What began as an exploration of Ritchie Blackmore’s tone evolved into a multidimensional gain machine capable of anything between unruly sputtery fuzz and classic rock chime. This is not meant to make you sound like Blackmore, it is meant to inspire you from using the tools that he did, that would otherwise be inaccessible in pedal form. The heart and soul of the Dreamcoat is a near-exact recreation of the preamp circuit from the Aiwa TP-1011 reel-to-reel deck that Blackmore used on many of his recordings. All of the functionality of that unit is present, from sparkling cleans to powerful crunch and glassy leads, but the “Sat” control gives you an extra layer of grunt, allowing the Dreamcoat to range between near-dry tonal indifference to complete “melting-amp” Neil Young-esque tweed sounds. Blackmore’s sound wasn’t just a tape deck, though. His guitar tech, Dawk Stillwell, installed a passive inductor-based frequency “booster” into Ritchie’s Strat that cut both sides of the spectrum around the resonant frequency of his guitar, giving the appearance of frequency boost. To that end, we’ve added a frequency booster circuit that doesn’t cut anything, giving you a richer tone with a little oomph where it counts. To top it all off, we’ve included a clean blend circuit that begins after the frequency boost and ends after the tape preamp, so you can EQ the sum of your clean tone and dirt, all while preserving your pick attack and presence. The whole shebang runs at 20V, just a hair higher than the original Aiwa, expanding its capabilities and delivering tons of headroom.
One of Blackmore’s most recognizable pieces of gear is his old Hornby-Skewes Treble Booster, a version of the classic effect used by too many artists to list. While almost all of them used a Rangemaster, the Hornby-Skewes version came stock with a silicon transistor for a more biting sound that cut through even the densest of mixes. The SKEWER stays true to that circuit, giving the old JHS unit the same treatment as our Naga Viper. This lets you dial in the desired frequency range from rich and full to treble-heavy, as well as control the amount of boost. You can also vary the amount of transistor gain for some extra juice. Of course, because it’s Blackmore we’re talking about here, he had his original Treble Booster modded to play nicer with the rest of his gear. We’ve taken the liberty of giving you that mod as well, which is fully adjustable via the trimpot inside. Further enhancements include a noise reduction filter and anti-pop switch circuitry. This one bites just a little harder than our Naga Viper, and sounds fantastic with the DREAMCOAT.
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