the Old Smoothie is a basic op-amp distortion with a bit of a unique feature: you can adjust the amount that the diodes clip the signal. this means that, by turning the “clip” knob, you can control how squared or rounded the sound waves are and get slightly different timbres of distortion. turning the knob to the right increases the amount of diode clipping, resulting in more distortion.
the diodes lower the voltage levels, so as you increase the clipping, the volume of the pedal decreases. you can compensate with the master volume knob.
this pedal uses a germanium diode and a silicon diode for somewhat asymmetrical clipping. the op-amp is also socketed, so that you can put another kind in there if you want to experiment a little bit.
the tone control has a pretty wide range and the gain of the pedal goes from 0 to a little over 200. so even without the diodes, the signal clips nicely.
all of the knobs work together to let you get some different (and heavy) distortion tones.
like all of our products, the Old Smoothie is 100% hand wired and assembled.
the footswitch is true bypass. it requires a center negative (boss style) dc wall adapter (not included). 9v works well. you can try higher voltages for more headroom if you want a cleaner sound. i probably wouldn’t go above 18v, though. there is no battery option.
here is a conglomeration of little riffs that i recorded with a zoom H2 as a USB mic into the recording program, Audacity. no other effects were used. the guitar has humbuckers and the amp is a Line 6 Spider II 212 combo.