I love the sound of a Marshall in the morning…
I absolutely love my ATV100 amp. With one clean channel with presence control, and two overdrive/distortion channels (one slight crunch, the other similar to a JCM800), it’s fantastically versatile and sounds tits. Only problem is, I got it second hand so I don’t have the footswitch to swap channels. Plus due to my pedal rig it wouldn’t be practical for me to have the footswitch, as I’d have to tap dance to change from having my Rat + clean channel, to no Rat + distortion channel.
So I realised I had to get a “Marshall-in-a-box” pedal. Anyone else who’s looked for this will know just how many out there claim to replicate the Marshall sound. There are so many different pedals that claim to replicate this sound, it’s almost impossible to narrow down the choice.
First, I bought a Marshall Jackhammer pedal to try and get “dat sound”, but found it lacking. The contour control wasn’t very usable to me, and in distortion mode the amount of bass brought in was just unnecessary for my taste. The only way I could get it to work well was to have it in it’s own loop along with an EQ pedal. Not the most practical solution.
Next, I tried my brothers Marshall Shredmaster. Good for JCM800 style tones, but again I found the contour control to be unusable for my tastes. I desperately tried to use this one and enjoy it, but just found I couldn’t practically use it for what I write.
So I started looking at DIY projects again. Turns out I went right back (again) to BYOC. I checked over their version of the bluesbreaker and found it didn’t have enough gain. I checked over the Chancellor model (based on the Guv’Nor), and decided that this was the one for me.
I have no idea how many hours I spent hunting on youtube to find every demo I could of the Guv’nor, so that I knew all of it’s tonal capabilities and amounts of gain.
Buildwise, it was much the same as the compressor;
I think this is the first time I’ve ever been pleased with my 3PDT wiring, it’s certainly the best I’ve ever done!
I love the organic quality of this pedal, it’s really responsive to dynamics especially the gain. I put it down to the LED clipping to be honest, it just adds that…something else to it.
As for the design, I wanted something that stood out so I went for a more minimalist look. Left the enclosure as it is, but drew on a circuit style design using a sharpie:
I also decided I really didn’t want to use the same knobs as on the BYOC compressor, so I bought some nice Davies style knobs in green from Dr Tweek (see my links page).
The end result is this:
To my mind, this pedal gets that perfect Marshall crunch sound, and can easily go into full blown distortion. It’s a bit weird that the EQ knobs go Treble–>Mid–>Bass, but meh. It’s just another thing to give it character!
For the time being, this is my second fave distortion, and used “always on” for my second distortion channel.