Del Mar Overdrive
Del Mar Overdrive
A few words.
It’s funny how small things can take on a life of their own.
The Del Mar Overdrive was initially released in 2014, and was an attempt to take what I had done with the Sick As, and to then soften and smooth the distortion while raising the maximum gain. This added greater sustain, landing in the same kind of sonic territory as a certain green OD pedal of much notoriety.
While my design process now involves very thorough maths and careful checking of work, that original R&D era involved a lot of trial and error, swapping parts and inserting or removing entire elements of the circuit out. This resulted in a lot of happy accidents, including the incredible amount of bass content that the Del Mar puts out, but at times it also led to some unusual (even undesirable) sounds as well. The Del Mar was absolutely the best pedal I was capable of producing at the time - but once I realised I could do better, we quietly discontinued it. The ensuing madness was as much a surprise to me as it surely was to you.
The pedal you are looking at in 2019 is the “remaster” of that original concept. We have stayed faithful to the overall tone of the Del Mar Overdrive, changing as little as possible, while smoothing out some of the rough edges with a brand new 27V internal power supply circuit –just plug in your normal 9V power supply and we take care of the rest. If you ever struggled with particular settings on the Del Mar, I’m pleased to say that we’ve fixed them. If you never found issue with the original, then please enjoy the same great concept with slight improvements - and at a fair price.
A little more.
As previously mentioned, the Del Mar was an attempt to apply what I had learned developing the Sick As Overdrive, with the goal of achieving softer, smoother classic overdrive sounds. Let me be blunt though: it wasn't, and still isn't, a Tubescreamer or a Bluesbreaker circuit - no matter how often that idea is repeated online. Instead, it attempts to honour my favourite things about those circuits. Though I had hoped the circuit would just speak for itself, I've no doubt now that a lack of clarity on my end has lead to this message-board rumour-mongering. Nevertheless I have gotten much better at describing my circuits over the years, so hopefully this will help to clear things up.
Both of those aforementioned pedals use a method of distortion called "soft-clipping", and the Del Mar also takes this approach - as do the majority of other OD pedals, to varying degrees of success. What I always enjoyed about the best soft-clipping circuits was the softer, smoother distortion. It allows you to mainly hear "break up" on the wound strings of the guitar, while the first 3 strings just get thicker and more sustained. The Bluesbreaker reference makes sense in regard to the threshold at which the note begins to distort –with the Del Mar's toggle down, the threshold for the note to distort is twice as high as when the toggle is up. This results in louder output, and a more natural sounding breakup. This is also one of the primary differences between a Tubescreamer and a Bluesbreaker.
The tone controls are also completely different from those pedals too, as I opted instead for an active two-band Baxandall EQ. This gives you the ability to boost or cut both bass and treble individually, providing you with broad and dynamic control over your tone. With our new 27V circuit design, this EQ sounds more powerful and articulate than ever before.
- Clean Boost, Overdrive, or a blend of the two.
- Dynamic and natural, responsive to your pick attack or volume knob.
- Internally boosted to 27 volts - just plug in your normal 9V power supply and we take care of the rest.
- Toggle switch, controlling the amount of headroom and character of the drive.
- Powerful active tonestack, capable of 15dB of boost or cut
- Soft touch buffered bypass switching
- Power Requirements: 9V DC 100mA
*Domestic orders are shipped Australia Post and normally delivered in 1-3 business days. International orders are shipped DHL Express and normally delivered in 2-5 business days.