ANALOG.MAN King of Tone (KOT V.4)

General Information

*Except for first 3 pictures, all information is from the Analog.Man Website.

"The King Of Tone overdrive was designed to take an amp at reasonable settings, and make it sound like it would sound if it were naturally driven to pure, smooth, tube distortion. It was fine tuned with Jim's 1960s Fender Deluxe Reverb amp to duplicate the sound when his amp is singing, but at lower volume settings - to simulate the natural tube amp distortion of preamp and power tubes. It does the same thing on other amps like Vox, Marshall, etc, making them sing in their own voice. Jim's (Weider) amp was modified by our good friend the late Cesar Diaz, and is about the best sounding Fender amp I have heard".

"Later on, (Mike Piera) tested the KoT on (his) own 1966 Deluxe Reverb amp. (Mike's) amp is stock, and does not sound that great when it's cranked up. It gets loud but not very warm or singing, a little harsh. (Mike's) amp sounds MUCH better using the KoT for overdrive, then it sounds very close to Jim's amp".

KOT.jpg



"The Version 4 King of Tone was developed in late 2005 due to popular demand for separate controls for each channel of the original 4 knob KoT. The original KoT was one overdrive circuit, with 2 channels, having separate volume controls and internal configurations. Almost all "dual overdrive" pedals available are like this. The Ver4 KoT is actually TWO overdrive pedals in one box, one on each side. Remember that each side is a separate pedal, and they are the same except for how you set the DIP switches. Each side has an on/off switch, LED, and three independant knobs. Each side also has configuration DIP switches and a TREBLE trim pot on the inside. Having two actual overdrive circuits allows you to use both pedals at once, in series (stacking) for even more possible tones and levels of drive!

Each side has it's own Volume, Drive, and Tone control and LED. We use SUPER BRIGHT Yellow and Red LEDs so you can easily tell which channel is selected. In addition, there is a TREBLE BOOST knob on the inside of the pedal. This is a small knob or trimpot which can be turned by hand or with a pick or small screwdriver. Jim does not need more treble for his Tele, but I found it allowed some superb tones with my '59 reissue Les Paul through my '69 Marshall amp, similar to the sweet yet biting tones of Michael Bloomfield (I believe he used a Fender Twin amp with his famous 1959 sunburst)"

DIP switch settings


There is also a four position configuration DIP switch on the inside of the KoT which you can use to choose between Clean, OD, and DISTORTION modes for each side. I designed this switch to allow almost anyone to be able to find the exact sounds they want. This picture shows the factory settings. It is two pairs of two switches, the left two switches are for the red side and the right two for the yellow side. You can set either side to normal OD mode or CLEAN mode by moving it's OD/CLEAN dip switch (switch 1 or 3). You can set either side for additional distortion, with the DIST dip switches (2 and 4). When you turn one of these DIST switches ON you get significantly more and harder distortion, and a little less volume. When the DIST switch is on you can't get the normal OD or CLEAN modes on that side. See the manual for specific information on setting the DIP switches.




The modes are:

1) Normal Overdrive mode (OD mode): This is the standard King Of Tone sound, which Jim likes best- a little less drive available than a tube screamer. Factory DIP switch setting has this mode on the right (red) channel. This mode can get about 4 times louder than a tube screamer if desired. This mode engages SOFT CLIPPING like most overdrive pedals.

2) CLEAN mode : This mode has less drive, can be used for clean boosts or clearer, louder sounds. It's like a clean boost with an overdrive knob. CLEAN MODE is even less compressed than the standard OD mode. The factory DIP switch setting uses this mode on the left (yellow) channel. This mode can get twice as loud as the OD mode. You can think of the clean mode as the OD mode with the overdrive removed, allowing louder, clearer tone. But the drive knob still functions and can add some drive to the sound, and volume as it's turned up. It's a cool sound with the drive knob cranked! This mode has NO CLIPPING, like most boost pedals.

3) DISTORTION mode : This mode has more drive than the standard OD mode- a touch of hard distortion. The sound is more compressed, yet retains the King Of Tone character. This mode can get about twice as loud as a tube screamer. Think of this mode as a cross between a Boss DS-1 distortion and OD-1 overdrive, with more clarity. We recommend most players use the OD and CLEAN modes. While the DIST mode sounds great, and I like to use it on certain occasions, it does not allow the pedal to get it's absolute BEST tones. You can put an aged single malt Scotch whisky on ice, but it would be a shame to dilute it! The DIST mode is awesome with the HIGHER GAIN option. This mode engages HARD CLIPPING like most distortion pedals and some fuzzes. It's best to turn the OD dip switch down when using the DIST mode, especially with the higher gain option to avoid duplicate clipping (soft and hard clipping together).

Either side can be set to any of the three modes, with the DIP switches. I recommend setting the right side for most distorted sounds and the left for cleaner, then when used together you get more of a volume boost. But if you want more distortion and compression, you can try it the other way around too.

