As drive pedals go, this is a grand design, a stompbox whose evolution could only be driven by the mythos surrounding the legendary Klon Centaur, and the variant tonal qualities of the NOS germanium diode.
Here, J Rockett splits the difference and gives players – and cork-sniffers – the chance they have been waiting for to cycle through various NOS germanium diodes to replicate their favourite K-style sound – the Centaur "transparent" drive tone that is one of the latter-day bench marks for electric guitar sound.
“Over the years of K-style pedals people have sworn by the influence of the proper NOS germanium clipping diodes in order for this particular design to be accurate to the original,” said J Rockett. “There is so much speculation on the internet and certainly misleading information by the original designer. We decided to let your ears be the determining factor and to provide the ability for you to easily switch between seven different clipping diode options!”
The Archer Select arranges these seven clipping options very cleverly indeed, with a dual-footswitch design to engage the extra clipping options. There is a default clipping mode, in which the stock OA10 is driving the bus.
Stamp on the Clipping footswitch and it engages the alternative clipping options, all six of which are accessed via an oxblood-coloured rotary knob. The other footswitch bypasses/engages the effect.
Choose from 1N270, 1N695, 1N34A, D9B, D9E and Red LED clipping. A red LED illuminates above the Clipping footswitch to let you know when the section is active. Note: you’ll only here the difference these clipping diodes make once the pedal is actually clipping, so crank the gain, pour yourself a large glass of wine (or pop), and make your comparisons to taste.
Other controls include the usual Gain, Output and Treble controls, the latter allowing you to dial in more high-end. A toggle switch in the middle of the nest of dials activates a ground lift for a DI output that makes the Archer Select a practical pedal for recording. The Archer Select’s speaker emulation is based on a British 4x12 cabinet.
The Archer Select measures 4.25” by 2.75” x 1.25”, so it is more compact than some Klon clones. It’s instrument jacks are located on the top of the unit, with the 1/4” DI output on the side.
The enclosure is heavy-duty steel, finished in that champagne gold colour, just how you like it. The Archer Select takes a 9V DC from your pedalboard power supply, and it is available now, priced £349 / €399 / $329. See J Rockett Audio Designs for more details.
There is also another colour option, with all the potential to become a collector's item in the years to come, with Reverb and J Rockett collaborating on a special KTR Red Edition of the pedal. This is what Andy Martin is demoing in the video above. It is limited to just 250 units, and available exclusively through Reverb.