Red Crown - Vintage overdrive & hi-energy distortion
The Red Crown is a vintage overdrive & hi-energy distortion, designed in collaboration with Scotty Smith of ProAnalog Devices.
Available now on Reverb.com for 18,333¥ (about 175$ or 140€) + shipping
Vintage overdrive refers to the overall feeling of the drive and to the circuit used, completely original and with an old-school ingenuity to it.
But it's also a hi-energy distortion because it has plenty of gain and volume on tap while responding linearly to your pickups output.
Starting from Scotty's idea of inverted op-amp distortion, we worked hard to square the circle and tune it into the overdrive we wanted.
Thanks to the large range of gain available and to the PUNCH control that lets you add cleaner bass in the mix, this overdrive is extremely versatile: with a Strat, low GAIN and high PUNCH you will find yourself in bluesy SRV territory. Grab a Les Paul, lower the PUNCH and crank the GAIN and you have yourself a screaming hard rock tone.
All pedals are unique as – beside the high quality black serigraphy – each crane's red crown is hand painted by artist Diego Zeno Martina to complete his own drawing of the long-necked bird. We then apply to the pedals multiple layers of clear coating to protect the artwork.
We hand assemble each and every pedal here in Tokyo, Japan, using the highest quality components available. We painstakingly put attention in every detail down to the washers we use. Every potentiometer, switch and connector has its own nut screwing it tightly in place to the enclosure, but allowing for easy servicing if ever needed.
Why the name Red Crown?
The red-crowned crane is one of the most beautiful and elegant birds of East Asia, reproduced in some of the finest artwork and featured in many myths and popular stories from China and Japan.
But there is also another layer of meaning and that involves The Karate Kid.
Scotty Smith is one legendary guitar pedal builder, alternatively referred to as "famous" or "infamous" depending on whom you ask. Scotty is most definitely a master at his craft, but sometimes it can be hard to grasp his thought patterns. So while working on this pedal, oftentimes I would just feel like Daniel-san during his training, and my Miyagi-sensei was Scotty Smith. Cause Scotty would assign me seemingly completely ludicrous tasks, exactly like Miyagi, saying "Just do it, we will talk again when you have completed that." And the day after I would come back to him with some results I didn’t expect and he would be like "Do you understand now? This is how you learn something new." And he was right.
So what does this have to do with the Red Crown? Well, it’s inspired by the name of this famous East Asian crane and “The Crane” is the ultimate move that Daniel-san famously used to win the karate tournament at the end of the movie while in scorching pain from his injured knee. And while building this pedal surely required some sweat and pain, just like Daniel-san, I learnt a lot from my master in doing so. Now, I wouldn't be so arrogant as to say we built the ultimate overdrive, but we built a pretty good one for sure. Let your ears be the judge (and your eyes: cause this thing is a beauty).
- Handmade in Tokyo, Japan by an Italian guy.
- Use only quality components with strict tolerances. I source locally whenever possible, but I’m happy to use proven international top of the line components whenever needed.
- True bypass by way of a 3PDT switch.
- Original op-amp/BJT transistor based design.
- Controls: GAIN (distortion) / LEVEL (overall volume) / PUNCH (adds clean bass) / TREBLE (semi-active eq)
- Power: 9V standard negative center power supply ONLY. No battery connection available inside.
- ECO: when active it consumes only about 10 mA of current!
- Dimensions: 118(D) × 75(W) × 49(H) mm
- Weight: 266g
- Download the manual in PDF
- Art by Diego Zeno Martina