It is a coronation year and British Pedal Company is celebrating in a manner that King Charles III would surely approve, by making a limited edition fuzz pedal to mark the occasion, the King Of Fuzz Tone Bender.
This is a MKII Tone Bender, finished in a hand-painted Union Jack enclosure, and while some might get excited about the paint job many more fuzz enthusiasts will be getting hot under the collar about the trio of OC81D germanium transistors inside the classic-style enclosure.
What would the King think of all this? Sadly, no one has yet been offered a tour of the new monarch’s rig. He has the budget for a 10 Top PRS but rumour has it a BMG Red Special and a Vox AC30 does the trick. But a Tone Bender MKII would certainly be a fitting choice.
Other features here include carbon comp resistors, a Carling footswitch, white pointer-style knobs and a King Charles Coronation Insignia backplate. The King Of Fuzz Tone Bender comes with a numbered COA and a British Pedal Company bag.
There have been countless versions and clones of the MKII Tone Bender but this – finish excepted – is as detailed a replica of the Gary Hurst-designed 1966 Professional MK II Tone Bender as you will find.
The vintage-style aluminium cast housing might take up a bit more room on your pedalboard but nonetheless is indestructible and super cool. The layout is super simple, with two dials for Level and Attack, and input/output jacks mounted on the top of the unit.
The MKIIs had a three-transistor design that comprised of OC75 or OC81D transistors, depending on what was available at the time. The Jimmy Page MKII featured the latter, which British Pedal Company says promises “more warmth and saturation” than the OC75 MKIIs. You can hear a side-by-side comparison in the demo video below for an idea of how they sound.
With stompbox scalpers a fact of life for collectors, you had best be quick. British Pedal Company are only making 250 of these worldwide, 100 of which are numbered and available via Reverb. They are priced £339 and are out now.
The regular Professional Tone Bender MKII OC81D in a grey enclosure is still limited edition – those transistors don’t grow on trees after all – but is available now from British Pedal Company, priced £279. It’s exactly like the model Page demonstrates on the It Might Get Loud documentary and you can order one direct from British Pedal Company.