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Boost and Overdrive

Catalinbread Release an Appealing Box Set of 2 Richie Blackmore inspired Pedals - the Dreamcoat Preamp, and Skewer Treble Booster

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So for one month from yesterday I presume - June 23rd to July 23rd you will be a able to acquire the twin box set for $299 / €349 / £299 before each pedal is made available separately at the usual price of circa $179 and equivalent - meaning a saving of circa $60, at least for customers in the UK and USA.


These are not specifically Richie Blackmore (Deep Purple, Rainbow) Signature pedals - but rather inspired by the equipment he used - where the Dreamcoat is based on the Preamp of the Aiwa TP-1011 Reel-to-Reel Tape Machine, and the Skewer is based on the Silicon John Hornby Skewes Treble Booster.


The Dreamcoat’s Controls are - Frequency (2.4kHz > 5 kHz +10dB max boost), Blend (Dry Blend), Saturation (Degree of Feedback in 1st Gain Stage), Mic Volume (Gain/Distortion), Master (Volume).


The Skewer’s Controls are - Skew (Frequency Response of Boost : stock > full range), Boost (Amount of Boost), Extra (Gain level).


Richie used to use the Aiwa RP-1011 R2R as a sort of saturator really or more like an old-school preamp console - where you get interesting primitive and sputtery fuzz-edged style breakup. This was then combined with a passive inductor-based frequency booster installed on his Strat by his guitar tech Dawk Stillwell. So the Dreamcoat is a combination of those two elements - which combined very much delivery that sort of melting / burned-out amp tonality.


The Skewer is a take on John Hornby Skewes Treble Booster - which used Silicon rather than the classic Germanium Transistors for that role - which gave it a slightly sharper and brighter impact. The original JHS Treble Booster had just a simple on/off switch, while I believe there was a later Richie Blackmore Mod which added a level control.


The idea for these pedals is that you can get a wide array of peak-time Riche Blackmore sounds - meaning you need to use your ears to gauge your preferences. While Catalinbread to offer some starting positions for you as follows :


Note that Richie favoured Marshall Major and Vox AC30 amps - meaning that if you're going for fully authentic Blackmore tones - you need to have one of those in your signal chain too.


The Dreamcoat brings to mind Walrus Audio's 385 Overdrive - which is based on a cinema projector preamp. I very much like the look of this pair of pedals - I don't have anything equivalent in the collection yet - so will definitely be acquiring the box set very soon. Scratch that - ordered already!


How about you readers - anyone else tempted?


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Stefan Karlsson
Stefan Karlsson
Guitar Pedal X
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