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Crazy Tube Circuits Review: Black Magic, Starlight and Ziggy

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Ziggy Overdrive

A discrete overdrive engine consisting of MOSFET-cascaded gain stages mixing the voicing of two British amps, the Ziggy (anybody else instantly think about The Spiders From Mars?) shares much in common with the aforementioned Starlight, with a simple, customary control layout of Volume, Tone and Gain. It also shares the dark tonal qualities that the Starlight exhibits, but with a different gain structure performing the work. According to Crazy Tube Circuits, the Gain control moves between two distinct British tones—from 7 o’clock to noon aims at a top-boosted sound, and past noon a crunchier sound with added low frequencies— providing a one-two-punch mix of Vox AC30 and Marshall JTM45. A Gibson Les Paul Custom (a 1978 model, and not a natural finish one like Mick Ronson’s, regrettably) into a 1973 Marshall Superbass halfstack seemed the like the right recipe for a pedal bearing this namesake.

From striking the first chord to running down a gypsy fill, the Ziggy certainly had that dark, spongy feel that I noticed with the Starlight, but with a lot less gain. The Ziggy really seems like a traditionalist’s overdrive pedal, one for the player that understands that tube amps open up and react more when cranked. I can’t say that I noticed any issues with congested drive tones, but the bass response was a little on the weak side, even with the guitar and amp that I was running it with. Beyond the Ziggy’s inherent, great-sounding tone is its sensitivity to attack. By slightly backing off a bit, I was able to get some very usable clean but very lightly overdriven tones, and never had to touch my volume knob. Those old amps that the Ziggy is nodding to exhibited this quality in spades, and it performs admirably well in this department.
Buy if...
you want a great sounding, mixable light overdrive with notable sensitivity.
Skip if...
you're not looking for darker tones, or you need more gain and stronger bass response.

MSRP $185 - Ziggy Overdrive -

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