Menatone KOTB, WOW.

alivegy

Member
Messages
1,176
I don't think I've ever been as happy with a gear purchase as I am with my new Menatone King of the Britains. I play a g&l legacy with fralin blues specials and a steel pole 42 in the bridge into a 65 bassman attenuated with a UA. Previously I had been using an MIAudio Crunchbox, which I still like. I had also experiemented with an A/B setup mixing the crunchbox with a clean tone to get some chime in the distortion, I don't have to do that any more.

This has to be the most versatile, amp-like stompbox I have ever used. The crunchbox sounded like a modded JCM800 cranked and it does that well, but there was no subtely to it at all. Because the crunchbox doesn't react much to different volumes you would always have the clipping fuzz over your signal, even as the notes faded off. I also couldn't find a setting on it that worked well with my neck and bridge pickup, simulatenously. The KOTB just isn't like that, you don't even have to use the gain knob, you can just turn up the signal going into the pedal and that will get you into distortion.

The pedal comes with 3 voicings, two of which model the different inputs of a plexi, and the middle voice is a compromise between the two. None of them sound bad, and each has it's own use, so it's hard to choose one to use at a time. The first voice is like the bass channel of the plexi so it has more of a scooped tone with a bit more lowend, but still plenty of chime. The third voice is the bright channel, and it is bright. There is a lot of treble here especailly with single coils. The middle voice, is a comprosmise between the two and the original voice of some of the older models.

It also has a 3 band eq. The response of the eq on this pedal is one of the things that makes it so special. The eq doesn't just control the overall volume of the bass and treble of the pedal's output, but also controls how much each band is driven into overdrive (like an amp). Turning the bass and mids up while keeping the treble low can get you a woofy (not the bad kind) of lowend but the highend will remain clear, although a bit dark. Cranking the treble gets you a smearing to the highend of the tone that I really like. Finally there is a presence control so that you can tame the highend if it gets to be a bit much. After a lot of experiementing I found that I like to keep the bass and mids at 5oclock with the treble rolled back to the 1oclock position and the presence control almost off. This sounds great with any voicing on the pedal. I get a touch too much lowend if i use the neckpickup and voice 1, but rolling back the lowend tone knob on the legacy fixes that right up.

Yet another thing great about this pedal is the way it responds to other pedals. Want to cut through the band for a solo? Throw a tubescreamer in front of it and wail away. If all that isn't enough it also has it's own boost that works with the distortion on or off. It's a fairly warm boost and it works great to bring out the best tones of the neck pickup on a strat.

So far I've played it through a Heriatge Victory with a g12h30, a stock Fender DRRI and my Bassman with an openback cabinet filled with the Jensen c12n's. It's sounds amazing through all of them. Even people who didn't know that I bought a new pedal were coming up to see what was making all of the beautiful noise.

Finally, how it compares to everything else. I sat in front of a board filled with distortion and overdrive pedals at tonemerchants for over an hour before I brought this thing home. It can do the crunchbox thing, only better, and the crunchbox doesn't have any dynamics to speak of. The OCD was my second favorite after the KOTB and could also get some of the crunchbox tone. The OCD could get close to the KOTB and it also cleaned up well with volume, but I was trying to get away from a single tone control. I can see why people like that pedal so much, it is good. I also tried it with some xotic pedals and a couple pedals made by local gurus. Most of the rest had that "I'm a distortion pedal that wants to be an amp" sterility going on. The KOTB, the OCD and to a lesser extent the crunchbox, don't have that.

So if you have read this far or are skipping to the end, to sum up the KOTB is by far the best distortion pedal I have ever played through, not only because of its sound but also because of it versatility. I'll try and post some clips later.

:drool
 

alivegy

Member
Messages
1,176
I don't know anything about the Thunderbolt, but if you had an amp with a lot of shrill top end I could see them not getting a long. I think I just thought of the best way to sum up this pedal. There are a few pedals out there that can sound like an amp, this is the first one I have played that really behaves like one too.
 

