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Pettyjohn Electronics has recently unveiled an updated version of their popular Plexy-style preamp/overdrive, the Gold MKII, currently on preorder.

What’s really exciting about this new version, is that, besides some important upgrades like a new 36V dual rail power supply and a new Quiet Bypass system, this pedal features…

…many updates under the hood plus an array of carefully selected custom shop upgrade mods to choose from.

Two internal mini toggles have the following functions: one…

…switches the high cut cap between a clear, punchy Wima cap […] with a classic 716 Orange Drop cap for a smoother, vintage-feeling high-end profile.

The other one…

…switches the headroom of the clipping section.

As far as the custom options are concerned, the most exciting is an opamp upgrade that, for just $99, replaces one Burr Brown opamp with a dual studio-grade 990-style discrete opamp.

This chip runs the input buffer and the active level control stage giving the GOLD a more natural, open sound quality that is truly uncompromising.

Other custom mods are related to the choice of footswitch and the customization of the internal controls, you can find more info about them here.

Check out the first video of the Gold MKII, streaming below.

The Pettyjohn GOLD MKII is an update to our best selling golden amp overdrive. Below is an in-depth guide to the features of the GOLD MKII.

Powerful Tone Shaping

The GOLD MKII is designed to be a full range pedal, which means all tones pass 20Hz to 20kHz. We did this to let the user have the most ability to shape the tone to fit their needs. To compensate for this extra frequency range, we developed our signature wide-range sweepable Low and High cuts, giving the user complete control over the tone.

The LOWS control sweeps at 6dB per octave from sub-frequencies to 1kHz allowing the user to precisely set the low-end profile. Furthermore, the low cut is pre-overdrive stage so the way it is set greatly impacts the way the overdrive circuit loads and clips.

The HIGHS control is a similar sweep from the other side of the frequency spectrum ranging from 20kHz down to 1kHz. The GOLD comes loaded stock with two capacitor options for the HIGHS control, switchable internally between a Wima MKP10 cap, which sounds very clean and punchy, and a genuine Orange Drop capacitor has been selected for it’s classic, smooth tonal qualities, i.e. MOJO!

We also offer a custom shop modification to the HIGHS control which give several other “flavors” by exchanging either of these capacitors for an Audiophile grade Auricap XO, which have a subtle but noticeable effect on the tone and feel of the high cut control, which to our ears is smooth and a little bit compressed with tighter low-mids and more clarity and focus on the top end. We generally recommend this option if you have a very dark amp or guitar.

Mid Range Control Freak

The GOLD MKII is equipped with a powerful sweepable Mid range bell filter. Boost or cut up to 8 dB between 400 Hz and 2kHz and dial the perfect tone for your rig. Extremely popular on the Version 1, you can use this control to emulate a certain amp mid control, push the mids for a solo, cut mids for rhythm playing, even smooth out the bite or get a honky wah type mid range if you push it. Some find themselves wanting two Golds just because you can get so many great but different tones with the sweepable mid control!

More To Gain

We also expanded the gain range making the GOLD MKII even more versatile. The lower gain range has been extended giving more settings akin to preamp or clean boost without overdrive. Plus the GAIN control now tops out with almost 2x the original gain amount.

Now with greatly extended controls and gain range the GOLD MKII can satisfy almost anyone looking for anything from an always-on low-gain sweetener to fully overdriven, thick rhythm playing chords to soaring, classic leads.

More Power

We have updated the GOLD MKII with our new proprietary dual rail supply offering an industry leading 36 Volt swing from a 9V, 200mA standard adaptor.

High voltage means high headroom and 36v is the maximum spec most opamps are rated for ensuring the high-qualify opamps in the GOLD MKII are operating at their maximum potential.

High headroom and high voltage imparts an openness and 3D quality that sounds incredible and just feels great while playing. Now everyone can have the tonal experience of high headroom when they plug in the GOLD MKII without the need for a special adaptor.

Internal Clipping Headroom Switch

The internal switch for the headroom of the clipping circuit has a low and a high headroom setting stock and now can be updated to several options via Pettyjohn Custom Shop, either at time of ordering direct or as an upgrade after purchase. Upgrades currently include the Nanolog N2 carbon junction clipping device and NOS Germanium diodes, rumored to be found in the original golden centaur pedal. The NOS diodes are rare and supply is limited, so we will offer this upgrade as long as we can source them. The NOS germanium diodes offer a classic sound, tighter lowend, richer mids and smoother highs, arguably less “mashally” but more in line with the classic big gold overdrive pedal of mystical legends!

Secret Preamp Mode:

By popular request we added a “Preamp Mode” setting. Access this by moving the internal clipping headroom toggle to the middle position, thus bypassing the clipping section. In general we recommend keeping the gain low but some wild tones are possible if you push the gain in preamp mode. Also makes for an amazing clean boost with powerful tone shaping.

Quite Bypass Switching System

The GOLD MKII comes with our new relay based true bypass circuit with soft touch switch. We have had many requests for this and found it harder than we expected to develop a relay circuit that met our quality standards. We are very proud of our unique design that accomplishes a totally quiet switch via a sonically transparent gold contact relay. It auto-bypasses when the power is disconnected, never leaving you in the dark! Hardwire, classic true bypass is available via custom order on our website for those who may prefer this option.

Unique Features

    • New! High voltage power! – 36 Volts of internal power from standard 9v adaptor (200mA)
    • New! Relay True Bypass switching
      Soft touch switch with totally quite switching and auto-bypass when power is off
    • New! Extended HIGHS and LOWS wide-range sweepable filters
    • New! Extended Gain Range
    • New! Re-designed Active Level control
    • New! Increased headroom and lower noise on all stages
    • New! Discrete Opamp Upgrade Option
      Upgrade to CHIME MKII Deluxe and the input and output stages become powered with our Studio Grade dual 990 style discrete opamp for extra clarity and depth
    • New! Knobs and Labels – Easier to read on stage
    • New! Foundry Series MKII custom enclosure with in-set screws
    • New! Updated Internal “Secret Settings”

Clipping options:

      •  Choose between low headroom for more compression or high headroom for super punchy, open overdrive and Preamp Mod for now clipping diodes!

High Cut Cap mod:

    •  Choose between a punchy Wima cap or a smooth Orange Drop cap in the high cut circuit.

Audiophile, Studio-Grade Performance

  • Burr Brown OPA input and output buffer
  • Audiophile grade, through-hole 1% Metal Film resistors
  • Top-shelf WIMA and Silver Mica caps used in tone sensitive operations
  • Lead-free PCB constructed with Audiophile lead-free silver solder
  • Extremely low noise