The spirit of the CE-1 and CE-2 live on in a MN3207 chip -driven chorus and vibrato that moves in rich, rippling waves.
Behold, The Fates! Inspired by the Japanese Chorus pedals of yesteryear, The Fates is the first modulation pedal by Mythos.
Utilizing the iconic MN3207 chip, this BBD Analog Chorus has all the swirly tones you'd expect from those classic 80's units. We wanted to put our spin on that iconic sound and create an homage that lived up to the Mythos standard. The Fates features finely tuned Rate and Depth controls so that you have the most musical range of sounds. We added Vibrato mode that turns off the clean mix portion of the Chorus but didn’t stop with just that simple mod. The Vibrato mod has been finely tuned to shift select components so that it does not have that extreme warble from the depth pot. Both the Chorus and Vibrato modes will run the gamut of swirly shimmer to rotary speaker like vibes.
The Fates features a JFET buffered bypass/input stage which helps keeps the noise down but also helps push the signal. This JFET stage gives you a sweet output bump and EQ voicing that plays well with both clean and driven sounds. On the face of the unit is Rate LED that will flash in relation to the Rate setting. This Analog Chorus is not for those who want presets, infinite controls, and other modern feature sets. The Fates is for the player who wants to plug in and enjoy the simplicity of iconic Chorus tones with ease.
A pair of overdrives with vintage aesthetics and tones to match.
Rugged build. Sweet saturation.
Can sound ragged around the edges at high gain.
Warm Audio Warmdrive
Many recording enthusiasts know Warm Audio for their well-regarded and affordable takes on otherwise unattainable classic studio microphones, preamps, and processors. Most of these imitate the handsome aesthetics of those units along with their functionality, which adds to the allure. Warm Audio ventured into pedal building a few years back with lovingly rendered versions of the Roland Jet Phaser and Foxx Tone Machine. This time out, though, they’ve taken on two less obscure pedals, the Lovepedal/Hermida Zendrive and Klon Centaur, in the form of the Warmdrive and Centavo, respectively.
Some of the language Warm Audio uses to describe the Warmdrive and Centavo pedals—like “accurate recreation” and “true reproduction”—is bound to raise eyebrows among circuit snobs. Yet both pedals are ruggedly built. Plenty of attention is paid to the cosmetic details. Both circuits are put together using sturdy through-hole boards and populated with reputable components. And there’s a general air of quality about them, both inside and out, that promises real road reliability which should squash a lot of the chagrin from naysayers.
In some ways, the company’s decision to build clones of two pedals that have been copied many times over is a curious one. But Warm Audio’s attention to aesthetic details will no doubt entice cost-conscious enthusiasts chasing both the sound and visual cachet attached to these historically important effects.
The original Zendrive was created by Alfonso Hermida in the mid ’00s as an attempt to re-create Robben Ford’s hallowed Dumble-driven lead tones in an overdrive pedal. That remains a lofty goal. But many players agree that Hermida succeeded just about as well as one could. The results were good enough for Ford himself, who frequently uses a Zendrive with non-Dumble amps (often a Fender Twin Reverb).
The Warmdrive control layout is identical to that of the Zendrive, and includes gain, volume, tone, and voice knobs. The latter is a versatile control that moves the pedal’s overall character between dark and bright tones in a more expansive way than you experience using a typical high- or low-pass-filter-based tone knob. Signal-sweetening gubbins include 1N34A germanium diodes, 2N7000 MOSFETs, and an NE5532 op-amp. The steel enclosure and true-bypass switch feel more than solid enough to survive repeated stomping. The cosmetics, in typical Warm Audio fashion, imitate the original.
Dum Dum Drive
With a Gibson Les Paul, Fender Telecaster, ’66 Fender Princeton combo, and 65amps London head and 2x12 cab, the Warmdrive was a fast track to the kind of Dumble-y, creamy saturation that’s kept players drooling through the decades. I suspect even cynics will be smiling when they slide into sustain-driven fusion improvs.
The Warmdrive is a thick, chewy overdrive at heart, but moves easily from smooth and warm to crisp and crackling, depending on where you set the voice knob. And there’s lots of room to fine-tune further using the tone control. There’s also plenty of range in the gain and level controls, which makes the pedal capable of much more than full-on lead tones. It’s a surprisingly good low-gain drive as a result. Even so, the real treats are in the near pedal-to-the-metal settings. Setting the gain around 2 o’clock, the volume around 11 o’clock, and tone and voice pretty close to noon makes a sound I could truly get lost in. I didn’t think about its Dumble-imitating origins, or how it sounded compared to a Dumble, or for that matter a Zendrive. I just knew it sounded great. If you want to feel like Robben Ford for a few minutes, this is an easy way to get there.
Cloning a pedal that’s unavailable in its original form (and prohibitively costly when you find one) is generally a service to the guitar community. In the case of the Klon, however, there are enough klones, and hype around them, that the addition of yet another will probably induce a few eye rolls. That said, the ongoing, often raging, debate over which klone clones the Klon best, indicates there’s still room for anyone that wants to take a shot at building a better, more accurate one.
