Crunch.  Dirt.  Whatever you want to call it.  Here are a bunch of ways to get it:



Purchase from GoochFX

Okay, strictly speaking, this isn’t an overdrive circuit.  It’s a treble booster…but a good treble booster pushes your amplifier into its own natural overdrive, exciting certain frequencies coming out of your guitar resulting in a really sweet, harmonically rich, just plain awesome sound (listen to Brian May’s work with Queen, and there it is).  The Holy Cow is based on one of the most well-known treble boosters ever made, the Dallas Rangemaster, but offers a “range” knob so you can dial in the right about of thickness, and features some important modifications to the original circuit design for quieter operation and more stability in sonic performance.  I called it the Holy Cow because the first time I played through it, I literally said “holy cow, that sounds good.”

Options: The Holy Cow comes standard with a 2N404 germanium transistor – which we use in our own unit.   We have a limited supply of other transistors, though, that work beautifully with this circuit and offer slightly different tonal characteristics (2N1309/CV7355, CV7003, OC71) for an additional $20 charge.


Purchase from GoochFX

One word – Rush.  Okay, two words – Alex Lifeson.  Alex’s tone, especially from “A Farewell to Kings” through “Moving Pictures” (1977 through 1981)…good golly, it sends chills up our spines.  He remains one of the most inspiring players ever, and as dedicated Rush fans (greatest band of all time, period) we love the way he’s explored different tones in different ways.   But it’s that huge, roaring sound that we grew up with from that seminal era in Rush history that stays with us, and we designed this overdrive to enter into that sacred terrain.  It’s raw and refined at the same time…just like Alex himself.  We love it, we love him, and we love Rush, and we love this overdrive.  Be a modern day warrior and give it a try.


Purchase from GoochFX

Have you ever listened to Cream’s 1967 Album “Disraeli Gears”?  Clapton played into an old Marshall JTM 45 and got an immediately recognizable, totally unique tone out of it.  That was the album that made me want to play guitar, and the Brave Ulysses is designed to emulate that tone and most of Clapton’s Cream-era tone (especially from the live recordings floating around out there).  But it can also cover a wide range of those late 60s/early 70s Marshall-based sounds.  Really rich and thick, with solid midrange and a tight bass response.  Heavy, a little psychedelic, and just awesome.


Purchase from GoochFX

Pete Townshend is a titan of tone – he knew what he wanted from his gear and fought hard to get it.  And boy, did he succeed.  There are lots of great effects makers out there who have circuits that cover Townshend’s sound from the post-Tommy era, but our favorite period was the 1967-1968 era, where Townshend played through multiple Fender amps feeding into each other.   (more…)


Purchase from GoochFX

In 2004, I found a little guitar store in the South Side of Chicago, and plugged into an old Fender Tweed Deluxe amp from the late 1950s. It got so awesomely dirty when I turned it up. The Southside overdrive is based on the same circuitry in that old amp, and works beautifully in capturing that powerful, dark, warm tone. Turn up the volume knob past unity and it really rings out…like Neil Young’s sound in “Cinnamon Girl”. But at slightly lower gain levels, it’s a great blues tone. Just dirty enough with lots of sustain and harmonics.