Just got a Williams Audio MK11

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Zoso, Feb 26, 2011.

  1. Zoso

    Zoso Member

    Jan 15, 2008
    One of my favorite tones is the early Jimmy Page tele through an MKII tone that is all over LZ I and the early live stuff like the Danish television gig. I've been going for that tone for years but have never been completely satisfied with the MKII replicas on the market.

    A few years ago I bought one such boutique clone (I won't name names--it was from a company that makes fantastic products) but still couldn't get the tones I heard on those records/clips. The fuzz was just too harsh, almost digital in quality. It didn't respond to the guitar volume knob other than to change the loudness, and I found that I'd really have to roll off the treble to get something warm enough to be useful. In short, I wasn't happy with it.

    Three weeks ago I was doing some research, looking for an available MKII with the famed OC81D transistors. The real NOS stuff, not the new ones that bear the same name. I came across the Williams Audio MK11 and made an impulse purchase, something I almost never do. But what the hell. I had the cash and was in the market, and these pedals have the NOS transistors.

    It just came in yesterday, but the difference in tone from my other clone is night and day. I've noticed the following differences so far:

    1. Sustain. Teles need some help in this department, and the MK11 provides it. I can bash a chord or let a single note ring for what seems like days.

    2. Warmth. No digital, harsh fuzz here. It's is a very organic, warm fuzz. I know those characterizations are kinda lame, but what can I say. That's what I hear.

    3. Volume know sensitivity. With the MK11, my guitar volume is less a loudness adjuster and more a fuzz character adjuster. I find that my favorite tones are with some of the volume rolled off, but there are at least three distinct characteristic tones within the range of the volume pot wipe, and variations in between. That's just cool!

    I'm not a schematic guy, so I don't know if this uses a different schematic from the other guys, but my understanding is that an MKII is a well understood circuit that every clone builder uses as a base. If that's true, then I can only conclude that it is the components within that make the difference--specifically the OC81D transistors. It's just a different tone, and it's the one I've always wanted.

    I also want to say that Nick was fantastic to work with, which is always great for me. I tend to have a lot of questions on the front end, and he was quick with an enthusiastic answer. I can tell he is passionate about his work, and that really came through in his work.
  2. dlc1953

    dlc1953 Supporting Member

    Dec 8, 2009
    wa State
    Glad to hear you like it. Have e-mailed with Nick a few time and he is a good guy to deal with. Would really like to pick up one ,the2or the3 but man the currency exchange rate is steep.
  3. alteredsounds

    alteredsounds Member

    Nov 10, 2006
    United Kingdom
    Thanks for the great review Zoso, I'm really pleased you are so happy with the MK11. Ben King has just taken an identical build over to Japan for a short tour with The Yardbirds and will soon be in the US headlining some Led Zep tribute shows, check him out if you get the chance, great guy and excellent guitarist.

    dlc1953 if you drop me a pm sometime I'll see if I can work something out for you.


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