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As the only Klone pedal that is A/B tested against a real gold Centaur, the Decibelics Golden Horse continues to stand out with its superb sound quality and ability to enhance any guitar tone.


decibelics golden horse guitar pedal and klon centaur pedal


Introduction

It's no secret to all those who know my gear preferences that the Decibelics Golden Horse is my favorite OD pedal of all time. To be precise, I do not use it as an overdrive pedal but more as an always-on booster. It is one of the only two pedals that have never been rotated out of my main board (the other one being the Cali76 Stacked Compressor). I view the Golden Horse as one of the best tone sweeteners that does an incredible job at enhancing the clarity and definition of each note and chord played (it simply makes everything sound better).


If you are unfamiliar with and curious about the history of the legendary Klon circuit, read this very informative Klon guide


To understand why everyone who tries this pedal falls in love with it, one must understand the Decibelics ethos, which is rooted in attention to detail, extremely high-quality standards for each component used, and superb customer service. The man behind it all is a tone-genius connoisseur by the name of Guillem Vilademunt. For more info on the backstory of this incredible Spanish pedal brand, click here


Features

  • Exact sonic reproduction of my original gold Klon Centaur, horsie close-tail, serial number 2505 from 2001

  • Mini luxury format, vintage, and thru-hole components

  • The same Panasonic ECQ-Series N.O.S. capacitors as the original

  • Same N.O.S. 1N34A Germanium diodes (Clear crystal and black band as the original, made in USA) – Commonly known as the Magic Diodes. The Golden Horse is most probably the only Klone using them

  • The same combination of carbon and metal film resistors

  • The same Tantalum capacitor in position C16

  • Same format on capacitors in values above 1uf -Electrolytics- adapted to mini size

  • Same Charge Pump that raises internal voltage from 9V to 18V for bigger headroom

  • Buffered bypass, same as the original, with correct values

  • Dimensions with jacks: L 95mm (3.74in) x W 49mm (1.92in) – Current Draw: 25mA

  • Made to order by hand


What Sets it Apart?

Quality, quality, quality.

+ its pedalboard-space-saving mini size.


Price Point

190.00 - 220.00 (depending on the finish choice) - decibelics


Alternatives

If size is a factor, there is simply no alternative in the market currently (Note: I do not consider the Wampler Tumnus to be in the same high-end category as the Golden Horse). If size is not an issue for you, other notable high-end Klon-type pedals include the Origin Effects Halcyon, the Nordvang Custom No.1 Signature, and, of course, the more easy-to-obtain than the original Klon, the Klon KTR.


GPH Final Thoughts

The Decibelics Golden Horse is the pedal I ALWAYS recommend to overdrive aficionados. You simply cannot go wrong. I also recommend this pedal for players who need an overdrive but are not dirt guys themselves (talking to all of you ambient guitar players out there).


From enhancing any guitar tone without adding any distortion to adding that slight grit or acting as a full-on overdrive pedal, there is certainly something for everyone here.




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This highly responsive filter is a must-have for those in the search for the Jerry Garcia "gritty wah" sound.


Introduction

Though I came to appreciate the Grateful Dead later in life (my fondness grew in my late 20s after attending a Dead & Co. concert), I quickly became enamored with the iconic Jerry Garcia lead tone, much like many other Deadheads. This signature sound can best be described as a gritty, cocked-wah effect with a hint of octave. Naturally, my quest for this tone led me to the Mu-tron IV. And for the octave effect, I turned to the Foxrox Octron 3, which is, in my opinion, one of the finest octave pedals I've ever encountered:


Though I had some great gear, I still felt something was missing. That's when I decided to give the Proton V4 a whirl, and it instantly took the place of the Mu-Tron IV on my board. To this day, it holds its spot there, and it's one of those rare pedals I'd never part with. Given they're produced in limited batches, they're quite the treasure to find.


The genius behind 3leafAudio is Spencer Doren, who is undeniably passionate and meticulous about his work. Operating solo out of Seattle, Washington, he ensures quality at every step. The PCBs in his designs hail from Utah, while the enclosures are crafted in Oregon. Spencer's creations always have a touch of exclusivity, as he's continually experimenting with fresh aesthetics and tweaking circuits.


Features

  • Power: 9V DC, 30mA minimum. 2.1mm center-negative connector.

  • Input Impedance: Very high.

  • Output Impedance: Very low.

  • Bypass: Transparent active bypass system with proprietary electronic switching. No clicks, no pops, will never break.

  • Footprint: 64 mm x 118 mm.

