Ratings

Pros:
Explosive hot and clean treble boost tones. Surprisingly heavy—even doomy—boost tones.

Cons:
Treble boosted tones can sound harsh with a trebly amp.

Street:
$145

Farm Bucket of Nails
farmpedals.com


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Farm’s Bucket of Nails is exciting. I don’t mean that it’s made with exotic technology or groundbreaking new features. On the contrary, this germanium boost and treble booster is, conceptually speaking, as old as the hills. But if you haven’t messed with a hot germanium boost in a while, the way that the Bucket of Nails can make your guitar feel positively explosive will be thrilling stuff indeed.

There’s a lot of gain on tap, and at maximum levels the boost section can sound positively doomy.

A peek at Farm’s “artist inspired” pedals reveals an affinity for vintage Jerry Garcia tones. So, it’s interesting how much the treble boost section can sound and feel like the Alembic booster Garcia made famous—even though it's designed to perform like a Dallas Rangemaster. The Bucket of Nails is germanium rather than FET driven, so the treble boost can feel comparatively hectic and less focused. But like the Alembic, the Bucket of Nails treble boost makes single notes feel like dynamite. The standard boost side is hot, too, though the tone is considerably fuller in the low end. There’s a lot of gain on tap, and at maximum levels it can sound positively doomy—especially with humbuckers. Germanium circuitry also means high-gain settings clean up easily with guitar volume attenuation. And this facet of the Bucket of Nails’ performance, combined with the contrasting and complementary boost and treble boost tones, make the device surprisingly versatile—particularly when you consider the simplicity and price.

Test gear: Squier J Mascis Jazzmaster, Guild X-500, ’60s Danelectro DS-50 amplifier, Music Man 210-HD, ’68 Fender Bassman