Crunch Transparent Overdrive Pedal
TL;DR: A Canadian made, hand soldered, low-gain transparent overdrive for bass and guitar.
The Crunch Transparent Overdrive pedal started one afternoon when Michael Schau, the best guitar player I know, told me that he could never find a low-gain overdrive pedal that was truly transparent. I figured it was time to use my physics background; I started researching and came up with a proof of concept as well as a long list of modifications/improvements. Mike heard the proof of concept and told me to "...not change a f***ing thing." I ignored him and spent a year making mods, only to end up pretty close to where I started. Mike's been playing it live and in recordings ever since.
"...run the Crunch to taste and experience a 'Super Transparent' overdrive whose overtones and harmonics are very 'Musically Focused'. My first test strum gave me goose bumps because it felt SO REAL and unprocessed."--Anthony Della Croce, The Headpins
"Very responsive and doesn’t mask your tone, just enhances what you got. Exactly what I look for in an overdrive. I can’t live without this thing on my board!" --Carter Low, 2016 Grand Prize winner of the Lee Ritenour Six String Theory Competition
"...this pedal is the sound in my head that words can't explain... it's a warm tube doing what I need it to do... a warm drive for my bass plus a little more if i need it. Thank You."--Deputy Frank A Rodio, NY
What does it do?
"Take for example, a GOOD SOUNDING well TUNED vintage tube amp such as the Super Reverb, set it on the verge of breakup, with the master at the volume that is suitable for the venue/gig, run the Crunch to taste and experience a 'Super Transparent' overdrive whose overtones and harmonics are very 'Musically Focused'. My first test strum gave me goose bumps because it felt SO REAL and unprocessed.
It retains your core amp tone signature and the clipping is soft and tube like. Remember that a big part of that effect is the extra response of the amp reacting 'with' the pedal. To me, it felt like a SINCERE tone and almost impossible to make it sound bad when twirling the pedal knob settings. That reminds me of my vintage Boss CE-2 Chorus. If you know the CE-2..., it literally 'doesn't' have a bad setting". It was designed to do ONE THING and do it well." --Anthony Della Croce
- LIGHT WEIGHT...great because my pedal board is getting too heavy for the standard 50lb flight restriction.
- LED Brightness ADJUSTMENT....no worries, this is not a DIMMER and will not interfere with your tone. What an awesome addition especially for us old guys on sunny day stages!
- SIMPLICITY...dial your tone in without endless tweaking
- FOOTSWITCH...High quality, true bypass.
- VERY QUIET...low noise compared to my other pedals.
- DYNAMIC with picking style and volume knob changes.
- SECRET INGREDIENTS...yup, some secret HIGH QUALITY components that make this pedal sing!!!
"The number one pedal in my board. Absolutely great for getting a fantastic Blues, Roots or low gain rhythm or lead tone without colouring the tone of my guitar or amp. Just an invaluable tone tool for the professional guitarist"--Michael Schau, Blues/Rock Session Player
- Stand alone transparent overdrive: Start with all three pots at 1 o'clock. Bring up the Gain for added Crunch; bring up the volume to push the front end of your amp.
- Use it as a preamp for your favourite pedal: Start with all three pots at 1 o'clock and tweak from there. (Notice a pattern?)
Use it as a dirty boost for your favourite pedal: Just dial it in; it'll sound great!
- Type: Low-Gain Overdrive Pedal
- Hand soldered in Vancouver, Canada
- High grade components picked for their superior sound and response
- True bypass with high quality switch
- Three topside controls – Volume, Tone, Gain
- Now using Alpha stomp switches for their durability. Note: they are not soft-click.
- LED Brightness controlled by side-mounted variable resistor (trim pot)
- Low power draw: 7 - 10mA (9v) depending on LED setting
- Audio Jacks and Power Connection located at the top end to help with packed pedal boards
- 2.6″ x 4.8″ x 1.5″ (66.5mm x 122mm x 38mm) – height excludes knobs and switches
The McGregor Pedals Crunch Transparent Overdrive may be powered by a 9VDC adaptor. It accepts a standard filtered/regulated pedal power supply with a center-pin negative 2.1mm x 5.5mm plug (like Boss, Ibanez, etc.). If an adaptor doesn’t seem to work, disconnect it immediately and check the polarity. Also, check that it outputs DC (not AC). Current consumption is 10-15mA depending on the LED setting.
For my pedal designs I’ve opted to omit the battery compartment, primarily because batteries are environmentally unsound. Batteries contain acid and heavy metals that end up in landfills, in soil, and in the oceans. All my pedals are built with RoHS compliant parts; batteries don’t make sense.