At low DRIVE settings, or when playing softly, there is not much difference between the three modes- they all clean up very nicely as the clipping does not start until you turn the DRIVE knob up higher. This pedal cleans up a lot better than a Tube Screamer type pedal, if you play softly or turn your guitar down they will not have the underlying fuzziness that most pedals have.

DIP switch simple chart
Dip switches are RED OD, RED DIST, YELLOW OD, YELLOW DIST.
both sides clean boost : off off off off
red side OD, yellow side Boost (factory setting) : ON off off off
red side clean boost, yellow side OD : off off ON off
both sides OD : ON off ON off
both sides DIST : off ON off ON

Voltage of King of Tone
Running the KOT at higher voltage will give it some more headroom and clarity, especially in CLEAN BOOST mode. New KOT pedals can be run up to 18V no problem. On older ones, you may have to check, as the electrolytic capacitors determine the maximum safe voltage. There are two of them near the power jack, between the two white TREBLE trimpots, C10 and C11. They are 100uF and will have a voltage listed too, 16V or 25V usually. They are sometimes mounted on the bottom of the board which makes it tough to get to them. Don't exceed the listed voltage on them. We used high voltage caps in the last several years for 18V usage.

PRICE and FEATURES

  1. Price is $265. Sorry we had to raise the price in 2018 due to China trade tarrifs raising the cost of our new parts, and the obsolete, hard-to-find parts are getting much more expensive too.
  2. Optional HIGHER GAIN $10 per side
  3. Optional external mode toggle switch for red side $50
  4. Optional 4 jack version $50
  5. Optional second output jack, not possible with 4-jack option $10
  6. Optional second (output) Power Jack $15
  7. Optional buffer for buffered bypass (no battery room) $45
  8. Can use a 9V battery, or 9V to 18Vdc. Some people really like the sound at 18V.

  9. Can replace two or three pedals- Overdrive, Dist, and Clean boost.
  10. True Bypass ON/OFF Switches, does not alter your sound when OFF.
  11. Separate VOLUME knobs
  12. Separate DRIVE knobs, drive amount is independant of volumes.
  13. Separate TONE knobs
  14. Hi 1 Mega ohm input impedance to keep guitar signal strong and clean
  15. Internal TREBLE BOOST knobs, allow dull guitars or amps to shine.
  16. Runs on internal battery or Boss style 9V DC power adaptor
  17. Uses low current, about 6-10mA. Battery should last nearly 100 hours.
  18. Medium size, big sound! Jacks on top for best layout on pedalboards.
  19. Size is 4.75" wide, 3.75" long, and 1.5" tall not including switch etc (about 2 1/8" tall to the switch)
  20. Super bright RED and YELLOW leds, you will know when it's on.
Options - only available on Version 4
We don't make many of these with options as almost everything is available on the standard Ver4.



Mode toggle switch
We can mount a three position toggle switch on the pedal for external OD/Clean/DIST setting on the red side. Middle is clean position, others depend on how my builders wired up the switch. Set the internal DIP switches OFF for the red side (clean mode) then you can use the toggle to choose OD, Clean, or DIST mode. DIST mode will have the least volume (test with drive knob up high). It is not available on the yellow side or both sides. This is a $50 option.Four Jack option
If you use a remote switching system, or want a pedal or pedals between the two sides of the KOT, you might want separate inputs and ouputs for each side. We can offer a four jack Ver4 option for $50 on a new pedal or $75 as a mod. You can still use two jacks like the normal KoT and go through both sides. The jacks are "normalized" so when you plug into just the two outer jacks, the signal is routed through both sides just like a normal KOT. This option may not be possible if you have an older KOT, as there may not be room for two more jacks. We have been spreading the jacks further apart on KOT pedals starting in 2015 or so, which allows adding the extra jacks. See the picture to the right and you may get an idea if we can add 2 jacks to yours.Higher Gain option
We also have a new HIGHER GAIN option available starting in 2009. It increases the DRIVE knob setting by a few numbers, in any mode. It moves the ENTIRE range higher, what was 12:00 on drive is now about 9:00, etc. With this option, you can no longer get the sounds of the normal pedal with the drive knob turned down low. But almost nobody runs the drive knob below 11:00 or 12:00, as it does not sound very good at very low drive settings. You can still get a clean boost in CLEAN mode with the drive turned down all the way. It does not change anything else about the sound, you should be able to get the exact same sound as the normal version, by turning the drive knob down a bit.
We can put the HIGHER GAIN option on either side, or both sides. A lot of people run the DRIVE knob on the OD side up all the way- with this mod you can reach the perfect setting if you wanted it to go up a little higher. Even the CLEAN mode with the higher gain option sounds great with the drive up all the way- cool, responsive distortion without the clipping/limiting/compression of most overdrive pedals. And of course it really helps to make the DISTORTION mode sound bigger and thicker.

I recommend the higher gain option on your OD side for almost everyone. Setting the red side to OD and the yellow to clean boost (our factory setting) will give a louder sound when you kick on the boost - boost after OD increases volume and thickness. Setting the yellow side to OD and the red to boost will add more drive when you kick on the OD - boost before OD adds distortion.

