Lumpy's Tone Shop Liquid Lead - Super Lead Overdrive


Lumpy's Tone Shop

Heavily influenced by 1972-1975 era live Zeppelin tones, Liquid Lead (pronounced "Led") is designed to capture the sonic magic of those sounds in a single, but versatile stompbox.  The circuit's heart is based on a late 60's Super Lead which I implemented many design features of in to this circuit.  The end result is an overdrive pedal that will take you from the classic "Plexi" tones to the elusive "TSRTS" tone and anything in between.

Liquid Lead's design starts off with carefully tailored JFET gain stages to emulate the textures and overdriven characteristics of a late 60's Super Lead.  The breakup is gradual going from a lush clean tone (depending on your pickups), to a smooth bluesy overdrive and then on to a classic British style classic rock crunch without sounding too compressed or too grainy.  The proverbial amp like dynamic qualities are all there, including the abilitiy to clean up the dirty tone with your guitar's volume knob.  The pedal also responds well to your guitar's tone control.

Liquid Lead features a full tone stack with treble, mid and bass controls.  The tone stack is based on the late 60's SLP with a few changes to boost the mids a little more and to add some more range and better control for stompbox usage.  The most notable change is in the treble control which when pushed passed the 2 o' clock position takes on more of a upper mid range and treble boosting effect for darker setups, below that it functions much like the treble control on the amp.  The idea with the extended treble control range was to emulate the effect of the 5000pF bright cap on late 60's and early 70's Super Leads. The full tone stack will allow for a broader range of sonic variation compared to a single tone control and makes it easier to fine tune the pedal to your own rig.

There is a healthy dose of output volume on tap, unity gain is usually achieved at about 10 o' clock depending on where the drive knob is set, so the pedal can provide a complex sounding boost.

I often prefer overdrive pedals at 18 volts for even more dynamic qualities, so Liquid Lead is designed to run on either a 9 volt or 18 volt power supply.  At 9 volts you will find the tone to be a little softer and spongier.  When using an 18 volt supply the overall headroom will increase as well as the dynamics, output and presence. 

The build style is traditional Lumpy's; built on veroboard, Switchcraft jacks, true bypass switching.  The electronic components consist of high quality Philips, BC Component and Sprague capacitors as well as 1% metal film resistors.

The enclosure is powder coated in "Black Starlight" with silver lettering.  A simple combo that evokes a little mysticism on your pedalboard.  A set of aluminum knobs top it all off.  This will be the only color/graphics scheme.

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