“I can literally pull this out of my bag, plug in to any decent amp with an effect return and be CRUSHING fools to no end”: Thrash legend Gary Holt teases new KHDK signature preamp/drive pedal

KHDK Electronics Mad Monarch
(Image credit: Gary Holt / Instagram)

Gary Holt is poised to become the next high-profile metal guitar player to hook up a signature pedal with KHDK Electronics, as he teased the launch of a drive and preamp twofer pedal.

Holt took to Instagram to share the news, and gave us all a good look at it a pedal that promises to be the golden goose for any player looking to tap into the Exodus and former Slayer guitarist’s formidable electric guitar tone.

What do we know so far?

Well, we know it’s name. Holt’s new pedal is called the Mad Monarch. And we got a good look at a set of controls and features that should offer a comprehensive control over your tone, with separate footswitches and controls for drive and preamp sections. 

Holt, for his part, sounds delighted. It’s the “one pedal to rule them all”, he says. 

“Simply put, my tone in a pedal, and so much more!” wrote Holt on his Instagram page. “I can literally pull this out of my bag, plug in to any decent amp with an effect return and be CRUSHING fools to no end. I am amazed at how this thing sounds! Perfection!”

It certainly looks the part with the purple flake metallic finish. “Purple flake?” you ask. Well, if we’re betting money on it, that’ll be a nod to The Purple One; Holt might be the man who wrote such pit-conveners as The Toxic Waltz and Chemi-Kill, but he is a Prince superfan. Don’t bet against this being unable to dial in a Bambi-esque distortion.

The Mad Monarch is the latest in a string of KHDK signature drive/preamp units that’s included notable collaborations with the likes of Avenged Sevenfold’s Zacky Vengeance and Scott Ian of Anthrax. KHDK launched Zacky Vengeance’s Night Of The Living Shred high-gain preamp pedal at the beginning of August. 

It looks even more tweakable, with the preamp side of the pedal equipped with a three-band EQ, Gain and Master Volume knobs, and a Contour switch – which we would imagine adjusts the midrange response of the pedal. On the Drive side there are dials for Mid-Boost, Level and Drive.

There is no release date for this yet but Holt says it is coming very soon – emphasis on the very – and that it could well be a pedal that’s a no-brainer for a thrash metal pedalboard, but also one that we’d wager could be deceptively versatile. 

“I truly believe this pedal shall destroy all,” wrote Holt. And that is just the sort of quality people should look for in a thrash legend’s signature guitar effects pedal.

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.