Notwithstanding its recent financial troubles and a past not exactly imbibed with rock’n’roll, Greece is emerging as one of the most prolific countries in the guitar pedal realm. VS Audio is one of the newest builders, joining the likes of Jam Pedals, Crazy Tube Circuits and Tsakalis Audio Works, all of whom have been very active in recent years.
VS Audio just released a new amp-in-a-box overdrive called Blackbird inspired by the sound of the Brownface and Blackface Fender amps. This already says a lot about the versatility of this pedal, since those two tones are quite different, with the Blackface offering a more modern, bright and dynamic sound versus the warmer and throatier Brownface one.
The Brownface/Blackface character can be assigned through the Era toggle switch, while a separate Gain switch gives you a lo-gain or high-gain option. The three regular Tone, Drive and Volume will do the rest.
Hear the brown and black sounds of the VS Audio Blackbird in the videos below.
The BlackBird Overdrive, a pedal that succeeds in generating blackface/brownface-style drive and works as a flexible tone-sculpting platform.
There are lots of amp-in-a-box-style pedals and while some are great, many are less dynamic-nailing one particular type of tone well, but failing flat when you deviate from that path. In this regard, the BlackBird is very different. It nails in an unbelievable way black & brownface tones, from almost clean & light to quite gainy overdrive with natural compression. Specially designed and thoughtfully voiced for those who seek a responsive to pick dynamics with tone clarity overdrive in a pedalboard friendly size.
Placing the BlackBird further down your effects chain reveals its ability to function like a true preamp, giving other overdrives and dirt boxes a glassy blackface or a spongy brownface touch.
• All-analogue electronics audio signal path.
• Authentic vintage amp tones voiced after the Brownface/Blackface amps.
• Powerful tone-shaping Post-Drive EQ.
• High input impedance.
• Centre-negative, 9V or 18V for maximum headroom.
• Silent switching.
• Designed and built in Greece.