After being blessed with the success of my initial pedal introductions, I started getting customer feedback. More often than not the requests were to develop other pedal ideas and concepts. One subject kept coming up pretty often, and that was making a true distortion pedal. There is a difference between an overdrive & distortion pedal. In an overdrive the chip is used to amplify, but in the distortion, amplification comes from lots of gain or devices after the chip, not connected to the input and output of the chip itself.
The response to the guitar volume control and the feel of the pedal is quite different. I began researching the various approaches taken by other designers and wanted to create something that was different and user friendly.
The Bob Burt GR8T Distortion manifests many voices. It is a single gain stage design, which keeps it quiet and allows it to maintain a lot of detail and pure guitar tone. Besides the circuits simplicity, what really makes this design exciting to me is that it has many tonal variations easily accessible and available in one pedal.
Besides gain, tone and output volume, the pedal features an eight way rotary switch that starts with no compression and gives a series of gradual steps of compression. No multiple mini toggle switches to flip and try to remember how they were switched when you had that killer tone you liked so much. Simply turn the rotary switch to the position you like and go for it. As you turn the switch clockwise, the pedal compresses more and more, changing the shape of the distortion waveform in each mode.
When used in conjunction with the gain and level controls, you can go from raw rock and metal tones, down to compressed and warm D-style over driven tones easily. Think of it as eight great distortion voices in one pedal. I chose a precision Texas Instruments Op Amp, which is the nearest modern equal to the LM308 used in other similarly configured pedals.
Like all my pedals, I have chosen parts for low noise, consistency, and tone. It is true bypass like all of my pedals. I build each and every pedal by hand personally, and play each when complete to insure it meets my standards.