Leo is a low to medium gain overdrive that covers a huge amount of tonal ground. From high headroom clean tones a’la Grant Green to Joe Walsh’s smooth old school leads and with the boost section maxxed you can hit Neil Youngs exploding 5E3 on Hey, Hey, My, My. Choose voicings for 5w champ, 12w Deluxe or 40w Twin
- VOLUME – Master volume, controls overall output volume, also adds some extra saturation in the last 1/4 turn
- GAIN – The gain control is very interactive with the toggle switches, some settings may cause the gain to get brighter as it is increased just like some old tweed amps.
- HI/LO – This switch mimics the difference between the highZ and lowZ inputs on many old Tweed amps.
- B/N – Mimics the bright and Normal channels at some setting this control will seem like it doesnt do much – at other settings the difference is very noticable.
- 5w / 40w / 12w – This is the fun switch! basically this selects the voicing of a 5w Champ = quietest – very little headroom and little bass. 40w Twin = loudest with most headroom and bass, amazing edge of breakup and clean boost tones. 12w Deluxe = somewhere in the middle of the above, but with that classic deluxe clang.
- BOOST – 20db of boost on tap, which will take this pedal well into fuzzy, exploding amp territory. Dialled back it will add just the right lift to make your playing pop out of the mix.
I spent weeks auditioning transistor and diode combinations for this pedal and finally decided on 1979 blue face Motorola 2n3904 silicon transistor with Hughes 5008 germanium diodes for a really smooth response and natural breakup.
This is a bufferless overdrive; leading to clean / breakup sounds that are so incredibly dynamic and rewarding to play. At higher gain the guitar volume roll off stays clear as you roll back, consider this the fuzz face of overdrives. Buffers are not always a great thing for some styles of drive, there are pro’s and cons of having buffers – for me the biggest drawback of buffers is a reduction in how dynamic the low gain settings are. This tonal impact was one element I didn’t want to compromise on. The flipside of this is, that just like a fuzz face, the Leo tends like being first in your chain. Stacking with other drive pedals can work, but you may find odd results with some (EG it loves an OCD but NOT its buffered bypass) .
The boost function only works when the overdrive section is active.
I build these pedals in my garden workshop in Northamptonshire UK. That includes etching and drilling the enclosures, constructing the entire circuit ‘Point to Point’ only linking the components using only there leads, no boards or traces to dilute your signal. I finish the entire pedal to a standard I think looks as good inside, as it sounds on the outside. It might be covered up but when you’re in that moment you KNOW the mojo you have under the hood.
Please be aware, these are totally hand built, so there might me some slight cosmetic variation between each pedal. The gun metal finish is an oxidation process and will vary slightly in shade, and sometimes shows a pleasing uneven patina due the enclosures casting process. Your pedal will age gracefully, as parts of the case wear-polish, usually around the front corners.
I play and adjust each one to make sure they sound as good as the first one i built. The grade and rating of every component has been painstakingly tested and I am proud to put my name to each pedal I sell.
Please note, all my silicon pedals have a boss style 2.1 center negative DC jack only, there is no battery snap.
RF interference – Many old fuzz circuits are vulnerable to Radio Frequency Interference from a host of different modern electronic devices ranging from lighting to heating controllers to fridges. If you are having problems with RF using one of my pedals here are a few resources that can help. RF interference is not down to a faulty pedal.