This machine uses two ECC83 vacuum tubes at real amp-like high voltage to recreate the classic overdrive tones from iconic amps as Matamp GT120 or Orange OR120… From smooth to dopesmoker… it’s all there!
It has a 6 way switch for selecting 3 bass responses and 2 treble EQ modes (OR or GT). Paired with the classic passive Baxandall bass/treble tone stack and a soft presence bump in the mids (2 frequencies selectable), there is plenty tone control here for shaping your overdrive.
Another important ingredient in those old classic amps is the catodyne phase inverter and it’s quirks. When not overdriven, it’s very well balanced, but when you push it, weird good things start to happen! So, of course this pedal has a catodyne phase inverter to produce those sweet grainy overtones we love so much.
This pedal has a wide range volume output, you can turn it down for use as a regular overdrive pedal, or you can turn it up and really slam the grids of your favourite tube-amp. It evens sports enough signal and low enough output impedance to drive poweramps directly if your amp has a poweramp-in or fx-return connector. Very convenient for fly-in gigs!
Tubes are run on high voltage, like in real amps. And it’s true relay-switched bypass of course.
After entering the pedal, your precious signal will first get amplified by a triode tube stage before heading to the bass response circuit. Then it will reach the gain control before another triode stage, where more overdrive starts to happen. After this we have the tonestack, with it’s bass and treble controls. These controls have both cut and boost on tap, flat setting being with the pointers straight up. All good so far! So now comes the namegiving part of the circuitry: the Catodyne phase inverter. For those of you who know a few things about tube amps, you will know this is the quirkier of phase inverters… Very clean, very well balanced… until… well you know, we all like to turn up those volume knobs. So what happens is that the catodyne starts it’s magic
destruction saturation… It’s thick… it’s boiling… it’s the better soup you’ll set your foot in. Around this phase inverter we have a feedbackloop (like in the amps) and this gives us the presence control to play with: slight boost around 900 or 1900 Hz. The catodyne stage uses the last two triodes for gain and phase splitting, and after this there is only the output volume control before your signal heats the world.
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Short demo video…
And a video of Cat’O’Dyne mkI on Trakeas channel: