Magnatone Giveawya

August Issue
more... GearEffectsSound SamplesReviewsOverdriveAugust 2009Crazy Tube Circuits

Crazy Tube Circuits Review: Black Magic, Starlight and Ziggy

Crazy Tube Circuits Review: Black Magic, Starlight and Ziggy
Crazy Tube Circuit pedals are the brainchild of Chris Ntaifotis of Athens, Greece, whose first circuits were the modded clones of boosters, fuzz and distortion pedals he built for himself when he couldn’t find the right sound for his live rig. In 2004, he began designing his own pedals, orientated somewhere in between vintage and modern and aiming for tube-like warmth and harmonic richness. He also began putting together a team of talented gearheads, and since then, Crazy Tube Circuits has seen a continually expanding line of effects—and Ntaifotis now also spends a good deal of time building custom amps and preamps for a variety of Greek bands and solo artists. All standard Crazy Tube Circuit pedals are built by hand on high-quality PCB, using Wima and Panasonic capacitors, precision metal film resistors, Alpha pots, Neutrik/Cliff jacks, high-quality 3PDT switches for true bypass, hand-selected transistors and Burr Brown/Texas Instruments opamps. Pedals operate on either batteries or external 9V DC power supply.


Clips coming soon!
Black Magic
One look at the Black Magic should signify that it was intended for harder forms of rock, with a three-band EQ section, Presence control, mid-boost switch, and devil woman graphics. Figuring that the Flying V would be the right tool for the job, I ran it into the Black Magic and then into a Marshall 2555 halfstack. Tonally, the Black Magic falls more into the high-gain Marshall area than anything else, as the gain has a very nice upper-mid quality to it. While it doesn’t quite have that sharp JCM800-esque bite to it, the sound is highly muscular in comparison. Think Celtic Frost instead of Slayer. Kicking on the mid-boost toggle switch didn’t seem to have much of an effect, really. There wasn’t enough of a difference that I could see myself using it. I certainly didn’t expect the Black Magic to have anything in common with either the Starlight or Ziggy, but it also shares some of the same darker qualities of those pedals, and the high degree of touch sensitivity. Most high-gain rock pedals have a problem with either ice pick highs, harsh mids or farty lows when the volume is cranked. I didn’t notice this at all with the Black Magic—cranking the Marshall just made it sound thicker, meaner, and more responsive. It literally sounds better through a raging tube amp, which is the exact opposite of the experience I’ve had with pedals like this. The Black Magic reacts like an overdrive, but sounds like a European metal beast.
Buy if...
you're looking for great British-styled high-gain rock tones and excellent touch response.
Skip if...
you have no need for high gain or larger EQ section.
Rating...
4.0 

MSRP $205 - Black Magic - crazytubecircuits.com toneconcepts.com 

Post a comment to this article