Those of us who follow Adrian Thorpe have known about these two for a while, and that they are just the first two of a sort of Lovetone revival - where the full Lovetone range as it was will be reimagined and updated for this new age. Adrian and Dan have of course collaborated before - on the Fat General Compressor, Deep Oggin Chorus and Camoflange Flanger - and it looks like this will be a partnership that endures.
The mission was to modernise and improve on the original circuits while maintaining the DNA and Sound Signatures - but essentially just delivering more in a smarter and more compact unit - with more range, and at a better price than the originals - certainly a lot better than those current Lovetone second-hand resale values. Pricing has already been set at £189.99 and pre-orders start immediately after NAMM - or when Thorpy has made it back to the UK - with deliveries likely February/March or thereabouts.
The first pictured - the Field Marshal (in effect the Big Cheese of the Military) is of course the re-imagined Lovetone Big Cheese - here with 3 of the 4 mode knob setting on the toggle - Gated, Slight Mid Push and Big Mid Push, the 4th former mode setting or the Tone Bypass is now served by the right-hand Cheese footswitch which in effect acts like a solo boost of sorts - and can be further fine-tuned by the knob immediately above it - labelled Balance. The other 3 knobs are Volume, Fuzz and Tone.
The second pedal The Bunker is based on the Lovetone Brown Source - an intermodulation distortion where the initial gain stage output is fed back into the OpAmp for even more harmonics and texture. As with the Field Marshal the second / right-hand ’Sauce’ footswtich is a Tone Bypass - with the 4 knobs being Volume, Drive, Texture and Tone. The Texture knob allows you to tune the degree of intermodulation, while the 3-way switch adjusts the EQ curve for Bass in particular (More/Flat/Less) and works well in tandem with the Texture control. The Bunker produces that typically raucous / raunchy rock sound which veers into hot-rodded Plexi and AC/DC territory although it’s obviously not really that Marshall DNA, but rather a more punk-like variety.
Adrian is ever the master of detail here - utilising the Lovetone Hobo font for titles, and differentiating these pedals from his core range via black anodised aluminium chassis with white silkscreen print versus the laser-etched steel chassis of the mainline Thorpy pedals. The choice of imagery is significant too - although I can’t recall which exact bunker this represents, but it is significant to the pedigree and provenance of the pedal for sure. I still feel that the high-water-mark to date has been the Camoflange Flanger - where everything there was just inspired name, look, function and tone - and these two are more of the same.
You will already know that I’m an avowed Thorpy fan, and this format is exactly the sort of thing I go for in a big way (extended range dual footswitch compact enclosures) - so these two will most definitely be mine as quickly as I can get my hands on them. In fact I will likely be acquiring 3 Thorpy pedals at the same time post NAMM as he’s also responsible for the really cool new Redbeard Effects Honey Badger Sub-Octave Fuzz!