Even though the dude is probably among the most knowledgeable human beings in the guitar effect department (he’s got almost 2k video demos on his YouTube channel!), it’s still surprising to see a “pedal critic” with also a foot in manufacturing…
Truth is, GMD has been doing both things for a very long time: his only pedal, a personal take on the Tube Screamer called The Luthier, first appeared around 2007, while his first YouTube video dates back to 2008.
An “upgraded” rendition of the venerable (and uber-cloned) overdrive, The Luthier was inspired by the earlier 808 and 9 versions of the pedal. GMD preferred them to later versions because…
[they] always seemed to have a little more top end and sparkle, without quite as much of the heavy mids you get from the modern reissue Ibanez versions…
The unit, recently updated to Mk III, features a few controls that might appear mysterious at first sight: the top two knobs, marked with a “V” and a “D,” are simply Volume and Drive, while the bottom knob, marked with a “Q” is just a tone knob – not an equalization bell, as some may assume.
Things get more… “symbolic” around the toggle switch, featuring a sun and a tube image on the top position, and a headphone icon at the bottom. GMD explains them like this:
Classic mode, (Sun+Tube logo = Brighter Tubescreamer) […] maintains the integrity of the vintage TS808 style, mild and tasty overdrive, yet gives it a little more clarity and brighter response in the while still keeping the smooth drive and just the right amount of compression. [This is] my number one favorite single unit overdrive.
In LoudMod mode, (Headphone logo = LoudMod), you get a more non-compressed overdriven boost with lots of extra volume on tap to push your tube amp into glorious, juicy, seductive, tonal-bliss.
Version III features higher quality components and an improved circuit board:
I’ve been able to maximize the function of both the MODE switch, as well as the EQ control…both of them are really giving you full throttle goodness now! The gain structure has been modified to produce more available gain, but keep the voicing exactly the same as before…just more juice if ya want it. Also, the LoudMod is no longer asymmetrical…its now symmetrical clipping and is less compressed…and more LOUD!
The pedal can be purchased here for $145, and can be checked out in the video below!