Cornerstone asked the people what they wanted, the people spoke, and the result is the Colosseum – a twofer drive pedal inspired by the Klon and Blues Breaker

Cornerstone Music Gear Colosseum: a twofer drive designed with input from the general public
(Image credit: Cornerstone Music Gear)

Cornerstone Music Gear has unveiled a new boutique overdrive pedal that was co-designed with input from the general public as the Italian guitar effects pedal specialist reached out its user community and asked what they would like to see on their pedalboard, and what features they wanted.

The result is the Colosseum, a serious drive pedal that packs not one but two classic overdrive circuits in one housing, assigns them their own individual channel, allows you to change the order of the circuits, and even gives each channel its own connections for hooking it up with a looper pedal

Perhaps this the way forward for pedal design. Just throw it out to the internet and harvest the suggestions. It certainly makes for an interesting spec sheet here.

The classic overdrive circuits in question are inspired by the – drum roll – Klon Centaur and the Marshall Blues Breaker, but the word inspired is doing some work here because Cornerstone has put its own spin on each.

Cornerstone has revised the tone control on the Blues Breaker circuit and hooked out the clipping diodes which it says can make it louder and brighter. 

Furthermore, it has reached across the stock room and taken the Clean control from its superlative D-style pedal, the Gladio, which allows you to mix in some more clean signal and improve the overdrive’s touch-sensitivity. Your electric guitar tone will also benefit from no-loss in those lower frequencies. 

A genuine vintage Klon was used as a reference for the Colosseum. As per the fabled recipe, Cornerstone sniffed down some 1N34A germanium diodes, tested them, and stuck them on in there. But they also found a pair of carefully selected silicon diodes too, and they give you the option of mixing them both with a mini-dial.

The BB side is controlled by Tone, Gain and Volume controls, with the Clean control a mini-dial on the front of the enclosure. A toggle switch swaps the order of the circuits just as you might do on your ‘board – should you of course be lucky enough to own a Blues Breaker and a Klon.

The K-side similarly has controls for Tone, Gain and Volume, with the mini-dial taking your clipping diodes from 100 per cent germanium when fully counterclockwise, to 100 per cent silicon when fully clockwise.

The Colosseum, or the Colosseum MMXXIII Effectus Populi, to give it its full name, is priced £319/€399 and is available now. For more details, head over to Cornerstone Music Gear.

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.