Aclam has just announced its first-ever pedal the Cinnamon Drive. It aims to emulate old ’60s/’70s style drive tones just like the ones heard on a certain Neil Young song that it is named after. It also features their patented pedalboard attachment mechanism, which works with the Smart Track system.
The Barcelona based company has just dipped their toes for the first time into the pedal building business and the new Cinnamon Drive is the pedal they have designed to launch this new venture. Normally Aclam is known for making their Smart Track pedalboards and so this is new ground for them. This new drive pedal has two screws embedded into its design so that it can lock into place on one of these pedalboards, which is neat but doesn’t mean you cannot use it without a Smart Track board of course.
Dual Stage Overdrive
With two gain stages at your disposal, the Cinnamon Drive offers first a clean to mid-gain overdrive sound using their own custom soft clipping circuit. Which should be enough to add a touch of grit to your basic guitar tone. It has two independent controls labelled Volume and Gain so you can tweak it to taste, and you can engage the effect with the true-bypass footswitch labelled Bypass.
Next up you get a much harder clipping circuit in the second stage, which adds more gain and tightens up your tone. The Boost footswitch activates this second gain stage and it has a Boost control knob above it for setting the amount of signal boost before reaching the hard-clipping circuit. This side can be used to add either a subtle drive effect to the first gain stage or dial it up so that it starts to add compression and distortion to your signal.
The Volume Boost control sets the output level of this second gain stage and both sides share a Tone control, which may be a bit of a compromise. I figure that sometimes simpler is better with drive tones anyway and so I’m happy with it being kept to being a drive pedal with minimal fuss controls wise.
Inside the Cinnamon Drive, there are a set of DIP switches for adding and subtracting bass frequencies and also a trim pot for dialling in your desired overall treble. The latter is similar to a presence control on an amp and adds a bit of sparkle as needed. I’m not a huge fan of internal controls on pedals myself and would rather have them available to tweak externally, but I suppose these are kind of ‘set and forget’ controls. top help you get the Cinnamon Drive to work with your rig.
The Smart Track system is only handy if you already own one of their pedalboards, so perhaps they could do a version without it and reduce the cost? There are a lot of two channel drive pedals on the market already and so this one will have to really prove itself over and above the competition. The video demos below sound pretty decent though, so worth checking out still.