Friday, August 13, 2010

Keeping it Crispy and Clean

Talk about style! If there is one company out there that carries a hip vibe, attitude, originality, and class, it is Dr. Scientist. Ryan Clarke (the man behind the plan) has made it his goal to deliver unto the tone chasing world some of the most powerful and intense sounding stompboxes to ever come to life. But this is only the beginning! The artwork that comes branded on each of these pedals is equally as attractive as the pedals' sounds and tones. One look at these pedals will show you the creativity that must live inside Ryan's mind. And if there's one thing I've learned about the gear world it's that anytime you have someone with this kind of creativity you know that they're gonna be capable of transferring that talent into any area they please. Every player I have ever come across that has experienced these pedals has been nothing short of amazed by their capabilities. This is what first sparked my interest these pedals and what drove me to learn more about Dr. Scientist. The masses don't lie, and a tone junky sure as hell knows a good thing when he hears it. The good Dr. is available and delivering endless doses of mind blowing tone tools. Get in line and get your shot.


Dr. Scientist Sounds
Made in Canada
Builder/Designer: Ryan Clarke
Years in the Game: 5

The Cleanness
Clean Boost

* All analog high-impedance buffer
* 3-Band active EQ
* High quality components
* Handmade in Canada
* Small footprint
* Heavy Duty Enclosure
* True bypass circuit
* Weighs less than a pound
* 9VDC (-) center adapter or 9V battery


Some of the most useful stompboxes in my experience have been sweet'n'simple clean boosters. A decent booster is capable of adding size to any guitar sound, can push your amp to sounding it's best, and can take your existing dirt tones into howling wails of rock and roll heaven. A master built clean booster like the Dr. Scientist Cleanness? Well, this pup is capable of all of this and much much more. This simple little box took my existing sounds and converted them into precise and immaculate dream tones. It is with it's control layout that this pedal achieves it's tone molding magic. The Cleanness sports Bass, Mid, and Treble controls which are labeled Lowness/Midness/Highness. Then to finish it off Loudness and Gainess controls. Each of the EQ controls is capable of right around 15dB's of cut or boost. It's Gainess control can dish out around 20dB's of juice, leaving it's Loudness there to adjust the pedal's overall output or for slamming the front end of your amp. All of these controls combined add up to produce some of the most awesome sounding clean, semi-clean, gritty, and overdrive tones. The Cleaness works great with other pedals and sounds fantastic not only through guitars, but also with basses, keyboards, lap steels, and much more. Each Dr. Scientist pedal is handcrafted in Canada and put together with the finest parts and components. The cherry on top has to be the number of different looks each pedal is available in, perfect for matching to your look, vibe, and style.

Take a killer sounding amp, your favorite axe, a steady/experienced hand, and the Cleanness will guide through one of the largest collections of grade A guitar tones you will ever heard. The first setup was my Hagstrom semi-hollowbody, a Twin Verb, and pair of good ol' Bullet Cables. The booming/bouncing tone of the blackface jumped out beyond itself! Everything about the amp's sound that makes it stunning the Cleaness was capable of making it better. I was able to make my tone brighter, bigger, sharper, and beefier all with just a flip of the knobs. The perfect way to describe this pedal would be as a fine tuning tone machine. Through already overdriven, cooked tubes the Cleaness sounded just as good. First I paired the Cleaness up with a naturally overdriven sound, then through a pedal's, and last used it to overdrive the signal itself. An AC15 clone pushed into crunchy territory proved to be one fine fine partner for this pedal. I find AC's to always be a bit on the bright side, a bit too cutting and sharp. In some situations this is a good thing, but when you have too bright a room, or too crisp a pickup you're in trouble. Here is where this pedal comes in handy. Of course it works for the opposite as well, when you're tone is too boomy or deep. I in fact was able to get more of a hot-rodded Marshall tone out of the blackface. By setting the mids high, dropping the highs, and matching the lows to the amp's. I was able to convert my AC into meatier, much more powerful sounding beast. I dug the sound that the humbuckers created with the Cleaness but it was a pair of Jazzmaster pickups that had me in tonal nirvana. I grabbed one of my favorite overdrive/distortion boxes, ran it through a semi-clean tone, then pushed the signal further with the Cleaness. I got a snarl that shook and sliced the walls like butter. With the Cleaness engaged I got almost a fuzz type of grit. It blended perfectly with the overdrive's character giving me an entirely new sound to play with. Then I used the Cleaness to take a couple amp's into the overboard realm. First I paired it up with a devilish sounding 7 watter. I will say this pedal is perfect for those of you who have low watt amps. Most of these little amps always lack eq power, leaving you with a minimal collection tones to play with. With Cleaness not only takes care of this problem but it also works as a second channel. Next I plugged it into a 22 watt amp pushed into some healthy grit. Again the Cleaness did it's things beautifully. I was able to get more harmonic content, more overtones and undertones, and chunks of super charged overdriven madness. A little trick I figured out on accident was tossing a compressor in front of the Cleaness. Man what-a-sound! Last it was time for the big dog, the 100 watt Super Lead. Here is where the real challenge is for clean boosters. With a loud overdriven sound you can always hear every tiny bit of change in the tone's character. There is nothing worse than rocking out on stage, slamming on your booster, and noticing your tone just took a left turn. This was not an issue with this pedal, not even in the tiniest bit. I was able to maintain everything that made my tone special, while at the same time able to boost those magical frequencies to get more mojo from the amp. This tells you one thing and one thing only... quality! A great booster will always work nicely with whatever you throw it at. I did not find one unappealing quality about this pedal, not inside or out. All of it's controls combined added up to produce one of the most awesome collections of clean, semi-clean, gritty, and overdrive tones I have ever rocked to. Anyone looking for the ultimate booster would do themselves right by picking up one of these amazing little pedals. Dr. Scientist pedals have always caught my eye as some of the gear world's tip-top products, just plug in to one and see for yourself. The Cleaness is only one of the super special stompboxes in the Dr. Scientist line, and probably the simplest. So you can only imagine what else Sir Ryan's mind has gone and created.


For more info on Dr. Scientist pedals go to or click the Dr. Scientist logo in our direct links. Make sure to keep your eye out for more fro this super hip company in the near future. Dig it!!!

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