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Catalinbread Knight School Overdrive

Catalinbread Knight School Overdrive

Regular price $85.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $85.00 USD
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Brand new. Authorized dealer.

From the manufacturer:


Assembly is very straightforward and requires only a soldering iron, some solder, and proper ventilation; we’ll take care of the rest.

All the way back in 1975, Craig Anderton, founder of Seamoon Effects, released what came to be known as the go-to reference book for aspiring pedal builders. That book is called Electronic Projects for Musicians and it unknowingly jumpstarted the designs of many budding companies. Several of the circuits in this book use integrated circuits, or “chips” as most people call them, that weren’t commonly found in commercial products of that time. One such timeless circuit born from this book was the Tube Sound Fuzz, a gain device centered around an exotic part called a hex inverter. 

The architecture of this hex inverter allows for some crisp and striking distortion using just a few parts, with some wild variation lurking within just by adjusting a few values. And companies did just that; with one of the earliest adopters of Anderton’s circuit being Electro-Harmonix. In the late ‘70s, EHX released the Hot Tubes, a modified version of this circuit, tweaked in such a way to deliver a smooth yet biting overdrive. Being a relatively unique circuit and previously unavailable commercially, the Hot Tubes had several notable users such as Stevie Ray Vaughan, Kim Gordon, Jeff Buckley and the Edge.

Another person that ran with the TSF is Jeorge Tripps of Way Huge, who tweaked the values of that circuit in a different direction and produced the brand’s flagship circuit, the Red Llama. That pedal has been in production on and off for 30 years, and found its way into the hands of several influential players, such as Tom Petty, Paul Gilbert and John Mayer. 

Our Knight School Overdrive has the DNA of Mr. Anderton’s Tube Sound Fuzz, the Hot Tubes and the Red Llama, reworked into a dirt device that covers all the gain bases, from sparkling clean boost to heavy grit with extreme touch sensitivity. We’ve included a knob for a mids scoop, which was actually featured first in old Gibson amplifiers, but we’ve implemented the version from the Matchless Chieftain amplifier, one of our shop amps and a favorite of ours. You’ll find it adds quite a lot to the character of the unit, and is especially helpful if you play British-style amps.


VOLUME:  It does the thing.

MIDS: This control was added because the stock TSF circuit contains a fair bit of mids, and a touch more is added after this control with the fixed gain stage. The stock values of this circuit give you a scoop of 6dB at 450Hz, near the “body” frequency of electric guitar. Turn this knob all the way down for a deep scoop, which balances the pedal better against British-style amps that have intrinsic mid boosts, or keep it up to push back against naturally mid-scooped amps, such as Fenders. Or, just use it as a regular mids control and have fun with it!

DRIVE: This controls the amount of gain in the first stage, feeding it into the mids scoop circuit and a second stage with a fixed gain level. Turning this control to the minimum delivers an excellent sparkling-clean boost and turning it to the maximum gives you a meaty distortion sound. It’s important to note that the Knight School Overdrive is incredibly touch sensitive, so this knob should be set accordingly. You can set it to open up with your hardest strumming for dramatic effect or keep it relatively high and only use it on the quiet parts.



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