Sunday, February 8, 2009

Hail to the might of Ovaltone Effects

:::Ovaltone Effects:::

 White Tiger v2

 *Toggle Switch: Wide/Fat modes
   with Fat Control Knob

We've been very fortunate to have had the chance to see some really great pedals come from overseas ever since the stompbox landed in our setups and rigs. Japan has been responsible for some of our all time favorite boxes and inspired us to create some of our own timeless classics. Collectors go crazy for the MIJ version Boss pedals, hunting, seeking and searching them out and sometimes paying as much as hundreds for them. My recent discovery of Japan's Ovaltone Handmade Effect Pedals was one of complete satisfaction and has shown me some another classic in the making. One of these stunning pedals being The White Tiger v2. A low to high/med overdrive pedal with lots of character and plenty of class. I had the chance to put one through it's paces and the tone quality of this handmade effects pedal is absolutely stunning, the ultimate catch for the tone chasing perfectionist. The first thing that caught my curiosity was the Harmonics knob which works as a tube amp headroom emulator. The way it works is like this. By turning it clockwise it pushes the pedal to act as a higher wattage amp, giving you more clean headroom, less harmonics and more dynamic range. By turning the Harmonics knob anti-clockwise the pedal responds more like a lower watt amp, saturating much easier, giving you velvet like harmonics and less dynamic range. To open up or fatten the tone you go to the Fat/Wide toggle switch located on the side of the pedal. When in Wide mode the the Fat knob that is also located on the side of the pedal is bypassed and you get a wide open, more dynamic range to your tone. In Fat mode the Fat Knob is activated and you have control over the intensity and size of the overdrive. Then there's the Presence knob, like the presence knob on your amp it helps dial in and control the high frequencies that are mainly produced by overdrive. The last two knobs are the Volume which sets the output level, and the Gain which controls the amount of overdrive. I had trouble dialing my crunchy, gritty Tom Petty and Television tones. The response of the controls were as familiar as my amp, making the White Tiger a very very impressive build. The first thing anyone who builds an overdrive pedal will tell you is, the most important quality of the design is getting the overdrive effect as close to real tube feel as possible. Since many of us rely on our pedals for our tone these days, finding one that can deliver rich harmonic breakup is key. The Ovaltone White Tiger's intelligent layout of controls and high end components makes it easy for anyone to dial in that classic rock right in the shadows of breakup overdrive. Your picking and finger playing nuances come through focused and expressive. Adding the pedal to existing overdrive brighten up , fatten up and liven up it's sound. Whether you roll it back for clean to subtle grit, or crank the knobs for thick to high gain, the pedal holds it own and never gets fizzy or weak. Some problems I've come across with low to med overdrivers is the sputtery, square breakup that you get at low settings that is never usable. Those places in the knobs you wished you could dial in but always have to go lower or higher than your desired destination. If you're looking for something that is more than just a clone, that goes beyond no frills, the White Tiger will do you swell. Ovaltone also offers a handful of other great effects and a selection of killer mods for the Boss SD-1. Go to there website to checkout the rest of their line and listen to some clips and videos. Look for a demo from Analog War Cry of the White Tiger in the near future. Below are some of their demos and pics of more effects. You can contact Ovaltone by clicking their logo in our LINKS list, go to - visit their Youtube channel at - or visit the Ovaltone Myspace at 


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