Free The Tone (custom series) HB-2 Heat Blaster


Free The Tone

The HEAT BLASTER delivers a truly modern distortion sound, with a tone control plus high-cut and low-cut switches for additional tonal adjustment.

The high-cut switch attenuates the presence frequencies in order to produce a mellow tone that retains good projection. With the high-cut switch engaged you can use the tone control to achieve the required degree of projection. This type of setting is ideal for solos. The low-cut switch attenuates the low frequencies, making it easy to attain an ideal blend with bass and drums for a well-balanced band sound. The low-cut switch affects low frequencies that normally cannot be adjusted using amplifier tone controls.

A special true bypass circuit is adopted to switch the effect on and off, so the signal only passes through one set of contacts when bypassed.

Background & Development:

One morning I awoke with a great distortion sound in my mind. The sound was surprisingly distinct and clear, and similar to that of a modern high-gain tube amp. The HEAT BLASTER was born from the sonic image I awoke with that morning. But I had to get to work immediately in order to turn the mental image into actual sound before it changed or faded away. It was a race against time. I began mentally designing the circuitry on my way to the lab, and was ready to start building by the time I got there. All previous plans and appointments for that day were postponed while I set to work, and after about 6 hours of non-stop prototyping and testing I had a sample that delivered the required sound (definitely a speed record). The sound was almost exactly as I had imagined it. But that was all I could do in one day. I was exhausted. But I had my circuit, even though at that point it was nothing more than a bunch of parts directly soldered together… looking more like a jungle gym than a guitar effect. The following day the circuit was carefully installed in an enclosure so as not to alter the sound, and with a few more tweaks became the template for the HEAT BLASTER. My imagined sound was sort of “orange,” so the HEAT BLASTER enclosure is orange as well.


  • Input Impedance: 330kOhm
  • Output Impedance: 10kOhm
  • Controls: DRIVE, TONE, LEVEL, Hi Cut Switch, Low Cut Switch
  • Connectors: ¼-inch phone jack (INPUT and OUTPUT), DC9V input jack (AC adaptor jack)
  • Power Supply: 9V battery or AC adaptor
  • Power Consumption: DC9V, 7mA applox.
  • Dimensions: 123 (D) x 100 (W) x 52 (H) mm (including footswitch, jack and rubber feet)
  • Weight: 330g approx. (Not including battery)

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