Chase Bliss Audio Brothers: The Swiss army knife of gain stages?
An interesting fuse of analogue tone circuitry and digital control
Chase Bliss Audio has released the Brothers pedal at this year’s NAMM. It’s based on three already highly revered analogue drive circuits. Now, however, you have access to all three in multiple variations, all squeezed into one pedal, along with tonnes of control.
Best of both worlds
When you take two great pedal designers and put them together, wonderful things can happen. This is especially true when one has already made a great sounding analogue drive pedal (or three) and the other has the ability using digital control.
Graviton Boost to Acceleron Fuzz
Resonant Electronics built the three original pedals that the Brothers is based on. They were called the Graviton Boost, the Manifold Drive, and the Acceleron Fuzz. Each one had slightly more gain than the last, but all were essentially a continuation of the original circuit. The inspiration for the circuit design was, allegedly, an amp built out of spare parts, including components taken from an old movie theatre.
Chase Bliss Audio
Chase Bliss Audio’s Brothers pedal is built upon two independent JFET/IC analogue channels. In total there are six unique boost, drive, or fuzz circuits. Joel from Chase Bliss Audio was approached by Resonant Electronics to work in this new unit. The story goes that Joel got straight to work, opened them up before he even listened to them and was so impressed by the original design of the Manifold Drive that he agreed to work with them on the project. Allegedly.
The result of this collaboration was the Brothers Analogue Gainstage, which includes all three circuits, just with Chase Bliss Audio’s control interface. The pedal has MIDI and CV external control, enough DIP switches to make me run and hide and six knobs labelled Master, Mix, Gain A, Gain B, Tone A and Tone B. then you get three mini toggle switches, two labelled Boost, Drive and Fuzz, then a centre one labelled Stack!
The digital “brain” of the pedal lets you store and recall the settings, or call up presets via MIDI. That makes this pedal an interesting mix of analogue circuitry and digital control. Chase Bliss Audio are keen to make sure you know that the digital part is not interacting with your signal, and that the computer is only controlling what the analogue circuitry does. Either way, this is a hell of a lot of control for a drive pedal and one that kind of scares me personally…
You need to go watch the video below for the full story and head over to the Chase Bliss Audio site afterwards to see the number of control options this analogue pedal. Although it sounds great, it has way too many options for me. But if you like to dabble, then you may love this new pedal.
RRP $349 available online for preorder from 20th February and released on 20th March
- Chase Bliss Audio Brothers Analog Gainstage. Analogue signal path with digital control.: http://chaseblissaudio.com/brothers/