The new Hamstead Soundworks Comet Interstellar Driver pedal can be used as an ‘always on’ preamp, overdrive, and even do that rich, creamy fuzz tone if you want it to. It is a versatile drive and, with its powerful EQ section, the Comet Interstellar Driver could well be a must-have pedal.
Hamstead Comet Interstellar Driver
The Comet Interstellar Driver from Hamstead Soundworks is an all analogue drive circuit billed as having both transparent and character drive tones. This means it can act as a subtle preamp to boost your signal, or go all thick and creamy to give you oodles of fuzz and drive tones. The circuit was designed by Peter Hamstead and the pedals are made at the Hamstead labs in Cambridgeshire, Great Britain.
DRV>EQ and EQ>DRV
The user interface is nice and friendly with Level, Bass and Treble knobs along the top of the pedal, followed by a Gain control and a two-way switch labelled DRV>EQ and EQ>DRV on the next row. In the former position, the switch setting gives you a transparent clipping circuit and places the EQ after the Drive Circuit. Then, in the latter position, you have what Hampstead describes as an “EQ in front of a more raw, yet organic clipping style that boosts the input gain into the drive circuit”.
There is also an internal switch within the pedal with a Hi-Gain Mode, so if you want more dirt, then you will probably want to engage this switch. It will give you more heavy crunch and distortion tones, up into the realms of highly saturated fuzz. Personally, I would rather have access to a high-gain mode without having to open up a pedal to access it, but your mileage may vary.
You also have an internal Hi-Cut pot. Adjust this to tailor the high frequencies of the Comet to fit in with your guitar or bass setup. Other features include silent optical switching and TheGigRig’s OptoKick footswitch. The pedal can be powered by a 9 – 12 V DC PSU. Overall, it seems to have all the right touches for a premium drive pedal.
The demo videos below sound really good. And for a boutique drive pedal that is so versatile, the price is probably about right.
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