Crowther Hot Cake

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by rorschah, Jan 5, 2006.


  1. rorschah

    rorschah Member

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    Hot Cake. Yeah, Hot Cake. Whew! Hot Cake. Yeah.

    Thanks, guys, for the recc's.

    I love it. Especially with my Ampeg Reverberocket. Only problem is, with the Ampeg, I wish I had three. Works great as a boost, best I've got for the Ampeg. Works great at about 11 o'clock for a slightly sustain-y, slightly hairy lead line. Works great at about 3 o'clock for massive wall-o-filth, like a much more sensitive and playful Rat.

    Am currently getting a fantastic wall-of-filth sound (in the sludge-metal-punk vein) from Gainster->Hot Cake->AC Booster. It's ugly, man. Mmmm.

    Thanks again for the recc'. Much more nicely bassy than many of the other distortion pedals I have.

    -thi
     
  2. twoheadedboy

    twoheadedboy Member

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    Good lord, I need one of those pedals. I am very into the classic sludgy stoner rock type sound. How well would you say this pedal does it?
     
  3. e-flat

    e-flat Supporting Member

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    Sorry to jump in, but I have been on a Hotcake kick lately too. I got a Standard Hotcake that sounded really great but just had too much high-end hair around the notes when the gain was cranked past 1:00. Sent it to Paul Crowther and had him mod it to Bluesberry (Soft Edge) specs. It REALLY opened the Hotcake up with my AC30.... Now I can play it cranked at will without the same fizzy artifacts on the top end.
    It does dense, sort of saggy, heavy overdrive with some fuzz thrown in SOOO well with the Gain beyond 3:00. I also like the way that the Hotcake gives my AC30's Top Boost channel a substantial "thickening" in the bass. A keeper.... I have a BJF Honey Bee on the way that I am hoping will cure my itch for a new low-to-mid gain overdrive. I hear the two stack quite nicely ( Honey on my Hotcake?)
     
  4. Calloway

    Calloway Supporting Member

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    This pedal would be great for the stoner sludge tone. I used one for a bit in a harder garage blues/rock band. It was just a little too fuzzy for me but would be great for what you are describing.
     
  5. Dr Rico

    Dr Rico Member

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    My Hotcake is subatomically fused to my '64 AC30.
     
  6. jgyn

    jgyn Member

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    Still my fave Britpop pedal.
     
  7. rorschah

    rorschah Member

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    Re: stoner sludge stuff.

    It's awesome. Nice fat low end, which is what I need.

    -thi
     
  8. ToneRanger

    ToneRanger Member

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    Hot Cake is my all time favourite pedal.
    It can be used in so many ways! I have two and they work wonderfully with my Bad Cat Class A 15 watter and my Fender Telesonic and strat. The cake becomes one with the amp. It's great as a boost, great as your bread and butter slight overdrive tone or as a thicker distortion. I just discovered a totally new world with the Cake, that's using with other pedals (I have been using two cakes on top of each other for quite a long time already) and it's just great. Walls of filth, as someone said. It's basically cured my need or desire for a standalone distortion box. COT 50 plus Cake or two Cakes together greate an awesome sound that's really poweful, filthy and hi-gain..

    And it's quite cheap as well! Everyone should own atleast one Hot Cake and two or more wouldnt hurt!

    Plus Paul Crowther is a superb guy! He always responded my mails very promptly. My first cake had a problem with the led and the schematics were in my mailbox in minutes. Then my Cake burned, it got a bit too hot as our training place and studio got destroyed in a fire. The Cake was found in the ruins and Paul asked me to send it in and he repaired it for free, think about that dudes! I guess it was totally destroyed inside and he just took care of it. I guess he felt sorry for me. And I ordered three additional Cakes from him as well at the same time so that might have helped. But anyway, there's simply not better service.. and at 125 €:s it's such a bargain we should use them even as paper weights.

    Ok, got to calm down now :)
     
  9. Telecaster

    Telecaster Member

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    Did you order your Hotcake from Paul Crowther directly ? Do you happen to have his email-address ?
     
  10. ToneRanger

    ToneRanger Member

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    Yes and yes.. It's hard to find for some reason. I think there's a sticker in the bottom of the pedal where it's to be found with other contact info. Both of my Cakes have their stickers ripped off, cause they have been velcroed to a board, but I have the e-mail somewhere... here:

    croth(a)clear.net.nz
     
  11. Telecaster

    Telecaster Member

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    Thanks ! 125 euro is a very nice price I think :)
     
  12. nashvillesteve

    nashvillesteve Member

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    I love my Hotcake. I've had it for a long time. I'm still not sure about the buffer circuit. Some people hate it, some people bypass it, I leave the Hotcake on clean boost most all of the time and don't use it. I'm having some buffer confusion, check this thread: http://thegearpage.net/board/showthread.php?t=122540

    I am unsure if I want to use the Hotcake as a buffer, as I already have buffered outputs at the end of my chains before the amps. I am not sure if the buffer should be at the very end, now. 2 buffers, one near beginning, one at end? I could move the Hotcake, but honestly, that complicates things much more than just leaving it at the end of the OD chain mainly as a clean boost.... I cut & paste some info Paul sent me about the buffer circuit below. Very friendly and helpful guy from my correspondence.

