This UK-based boutique pedal manufacturer is probably best known for its effects pedals, which are used by the likes of Queens Of The Stone Age, Foo Fighters, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Biffy Clyro. I first heard of them a few years back when my local guitar store started stocking them after staff there had done some tech work for Josh Homme on tour. So, the company already has a good reputation and is a bit of a hit with some of the larger bands around today.
This year they have released their first ever amp range which includes a set of valve heads, combos and speakers. The big selling point of the amps is that each one of the models has switches so that they can digitally save between 16 and 32 user patches. The audio circuits are all analogue, they use a digital system only to store the settings of each preset. This means your sound never goes through the digital part of the amp.
The SD08 is available at 8 Watts and has 16 user presets. Next up is the SD30 which is available as either a head or as a combo, and both are rated at 30 Watts. The last model ist the SD50 head which is 50 Watts; all three models can, however, be set to 8 Watts for recording purposes. The SD30 and SD50 have up to 32 user presets available. Both of the larger amps also have a digital spring reverb on board as well. It should be interesting to see how all those presets are accessed when playing live. The two larger amps have MIDI, so I suspect that is the way it will be accessed.
Next up: the company have released some new pedals to complement their already popular effects range. The PDF-2 is an updated version of their PDF-1 pedal, which is the one Josh Homme is known to have used a lot. It is a Parametric EQ/Boost/Drive pedal, and has an RRP of GBP 139.99.
Then there is the Tremotron, which is their take on a tremolo, just with a lot more wave settings than a regular tremolo. This looks interesting and I would like to hear this one, as it sounds quite complex. The RRP is GBP 239.99.
Syncopy is the name of the company’s new analogue delay. It has up to 500ms of delay and is also MIDI-enabled. RRP: GBP 239.99
The Kliptonite is a fuzz/distortion pedal, and comes in a luminous green case. It looks evil, so hopefully it sounds as good as it looks. The RRP is GBP 165.
The last of the new pedals is the Warp Drive, a full on high gain distortion with a powerful EQ section to get you that ‘scooped’ sound. It has a built-in noise gate and looks like it will probably need it. RRP: GBP 175
I have yet to find any audio demos of these new amps or pedals, so I will have to reserve judgement. I’m hoping they are as good as the PDF-1 that I have tried in the past, which is a good pedal and one that for me built this company’s reputation.
All the pedals look really cool and have bright colours and strong graphics. The new amp range, on the other hand, looks a bit retro 1970s to my eye, and reminds me bit of old Matamp-era Orange heads.
SD08 GBP 840
SD30 Head GBP 1259
SD30 Combo GBP 1499
SD50 GBP 1399