To date, only one klone I know of comes in an accurate die-cast enclosure like the box that houses the Centavo: the well-regarded Centura from Ceriatone Amplification of Malaysia. So, Warm Audio’s insistence on vintage accuracy will be a boon for players seeking the original’s handsome look at a fair price. The 6.75" x 5" x 2.25" dimensions, though, mean itmight be less appealing to those eager to conserve real-estate on crowded boards.
Elsewhere, Warm Audio chased authenticity pretty relentlessly. Like the original, the Centavo uses buffered bypass, TL072 op-amps, and a charge-pump voltage regulator. The oxblood pointer knobs for gain, treble, and output are another nice vintage touch that looks great. Warm Audio did take one very practical liberty with original design in the form of a MOD switch, which is situated between the input and output on the pedal’s crown and extends the circuit’s low-end response.
Chasing Mythical Beasts
Tested via the same guitars and amps used for the Warmdrive evaluation, the Centavo provides many reminders of why the original Klon became so beloved in the first place. For me, at least, the tastiest function, just as on the original, is when it’s used as a near-clean or just slightly dirty boost. Even at unity gain it sounds excellent, which is apparent just as soon as you turn it off. If the Centavo had a photo filter equivalent, it would be one that illuminates everything with golden-hour light. Everything you hear is essentially the same—just somehow more magical.
When you wind up the gain for a more lead/overdrive setting, the Centavo doesn’t disappoint. It can sound a touch furry and woofy at times and is occasionally a little ragged around the edges. Yet it still adds loads of character to lead lines. Though purists might be bummed by its inclusion, I found the low-end lift from the MOD switch useful—particularly at lower gain settings, where it fills out the bottom end especially well. In general, though, the MOD switch’s effect on the output is subtle and doesn’t overpower the Centavo’s basic voice. If there are any noteworthy audible differences between the Centavo and an original Klon, it might be the Centavo’s lack of midrange glimmer, a quality that, for me, distinguishes the Klon Centaur. Maybe that’s why originals are $5,000 these days. But, man, that’s a lot of money for a little extra midrange!
Both of these new pedals from Warm Audio are well-built and carefully executed renditions of their inspirations and deliver very close approximations of the target sounds. If they aren’t dead on, and few clones ever are, they certainly get very close for extremely reasonable money, both yielding dynamic overdrive regardless of price. That they do so much to deliver the visual appeal of the originals only sweetens the deal.
Better Than the Klon & Zendrive?! Warm Audio Centavo & Warmdrive Demos | First Look
The doom device's third iteration includes a thorough circuit tweak designed to capture the band's shattering, front-end saturation felt throughout 2019's Life Metal.
Sunn O))) are pleased to present an enhanced version of the Sunn O))) Life Pedal Octave Distortion + Booster, in collaboration with their comrades at EarthQuaker Devices. The Sunn O))) Life Pedal circuit has been meticulously tweaked from the original to squeeze every last drop of heavy crushing tone available. The octave section has been fine tuned to make it more pronounced without losing the bottom end and we added a third footswitch, utilizing Flexi-Switch Technology®, for the octave to allow an additional method of quick and radical tone shaping.
“I’m super stoked to have this pedal back in our line!” says EarthQuaker founder, president and designer Jamie Stillman. “We put in a lot of hours dialing this one in and I’m very proud of the final product. Sunn O))) is such an iconic band and I’m thrilled to be part of their legacy.”
EarthQuaker CEO Julie Robbins agrees.“It has been an honor and privilege to collaborate with Greg and Stephen on the SUNN O))) Life Pedal. We are so excited to give this special pedal a permanent place in our line.”
In the writing sessions for Life Metal, Stephen & Greg worked extensively shearing their tones toward a broader energy spectrum over high powered saturation and across planes of sonic character, with the ambition to take full advantage of recording engineer Steve Albini’s exacting capture skills.
The results are astounding: there is breadth and luminosity of colour, vast sonic cosmoses, flashes of abstract colour (synthetic and objective) through resulting themes which emerged from the mastered depths of saturation and circuits between the two players and their mountains of gear.
“We set out to create something that was unique and had its own distinct character to it. The result combines different distortions and achieves different shades of saturation that we were actually doing in the studio,” says Greg Anderson. “I’m extremely happy with this pedal. It’s an integral part of my tone and it holds an important place in my pedal chain.”
“Working on this new version has been a great continuity of this collaboration which feels so right, and sounds so right,” says Stephen O’Malley. “It’s a really beautiful pedal and it’s also a beautiful art collaboration. I think we made something really interesting that people can enjoy to use for their own music, but also, it makes a lot of sense to release a piece of distortion as a release for our band. We’re really happy that this is a trilogy now.”
Learn more about the pedal here.