The Nocturne Brain Marquesan Drive is a modern take on the late 70’s White Label bud box Rat, updated with quality modern components like tantalum caps, metal film resistors, and a socketed *vintage 60’s NOS UA308.
The main advantage of this box, according to the builder is the following:
…when you turn up your old fullerton era amp or vintage brit plexi, you can keep the inherent twang and jangle of your tele or hollowbody gretsch/guild but harness that grindy tube clip at decent volume.
This latest version of the circuit features a new control called Steez which boosts or cuts the upper mids and works with the Tone filter to deliver extra versatility on your dirty tones.
Inside the box, a switch lets you choose between symmetric (more compressed) and asymmetric clipping (more open, great for hollow and semi-hollow guitars).
We added this pedal to our article about the best RAT-style pedals.
Nocturne Brain Marquesan Drive Builder’s Notes
This one is simple.. take a late 70’s White Label bud box R*t pedal & tweak its values and components so when you turn up your old fullerton era amp or vintage brit plexi, you can keep the inherent twang and jangle of your tele or hollowbody gretsch/guild but harness that grindy tube clip at decent volume. Full 80’s hair farm meets 90’s siamese dream w a strat btw (in compressed mod w the internal upper mids trimmer dimed!
I’m upping the boutique ante’ of course using vintage tantalum caps, metal film resistors, and a socketed *vintage 60’s NOS UA308 (or UA308 metal can equivalent) Operational Amp (pre-dates the plastic chip version and its cork sniffing qualities are sweeter IMO). The STEEZ control is new and boosts or cuts the upper mids and works in tandem w the reverse tapered TONE filter to give you much more versatility from dirty cleans, to sweet mids blues crunch, to snarling grind and way over the top corpulent distortion and malty fuzz.
There’s even a position switch inside the box, so you can chose Symmetric or Asymmetric position! 🙂 Symmetric loves plank guitars & is classic compressed clipping,almost creamy when gain is dimed and tone is rolled. In low gain modes its tight and killer for single coils. Asymmetric loves hollow and semi hollow guitars and is unconventionally open and uncompressed more attack and so perfect for Filtertrons and PAFs.
Anyway you get the point.. Its got a cleaner response w a sweeter EQ, chords hang like over ripe fruit or chubby pinecones (depending on your amp settings) from the tree ..or something like that when you keep the gain down and the output up. You can crank the gain and use the tone filter for full gnar weeze tones or smash your pumpkin too but thats not the point on this build. Lets carve the woody clean-dirty sounds on this Tiki, add your favorite reverb or delay and stomp.