||Download Example 1
recorded with 2010 Godin Passion RG-3,, 65Amps Tupelo mic’d with SM57
into Chandler LTD1 no EQ into Pro Tools HD3 with Lexicon LexRoom reverb
The Leeds pedal is designed to emulate the
cool sonic characteristics of a Hiwatt head.
The Mid control is voiced at 400 Hz—the lowest
of the three pedals reviewed here—while
the Low and High knobs are voiced identically to the Oxford. But tonally, this pedal has
little in common with the Oxford, as it dwells
smack dab in the middle of Hiwatt-land. The
Character control has the widest tonal range
of the pedals I tested. It not only cleans up
significantly in the lowest registers, but it also
goes far beyond what a typical Hiwatt would
be able to serve up in gain. As the Character
knob spins to the highest settings, it really
sounds like a full-tilt stack with the bark and
bravado we’re accustomed to hearing.
To explore the Leeds, I plugged in my ’74 Les
Paul Custom and brought the Character knob
to about noon. This instantly transported me
into ’70s Pete Townshend tone. With just a
little movement of that knob, I could clean
up the sound to get that jangle and percussive
attack Townshend is so well known for.
Though my ’74 has humbuckers, it was easy
to dial back the Low knob a little and bring
up the High control to mimic the mini-humbuckers
on Townshend’s guitar.
The Final Mojo
I spent a great deal of time with the Speaker
Simulation button engaged, and while it did
create a little of that direct tone, it was still
very usable, if not quite as explosive feeling.
Plugging into a Krank Rev Jr. Pro driving a
1x12 cab with an Eminence Governor and
disengaging the Speaker Simulation feature,
I felt like I was playing through a mini
Hiwatt. It was really that good. The Leeds’
preset card states the speaker emulation
is based on a Fane cabinet, but since I’ve
never actually played through one, I can’t
verify the emulation’s accuracy. However,
given the flexibility of the 3-band active EQ,
we’d be splitting hairs to make a judgment
on that. Once again, the pedal offered far
more voicing control than an actual Hiwatt
head. The effect reminded me of dialing in
the tone of a mic’d amp using a good outboard
you want Pete Townshend-style tone
with more gain possibilities.
you prefer carrying a 100-pound
amp to get that tone.