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KillerTone Labs ToneCrafter
Overall Rating
Submitted: April 21st, 2006
by icm000
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Sound Quality
I'm sticking to the "Clone-Z" effect for sound quality because it's my favorite of the bunch, even though I've never been much of a distortion pedal user. I love the sound of this one. Open, yet it does get very crunchy. It *really* plays well with my other crunchy pedals - a Full-Drive II and a SansAmp GT2. The Clone-Z into the SansAmp with both on a low to moderate gain setting gives me a crazy Eric Johnson type sound that is fun as hell to play with. I'm using this mostly with a Fender American Strat and a Mesa Blue Angel.
Well...this category is almost unfair for this pedal. Is it built well and reliable? YES! Would I use it without a back up? Nooooo! No way. It's a breadboard with the parts pushed into position. It's really not intended to be used live like a standard pedal. I have snuck it into my set up for a couple of gigs just to test it out at live volumes, but I wouldn't recommend that regularly. Don't toss it in your pedal bag and expect it to survive for years getting bounced around. Some part is bound to pop out eventually. My plan is to tweak the ToneCrafter box to get the components I like best and then to soldier those into a typical board and pedal arrangment. Then I'll have my favorite set up as a stand-alone pedal, and still have the ToneCrafter to try other things out with. I'm giving it 8, but that's almost unfair. It's very well done.
General Comments
I play a wide variety, but gig mainly with a rock cover band. I don't use too much distortion for my own sounds, but I'm always trying to mimic somebody else's sound for the band. The Clone-Z project does a super job helping me get a range sounds from just past bluesy to higher gain. I've been playing over 30 years and have owned a fair number of pedals, nothing crazy though. I mainly use a Fender Am Strat and a home made tele, but I also use a Carvin DC-150, a home made walnut strat and a jazz box made by Darrell Cook. I considered buying a second one of these, so if it were stolen I'd get another right away. I love the Clone-Z sound and I love that you can play with all the parts and try all sorts of things out. The only thing I would suggest is that maybe Carlos should sell stand-alone versions of each of the projects that can be made with the ToneCrafter. I'd buy at least one of them! Also, I think Carlos is selling these for a very good price. I know if you buy at bulk prices and such the components aren't all that expensive, but he has packaged all the parts along with a great project-box arrangement and lots of documentation into one kit. It would have taken me days to track down the specific parts, not to mention assemble a project box this well. I think it's great. Obviously.
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