NPD: King of Tone!

flatulentmatt

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,544
So after a long wait on the waitlist (and what felt like an even longer wait for shipping to New Zealand) I finally got my King of Tone yesterday! Blue enclosure, higher gain red side, 4-jack (for use with my ES-5).


Now, let's get this out of the way. It's a soft-clipping overdrive. It's a really good one, but it's not filled with magic unobtanium dust to give you haunting mids, and I'm sure @analogmike would agree. With that in mind...

I spent a chunk of time playing through it last night. I used my HX Stomp, with a couple different amp models (my "real" amps aren't at home) and used my Silver Sky, Electromatic Jet (with TV Jones), and Yamaha SA (ES-335 copy).

First thing - its dynamic response (or "touch sensitivity" if you want to use that buzzword) is far and above beyond that of any other OD I've ever used. That's not an exaggeration or honeymoon period talking; because it can be a negative as well. When I change from my Silver Sky to my Jet, which is a decent amount hotter (but not crazy) the change in gain due to higher input is massive! I run the gain around 2 o'clock on the red side with the SS, but with the Jet that's almost getting a bit crazy! What it does mean though is it's crazy flexible; on the Silver Sky just by adjusting my right hand I can go from near clean to almost distortion. It's an OD that makes you explore your guitar a bit more; small changes in tone or volume controls can totally change the response of the pedal - and like I said, that can sometimes be a bad thing! On the whole though, it's a good thing.

The weird thing is: even though the pedal is so dynamic, there's this compression to the gain (that I really like) - the transients are still there, but the sustain you then get and the smoothness of the feel is a really interesting combination that works fantastically well. It's not a compressed sound, per se (again, not like your TS or Klon styles) but there is something going on there that just helps the sound along.

On to other aspects of the sound of the pedal: I know it's a Bluesbreaker circuit derivative (a circuit of which I'm a big fan), but there's some definite differences there (and I think Mike would tell you it's pretty much its own beast at this point). There aren't that many great demos out there, and there were a few things that surprised me. There's a lot more gain on the OD side than I expected (and more than I'd probably ever want); I'd never have any desire to try the distortion mode (I've got a Rat for that kind of thing).

There's probably a little more midrange than your standard Bluesbreaker, but not TS or Klon with the gain up levels. It's not honky or nasal, but you can tell in a mix it'll sit just right. Interestingly enough, the midrange peak seems (to my ear) to sit in a different place OD compared to Boost mode; more upper mids in the Boost setting. There's not too much in the way of bass cut, and there's a bit of treble cut too. It's an immediate attack with a smooth decay.

I haven't opened up the pedal to play with the treble trimpots yet; my initial reaction playing with the Silver Sky was to push them up, but then after switch to the Jet and the SA (where it got quite spiky) I'm rethinking the amount I'll do that. I'll probably push the red side treble up a tiny amount, and the yellow side slightly more (I like my boosts quite chimey).

In my setup currently, I use one main "foundation" overdrive, with a system of "boosts" as gain stages, rather than using multiple separate overdrives to switch between. I'd been using a 90's Rat set to low gain recently, and hitting the front end with a Keeley BD-2 as a second stage. I have a Valeton FP-10 (I love this boost, seriously) as a lead boost after drives. The KOT is replacing both of those in those roles. And it's the 2 sides together where the pedal really shines. I love that sound, running the boost into the OD really sends things over the top in a great way. It sounds phenomenal for leads on the SS neck pickup, or if you wanted to get more agressive nice and chunky on the Jet bridge pickup. It's incredibly versatile, and I can see people being able to cover a whole gig with this as their drive section and the controls on their guitar.

All in all - I'm enjoying it! A really well thought out design, that just works. Thanks Analogman!
 

Pizzaking

Member
Messages
1,097
Congrats. It really looks cool in blue. I would definitely recommend turning the trim pots up around a third of the way. I was hesitant to mess with them because I was happy with the stock sound, but I like that I don't have to run the tone knob up so high afterwards.
 

flatulentmatt

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,544
Congrats. It really looks cool in blue. I would definitely recommend turning the trim pots up around a third of the way. I was hesitant to mess with them because I was happy with the stock sound, but I like that I don't have to run the tone knob up so high afterwards.
I have a thing for blue pedals! Shallow, I know. I'm definitely going to do some experimenting with the trim pots. When I first plugged the Silver Sky in, I definitely thought, "Hmmm, this is warm - needs more high end," but then when I tried my other guitars I thought maybe not so much! So it'll be interesting to play around this weekend.
 

cam0122

Member
Messages
1,777
So after a long wait on the waitlist (and what felt like an even longer wait for shipping to New Zealand) I finally got my King of Tone yesterday! Blue enclosure, higher gain red side, 4-jack (for use with my ES-5).


