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KillerTone Labs ToneCrafter
Overall Rating
Submitted: January 25th, 2005
by David Hicks
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Sound Quality
I'm using a Trainwreck amp clone I bullt and wanted to see if OD boxes these days were good enough to substitute for a second "channel". My main guitars are a Peavey custom built Strat-type guitar and a Baker BJH. I spent a few months gathering sound bites of different OD pedals from the web, and narrowed my choices down to a few favorites: I recently acquired a Hermida Zendrive and a Providence Stampede, and while these are GREAT pedals, the Tonecrafter more than holds its own. I have mine set up as the CloneZ model which is medium gain OD. I can make all of these pedals get a wonderful Robben Ford type smooth sustain, but the CZ has a little better low end response. All have very low noise level at the gain settings I prefer. I did notice a slight lack of high end treble with the CZ as compared to the others, but a couple of modifications suggested by the manufacturer allowed me to tailor it to my liking. I also originally planned to install "true" bypass switching, but if there is any tone-sucking going on here, I can't hear it!
The pedal is very well built with a nicely finished wooden bottom. Due to the nature of the design the case is a little larger than most, and there are a few extra mounting holes to allow for the different configurations. I don't play out, but the workmanship is immaculate, and I don't think there will be any worries about dependability.
General Comments
I like rock, as well as Robben Ford, SRV, and most modern blues; Fewer notes and more soulful tone! I've been playing for 30 years, but don't claim to be a great guitarist. I do know guitar tone; I have been making my living for 20 years working with musical instrument electronics and pro sound, and wrote equipment profiles for Guitar Player magazine for a number of years in the 80s and 90s. I think these pedal are innovative and I love the tone of my CloneZ. Oh, and I should add, I wanted to try the PedalPal modification, but don't want to lose the CZ, so I ordered a second pedal that should arrive next week. My favorite feature,...the price!! I think both the other OD pedals I have are worth what their builders charge, but it's hard to hear any qualitative differences. For my money they all represent the best of the breed; any sonic differences are subtle and would fall into the realm of subjective preferences between players. Get one!!
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