CALI68

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,142
I agree 100% Outstanding pedal!! I Love mine!

The only beef I have is that the "boost" is very bright. ...but I rarely use it so no big deal. I use the middle setting mostly with my Les Paul and it just smokes.

Great write up!


-Chris
 

Wesman61

Member
Messages
4,353
All the Menatone amp-in-a-can pedals are some of the best OD/Dist. out there. The WMB 5 knob I had was the most amp-like pedal I've owned.
 

slopeshoulder

Senior Member
Messages
7,860
Yup. KOTB kicked OCD, crunchbox, fetto, and box of rock off my board. Totally amp like. Treat it like a plexi and hit it with a treble booster, fuzz face, colorsound, etc.
Sounds liek a plexi, not like a pedal trying to sound like a plexi (or an 800 god forbid).
All menatones are like this. WMB is a warmer less agressive version (turn the bass DOWN!). KK is a trainwreck. TBIAC rules for vox, etc.
 

alivegy

Member
Messages
1,176
Might have to try out the wmb next time. Not sure if I need it at this point though. Between pushing my bassman with a compressor or tubescreamer, and the KOTB I don't know if I need any more overdrive sounds. I'm pretty happy. Cali, what version of the kotb do you have? I find the boost very warm which is one of the things i really like about it.
 

A-Bone

Montonero, MOY, Multitudes
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
108,464
I love both my Menatone pedals (KOTB and KK). They are the first pedals I have purchased that live up to the "amp in a box" designation that you often here. And I play at bedroom levels. I can only imagine how great they would sound opened up.
 

CALI68

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,142
WOW!!!! It's friggin' 9:00 PM Pacific time ON A SUNDAY and I sent an email to Menatone about 10 minutes ago. BRIAN JUST GOT BACK TO ME!!! NOW THAT'S SERVICE!

He indicated that there seems to be a problem with the boost. I'm sending it out to him tomorrow.

Great tone and service! That guy knows where it's at!


-Chris
 

alivegy

Member
Messages
1,176
Sweet, glad my experience could help someone else out. I'm curious to know what you think of the boost when you get it back. It has a great warmth to it that will get you some mean tones out of both the pedal and an amp.
 

CALI68

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,142
Sweet, glad my experience could help someone else out. I'm curious to know what you think of the boost when you get it back. It has a great warmth to it that will get you some mean tones out of both the pedal and an amp.

Cool! I look forward to it. Thanks for the help! I would have never known.
 

Axe-maniac

Member
Messages
776
The KOTB really is an incredible pedal. I have tried so many drive pedals in the lsat 2 years and this one really stands out. The boost function is killer. After getting the KOTB I was inspired to try more menatone pedals so i bought a WMB. Its a great pedal, a huge, huge sound but it just doesn't quite do it for me like the KOTB so I've got it on Flea bay now. I'm not sure what it is about the WMB, I find the Bass really needs to be wound back or it will overpower everything, the WMB is almost too fat, I just can't quite dial it in right. I know taht i like it best with the gain would back to 9 o'clock so it is just breaking up. I also have a TBIAC on the way which i know I will love because I had a 5 knob version years ago and loved it so I'm guessing the newest version will be even better
 

Ben C.

Member
Messages
6,869
I used to have the 6 and 7 knob King of the Britains pedals (and a Fish Factory, several Red Snappers, Workingman's Blue, Blue Collar, Kar Krash, oh my!) - Brian makes very nice pedals for sure. Nice person to boot. Congrats!

-Ben
 

slopeshoulder

Senior Member
Messages
7,860
i bought a WMB. Its a great pedal, a huge, huge sound but it just doesn't quite do it for me like the KOTB so I've got it on Flea bay now. I'm not sure what it is about the WMB, I find the Bass really needs to be wound back or it will overpower everything, the WMB is almost too fat, I just can't quite dial it in right.

The WMB is based on a JTM45, and amp where the bass is routinely dialed back to 2. Brian gets a lot of confusion about this. You really have to set his pedals like the amps.
 




Trending Topics

Top Bottom