The GAIN STAGE RED™ pays homage to the great tones of players such as Carlton and Ford whose smooth and articulate tones continue to define their genres.
The best way to describe the Gain Stage Red.....its like adding a boutique amp overdrive channel to your rig. If your looking for a professional level OD pedal that is smooth and articulate, then you need to check out the Gain Stage Red!!
OverviewThe gainstage red overdrive pedal was the culmination of a year long experimentation to find a distinctly voiced overdrive pedal. Two main design points were always kept in mind:
- The overall response must be tight--especially in the lower frequencies. Chords and single note lines, particularly on the lower E,A and D strings must be articulate and chimy with no mush or flabiness.
- The midrange has to be so uniquely liquid and silky that it is in a class by itself. Also of great importance during the design process were getting the overall gain structure so that it would have enough drive for single coil lead tones, but also, not have so much that humbuckers overloaded it. This was a particularly difficult task to accomplish. How much was too much and what was not quite enough? The balance was finally achieved and the Gain Stage Red is at home with a set of vintage output single coils as it is with hot humbucker. Both will produce juicy overtones and pinch harmonics are no problem at all.
The right amount of compression was also an important consideration. It is pretty easy to squash signal to death when designing a pedal. It is quite another matter getting a natural sounding compression that is complimentary of a guitarists playing style.
The Gain Stage Red has a seductively subtle compression quality that doesn't flatten out the dynamics nor add too much girth to the chords or single notes. What the Gain Stage Red does is add rich sustain and bloom. This quality can be dialed from barely detectable to lush and fat with the overall gain settings.
The Gain Stage Red was the result of hundreds of hours of listening and tweaking. There were literally dozens and dozens of prototypes built that were ultimately rejected. Some prototypes were just plain wrong and went immediately to the scrap heap. Others, which seemed to have promise, were further modified until all possible varients were rejected. The ultimate pedal that was to become the Gain Stage Red was not a Eureka! rather, it was the tedious, and frankly frustrating, evolution of an idea and sound I heard in my head that I knew could be acheived.
This is a hand built, American Made product.
FeaturesThe Gain Stage Red is a very easy pedal to dial in. There really aren't any tricks--almost any combination of settings will yield usable tones!
Gain: Sets the overall amount of overdrive. The Gain Stage Red might best be thought of as a medium output overdrive. This characterization is a bit deceptive however! What the Gain Stage Red DOESN"T do at higher gain settings is square-wave. What does this mean? Simply put, the Gain Stage Red never gets into the territory of fuzz-like qualities. It remains warm and natural sounding, never brash or harsh.
Tone: The tone control was designed to not have an extreme swing. The goal was to a have a very well centered tone control specifically voiced for controling the all important midrange frequencies. At the fully counter clockwise setting, the tone is mellow and smokey. At the full clockwise setting it is agressive but not brittle and piercing.
Hard/Soft Switches: This switch operates somewhat as a presence boost with a slight increase in overdrive. The overall response and feel of the pedal is determined in large part by this switch. Much can be accomplished with this simple control. It is particularly useful in a live setting where you might want that "little extra" to cut through the mix.