Australian Guitar - - Top Shelf -

We’re talk­ing three dif­fer­ent va­ri­eties of over­drive, each with wildly dif­fer­ent ap­pli­ca­tions but all shar­ing in tonal ex­cel­lence. The Rage e was the first prod­uct from the com­pany and is a high-gain mon­ster. Pow­er­ful and per­cus­sive dis­tor­tion is on tap, and when the boost is en­gaged, it pushes this sound into an even thicker sat­u­ra­tion.

The Karen is pitched by Ve­mu­ram as a more dig­ni­fied, stripped-back ver­sion of the Rage e. It turns back the clock to court a sound of the '70s, ex­em­pli­fied by Mar­shall’s four-in­put JMP and twoin­put JCM amps. It lacks the boost of the Rage e and is over­all a bit cleaner.

Fi­nally, the Jan Ray MA is a Ma­teus Asato’s sig­na­ture mod on the com­pany’s reg­u­lar pedal. The Jan Ray’s core sound is that of a '60s Fender Black­face set to the ‘Magic 6’ set­ting. The MA sig­na­ture adds a bit more gain than you'd find with the usual Jan Ray pedal. The com­pany has a few meth­ods for set­ting their ped­als apart in the bou­tique over­drive mar­ket, or the 'Econ­omy Class' of gui­tar ped­als.

Firstly, they claim to have rig­or­ous pro­duc­tion meth­ods fo­cused around hand-wiring and strin­gent qual­ity con­trol. Se­condly, they house all their ped­als in brass – this looks cool as hell, and also (ap­par­ently) pro­vides much bet­ter noise in­su­la­tion than reg­u­lar alu­minium.

Fi­nally, each pedal has a re­cessed trim pot you can get at with that help­ful in­cluded mini screw­driver. This ad­justs the over­all sat­u­ra­tion level of the cir­cuit, sep­a­rate from the in­di­vid­ual con­trol of­fered on the front-fac­ing pots. This al­lows you an awe­some amount of con­trol over the pedal’s gain stag­ing, al­low­ing you the choice of how hard you want its boost to push your preamp.

It’s a sen­si­ble and in­spired con­ces­sion to the unique gear of each gui­tarist. An­other way of look­ing at it is that it sim­ply ex­pands the scope of each pedal’s use. It’s com­fort­ing to know that, if the need arises, you can push it that lit­tle bit harder or clean it up that frac­tion more.

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