Ground FX, a newcomer to the boutique pedal scene, is based in St. Pauli, Hamburg, and… Wait! Not another boutique pedal brand, surely? Haven’t we already got enough of them? No! Ben Laging, a.k.a Ground FX, makes some truly unique sound boxes, with some very interesting takes on some classic effect and amp circuits. Today I’m going to take a look at his latest pedals, named Boneflower and Burning Sunn. Both have been designed to appeal to guitarists and bassists.
Taking a look at the first few Ground FX offerings, you can’t help but notice that his pedals all have darkly appealing monochrome graphics. The aesthetics point you in the direction of heavier tones, the territory of his Ravager distortion or the Koloss, a high-gain Big Muff-style fuzz circuit.
But his range isn’t just about dialling up the heaviest distortion imaginable. Also on offer are the Aton delay/reverb and the Keto chorus/vibrato/reverb. Now come to new effects names Boneflower and Burning Sunn, an overdrive/booster and preamp respectively. Here, Ben returns to his penchant for dirty tones.
First up is the new Boneflower overdrive and booster effect. Judging by the demos, this overdrive pedal has an open, transparent tone, delivering a widely variable low/mid gain overdrive. The other part of this circuit is a switchable booster that can be run independently from the overdrive circuit, making this pedal more flexible. An internal 18-Volt circuit gives you more clean headroom; the pedal runs from a standard 9-Volt power supply. While the boost section can be used to add more volume to the overall output of the Boneflower, it doesn’t introduce more gain, making it perfect for solo boosts and the like.
It also has its own independent Highs control for adding more bite if needed.
Gain & Texture
The Boneflower also includes a pre- and post-gain setup accessed via the Pre and Master controls. You can add dirt by dialling in more pre-gain or crank the output with the Master control without adding more distortion. You also have a wide range of gain structures available via the Texture control. This control accesses various diode clipping settings that are mixed together with no stepping, for smooth transitions in tone. Then the EQ section consists of treble and bass controls to let you build your ideal tone. Nice.
RRP – EUR 225
The Burning Sunn is based on a Sunn preamp taken from the renowned Model T amp, considered by many of the Stoner Rock and Doom persuasion to be a holy grail for huge, dirty tones. The Burning Sunn is a faithful replica of that preamp, with the preamp tubes replaced by FET transistors.
On the top of Mount Doom
During development of the Burning Sunn, Ground FX used an original Model T from 1973, tweaking the pedal circuit to replicate both the preamp and power amp tone of the original. This pedal gets you to the top of Mount Doom and lets you play some devastatingly heavy riffs from the summit. It has two parallel gain stages: Normal and Bright, plus a Master Volume. These are then fed through the Passive Tone Stack which has controls for Bass, Mids and Treble. The footswitch has a soft touch button. This pedal is true bypass, so it won’t mess with your signal when not engaged. Like the Boneflower, it runs from an external 9-Volt power supply.
Ground FX has an appealing range on offer that’s well worth checking out if you haven’t done so already. A company to watch! Give the demo videos below a listen for a good idea of how these pedals sound.
RRP – EUR 215