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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Amptweaker - TightMetal™



Amptweaker TightMetal™ was introduced during winter NAMM 2011 show.
It was based on many ideas of profesional guitar players such as Mark Kloeppel/Misery Index and etc.
It's hand-made in U.S.A with high quality componets and TRUE-BYPASS !


I didn't play any distortion pedals since I started to use high gain amp heads few years ago.
This TightMetal™ pedal was my first exception, mainly because it was designed by James Brown.


Who is James Brown ? (Read more from http://www.amptweaker.com/page/About-James-1.aspx)
James Brown is not a stranger to the amplification industry.
After a long relationship with Peavey® (from year 1986-2004), he is now the chief engineer for Kustom® Amplification.
He worked with guitar legends like Eddie Van Halen, Joe Satriani and etc to design classic amplifiers
like the Peavey® 5150, JSX signature model, Triple XXX and many more.


Features :
1) Four control knobs - Volume, Tone, Gain and Tight.
One simple but effective "Tone" control is all that you need.
You may connect an external EQ pedal in EFX loop which already built-in with this pedal for further tone shaping.
I'm using an old 90's Boss PQ-4 (Parametric EQ) pedal with TightMetal™.
"Tight" control is acting like some kind of "low pass filter" to me.
It filters out flabby bass response, your picking response will become faster and tighter which is great.
I really love the dynamic response from TightMetal™.


2) 2 position slide-switches - Mid and Gate.
"Mid" - When it's on "Thrash" setting, you'll get modern and mid-scooped rhythm tone.
"Gate" - When it's on "Chomp™" setting, the built-in noise gate will be engaged and stop the notes even quicker
which is great for doing very quick riffs with a lot of palm-muted stops.

3) The built-in noise gate works brilliantly, it kills high gain noise and makes this pedal dead silent.
I don't even need my ISP Decimator anymore.


4) Magnetic battery compartment sliding door is a user-friendly design,
you don't need screw driver or any other tools for battery changing.
5) You could run this pedal with 9VDC or 18VDC adapter.
9VDC sounds like 50w amp tone, 18VDC sounds like 100w amp which is louder and cleaner.


6) Battery disconnect switch is another user-friendly design.
You DON'T need to unplug your cables from the pedal anymore.
Both "Send & Return" jacks of the EFX Loop are in opposite way from the pedal "Input & Output" jacks.


7) I think EFX Loop is the best feature from this pedal.
You can select this EFX loop either "Pre" (Before) or "Post" (After) position of the pedal.
TheEFX Loop will be turned-off as well from your signal chain when you switch off the effect of pedal (bypassed).
You may ask James to modify your TightMetal™ with the new SideTrak™ design
which lets EFX Loop still working when pedal is bypassed.


14 gauge steel chassis. Built like a Tank !


8) Dot marks surrounding control knobs. You can easily view your settings by four LEDs on the panel.


My ENGL Powerball II takes this pedal well. I just plugged it directly into the clean channel.
TightMetal™ really kills both Ch3 and Ch4 of my Powerball.
It sounds like a high gain stack amp in pedal. You could also plug this pedal into the another amp's FX loop
to bypass whole preamp section itself and use the TightMetal™ as a Preamp pedal.

Notes:
When I'm running this pedal in front of the amp (using clean channel itself),
I have to turn the "Tone" control almost all the way down for brightness reducing.
I'll ONLY turn it up to around noon when I plugged it into the FX loop (return jacks) of the amp.


Video Clip :
Amptweaker TightMetal™ v.s ENGL Powerball II

video

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