In Focus: Crazy Tube Circuits Pedals

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In Focus: Crazy Tube Circuits Pedals

crazy tube circuits pedals
Words by Lewis Noke Edwards

A deep dive into the Crazy Tube Circuits Pedals range.

Crazy Tube Circuits Pedals produce pedals that range from handy little single-sound stomp boxes, right up to more involved, intelligent circuits with multiple switches and controls. 

Read more gear reviews here.

The brand’s pedals range from distortion, overdrives and boosters to pitch shifting, vibrato, phasers and compressors, all with incredible artwork adorning the chassis and very practical controls. Crazy Tube Circuits Pedals provide entirely practical controls, without being bogged down in over-complicated options, switches and toggles. The range of pedals moves from unique drives with different components to clip, distort and drive your signal, to clones of famous sounds, like their Falcon that emulates a Brownface and Tweed amp, their Killer V, that pays homage to a Magnatone, or the Unobtanium, aptly named because of its ability to reproduce the tones from a Dumble and a Klon – some of the most expensive and highly regarded guitar equipment in history.

The Unobtanium is a dual circuit overdrive. The right side features some familiar controls reminiscent of arguably the most coveted overdrive in history, its circuit shrouded in mystery (and black epoxy) for years. From a light push into an amp to all out overdrive, the Klon-style half of the Unobtanium offers sonic bliss. Featuring simple Volume, Gain and Treble controls, the overdriven sound can be easily manipulated and sculpted. What makes this half of the Unobtanium unique is the toggle switches, used to jump between a buffered or true bypass signal, or a Stock/Mod variant of the circuit. The changes are subtle, but pay dividends depending on how you’re using it. The buffered circuit retains some tone if you’ve got multiple pedals patched before or after the Unobtanium, while the true bypass offers a cleaner signal when switching the overdrive in and out. The Stock/Mod switch offers a modified version of the circuit for enhanced gain and headroom in the overdrive, as opposed to the Stock feel, sound and output of the pedals as they were originally built for market.

Once your overdrive is kicking, the left side of the Unobtanium takes over, offering circuitry reminiscent of one of the most famous amplifiers in history: the Dumble. While the controls seem similar, offering Volume, Gain and Tone before Emphasis, the way they break up, push and affect your tone are wildly different to the right side and offer Dumble’s famous drive in-a-box. The Emphasis acts a pre-drive EQ to sculpt and shape the way your sound hits the drive circuit, clipping the highs and lows in different ways for varying sounds. Toggle switches again offer multiple circuits, for different feel and sound, with the SSS offering a clean and transparent foundation for the Klon side to take charge, while the ODS circuit provides more harmonically rich overtones, but richer, fuller drive. The two sides act independently and the Unobtanium has an array of routing options.

The Unobtanium is a larger format stomp box, but for good reason. It features independent on/off switches for each circuit, and the controls act independently, but naturally affect the overall output of the pedal depending how they are pushed into each other. There’s standard input and output jacks, as well as ¼” send and return for the internal passive effects loops, allowing pedals to be added between the overdrive and ‘amp’ circuit for a more cohesive sound. Think of this as an insert point for your pedalboard, patching in whatever pedals would come after your overdrive but before your amp. The Unobtanium is powered by 9V, so it’ll play nice with most pedalboards and power supplies, especially when paired with other Crazy Tube Circuits pedals.

A quick look over the rest of the range shows a trend: classic circuits built with premium components. Different diodes, capacitors and filters provide different sounds, even when wired in identical circuits, and Crazy Tube Circuits Pedals understand this, while also giving us the option to try them all. There’s different drives with MOSFET and JFET transistors in the Ziggy V2 and Black Magic Mk2 respectively, while the Cyclone, Memphis and White Whale can handle your warble with Analogue Phase, Vibrato and Spring Reverb/Tremolo. Beyond these there’s different drives, boosters and emulations of famous amps and pedals. If you’re hankering for a new pedal, Crazy Tube Circuits Pedals have something to satisfy.

Crazy Tube Circuits Pedals build pedals for the working musician, the tone junkie and the studio adventurer. They provide fulfilling and renowned sounds, while also pushing the boundaries and offering multiple circuits within single pedals for maximum flexibility. Their range, maybe none more so than the Unobtanium, put some of the most famous, highly regarded and expensive sounds into the hands of the people. While the mystery surrounding the eye-watering value of the originals is as much fiction as it is fact, the circuits and designs are famous for a reason and Crazy Tube Circuits Pedals helps us explore this while still being able to afford more practical living expenses: more patch cables, isolated power supplies and larger pedal boards to accommodate more Crazy Tube Circuits Pedals.

For more information, head to Crazy Tube Circuits. For local enquiries, visit Gsus4.