Pigtronix Philosopher's Tone review

  • £129
  • $209
The versatile Philosopher's Tone combines compression and distortion.

MusicRadar Verdict

Compression and distortion in one pedal? We'll certainly have some of that. A versatile addition to any pedalboard.


  • +

    Versatile range of sounds; horizontal layout helps with 'board positioning.


  • -

    The extra PSU required perhaps negates the pedal's compact size.

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The Philosopher's Tone is designed to do all the usual pedal compressor tasks, but also has smooth diode clipping distortion on tap to dirty things up.


The PT can tighten up dynamics for arpeggiated chords or country picking as well as delivering a shedload of clean sustain, but it has more tricks up its sleeve.

The treble knob can fine tune the top end, to add some jangle, perhaps, while the blend knob dials in any ratio of dry to effected sound allowing subtle parallel compression and, with the grit turned up, dirty and clean sounds simultaneously.

Trevor Curwen has played guitar for several decades – he's also mimed it on the UK's Top of the Pops. Much of his working life, though, has been spent behind the mixing desk, during which time he has built up a solid collection of the guitars, amps and pedals needed to cover just about any studio session. He writes pedal reviews for Guitarist and has contributed to Total Guitar, MusicRadar and Future Music among others.