RARE EARTH GERMANIUM DEVICE
After years of testing and auditing various available transistor part numbers, our GERMANIUM DEVICE stompbox is finally in production!
Our RARE EARTH effect unit divides the difference separating overdrive from complete fuzz saturation and elegantly bridges the gap, while retaining all the harmonic complexities found in vintage germanium fuzz units and offering even more!
Two controls, 'Swell' and 'Expander', govern input and output characteristics respectively, from almost light overdrive boost to fully saturated, sustained fuzz tones and many points in between, blurring the line that may or may not be defined as either, with more gain available on tap.
Overdrive, distortion, fuzz? Which is it?
Our RARE EARTH pedal can be used for a myriad of applications that are not necessarily limited to fuzz or heavy overdrive and can serve as a pseudo treble booster of sorts that can add substantial harmonic content and richness to thicken tones for lead or rhythm. With 'Swell' set low, this application can be particularly useful in conjunction with higher gain amps. Set higher, low mids and bass content are introduced and begin to approach the characteristic "cutoff" fuzz structure that can be delicately contoured to taste. 'Expander' controls output level and has been improved to allow additional output voltage to greatly surpass unity gain. An internal trim pot is also made available to adjust output voltage to taste and is most useful when employing the 'Expander' switch when set in the control side position.
The sides of some units feature a toggle switch that releases the 'Expander' control of nearly all of the loss portions of the rotation. When set traditionally, the Expander control will function perfectly like an output level control and accomplish much more than unity gain, if desired. When switched forward (control facing), the 'Expander' control transforms into a frequency widening circuit that captures much of the lost high end response or attack of the midrange frequencies, allowing for the ability to cut through far more effectively and extending the range of the bass response as it is turned up. While not all units feature the 'Expander' switch, those that do not are configured as such for sake of the transistors used. Some are simply best optimized to a singular mode.
Vintage Transistors Only
All RARE EARTH pedals come stock with vintage germanium transistors that have been individually tested and uniquely biased around particular gain and leakage specs. Each pair of transistors used must be adequately coupled to function optimally and yield the result that is our standard for these units. Because of this, only certain manufacturers have been selected for ideal performance and frequency response. Our selections for manufacturers are typically as follows, but not limited to:
Various part numbers are used and more importantly, individually biased AND ear tested. The tonal characteristics of each are important to note and are the essence of what make germanium devices so interesting as each unit will have its own personality, even when the same manufacturer's part number is used!
To aid the process of providing the ideal selection for a particular player, notes may be added at checkout.
Power Supply and Parts
All units operate on 9v and come equipped with a 9v battery. As with most germanium stompboxes, these PNP devices operate at positive ground and do not offer a 9v jack for use with external power supplies. To ensure long battery life, unplug from 'Input' jack when not in use.
We use only use the finest components and parts, such as Gorva "soft click" foot switches, authentic Cliff jacks, high quality reproduction RCA knobs, Alpha pots and Vishay capacitors. Occasionally, vintage components are used where suitably applicable. Longevity is important, to us and our products.
All units ship domestically via USPS and require a signature upon delivery. To arrange differently, please contact us upon purchase. International orders ship via USPS or UPS.
Listed as ‘In Stock’ with a lead time. Units may ship immediately if available or are built to order with a modest lead time. Contact for current lead times. Tracking info will be included in a confirmation email sent upon shipping.
- We want you to be completely satisfied with your purchase and offer returns on items up to 14 calendar days from delivery. Custom orders excluded from policy. Refunds will be made in the amount of purchase price excluding original shipping cost.
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- See 'Refund Policy' for returns, exchanges, etc.
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