  • Response: Adjusts the envelope detector's sensitivity to playing dynamics. Adjust based on the output of the instrument.

  • Peak: Sets the amplitude of the filter's resonant peak. Higher settings produce a more aggressive sweep.

  • Decay: Sets the time for the filter to close. Adjusts the envelope sound from long and natural to snappy.

  • Tone: Sets the maximum cutoff frequency of the filter. Works like a guitar or bass tone knob.

  • Range: Toggles the frequency range of the filter. High position is similar to the previous Proton version, while the low position is deeper.

  • Sweep: Toggles the direction of the filter sweep. Settings may need to be adjusted based on the sweep direction.

What sets it apart

Its gritty sound character and dynamic response truly distinguish it. This is one of those pedals that functions as an instrument in its own right. The nuanced way each knob interacts with the others is unique and a feature I deeply appreciate about this pedal.


Price Point

In 2021, I managed to get it for $250. I'm uncertain about its current price since 3LeafAudio's website doesn't display that information at the moment. The only purchasing avenue is directly through 3LeafAudio's website.


Alternatives

When considering high sound quality, some comparable pedals include the Analog Man Block Logo Envelope Filter, Mu-Tron IV, and Flower Pedals Hosta Wah Filter.


GPH Final Thoughts

The Proton V4 ranks among my all-time favorite envelope filters. It's always a delight to experiment with, and I absolutely adore its gritty character. If you ever have the opportunity to acquire one, I can assure you, you won't be disappointed.




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  • Writer's pictureRicardo Malzyner

Updated: Oct 2, 2023

With its envelope control of rate, the Twin Peaks V5 ushers in a new era of LFO functionality. The Twin Peaks V5 opens the door to fresh and unexplored sonic landscapes.



Introduction

In the depths of thegearpage.net forum, a gathering place for seasoned pedalboard enthusiasts, I first discovered drolofx and the Twin Peaks tremolo. This forum is where these veterans share insights about lesser-known gems. I had been on a 7-month-long journey to find the perfect tremolo for my pedalboard. During this time, I tried the Empress Tremolo2, Walrus Audio Monument, Source Audio Vertigo, and Subdecay Vagabond—all of which are fantastic tremolos. I was in search of something more experimental, and when I came across a mention of the Twin Peaks, I knew I had to get one.


David is the genius behind drolo, running a one-man operation in southern Belgium. There, each pedal is crafted with precision and care. What truly captivates me about his creations is the distinct creativity and innovation in each design. Every pedal not only sounds phenomenal but is also constructed with top-notch components. Plus, the graphic aesthetics are consistently impressive


Features

  • 4 Tremolo Modes:

    • V: Volume modulation (classic tremolo).

    • F: Frequency modulation (harmonic tremolo).

    • B: Bass modulation only, with fixed treble.

    • T: Treble modulation only, with fixed bass.

  • LFO Modulation Shapes:

    • Sawtooth, Reversed Sawtooth, Square, Triangle, Sine, Hypertriangle, Reverse Hypertriangle, Random Levels.

  • Unique Controls:

    • Tap Tempo Multiplier Switch: Sets the range of the manually adjusted rate or multiplies the tapped tempo.

    • Env: Adjusts the sensitivity of the envelope detector affecting the LFO rate.

    • Env Mode: Controls how the rate responds to signal intensity.

    • Sym: Skews the shape of the LFO.

    • Tap Tempo Switch: Taps in the desired tempo.

  • Expression Input:

    • Externally controls the rate.

    • Compatible with most commercially available expression pedals using a TRS plug.

    • Can also use a control voltage instead of a resistance-based controller, but precautions are needed.


V5 Version Enhancements:

- Envelope control of the rate, allowing dynamic control of the rate based on playing intensity.


What Sets it Apart

- Pristine sound quality

- Flexibility of controls (ability to skew the shape of the selected LFO)

- Envelope control of the rate

- Bass modulation only w/ fixed treble mode

- Treble modulation only w/ fixed bass mode


Price Point

https://drolofx.com/product/twin-peaks/ - € 230.00 (for EU customers VAT taxes are applied, which average at 21%, making the final price around € 278.00 - give or take depending on country)


Alternatives

The Empress Tremolo2 comes to mind when I think of a pedal with a similar feature set and sound quality similar to the Twin Peaks.


GPH Final Thoughts

The Twin Peaks V5 stands out as a uniquely captivating tremolo. It provides detailed control over the LFO, making it perfect for those eager to craft experimental soundscapes. Most tremolo pedals just don't offer the features to achieve such sonic explorations.












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