1981 Inventions LVL

The 1981 Inventions LVL is the much anticipated second release by a company that made a huge splash with their first pedal, a RAT-inspired drive/distortion with its own character.

The LVL is another overdrive, of the low-gain kind this time, hosted in a smaller case and featuring one fewer knob than the DRV (just Level and Volume).

The result of four years of research and experimentation in collaboration with Joh Snyder of Electronic Audio Experiments (aka EAE), the LVL’s circuit is based on a peculiar combination of light clipping and op-amp-based gain stages that conjures up a unique character and gain structure.

On top of delivering sweet-sounding overdrive, this pedal is also extremely flexible, being designed to work well with bass and stack nicely with any other pedals, whether at the front or the end of the chain.

Have a listen to it, in the demos below.

1981 Inventions LVL, Builder’s Notes


This is a new circuit entirely! It’s my second official release, after the DRV.

LVL is a professional low-gain device, which achieves overdrive gain ranges with a new and unique circuit. A combination of light clipping and op-amp push gives the pedal a unique sound and gain structure.

This is the pedal I have always wanted to make. To me, it’s a perfect low-gain stage. It’s the culmination of a 4 year process, and a collaborative effort with my friend John Snyder of ELECTRONIC AUDIO EXPERIMENTS.

It works great on bass, which is what FULL-RANGE refers to. It also stacks with anything, makes most fuzz better if you put it after, makes most overdrives better if you put it before. It’s also great if you hit the front end with a little boost!

I can play an entire set with my band – Relient K, using only this pedal. If you’re familiar with our recordings, LVL is the Forget And Not Slow Down sound, where as DRV is the sound of Mmhmm.