Stephen Douglas "Leona" Germanium Overdrive?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by e-flat, Apr 7, 2015.

  1. e-flat

    e-flat Supporting Member

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    I listened to a couple Youtube clips of the Stephen Douglas Leona and was impressed at the sound...
    Anyone here have one or have experience with one ?

    I'm always on the hunt for new & different ODs, and I like a lot of character & grit .... Sounds like the Leona has it in spades.

    Any input would be great:
    - Does it get along with Singles and HBs?
    - Available output?
    - How much drive does it have at lowest settings?


     
  2. sparky_8

    sparky_8 Member

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    I know we already emailed... but I feel qualified to answer. It's got a ton of output. Newer versions have an internal trim pot to adjust voltage in the pedal. It changes the amount of volume, gain as well as overall tone of the pedal. It can go from almost no drive to a full fuzz tone depending on how you have things set...
     
  3. e-flat

    e-flat Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the specifics!
    It's the low to medium gain range that I'm really curious about. The sound samples make it clear that it can clean up beautifully @ the guitar volume pot... Knowing that it has an internal voltage adjustment has me even more curious.

    How is noise at higher gain settings, sparky_8?
     
  4. sparky_8

    sparky_8 Member

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    Just like any pedal it has some noise when the volume and gain are dimed. But it depends on the whole rig a bit as well. It's no better or worse than most germanium devices As far as noise I mean.
     
  5. splatt

    splatt david torn / splattercell Gold Supporting Member

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    leona sounds & looks good, stephen.
     
  6. sparky_8

    sparky_8 Member

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    Thanks! Really appreciate that.
     
  7. ChampReverb

    ChampReverb Silver Supporting Member

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    Me too. I love that 2nd clip.

    I may need to go raid my piggy bank.

    -bEn r.
     
  8. e-flat

    e-flat Supporting Member

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    I'm going to have to pick one up Stephen....
    I think this is going to scratch a Ge drive itch I've had for ages now ;)
    Hopefully you'll hear from me shortly!
     
  9. sparky_8

    sparky_8 Member

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    Thanks everybody. To clear up a little confusion I've had from a couple of the emails. The pedal on my site known as Leona used to be called Germ Drive. I changed the name to Leona after I found Empress to be using the same name. Leona is for the most part the same pedal as shown in the 2 demos in this thread.

    It now looks like this:
    [​IMG]
     
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  10. la noise

    la noise Supporting Member

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    Love the new look, Stephen! :aok
     
  11. e-flat

    e-flat Supporting Member

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    I just ordered a Leona from Stephen, and I'll post a review here once I've had some time with it.
     
  12. Devin

    Devin Low Voltage Supporting Member

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    reminds me of the 3OD
     
  13. e-flat

    e-flat Supporting Member

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    Yep, it's a revision of the 3OD circuit. Good bloodline ;)
     
  14. sparky_8

    sparky_8 Member

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    Good ear...

    From my site:
    Leona is based upon an original design by Ryan Kirkland. While Leona shares roots with the original circuit, the sound, by all accounts, is very different.
     
  15. changeling

    changeling Member

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    Great sounding pedal.i tried to order one on the website,not sure if my info got thru.hope to hear from sdd soon.i don't buy many pedals,only looking for keepers..aren't we all,lol.
     
  16. sparky_8

    sparky_8 Member

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    Did you receive my reply? emailed you back late last night.

    Thanks!
     
  17. sparky_8

    sparky_8 Member

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    Also I should mention I don't have a way to purchase on my site other than contacting me. It's not for any reason other than this...

    If I don't have it in stock I don't want to get paid yet. I don't like feeling indebted to people, nor do I have a desire to fall into the pitfalls that can come from taking funds up front and having a huge backlog that's been prepaid.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2015
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  18. e-flat

    e-flat Supporting Member

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    Mine will be waiting for me when I get home on Sunday. Can't wait !
     
  19. e-flat

    e-flat Supporting Member

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    Very quick first impressions of the Leona OD based on 15 minutes of playing before I had to run to work:

    - Lots of volume on tap, but it sounds nice & open when playing at unity levels (not choked at all, and frequency response isn't affected when turned down... Very nice.)

    - Even at stock settings (no tweaking of the internal Voltage trimmer) I'm able to pull some GREAT "low gain with hair" sounds out of the Leona OD for rhythm playing. This is the general role I was hoping for this OD to play, and it is already better than I'd hoped. I imagine after getting in & adjusting the Voltage trimmer, I'll find some even better sounds.... As it is set stock, it is better than anything I've tried for clarity with the warm grit of Germanium.

    - Tone pot is tuned very nicely, and even with my fairly bright amp & speaker combo, I was able to ride the 11:00 to 1:00 "sweet spot" on the tone knob with great results. Tone @ 9:00 sounds like it would be great for helping the drive sit back in the mix a bit without dulling the breakup character.... And going up above 1:00 shows that there is plenty of treble available for darker amps or standing out if so desired.

    - I've only run the Drive pot up to about 2:00 so far, but this thing will get pretty damn fuzzy. The compression comes on nice and SLOW though...Again, signs of a lot of time spent dialing this circuit in. There may be a bit more compression beyond 2:00, but I am really impressed by the fact that the breakup is loose and dynamic for most of the Drive pot's travel... No jumps in dynamics when turning the pot, so you can get right into the sweet spot that you're seeking without fighting the pedal.

    - I am definitely keen to dial the Voltage back & check out the results, as I'm already in love with the lower gain abilities of this box.

    - Tried a quick stack of Leona > Honey Bee OD with some AD80 delay. As a result, I was almost late to work.

    Yeah... I think this pedal is going to work out just fine ;)

    I'll post more thoughts after I have more extensive interaction with the Leona, but right off the bat it's obvious that this Ge drive is shooting for something unique that I haven't heard it a lot of ODs.... A soft,subtle, nuanced fuzz? A hirsute amplifier enhancer? Hmmmm.....
     
  20. yannroman

    yannroman Member

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    +1 !!! Good review e-flat, this is a great and unique overdrive pedal ! Midrange grunt in spades, tight and chunky attack at any gain setting, though I found it's quite gainy early on the gain pot. Excels equally well with humbuckers and single coils, that's worth to be mentioned...
    You can get sustaining leads to crunchy rythm to almost completely clean with a twist of the volume knob (w/o bright cap), quite reminiscent of a fuzz face in that respect, but without the mid scoop and muddiness at full bore. Quite the opposite, actually, it's got tons of midrange and harmonics and pierces the mix (not to mention the volume boost available).
    The tone pot sounds great at any settings, I run it before noon most of the time, but you can almost get cocked wah sounds, very cleverly thought out...

    I own LOTS of od/fuzz/boost pedals, most of which you can put in a category (fuzz face, TS, Klon...), the Leona really is something different and unique.
     

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