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1981 Inventions

1981 INVENTIONS DRV#3 - Hyperfade


A highly nuanced preamp/distortion pedal designed in collaboration with Jon Ashley of Bondi Effects. Through four years of abandoned prototypes and circuit tweaking, I think that we have emerged with something really special here. I wanted the DRV to be an extension of myself and what I personally needed from a distortion pedal. It is vintage minded in sound and concept. I find that there is a wide variety of sounds that can be found from tweaking three highly interactive knobs, which is how I like to tweak when I am finding a sound. 

A uniquely designed steel enclosure made with quality components throughout. My goal was to spare no expense. I realize that sometimes in the world of guitar gear, there isn’t always one answer in choosing the best components and designs, so I just picked my favorites. This includes Switchcraft 11 open frame jacks, and a super quiet soft touch switching system via an internal relay.

I have been working on this project for the better part of three years, as a collaboration and with engineering by Jon Ashley of Bondi Effects. I feel that the pedal is unique in design and sonically unlike anything I have ever heard, especially in the lower gain and boost settings. There is a subtlety that feels more like a vintage pedal than a modification of a classic. There are two circuits present in the pedal, one distortion and one preamp boost, running at 18v via an internal voltage regulator. I made this pedal with the idea to create a distinction for my own sound, and what I found is that it is an extremely useful tool for capturing a lot of different types of sounds. I am most proud of the lower gain side, as I feel it is the most unique section of the pedal, but I must also include that the gain section is extremely sweet sounding throughout, especially for heavy and complex chords. There is a midrange punch that I love and a warmth and thickness that reminds me a bit of a ribbon mic. When the development of this pedal turned into something new and unique, it became the catalyst to starting 1981 Inventions, so I decided to make this the first official release.

Clear and harmonic-rich warmth with guitar specific midrange, which brings a lot of clarity to almost any instrument. I think I’m most proud of the lower gain sections of the pedal, where preamp meets distortion. The DRV has a unique dynamic range and sensitivity, where instead of going clean to slightly overdriven, it goes from clean to slightly distorted. I also love the thick and yet clear fuzz sounds that you’ll find in the high gain settings.

Built and wired in the USA. Vintage style through-hole components on the PCB. The DRV features off-board jacks and power enclosed in a uniquely subtle folded steel box. Each unit thus far is personally tested and hand numbered.