North Effects The Llama OD


North Effects

The History

Back in the late 70s, DIY-musician-guru-all-round-super-bloke Craig Anderton had the genius idea of repurposing digital logic chips for analog noisemaking and came up with the "Tube Sound Fuzz". He wrote about it in his seminal book "Electronic Projects for Musicians" and a few generations had a go at making their own. A certain Jorge Tripps took the design, made a few refinements, packaged it nicely and it became the boutique legend that is the Way Huge Red Llama. When Way Huge shut up shop a few years later demand for the Red Llama was still strong and subsequently the prices went into the silly territory.

The Clone

Here we have a cheaper alternative that features the same circuit as the original Red Llama, built to the same high spec as the rest of my pedals - true bypass switching, Neutrik jacks, Alpha pots and footswitch, MXR sized die-cast enclosure, 9V DC jack, and this one also has a stage-ready LED indicator.

The Sound

The original Llama is well known for its proclivity to do rude things to a valve amp that's already running a little hot, and this does just that. Definitely a rock flavoured overdrive (as opposed to something like a Blues Driver), it adds just the right amount of raunch and crunch. It has bags of output - unity with the uneffected signal happens around 2 o'clock on my setup - which is all the better for really driving those preamp valves. It doesn't stint on the bass side and even works well with 4 strings. The "Drive" control can take you from an almost clean boost to full on cab rattling overdrive with a slight edge of fuzz creeping in once you head past 3 o'clock. Can also be used to good effect on solid state amps to give you a bit of valve juice down at bedroom gig levels. Lovely.

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