The newly released Rare Buzz Effects Piccolo Falsetto, is a Germanium based Rangemaster variant overdrive (bordering on a fuzz) with features that improve on the original design by allowing the players to tailor the voicing of the pedal to complement their guitar and signal chain, thanks to a Tone knob but, mostly, to the four-mode Filter knob (Full Band, Low-Mid Through Treble, Mid and Treble, Treble) that gives the player a choice of tonal options for the Boost.
The toggle switch in the center of the pedal opens up extra voicing:
in the down position, the pedal reacts like single coil pickups. in the up position, the pedal reacts more like humbuckers. also matches the tone capacitor to the voicing.
Two under the hood trim pots provide extra tweaking:
The Pressure trim pot changes the input stage from a simple buffer (counter-clockwise) to a boost. set to roughly noon on most units during assembly, while the bias one establishes the bias point on the germanium transistor.
Like the original, it’s buffered at both Input and Output, and therefore can be placed anywhere in your chain.
THE PICCOLO FALSETTO:
IT MIGHT BE EASY TO CALL THE PICCOLO FALSETTO A RANGEMASTER VARIENT, AND TO BE FAIR, THERE IS A RANGEMASTER AT THE CORE OF THE PICCOLO. THE BOOST STAGE OF THE PICCOLO IS BASED ON THE CLASSIC TREBLE BOOSTER MADE FAMOUS BY ERIC CLAPTON, BRIAN MAY, TONY IOMMI, AND MORE. UNFORTUNATELY, THE TRADITIONAL RANGEMASTER FILTER RESPONSE CAN BE TOO BRIGHT FOR MANY MODERN RIGS – THE PICCOLO ALLOWS THE USER TO TUNE THE RESPONSE OF THE BOOST TO MATCH THEIR RIG. BUILT ENTIRELY BY HAND IN COLUMBUS, OHIO, THE PICCOLO FALSETTO FEATURES MILITARY GRADE RESISTORS AND HAND SELECTED SURPLUS PARTS INCLUDING THE GERMANIUM BOOST TRANSISTOR AND SILVER MICA CAPACITORS IN SEVERAL LOCATIONS. UNLIKE THE ORIGINAL CIRCUIT, THE PICCOLO IS BUFFERED AT BOTH INPUT AND OUTPUT, SO IT CAN BE PLACED ANYWHERE IN THE PEDAL CHAIN.
- TONE: DESIGNED LIKE THE TONE CONTROL ON A GUITAR, ALLOWS THE USER TO FINE TUNE THE TONE OF THE PEDAL.
- SUSTAIN: CONTROLS THE SIGNAL LEVEL PASSING INTO THE CORE BOOST STAGE.
- VOICE (SWITCH): IN THE DOWN POSITION, THE PEDAL REACTS LIKE SINGLE COIL PICKUPS. IN THE UP POSITION, THE PEDAL REACTS MORE LIKE HUMBUCKERS. ALSO MATCHES THE TONE CAPACITOR TO THE VOICING.
- BOOST: CONTROLS THE VOLUME OF THE GERMANIUM BOOST STAGE – THE RANGEMASTER – AT THE CORE OF THE PICCOLO FALSETTO.
- FILTER: SELECT FROM FOUR FILTER SETTINGS (CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT): FULL BAND, LOW-MID THROUGH TREBLE, MID AND TREBLE, TREBLE.
- PRESSURE: (INSIDE) CHANGES THE INPUT STAGE FROM A SIMPLE BUFFER (COUNTER-CLOCKWISE) TO A BOOST. SET TO ROUGHLY NOON ON MOST UNITS DURING ASSEMBLY.
- BIAS: (INSIDE) ESTABLISHES THE BIAS POINT ON THE GERMANIUM TRANSISTOR. SET DURING ASSEMBLY AND SHOULD NOT NEED ADJUSTMENT DURING REGULAR USE.