Catalinbread has unveiled the Skewer and Dreamcoat pedals, releasing both as a limited edition two-for-one box set that allows guitar players to step into the incendiary overdriven tones of the legendary Ritchie Blackmore.
Used together, the two pedals offer an excellent platform for Rainbow and Deep Purple fans to play in the style of the Man in Black. As Catalinbread advises, don't think of them as a Blackmore-in-box, but rather a launchpad for Deep Purple and Rainbow fans to get a flavour of his hot overdrive tones with two pedals modelled after two of his not-so-secret weapons.
The Skewer replicates the Hornby-Skewes Treble Booster while the Dreamcoat deploys the near-exact spec as the Aiwa TP-1011 reel-to-reel preamp that Blackmore preferred for adding some grit, fuzz and general purpose tone mojo straight into his guitar amplifier.
You can run the Dreamcoat as a tone sweetener, dial in some hot '70s crunch, or go off the deep end with sputtery, choked fuzz sounds. The Skewer, meanwhile, operates in the same fashion as Catalinbread's Dallas Rangemaster clone, the Naga Viper, but uses a silicon transistor for extra bite and has a Blackmore mod by way of an internal master volume control to make it play nicer with the rest of the rig.
Like the Naga Viper, the Skewer has a three-control setup with Skew adjusting the frequency of the boost, Boost adjusting the level of the boost, while Extra adjusts the amount of gain you are squeezing out of that silicon transistor. If you need something extra, well, turn the Extra dial.
The Dreamcoat, meanwhile, has controls for Freq, Blend, Sat, Mic Vol and Master. Freq works with the internal trimmer. Once you have set the frequency via the trimmer, Freq adjusts the frequency boost, offering you 10dB to play with. Blend takes the signal coming out of the Freq and mixes it with the Aiwa deck circuit, controlling the unit's presence and helping you maintain your pick attack.
The Sat knob operates as a "gain range" knob and interacts with the Mic Vol and Blend tone to set the character of the gain. Mic Vol, meanwhile, controls the level of distortion while Master is just that, a master volume.
Both the Skewer and Dreamcoat have complementary artwork, take 9V DC power supplies, and will be released as standalone pedals in a month's time. In the meantime, back both at the introductory price of $299. See Catalinbread for more details.