Crunch Transparent Overdrive Pedal
TLDR: 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 DellaCroce, 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
- Type: Low-Gain Overdrive Pedal
- Hand soldered in Vancouver, Canada
- High grade components picked for their superior sound and response
- True bypass with soft-click switch
- Three topside controls – Volume, Tone, Gain
- 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 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!
Sure, but what do others say?
Well, Here's Anthony Della Croce (lead guitar for the Headpins for over 20 years):
THIS JUST IN...
Guitar Organic Tone Purists
A (p)review of the 'McGregor Crunch Pedal'.
This PROTOTYPE was conceptualized and designed by Garth McGregor Heslop. In direct ongoing testing and guidance with Michael Schau...followed by one amazing session with my 1979 Fender Super Reverb amp...we are proud to call this a simple but effective pedal...a winner!
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.
The CRUNCH won me over so quickly...even when I matched it against my Chandler Tube Driver, Keeley Phatmod, and my Kingsley Page pedals and it stood it's ground. Honestly, they all rocked with my Super Reverb amp, but the CRUNCH pedal held it's own unique place. I really think you did a great job Michael in guiding Garth along the way to keep the SONICS and FEEL of this pedal into such an organic true recipe.
- 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 soft click, very responsive.
- VERY QUIET...low noise compared to my other pedals.
- DYNAMIC with picking style and volume knob changes.
- SECRET INGREDIENTS...yup, some secret HIGHER QUALITY components that make this pedal sing!!!