The new Dr No pedal is a collaboration with Troy Van Leeuwen of QOTSA fame and is part one of two unique pedals being made for the guitarist by the good Doctor.
Before I get into the effect, I first have to talk about the design of the TVL, as it is pretty lavish. The pedal features a crest designed for Troy, which I think looks exceedingly nice. Then there are two black skull-shaped knobs, with one labelled ‘Blameshifter’ and the other ‘Volume’. The ‘Blameshifter’ control is named after an in-band joke and appears here at the request of Troy. This gives the whole pedal a very personal touch.
But the coolest part for me is the TVL’s unique anatomically correct heart, lights up to indicate when the effect is engaged. It’s housed beneath a custom-made clear glass dome, which protects it from your size 11 boots when you stomp on the effect.
I get the feeling that the pair of them sat down and had a long discussion on design. Dr No then probably did his usual interpretation of this and came up with this classy-looking pedal. It’s a piece of art in its own right, but I’d be afraid of damaging it.
I understand that Troy wanted Dr No to make him an effect that could capture some of his unique signature sound in one pedal. After a discussion, the pair decided that they would need two units. This is the first of the pair.
Octavia effects are, of course, best placed at the beginning of your signal chain (trust me, I own an Octavia and it is fussy as hell). They also benefit from you using the controls on your guitar to tailor the sound. Think classic Jimi Hendrix Octavia tones, which are probably the most famous ones. You will note that Jimi played up high on the guitar and also adjusted his Volume and Tone controls on his Stratocaster to get the most out of the effect.
Each pedal is, of course, handmade and because of the attention to detail on the aesthetics, these will probably take time to build. Expect a bit of a waiting list for these, though you can pre-order them via the Dr No web shop. The price is reasonable and because of the association with Troy, I can see them actually becoming quite collectable in the future, as he has a lot of fans worldwide. I’m probably biased as I bought both his Yamaha and Fender signature guitars. Yes, you would probably call me a fan…
I’m intrigued to know what they both have planned for the next release! We will keep you updated as soon as we hear more…
The pedal will cost €258, and is a limited edition – 50 will be available now via pre-release. Shipping commences 1st March.
Dr No TVL page