There’s a new kid in the block where the Dumbe-style amp-in-a-box pedals live, and you should take it seriously because it’s coming from a Japanese builder that has proven its worth over and over: enter the Free The Tone Overdriveland.
Designed by veteran engineer Yuki Hayashi, one of the most sought-after Dumble amp repairman, the circuit of the Overdriveland inspired by the latest model of the Dumble Overdrive Special, which more than previous models offered a solid, rock-oriented sound.
Yuki gives a fascinating report about his development of the circuit on the pedal’s web page.
This offers two channels toggled via the right footswitch:
- The Normal Channel encompasses the Tone circuit (featuring the EQ ON/GLASS switch) and allows for the adjustment of Gain characteristics via the ROCK/JAZZ switch.
- The Drive Channel sends the signal through the Drive circuit, activating the Push and Drive knobs on the top right of the case, but also the Hi Cut filter, before returning it back into the Normal Channel circuit. The Push knob adjusts the level sent from the Drive circuit to the Normal Channel.
Toggle the “EQ ON/GLASS” switch to command the equalization function of the Normal Channel. When set to “EQ ON,” activate the “TONE” circuit for personalized tonal shaping. Opting for “GLASS” bypasses the “TONE” circuit, delivering a crystalline tone reminiscent of engaging the Bright switch on a Blackface Fender Vibroverb.
Meanwhile, the “ROCK/JAZZ” switch fine-tunes the frequency response and gain settings of the Normal Channel. On the “ROCK” side, elevate your sound with increased gain while subtly reducing low-frequency gain to prevent overwhelming bass volumes that might lead to distortion in the amp’s input stage. Conversely, the “JAZZ” side decreases overall gain, accentuating richness in the low-frequency range.
Here are some of the best videos of the Free The Tone Overdriveland.