You may recall that I wasn’t overly enamoured with Spaceman’s previous release - the Saturn VI Harmonic Booster - which wasn’t quite as pedestrian as some readers thought I made it sound, but nevertheless did not inspire me into action.
It is quite a different story with this new-but-old Apollo VII Overdrive which has actually been extracted from the guts of the Voyager I Optical Analog Tremolo where it acted as the PreAmp or Gain Stage for that pedal. Much in a similar way that a number of my Tremolos (e.g. CBA Gravitas) have PreAmp / Gain sections which give them that extra warmth and texture.
Spaceman has not deigned to qualify or classify this as anything other than an Overdrive - while I would like to subtitle it an Articulate Fuzzy-Drive. There is a distinct fuzzy edge throughout there on all modes - D (Silicon Diode Clipping) | 0 (No Clipping) | L (LED Clipping) - where the L LED mode exactly matches that which was/is in the Voyager Tremolo.
There is an incredible amount of headroom on this pedal too with up to 40dB of gain on tap. Obviously we have different clipping stages and a wide-ranging Tone control also to deliver different tonalities. You still get a noticeable warm fuzzy texture throughout - from smooth to raspy.
When I first saw this pedal I though oh no! not yet another Spaceman Boost/Overdrive - but actually on this occasion I do not mind at all as I really like its core voicing and it falls well within my desirable Fuzzy-Drive ballpark.
There were 5 Editions available at launch - with the admittedly pretty but priciest 22 Purple Sparkle Edition units selling out almost immediately at $319 a pop, there are still some of the 44 Blue Starlight Edition ($309) in stock, also of 55 Black Edition ($299), 66 White Edition ($299) and plenty more obviously of the unlimited Raw Steel Standard Edition ($199).
I could have been tempted by the Purple, but I’m quite happy to settle for a Standard Edition here and save myself $120. I will wait for these to come into stock in the UK. A pretty decent return to form all-round!
I’ve included the most notable Video Demos below for my taste - including Andy Martin, RJ Ronquillo, Collector Emitter, and Demos in the Dark :