In this day and age there is an almost infintite variety of overdrive pedals to choose from. So why make the Gain Stage Blue™?
This initial pedal offering is the culmination of over 35 years of playing and amp/pedal designing and building experience. We originally set out to design a pedal that delivered the best plexi-based singing lead tone one could get from a pedal. We got that and sooo much more.
This pedal delivers the following:
- True amp-like response and touch sensitivity
- Extreme harmonic content
- Balanced tonal response
- Enough versatility to mate with a wide assortment of guitars and amps
OverviewThe Gain Stage Blue™ Overdrive Pedal was designed to sound like a great overdriven vintage tube amp. The pedal has the response of classic stacks and will deliver so much more.
The Gain Stage Blue™ is a very unique overdrive. A lot of time was spent perfecting the circuit so that the pedal would be very flexible and deliver a wide range of tones from clean-boost to heavy overdrive. It works like a second channel or natural extension of your amp. There are a ton of tones on tap with this pedal and the controls and two switches can be used to not only change the tone and gain structure but also allow for greater compatibility with different amps and guitars.
With the Gain Stage Blue™ you can get everything from a very transparent and warm clean boost to killer mild od tones to vintage cranked tones. Even at higher gain settings the pedal will not mush out in the bass.
When designing the Gain Stage Blue™ we re-examined fundamental OD circuit principles and spent countless hours perfecting the basic gain stage and selecting the right components. Please note, that this is not a slightly modified version of any existing pedal - we worked very hard on building a circuit from the ground up.
The gain circuit we created will stay very articulate and responsive, like a strong overdriven amp. A lot of pedals out there will offer a compression effect that can be useful, but all too often becomes more of a homogenizing influence. The Gain Stage Blue™ will resolve all of your input and allow for maximum control and response for the player. With the Gain Stage Blue™ you will sound like you - for better or for worse :).
This is a hand built, American Made product. The Gain Stage Blue™ was designed for professional use with professional quality equipment. However, the Gain Stage Blue™ will provide players of all levels with a great tonal experience and will inspire you to greater levels of playing.
FeaturesThe GS Blue has the expected gain, volume and tone controls, but these do not yield the expected results. The pedal also has 2 switches that add to the tone shaping possibilities.
Gain: Sets the overall amount of overdrive. A lot of time was spent on designing the gain structure and the amount of available gain. It's easy to create a high gain pedal; it's another thing to make a balanced gain structure that delivers articulate and musical results. We wanted there to be enough gain on tap to drive a very clean amp into a singing violin tone, but not mush out. Settings at 2 o'clock and above will get you into the singing lead territory. At gain knob settings of 2 o'clock and above, the bias point of the circuit changes and more saturation is available. This is where the liquid-y drive tones will be found. Gain settings below 2 o'clock will provide a world of subtle to mid-level overdrive tones that sound great for many types of rhythm and lead applications. The character and flavor of the gain, as well as the harmonics and response will be affected by the interactions of the tone knob and the Hard/Soft and I/II switch settings (see below).
Tone: Passive tone control - we carefully selected components to provide a useful response throughout the entire tone sweep. The sweet spot of the tone knob is from 9 o'clock to about 1 o'clock. More extreme settings exist outside this range, but they are still musical and workable. Again, the tone will interact with different gain and switch settings. This tone control is best used as a final balancing adjustment after the other settings are determined. Many OD pedals today have tone controls that offer a very limited range and quickly become too harsh in the upper frequencies; this pedal is different.
Hard/Soft Switches: This switch selects the type of clipping used with the gain in the circuit. This is where the overall character of the overdrive is shaped and the differences between Hard/Soft become very noticeable at higher gain settings. A lot of development time went into the selection of the clipping circuits for each position so that flexibility and musicality was maximized.
- Hard - More dynamic and in your face with a very distinct touch-sensitivity at lower gain settings. Hard provides a more transiently dynamic and pronounced response and feel. You will notice an apparent increase in volume, however it's actually the wider dynamic response that is creating this effect.
- Soft - Is a more compressed and gain-ier tone. Use this setting for more of a liquid-y drive. This setting works great with single coil pickups.
I- II Switch: This switch offers two different levels of gain, each with its own voicing. These switches have a great interactive effect on the gain setting. Not only do they offer varying degrees of gain, but the different voicings will complement a wider range of amps and guitar combinations.
- I - Less overall gain and softer top end. This setting works great with brighter amps and still offers enough gain to achieve a saturated singing lead tone. This setting is more articulate and provides wonderful dirty rhythm and blues style lead tones.
- II - More overall gain with stronger upper mids. This setting works great with darker british-style amps. This setting will offer the most gain and the smoothest lead settings. The higher gain will give single coils an extra push into the amp.
Another great feature of the GS Blue™ is at higher gain settings the pedal will easily allow the player to produce controlled feedback. This is due to the wide harmonic content being generated.