuzz" or "distortion" of the sound. Some create a thick low end distortion while others make light high end break-up, as well as everything in between. We recommend you experiment, and not just with what is provided. Just be careful as this many possibilities could drive a person mad.

The controls include:

  • Volume = Overall pedal volume
  • Degree = Gain setting
  • Bias = For transistors to reach their proper output characteristics they need to be biased properly. Setting a correct bias usually creates a clean smooth sound at low gain settings. Intentionally setting an incorrect bias can put the transistor into a saturation or cutoff mode which may or may not be desired. Experimentation is welcome.

The unit comes with:

  • 5 pairs of different NPN transistors (used to create the type of distortion or fuzz due to transistor characteristics)
  • 6 pair of different value ceramic capacitors (used to filter different frequencies from the input and output of the pedals signal)
  • 1 center positive 9volt battery adapter
  • 1 manual
  • 1 certificate of authenticity

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