The Optimist is the result of a collaboration between Jackson Audio and Cory Wong. The drive pedal has Klon and Timmy-style circuits with MIDI control and a useful active three-band EQ section.
The Optimist uses those “impossible to find” germanium diodes. These are the same type as used in the legendary Klon Centaur circuit, with a very handy bypass-able three band active EQ section and MIDI control. This means that this simple drive effect really does pack in a lot of useful features, specified by Cory just how he wants it.
“The Optimist is the most versatile overdrive pedal I’ve ever used. My goal was to design a pedal that could give me the full range of drive levels for punchy rhythm to soaring lead guitar lines.” – Cory Wong
OD1 and OD2
The Optimist gives you access to two types of overdrives. OD1 has that Klon-style transparent drive with the ‘unobtainium’ germanium diodes. OD2 is the Timmy-style drive which Cory uses for his rhythm tones.
Then the active three-band EQ is actually based on a Baxandall EQ. You activate it by pressing and releasing both the OD1 and OD2 footswitches. MIDI control, meanwhile, is available over both drives and the EQ.
- The studio grade EQ has a High Bandwidth and Flat Response at 12:00
- With +/- 12dB Boost/Cut per control
- Centre detents on the pots that make it easier to get back to a neutral/flat response.
“We created an EQ section that focuses on the frequencies that you want more of in single coils, and less of in humbuckers. The EQ can help tone shape your guitars to match each other, or it can help you get the perfect clean tone out of an amp.”
The MIDI control is accessed via a TRS to MIDI cable. This allows you access to OD1, OD2, and EQ, so that all can be controlled via MIDI.
It is a pretty useful drive pedal, and I can see it being popular with players that like these style of boutique tones. Plus, it will work out a lot cheaper than buying a Klon and Timmy pedal, then adding MIDI and a flexible EQ section!
RRP – USD 349