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The Blackbird™ is a genuine all-tube preamp in a compact pedal. There’s a huge amount of flexibility in what this tone machine can do – the drive channel ranges from full-bodied, warm, bluesy drive sounds, through to rich, classic rock crunch and even heavy, harmonically-saturated metal sounds. This channel utilises the same dynamic and touch sensitive 4 stage all-tube clipping circuitry only found in an elite few hi-end guitar amps. By simply digging in or easing off with the guitar pick the tube circuitry responds musically and works with you to create soaring expressive solos and its natural tube compression means you can effortlessy transition into rhythm or chord playing.
The clean channel has a beautiful, open and glassy musical tone that lends itself to country and jazz playing, however, because it’s a replica of the ‘Blackface’ tube circuit, it too can be pushed into breakup and overdrive with higher output pickups or a booster pedal. A huge engineering effort has gone into developing and refining the thermionic circuitry in Blackbird preamp and as a result of this the tone and feel of the pedal is superbly balanced – guitar tone really does not get any better than this. Again, this channel has great depth, clarity and richness – a polished, classy sound that tubes excel at.
The Blackbird can be further ‘tweaked’ (a formal engineering term) to allow players sculpt their own truely unique signature sounds. The character of the overdrive response can be altered by adjusting tube bias points and swapping out tubes giving access to a virtually unlimited range of classic and undiscovered tube preamp voicings. It’s great fun – finding bargain tubes and experimenting. In the time it takes to change a light bulb tubes can be swapped out for N.O.S.(new old stock) vintage types such as Mullard, RCA, Tung-Sol, etc altering the gain, biting point, feel and fundamental tone of the Blackbird.
Special thanks to all these musicians, especially John Verity, Phil Taylor (of Gilmour music) and Paul Stacey, who have helped and advised over the Blackbird’s long two year development period.
Hear Samples on Soundcloud : https://soundcloud.com/effectrode/