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A Brief Overview of Japan's Studio Daydream Handmade Pedals

BoostBoost and OverdriveDumble Style OverdriveKlone and Transparent OverdriveOverdrivePreAmpStudio Daydream+-
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2021GPXStudioDaydreamRange700V5.jpg

I believe a reader introduced me to the delights of the Studio Daydream Dhyana Dumble-style Drive some time late last year, and where I first featured it in a March article this year - focused on Overdrives with Bite! Then when doing the piece on These Go To 11 - I discovered that good friend Sebastian Nylund stocked the two BB-size Gold and Silver edition Klone Pedals. Where the KCM-OD Gold is particularly impressive - with its added-range controls.

 

The other two pedals in the current range are the Blackface Fender-style JRM-OD, and JFET Fetbox Custom Preamp. All 5 pedals are superbly well made, and relatively reasonable priced for Japanese Boutique pedals. I will surely end up with at least one or two of these eventually. Where I’m personally very keen on the Dhyana and KCM-OD Gold. These are in relatively short supply - and I don’t know many who stock these in Europe beyond TGT11.

 

Here follow some further details on each in the usual manner :


Dhyana V2.1 Dumble-Style Overdrive - $209

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Controls - Level, Gain, A.M.C. (Amplifier Matching Control / Texture), Tone.

 

This is a really smart 4-controls Overdrive take on the Dumble ODS Amp - where the smart control here is the A.M.C. 'Amplifier Matching Control' 3rd knob. Otherwise you have very self-explanatory Level, Gain and Tone Controls. The A.M.C. control adjusts the gain character - supposedly as a sort of balancing / levelling control - while you can also use that to accentuate the slightly fuzz-edged core Dumble character.

 

This is one of those secret weapon overdrives which relatively few people know about - but for those in the know it is considered to be one of the very finest takes on the Dumble ODS genre. This is likely the first of these I will look to acquire.


Fetbox Custom V7.2 2-Channel Clean/Drive JFET Preamp - $189

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Controls - Clean Volume, CH2 Volume, Gain, Treble, Bass, Bypass Footswitch, Clean/CH2 Footswitch.

 

While not particularly my favourite format / orientation, this is still a very handy Dual-Channel JFET Preamp with two sets of controls. Separate Clean and Channel 2 Volume controls, and then shared Gain, Treble and Bass controls. You also have a Bypass/On Footswitch and alternating Clean/Channel 2 Selector Footswitch.

 

This has a wonderful breakup texture too, while it's the one that has the least appeal for me - partly because of its wider footprint. I'm sure though that plenty others will like it!


JRM-OD V4.1 Blackface Style Overdrive - $179

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Controls - Volume, Gain, Bass, Treble, Saturation (Mini).

 

This is another really smart overdrive take on a Blackface Fender Amp. And much like the Dhyana it has one particularly clever control - the Mini Saturation control found below the Treble knob - which significantly extends the gain character of the pedal and takes it into more interesting textural territory.

 

This is likely my third choice here and it's as intriguing a take on the Blackface amp that I've come across to date - alongside the VS Audio Blackbird. I like the look of both of those - and each has its own advantages and benefits - and I'm really not sure which one I go for first.


KCM-OD Gold V9.0 Extremely Tuned Klone - $349

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Controls - Output, Treble, Gain, Fat Mode : Normal > Max, Clip Mode : Germanium/LED/Silicon, Bypass Mode : Buffered/True.

 

This extended-range Klone is probably the most desirable of all these pedals - and of course has the highest price tag. This has the same 3 - Output, Treble and Gain controls as the Silver version - while it also has an additional side control panel with extra Fat Mode : Normal > Max, Clip Mode : Germanium / LED / Silicon, and Bypass Mode : Buffered / True controls.

 

I am obviously allied to Gullem Vilademunt's Decibelics brand which will always be my first choice for Klones - while this comes a very close second!


KMC-OD Silver V10 Klone - $239

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Controls - Gain, Treble, Output.

 

This is the slightly stripped down variety from the Gold version - with just the core 3 Gain, Treble and Output controls. It still sounds suitably impressive and obviously has a lower price tag to match its fewer controls.

 

This still sounds every part a great Klone and may very well be many players' preferred choice - particularly if the Gold version seems a touch steep.


Final Thoughts

2021GPXStudioDaydreamRange700V5.jpg

You can't fail to see the quality here and how exceptionally well put together these pedals are. Their exterior attention to detail certainly matches the quality of their output.

 

All 5 pedals are compelling - while I particularly like the Dyana, JRM-OD, and KCM-OD Gold. I've not assigned any priority to these yet, but I will be looking to acquire them somewhat opportunistically at some stage in the future.

 

These are available via the official Studio Daydream Webstore, while the two KCM-OD varieties are also stocked by Sebastian Nylund's These Go To 11 - although they to tend to go out of stock relatively quickly.

 

I'm certainly keen on most of these - how about you?

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Stefan Karlsson
Stefan Karlsson
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