Free The Tone have released their first low gain overdrive pedal, the Red Jasper RJ-1V. Housed in a wide copper red metal casing (same size as their Heatblaster HB-2 and Quad Arrow distortion QA-2 pedals), it's a simple three-knob design with controls for level, hi cut and drive. Sonically, it's reminiscent of plugging into a rich sounding valve amp with smooth highs, punchy mids and tight lows with a natural compressed feel. Settings above 12 o'clock have a good sustain and (pleasingly) a little more gain than you'd associate with an overdrive pedal. Furthermore it's very quiet when you're not playing and boasts a passive tone circuit to minimise phase errors. It runs either from a 9VDC battery or an AC adaptor, with a current draw of 15mA.
RRP - £239
For more info visit www.freethetone.com
Red Jasper overdrive pedal - rock ballad demo by jason sidwell
Fender blue swirl Strat fitted with Joe Barden pickups; neck singlecoil then bridge humbucker
Red Jasper demo by Tim Lerch