Friday, April 13, 2012

The Rocking Marshall World

The Almighty Thor

If the Fender amps are the trademark sound of the classic American Blues, Rock'n Roll and Country, the Marshall amps are the definitive sound of Rock. Jim Marshall past away a few days ago and it's a good point to bring out another great pedal from Runoffgroove named "THOR". This design aims and succeeds in recreating that vintage Marshall amp character, clean or driven.

This circuit design uses again the Tubes-to-FETs process first suggested by Doug Hammond and later enhanced by the wonderful ROG team. This pedal is inspired by early designs of the JTM and Super Lead Marshall amps. These amps showed up in the UK in the mid 60's after Jim and his son Terry (JTM) tried to design a cheaper version of the classic american Fender Bassman using military American tubes.

Thor's Hammer on
The characteristic sound of these classic Marshall amps, which is the original Plexi sound, is what this pedal is all about. You can get close to the signature sound of Hendrix, Richie Blackmore, Pete Townsend, Angus Young, early Clapton, Steve Hackett, Billy Corgan, Dave Navarro, John Fogerty, Slash, Mick Ronson and the list goes on forever. You have a BRIGHT switch which gives you extra sparkle and a BOTTOM switch giving you more body emulating a large 12X4 Marshall cabinet. The GAIN knob goes from beautiful clean to hard overdriven blues rock crunch which is great for chords or soloing. I have used this pedal for a while now in the studio and live and it's my #1 go-to pedal with a Telecaster. You can get the schematic here.

Below are two clips of a few of the sounds which the Thor has to offer. I played the first clip with HB on a HiWatt amp emulation preset and the second on a Tele with single coils. The tracks are quite lengthy but you can just wonder around and hear what it is all about. As you will hear, The Marshall is the definition of rock guitar sound from Classic Rock, Country Blues Rock, Acid Rock, British Invasion Rock and Prog Rock to Punk Rock, Grunge, Alternative and Heavy Metal, This is the sound.

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