Great Eastern FX Co Design A Drive
Which overdrive works best with amp X or guitar Y?” It’s a familiar question seen online, heard in guitar stores and arguedover wherever two or more guitarists meet, but why is this the case? The fact is that, though they might feature basic EQ controls or a ‘Tone’ knob that shaves ofa bit of treble, most overdrives have a frequency response that is essentially fixed and consequently will work for some styles of amp and pickup and not for others. The Design-a-drive, the latest pedal from Great Eastern FX Co., is different. Equipped with a pair of unique tone-shaping controls, this is an OD that you can“redesign” on the fly to work with your guitar and amp of choice.“There are a bunch of design decisions that go into every overdrive circuit that dictate how compatible it will be with different guitars and amps,” Great EasternFX Co. founder David Greeves explains. “We wanted to create a pedal that would let you tweak the parts of the circuit that really make a difference so you canmake these decisions for yourself. At the same time, we wanted to condense these adjustments down into as few controls as possible so that the pedal could stay really simple and easy to use. We want you to be able to plug in, quickly find a sound that inspires you and then get on and play.”To this end, Great Eastern FX have come up with a pair of original, proprietary EQ controls, dubbed ‘Width’ and ‘Edge’. The Edge knob controls the top end of the frequency spectrum, simultaneously adjusting two separate filters – a gentle treble roll-of and a more intense cut in the high presence region – as well as subtly affecting the aggressiveness of the circuit’s hard-clipping diodes, letting ou dial in precisely the desired amount of bite, grit and presence.Like Edge, the Width control does exactly what the name suggests. Ranging from‘Thin’ to ‘Fat’, this six-position rotary switch reshapes the pedal’s mid-range response – probably the biggest single factor in dictating how well your guitar,amp and OD pedal will get along. Via this simple control, the Design-a-drive lets you dictate where across the frequency spectrum your amp gets pushed and by how much.Finally, wide-ranging Gain and Level controls mean that, with the gain turned down, the pedal can be used as a powerful tone shaper and clean boost, on it sown or stacked with other drives and fuzzes. According to Great Eastern FX, you can set the pedal to be as transparent and true to your original tone as possible,or configure it to do exactly the opposite, making single-coils sound thick and meaty or rendering humbuckers lean and incisive.
From the site:
An overdrive you can redesign on the fly to deliver exactly what you, your guitar and your amp require.
At last, an overdrive that loves all your guitars and amps equally! The DESIGN-A-DRIVE lets you play pedal designer, reshaping the circuit’s frequency response to suit your setup.
With its unique ‘Width’ and ‘Edge’ controls, the Design-a-drive makes dialling in a wide range of killer drive tones completely intuitive.
It’s an overdrive you can set to be as ‘transparent’ and true to your original tone as possible, or configure to do exactly the opposite, making single-coils sound thick and meaty or helping humbuckers really cut through.
There are plenty of overdrive pedals that sound great… provided you’re plugging into a particular style of amp or using the right guitar. Even though there’s a ‘Tone’ knob on the pedal, the frequency response is essentially baked in – it either suits your needs or it doesn’t. At the same time, pedals that offer more flexibility generally feature an abundance of controls and tend to be fiddly to dial in.
So we set ourselves a challenge: to design an overdrive that was as flexible as possible while remaining really simple to use. That meant designing some new ‘Tone’ controls that would actually get at the parts of the frequency spectrum that matter.
The Design-a-drive’s EDGE and WIDTH controls are not based on a traditional amp tone stack or pedal EQ. Instead they combine multiple functions in one to offer genuinely intuitive and extremely effective tonal adjustment.
The Design-a-drive’s unique tone-shaping controls are quick and intuitive to set, yet powerful enough to reshape the character of the overdrive to suit any scenario.
EDGE controls the top end of the frequency spectrum, simultaneously adjusting two separate filters – a gentle treble roll-off and a more intense cut in the high presence region – as well affecting the aggressiveness of the circuit’s hard-clipping diodes. These three functions combine to do exactly what the name suggests, letting you dial in precisely the desired amount of bite, grit and brightness.
Like Edge, the WIDTH control does exactly what the name suggests. This six-position rotary switch reshapes the pedal’s mid-range response, progressively introducing a lower mid-range peak and adding more bass as you go from ‘Thin’ to ‘Fat’. This control lets you instantly sculpt your tone while also dictating where across the frequency spectrum your amp gets pushed.
We’ve designed the GAIN and LEVEL controls to be equally useful and wide-ranging. With the gain turned down, there’s still plenty of level on tap, allowing the pedal to act as a powerful tone shaper and clean boost, on its own or stacked with other drives and fuzzes.