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The Third Man Records Signature Jack White Pedals Capsule Collection is finally Complete!

CoppersoundDistortionFuzzGamechanger AudioGuitar Synth and SequencerJack WhiteMantic EffectsModulationOctaverOddball FuzzPitchPitch-ShiftingSuper-Fuzz StyleThird Man RecordsUnion Tube & Transistor+-
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The 4 Jack White Signature Pedals

I’ve had some fun picking these up in sort of random order in the end! My first acquisition was the only limited yellow edition one I have, and that I obviously picked up at the right time - the Gamechanger Plasma Coil - which regularly puts an appearance on slot #15. Actually the third pedal in the series!

 

I had watched the TMR Mantic Flex come and go - as I already had the more capable Pro version of that pedal, and it was a similar story with the Bumble Buzz - which I wasn’t sure was my thing - having no controls onboard at all - just a footswitch. I also believe I had the Toneczar Vault by then - a far more versatile Super Fuzz style pedal - which I felt would easily replace the Bumble Buzz. As such therefore I initially decided that both of those were surplus to my requirements - as I felt I was pretty much covered already.

 

And the next one I acquired was of course the superb CopperSound Triplegraph Octave Up/Down + Kill Switch / FX Loop Engage - with I came by in a fairly tortuous way - where it took a good six months in the end.


Once I had the killer pair of the set I felt encouraged to actually complete the set of four. So I kind of circled back around to the TMR Mantic Flex and convinced myself that it was entirely a good thing to have the whole set. So three down, one to go - and I settled into a sort of waiting game as by that time there were no Bumble Buzzes in circulation. I though I would need to pick up a second hand one - when one next materialised - at a slightly inflated price, as here were none left by then.

 

As luck would have it Union Tube and Transistor consented do doing another batch of 20 or so I assume for Coast Sonic - which were available at the regular price right at the end of June. Said pedal arrived last Thursday to complete the set - and all 4 will likely feature next month, as right now we’re in the middle of Boss Month!

 

Here follow some further details on each of the pedals :


2014 TMR Union Tube & Transistor Bumble Buzz - $255/$325

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Controls - None, single footswitch only.

 

I always understood this was a kind of variation on a Super Fuzz style circuit, while the Transistor make-up is 4 x PN2222A - where Super Fuzzes typically have 6. It nonetheless has that same kind of rich and harmonically intense breakup texture with a sort of upper octave harmonic effect.

 

The Bumble Buzz would go in on slot #5 most likely with the TMR Mantic Flex on #20. I will of course add some further notes when all TMR pedals are in the chain at the same time. I will also be A/B-ing the Bumble Buzz and my Toneczar Vault in particular - but may also include some of my other Super Fuzzes in the rotation - to compare and contrast - including the Anasounds Crankled Bitoun Fuzz, Fjord Fuzz Fenris & Gjallarhorn, Bearfoot FX Candiru Gold Germanium, SolidGoldFX '76 Octave Fuzz, Sitek Pandora Fuzz, and DeadFX I can't feel myFace Super-Fuzz.


2018 TMR Mantic Effects Flex PLL Pedal - $200

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Controls : Level (Output), Focus (Attack), Pump (Envelope Speed), then two toggle switches under the protective bar - '$' (Decay Length - up = longer) and '&' (Attack/Sensitivity - up = slower).

 

This is obviously one of the several synth-fuzzes often assigned to slot #20 - where my PLL pedals tend to live - and I will of course be doing some fairly freeform swapping between the regular TMR Flex, and My Pro Flex version, as well as the Beetronics Swarm and PedalPCB Mini Heterodyne Receiver.

 

First I need to get though Boss Month though - meaning this is likely to happen in August!


2019 TMR Gamechanger Audio Plasma Coil Distortion/Fuzzstortion - $350/$375

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Controls : Voltage, Mode : Boost / Octave Down / 2 Octaves Down / Octave Up / Octave Down + Up / 2 Octaves Down + Octave Up, Volume, Low Freq, High Freq, On/Off Footswitch / Engage Secondary Effect Footswitch.

 

For me within this set there are two totally essential pedals within the set - this one, and the Triplegraph. The Plasma Coil is at the root of so much of Jack White's recent output. It has a wonderful sort of hard-edged fuzz voicing - dripping in electrical charge! It has elements of scraped violin and very distinct breakup texture. I think the Boos mode is the most handy one currently, as the secondary octave effects have been somewhat supplanted by the Triplegraph.


2020 TMR CopperSound Triplegraph Octave Up/Down and Kill-Switch Pedal - $399

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Controls : Engage FX Loop on Rear, Latching / Momentary for Octave Down, Lacthing / Momentary for Octave Up, 3 Telegraph Switches for Octave Down, Kill Dry / FX Loop, and Octave Up.

 

This to me is probably the star of the show - as it is the only one rooted permanently to its own slot - #14 - which means it gets a lot of use with pretty much everything. While the other parts of the remaining trio are somewhat more bit-part players. It is so effortless to apply quick stabs of Octave Down and Up - always typically in Latching Mode. While you need to adapt somewhat to make the most of the Kill-Switch. I really love tis pedal as it's so naturally effortless - just feels right every time and sounds and reacts just as brilliantly as you would expect.


Final Thoughts

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[alternative arrangement above from the collection!]

 

The limited edition Plasma Coil was acquired direct from Third Man Records, the other 3 via Reverb.com - the Triplegraph from Martel Music, the Flex form City Music Annex, and the Bumble Buzz from Coast Sonic.

 

Readers often ask me to place pedals in a particular pecking order - which I'm often unable to separate out in such a manner. While on this occasion the choices are fairly obvious. And based also on what else I have in my extensive reference collection - the most signifier and useful pedal fo the four is obviously the one one that has a permanent dedicated slot - of course the CopperSound Triplegraph.

 

Second is the quite unique Fuzzstortion voiced Gamechanger Plasma Coil. Then the Bumble Buzz, and finally the Mantic Flex. It will be interesting to compare notes on the various different pedal alternatives I have too for the latter two types. While the Triplegraph and Plasma Coil are really very distinct and stand-out.

 

Do you have any of these? And which are your favourites?

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Stefan Karlsson
Stefan Karlsson
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