    How much did it cost to have the Hotcake modded to Bluesberry spec? I really don't use the higher gain sounds on the Hotcake much and am interested in this mod. This is an absolutely killer pedal with EL84 amps. Anyway, here's the buffer info that I'm still not entirely sure how to most effectively integrate with my setup. I suppose I should just wait until I have my pedalboard cables and then try everything out until my ears tell me what sounds the best.

    Hi Steve,
    The Hotcake has an unusual bypass system, and I shall paste in more info
    below.
    If you really want to go for total bypass, I recommend an external switching
    box.
    Best regards,
    Paul Crowther.
    ###################################################

    True bypass or not?
    The true bypass thing really means that the signal does not pass through any
    electronics when bypassed, just switch contacts...the next best thing to
    unplugging the pedals altogether. True bypass can be noisy (big "click")
    sometimes, and the switches usually just have tin plated contacts which can
    become unreliable when switching low level signal.

    Pedals such as the Tube Screamer, and most Roland pedals use electronic
    bypass, which means that the signal goes into a buffer circuit at the input
    to the pedal, then through switching Fets (field effect transistors which
    can be used as an analog switch, but can introduce some distortion) , then
    at the output of the pedal there is another buffer circuit to protect the
    switching Fets from the outside world.

    When I first started making the Hotcake, I had trouble finding a good DPDT
    switch, so I came up with a different idea which converts the circuit from a
    distortion to a high quality buffer. The distortion is basically enabled
    with a single switch to ground.
    By having a buffer in line with the guitar, the guitar electronics are
    isolated from being loaded with the guitar leads and other pedals between
    the Hotcake and the amp. This usually means that you get back a few highs ,
    and some people hear that as "changing their sound."

    The first person who told me that simply plugging in their Hotcake improved
    their guitar sound was our own Neil Finn, (Split Enz, Crowded House etc. )

    I now use a latching relay with gold plated contacts for the actual
    switching, and that is super reliable as long as the battery is OK.

    I have also made a "true bypass" system which I call "gold bypass". I use
    that with the Prunes&Custard pedal now, but with the Hotcake it is prone to
    instability (going into oscillation) because there is a lot of Level and
    Gain
    available with the Hotcake,
    and for this type of switching, the input and output wires have to come
    very close to each other at the relay contacts, and the guitar source
    impedance can be quite high, especially a passive electronics one (like a
    Strat or Les Paul), with the volume control backed off a little.

    So...I rest my case.

    Paul E. Crowther

    If you can, just run the Hotcake as the first pedal from the guitar, and
    you'll be right.
     
  13. modoc

    modoc Guest

    Great pedal...i've got two on my board. One Hotcake set as a clean boost and the bluesberry for the added lift on the OD-100 for solo's. It's pretty much made redundant my BB preamp and Reverend Drivetrain II. Thinking about a Landgraff Dynamic Overdrive though...easier to get than the Timmy!! :jo

    Cheers
    Jase Perth, West Australia
     
  14. dosmun

    dosmun Member

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    The Hotcake has been my #1 for many years. I use it as a dirty boost left on all of the time into my Rivera M-60.

    :RoCkIn
     
  15. rorschah

    rorschah Member

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    For those watching this, for some bizarre reason after being hard to find there are, like, tons of Hot Cakes in the Emporium right no.

    Not mine, though.

    -thi
     
  16. ToneRanger

    ToneRanger Member

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    I have stopped worrying about the true bypass stuff. My Hot Cakes don't affect my signal negatively in anyway, or then I just don't notice it, and I consider myself to be pretty picky about my tone..

    Don't worry. If it sounds good, it's good!
     
  17. ButchR

    ButchR Komet Player Gold Supporting Member

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    The Hotcake is the only pedal that will probably never come off of my pedalboard.
     
  18. e-flat

    e-flat Supporting Member

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    nashvillesteve:
    I won't speak for Paul Crowther as far as cost goes to mod to Bluesberry specs....I'd say contact him for a quote.
    Lets just say it was pretty inexpensive and well worth it : )
     
  19. nashvillesteve

    nashvillesteve Member

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    e-flat:

    Help me out here, there is misinformation on the web somewhere! I tried Googling for info on the Bluesberry, it is a LOWER gain spec, right? Because some sites refer to it as the Hotcake's "big brother" and "heavier gain,"... but I'm fairly certain that the opposite is the case...

    It is a lower gain pedal than the stock Hotcake, right?
     
  20. dosmun

    dosmun Member

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    Same gain just the fizzy high end is not there. It is still the same Hotcake with a subtle tweak.
     

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