Hands on with the Free The Tone Matt Schofield SOV Special

Matt Schofield has been using the Free The Tone Custom SOV-2 for many years, both live and in the studio. For 2013, FTT's pedal designer and CEO, Yuki Hayashi and Matt have joined forces to create a new pedal slightly more tailored to his playing requirements.

The result is the MS SOV SPECIAL (MS-1V) that combines the custom SOV-2 Matt has previously been using with a newly developed input circuit, called the HTS (Holistic Tonal Solution) circuit.

As in the FTT SOV-2, the power is increased internally to +/-15Vdc to provide a wide and dynamic range that prevents guitar signal degradation when bypassed by implementing the HTS circuit. It also has a very low S/N ratio to provide a thicker and smoother overdrive tone.

To our ears, the MS-1V's tone is slightly clearer when compared to the FTT SOV2; there's a sense that the second harmonics generated from fundamental notes are more prominent. In other words, the difference is similar to a small 1dB boost around 2kHz if you were comparing the pedals via a mixing desk playback. It's the smooth tone and new switching system that makes the MS-1V a joy to use, especially when soloing higher up the fretboard.

Here's what Matt says about the pedal: "The pedal is great! I used it, and loved it, for the whole of my last tour. Best version of the SOV ever for me."

The Matt signature model, MS SOV SPECIAL (MS-1V) is a limited edition and will go on sale February 2013 through to the end of 2013.


  • Input Impedance: 1MΩ
  • Output Impedance: less than 200Ω
  • Controls: LEVEL, TONE, DRIVE
  • Connectors: 1/4-inch phone jack x 2 (INPUT and OUTPUT) DC9V input jack (AC adaptor jack)
  • Power Supply: 9V battery or AC adaptor
  • Power Consumption: DC9V, 90mA (maximum)
  • Dimensions: 115 (D) x 72 (H) x 50 (H) mm
  • Weight: 250g approx. (Not including battery)

Note; The power consumption of the MS SOV SPECIAL pedal is 90mA (DC9V) so an Alkaline battery will last around 2 hours. Because of this an AC adaptor is recommended.

Audio demo

This short piece demonstrates the MS-1V with a Yamaha Pacifica using only it's Seymour Duncan singlecoil settings. The lead guitar features (in order of appearance); neck pickup, neck and middle pickups and for the outro, bridge pickup. The MS-1V was set either at 12 o'clock or 3 o'clock gain with the tone always set to 12 o'clock. It was plugged into Guitar Rig 5 with the Fender Tweed amp (set clean) and 2 x12 speaker settings. Reverb was added on mixdown in Presonus's Studio One v2.