Posted by
Mar 18, 2021

Zander Cranium

If you are a RAT fan and like what JHS did to the Tube Screamer with the Bonsai (a pedal that gathers 9 different historical TS voicings in one pedal), you should be all over the Zander Circuitry Cranium, a pedal that extends that concert to the most beloved rodent family of pedals, and that was just released in its 2nd version, in the compact format.

These are the models simulated by this pedal:

  • Germanium: Smooth, sweet, and classically ‘amp-like’. (You Dirty RAT)
  • Silicon: Louder, brighter, and a little bit brittle. (Standard RAT)
  • LED: Louder again, with less saturation and more punch. (Turbo RAT)
  • Asymmetrical germanium: A more aggressive version of germanium. (Zander)
  • Asymmetrical silicon: A more aggressive version of silicon. (Solo RAT)
  • Asymmetrical LED: A more aggressive version of LED. (Solo RAT)
  • Transistor/MOSFET: Similar to silicon, but sweeter and crunchier. (FAT RAT)
  • No diodes: Loads of output and much less gain. (Deucetone RAT)

As if was not enough, a Blast fotswitch (controlled by a Blast knob) lets you ramp the drive all the way up, activating a second volume control that allows you to easily switch between low and high-gain sounds.

A generous sculpting section comprised of Tone, Frequency and Body allows precise fine-tuning. Here’s an explanation of how they work:

The Freq knob alters what would normally be a fixed resistor value, making it variable and allowing for precise frequency control that’s not normally possible with traditional versions of the circuit. Plus, the Body knob alters the low-end and overall gain response, letting you bring in more or less bass, depending on the situation. Both the Freq and Body controls work very interactively with the Gain and Tone controls.

Hear how the Zander Circuit Cranium sounds in its multiple voicings in the video below. You can find similar pedals in our RAT-inspired Distortions category.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oae-tunZIXw?t=116

You’re not alone. This classic distortion circuit has been tweaked and twisted by almost every pedal builder in the game, with countless mods to take the sound in different directions to suit different needs. The Cranium pulls the threads together for an all-in-one ‘rodent-style’ circuit that gives you the freedom to dial in the exact sound you’re looking for.

The Cranium is inspired by the framework of a circuit that’s been heard on countless legendary records from bands like the Foo Fighters, Radiohead, R.E.M., and Metallica. Those classic sounds are all in there, plus a whole lot more, thanks to added functionality that lets you precisely sculpt your sound and access even more grit for an all-out explosion of dirt.

That extra level of control makes it quicker and easier to find the ‘sweet spot’ that can take hours of fiddling to find on other versions of the circuit. And with our signature clipping selector switch, you can also experiment with different diodes to add a new flavour of distortion that’s uniquely yours.

Flexibility is the name of the Cranium’s game, giving you extra control over several critical parts of the circuit for stress-free tweaking.

Key to this is the extra Freq control, which works in tandem with the Tone control to give you a far wider range of sounds. Essentially, the Freq knob alters what would normally be a fixed resistor value, making it variable and allowing for precise frequency control that’s not normally possible with traditional versions of the circuit. Plus, the Body knob alters the low-end and overall gain response, letting you bring in more or less bass, depending on the situation. Both the Freq and Body controls work very interactively with the Gain and Tone controls.

The Cranium also incorporates our signature diode rotary switch, which lets you choose between eight different clipping types (and for this circuit that means you get to pick from the many ‘rodent’ variants that have been released through the years) :

  • Germanium: Smooth, sweet, and classically ‘amp-like’. (You Dirty)
  • Silicon: Louder, brighter, and a little bit brittle. (Standard)
  • LED: Louder again, with less saturation and more punch. (Turbo)
  • Asymmetrical germanium: A more aggressive version of germanium. (Zander)
  • Asymmetrical silicon: A more aggressive version of silicon. (Solo)
  • Asymmetrical LED: A more aggressive version of LED. (Solo)
  • Transistor/MOSFET: Similar to silicon, but sweeter and crunchier. (FAT)
  • No diodes: Loads of output and much less gain. (Deucetone)

And when you need an added dose of distortion, the Cranium’s Blast footswitch ramps the drive all the way up, and activates a second volume control that makes it quick and easy to switch between low and high-gain sounds.