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Boost and Overdrive

Emilio Massari releases the V2 Edition of his Cornerstone Antique Classic Drive - now with even more Solo Mayer Flavour

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Emilio designed the original version of the Antique, the one with the white knobs, back in 2016. The challenge then as now was how to replicate that well-loved Mayer Tone through a single pedal - where traditionally John Mayer uses a combination of pedals to achieve his core tones.


The original foundation of the Antique is a sort of TS808/TS10 circuit which has evolved quite considerably. Mayer typically combines TS10 and Klon to create his signature sound, while Emilio would endeavour to render the same through a single pedal. Emilio looked to replicate the tones of City Love, Belief, and generally the entirety of the Trio album era. There are of course a few variations to the tone - and it was finally decided that it should be the Solo signature tones that the core of the Antique should be based on.


The key challenge was how to engineer Mayer’s combination Solo tone, which actually renders slightly scooped, through just the single circuit/pedal. Obviously the aim was to simulate and replicate that sound as closely as possible. To which ends Emilio found some considerable success with cascading several gain stages into one another - which created that same sort of rich texture/character. The circuit was then fine-tuned to be capable of the classic mid-focused core TS808 sound too, while offering a much wider array of tones.


The core of the Tone control of the Antique is in the Mid frequencies. The Tone knob essentially covers Lower and Mid Frequencies, while the Presence knob tackles the Highs and Higher Mids. The Mids (Cut) toggle-switch along with the 2 Tone knobs target all the key frequency clusters needed to produce those legendary Mayer tones.


The rest of the circuit is all about play dynamics - where all Cornerstone pedals are engineered to feel great under the fingers, and to respond to every nuance - much like their amp inspirations. These pedals render as almost living entities which ebb and flow in response to the players’ picking style and degree of attack.


The key new difference for the V2 edition - apart from a much sharper look - is the addition of the Comp switch from the Gladio pedals - which gives you even more dynamic response and allows you to enhance and amplify certain parts of the pedal’s tone delivery.


In terms of suggested Presets - Emilio says that much like Boss - his pedals are engineered to be optimal from default setup - meaning everything at noon essentially. You can then tweak to taste from that starting position.


The Antique Classic Drive V2 is available now for Pre-Order on the Cornerstone Webstore - with a price tag of €239. Stock is incoming imminently.


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Stefan Karlsson
Stefan Karlsson
Guitar Pedal X
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