If I recommend the higher gain option, why didn't I make it standard? Because some people have owned or tried the original KOT and want that exact same pedal. Or maybe they don't turn the drive knobs up high for their playing and can save a few dollars. The Higher Gain option is $10 per side extra at time of ordering a new pedal.

We do not have a kit for modifying your own pedal, as it requires complete disassembly of the board and some tricky desoldering. But we can mod your existing Ver4 6 knob KOT with the higher gain option. No charge for the higher gain mod if you send in another pedal to mod, or buy another pedal. Otherwise it's our $40 min bench charge plus S & H, for either or both sides modified.

Buffered bypass option
If you run through some long cables to your amp, or through some tone sucking pedals (volume pedals, etc) after the KOT, you might want to add the optional buffer to the KOT. If you run the KOT into a pedal with a good buffer like our ARDX20, then it's not needed at all. There is no room for a battery with the Buffer option. The buffer will always be active, so when KOT is OFF, it will be a great buffer. I have a buffer in my KOT because it's in the middle of my pedalboard which is a good place for a buffer. I have another buffer in my ARDX20 delay which is last on my pedalboard, just before the volume pedal.

When KOT is on, the KOT output still goes through the buffer to keep it nice and strong, with a low output impedance which stays clear. The buffer will work great at higher voltages, like 12V or 18V also. See our BUFFER page on buyanalogman.com for more info on the buffer. The buffer is added after both sides of the KOT, just before the output jack. If you get the Four Jack option, the buffer will be after the yellow side when used normally (with two cables) or ONLY on the yellow side when using the sides seperately. The Buffer is a $45 option.

Second Output Jack option
We can install an extra output jack on top, unless you get the 4 jack option. It is connected to the normal output jack so the same signal will come out. You can use this to go to a tuner (great with the buffer option, no tone loss!) or another amp or chain of pedals. If you also get the buffer option, we can make the second output buffered or unbuffered, so you can have one buffered and one normal output. Just put a note in the order if you want that (and add both buffer and second output jack options).

Second Power Jack option
A lot of tuners have a second power jack, to allow sending power to another pedal. It's safe to share power with another analog pedal except positive ground (germanium fuzz). I would avoid using a digital pedal or tuner as they draw a lot of power and can cause noise. This option can help clean up the power cables on your board and give you one more without requiring a Y-cable.

The normal power jack will be labeled IN and should be used to go to your power supply, as this IN power jack disconnects the battery when you plug into it. The second power jack is labeled OUT and can go to another pedal.

Latest reviews

Pros: Best Two Channel Low to Hihg Gain pedal on the market. Optional customazation when ordering.
Cons: Super long wait-list times (18+ months) and price went up to $265
My review is going to be pretty simple. That's because the KOT (and it's single channel version The Prince of Tone aka POT) is an exceptional pedal that no matter where you set it, it sounds great. I've owned mine for about 7 years now, and it quickly became my Desert Island pedal. Why? Because it checks off all my little boxes for the various type of tones I need playing in several different cover bands. For example; Clean Blues or Chicken Picken'....check. Dirty Blues...Check. 60's Rock....Check. 70's Rock....Check. Early 80's Rock.....check.

Now imagine taking a TS-808, supercharging it up, then sticking two together connected in the same enclosure, then adding internal Dip Switches and Presence controls that give you the widest control over your tone ever in one pedal; that's the KOT. Mike Piera (AKA Analog Mike) is known for making all sorts of fantastic pedals (From Delays, Choruses, Fuzzes and others) but the "Home Run" pedal of all his offerings has to be the KOT. One search on Google and you can find all the amazing musicians that use the KOT and who have some killer YT Videos available. You can also find the Wait-Times for the KOT are up to nearly 3 years now (I just checked the Website and they are shipping orders taken from May, 2017). But let add one thing; Mike had some real tough life situations occur that added to the Wait-Times, including the loss of his wife to Cancer. So it's 100% understandable.

Using the KOT live. I don't play a gig without a few "key" pedals. I use a RYRA Klone, Fulltone OCD Germanium and the KOT for all my dirt & boost tones. With thoswe 3 pedals, I can make my '66 Fender Princeton Reverb sound like a Million bucks. That siad, the KOT is the one pedal I rely upon more because it offers two pedals it one. The Yellow side is used for all my Low Gain tones on both lead & rhythm. The Red side I use almost exclusively for Lead work. I pretty much use the same settings on both sides except that I use more Output on the right side so I can get about 3dB more gain to cut through the mix. While I have played around with the internal Dip Switches and Presence controls, I've found that the Factory Setting for the Yellow/Red version of the KOT works best for me. That said, you can order it with two Red sides as there's those that swear they can get the Yellow/Red tones with one Red side's gain turned way down, but combineds together, both Red's can get close to Metal sounds. Since I don't play Metal, that's not an issue for me. But it would be for someone ordering the KOT and trying to decide between the Yellow/Red side combination or Red/Red side.

The KOT has worked flawlessly for me for a long time now, and I'd like to leave you a clip by the Co-Creator of the KOT, Jim Weider cranking on his Telecaster;

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