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Pete Cornish Releases 45th Anniversary GC-1 Variable and Dynamic Soft, then Hard-Clipping 3-Stage Overdrive / Distortion - which combines the best of his CC-1, SS-3, G-2, and P-2 Pedals

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Readers of his blog will know how keen I am on some of Pete Cornish’s Pedals - with the CC-1 Cornish Crunch Overdrive typically at the top of that list for me. In order to celebrate no less than 45 years in the business - Pete Cornish has designed a brand new 3-Gain-Stage Overdrive Circuit - which also takes full advantage of 3-Band Active EQ. The circuit makes use of some very clever electronics - which gradually switch from Soft to Hard Clipping, and progressively add gain stages, sustain and aggression as you move up the Gain dial.


Gradually bringing in the smooth sustain of the SS-3, then the Plexi / Rat - like crunch of the G2 - before the concentrated saturation of the P-2 Fuzz / Distortion - which comes in at the peak of he Gain dial.


"New for 2021 and in celebration of our 45th year designing and building professional stage equipment we are proud to present the GC-1™."


"With the gain set to minimum (+20dB=10X) we are in the area of Soft Sustain as found on our SS-2 and SS-3 overdrives, and the inclusion of a three band powerful active EQ has enhanced even the lowest gain settings - giving a new bonus of tone and volume. A wonderfully Smooth and Transparent Blues Crunch is a feature at low gain settings and the powerful EQ is a huge part of the sound with even small changes giving maximum tonal flexibility to suit any amp. The GC-1 has amazing Bottom End Retention and is Refined and Warm sounding without getting”muddy”.


"As the Active EQ is so powerful the GC-1 can be used with both single coil and hum-bucker equipped guitars with equal facility."


"Increasing the gain takes us gradually through the area of our G-2 and P-2 gain structures which gives a higher level of overdrive for that classic cranked up Marshall sound found on most British rock records of the ‘70s."


"There is some serious Rhythm and Lead Tone here which is Powerful but with great Clarity and again, the inclusion of the three band active EQ adds the flexibility of massive amounts of Bass, Mid or Treble Boost will suit any conditions or amp used. Equal amounts of Bass, Mid and Treble Cut are also available - the neutral position of the three tone controls is 12 o’clock."


The GC-1 features an ’amazing clean up’ using the guitar volume control.


At Maximum gain (+56dB=640X) and adding a large amount of Mid Boost - the High Energy Sustain obtained is both Harmonically Rich, Smooth and Fat; where almost infinite Sustain is possible with the right guitar/amp combination.


An output Master Volume is included to allow for perfect matching between bypassed and boosted/EQ’d signal level and there is plenty of output signal headroom available to overdrive amp inputs if required.


"Our well established Class A input Buffer (LD-1) and radio frequency suppressor is, of course, included and the output buffer impedance is low; to easily drive long cables or other loads without loss of signal or tone. The Buffer is also fully active in bypass mode to prevent losses associated with long cables and/or load impedances that would not the suitable to connect directly to a passive guitar pickup."



  • Overall boost with Gain = 100% and Volume = 100% is +56 dB (640X)
  • Overall boost with Gain = 0% and Volume = 100% is +20dB (10X)
  • The above with Bass, Middle and Treble set to 50% = Neutral point = 0dB boost/cut). Bass Control range +/- 16dB @ 50Hz
  • Mid Control range +/- 15dB @ 950Hz
  • Treble Control range +/-17dB @ 4KHz
  • Maximum signal output with Volume 100% is +12dBm/ 3.1v rms/ 6.5v peak to peak.


  • RFI rejecting input and bypass buffer.
  • Each unit is hand built, wired and tested by Pete, Lynda and Mingus Cornish.
  • Housed in a Rugged Die-cast box size 171 x 121 x 55mm with lined control knobs.
  • Heavy Duty Custom made all-metal footswitch plus Daylight Visible LED.
  • Also fitted is an input for a DC adapter: the size of the coax connector is 5.5/2.1mm and the centre pin is negative (-VE). The adapter should be noise free, fully stabilised at 9V DC and capable of supplying 20mA. When multiple effects pedals are to be powered, we recommend the use of the Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 2 Plus adapter as meeting the above criteria and cannot accept any liability for damage caused to this unit by the use of, or to, any other type of DC adaptor. If only a single unit is to be powered the BOSS PSA series may be more cost effective and is also recommended.

You can order one of these direct from the Pete Cornish Site by sending email with full delivery address reference to :


The pictured version is the ’Battery-Free’ variety - which retails at £549, same as the Grey Series, while the Deluxe Series retails for £613 - and has that rather aesthetically appealing bulge surround for the footswitch - yet has side-mounted jacks. While my preferred pictured version has top-mounted jacks - which makes it a little more pedalboard-friendly. If you wish to run it off a battery - then you need the Grey Series unit!


I’ve always wanted at least a Pete Cornish CC-1, but feel I could roughly approximate that with the GC-1 (even though not explicitly mentioned - by dialling down the EQ)- as well as covering the SS-3, G-2 and P-2. Which then means I really only have the NG-3 still to get! It’s still a pricey proposition at £549 - while I feel it really is kind of worth it for this level of coverage! Definitely on my wishlist for a fairly imminent acquisition. And that will inevitably mean that the CXM 1978 gets pushed back a little further on the schedule! Note that the knobs are a little more elegantly arranged on the the Deluxe Series, while I feel that overall the Battery-Free edition is the better proposition with its top-mounted jacks!


Anyone else tempted by one of these? I would imagine that a sizeable waiting-list is brewing!

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Stefan Karlsson
Stefan Karlsson
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