Now, let's get this out of the way. It's a soft-clipping overdrive. It's a really good one, but it's not filled with magic unobtanium dust to give you haunting mids, and I'm sure @analogmike would agree. With that in mind...

I spent a chunk of time playing through it last night. I used my HX Stomp, with a couple different amp models (my "real" amps aren't at home) and used my Silver Sky, Electromatic Jet (with TV Jones), and Yamaha SA (ES-335 copy).

First thing - its dynamic response (or "touch sensitivity" if you want to use that buzzword) is far and above beyond that of any other OD I've ever used. That's not an exaggeration or honeymoon period talking; because it can be a negative as well. When I change from my Silver Sky to my Jet, which is a decent amount hotter (but not crazy) the change in gain due to higher input is massive! I run the gain around 2 o'clock on the red side with the SS, but with the Jet that's almost getting a bit crazy! What it does mean though is it's crazy flexible; on the Silver Sky just by adjusting my right hand I can go from near clean to almost distortion. It's an OD that makes you explore your guitar a bit more; small changes in tone or volume controls can totally change the response of the pedal - and like I said, that can sometimes be a bad thing! On the whole though, it's a good thing.

The weird thing is: even though the pedal is so dynamic, there's this compression to the gain (that I really like) - the transients are still there, but the sustain you then get and the smoothness of the feel is a really interesting combination that works fantastically well. It's not a compressed sound, per se (again, not like your TS or Klon styles) but there is something going on there that just helps the sound along.

On to other aspects of the sound of the pedal: I know it's a Bluesbreaker circuit derivative (a circuit of which I'm a big fan), but there's some definite differences there (and I think Mike would tell you it's pretty much its own beast at this point). There aren't that many great demos out there, and there were a few things that surprised me. There's a lot more gain on the OD side than I expected (and more than I'd probably ever want); I'd never have any desire to try the distortion mode (I've got a Rat for that kind of thing).

There's probably a little more midrange than your standard Bluesbreaker, but not TS or Klon with the gain up levels. It's not honky or nasal, but you can tell in a mix it'll sit just right. Interestingly enough, the midrange peak seems (to my ear) to sit in a different place OD compared to Boost mode; more upper mids in the Boost setting. There's not too much in the way of bass cut, and there's a bit of treble cut too. It's an immediate attack with a smooth decay.

I haven't opened up the pedal to play with the treble trimpots yet; my initial reaction playing with the Silver Sky was to push them up, but then after switch to the Jet and the SA (where it got quite spiky) I'm rethinking the amount I'll do that. I'll probably push the red side treble up a tiny amount, and the yellow side slightly more (I like my boosts quite chimey).

In my setup currently, I use one main "foundation" overdrive, with a system of "boosts" as gain stages, rather than using multiple separate overdrives to switch between. I'd been using a 90's Rat set to low gain recently, and hitting the front end with a Keeley BD-2 as a second stage. I have a Valeton FP-10 (I love this boost, seriously) as a lead boost after drives. The KOT is replacing both of those in those roles. And it's the 2 sides together where the pedal really shines. I love that sound, running the boost into the OD really sends things over the top in a great way. It sounds phenomenal for leads on the SS neck pickup, or if you wanted to get more agressive nice and chunky on the Jet bridge pickup. It's incredibly versatile, and I can see people being able to cover a whole gig with this as their drive section and the controls on their guitar.

All in all - I'm enjoying it! A really well thought out design, that just works. Thanks Analogman!
Nice review of the pedal that I'm planning to order as soon as I get the email.
 

flatulentmatt

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,544
Really didn't think the usage of a Stomp would be a stickler for so many people. The helix modelling is extremely good, and used by a bunch of pros. If it wasn't semi close to accurate, they wouldn't. I can get the Stomp to sound effectively identical to my Vox AC30H2 and Fender 59 Bassman LTD RI, but *shrugs*
 

monty

Member
Messages
22,006
Really didn't think the usage of a Stomp would be a stickler for so many people. The helix modelling is extremely good, and used by a bunch of pros. If it wasn't semi close to accurate, they wouldn't. I can get the Stomp to sound effectively identical to my Vox AC30H2 and Fender 59 Bassman LTD RI, but *shrugs*
Just how it is. I'm cool with it, recently discovered just how good modeling has become.
Congrats on the new pedal!
 

SealCove

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
344
All in all - I'm enjoying it! A really well thought out design, that just works. Thanks Analogman!
Thanks for the good write up. Having been on the list for close to 2.5 years, it makes me look forward to it all the more. Looks like I have at least another year wait, maybe longer, so time bury the thought for a while longer.
 




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