"Circles" - Knightfall 66 prototype for Si Poulton
Si Poulton plays bass for First Signs Of Frost and Ounce Studios/Continuum, is a live and studio session bassist, remixer, interviewer, pedal clinician, and the man behind the upcoming Poultone Devices effects company. It is fair to say he has many pies and many fingers. You can find sounds from Si on his Soundcloud and keep up to date with him on Twitter.
Development of the Knightfall 66
I'm a big fan of the Knightfall on bass guitar, always have been and always will. It is my personal favourite of all the pedals I offer through Cog Effects, and my "go to" pedal for anything from a bit of warmth through to full-on distorted bass. I'd got it in my mind that, at some point, I would build an expanded version for bass guitar to provide even more sonic possibilities, but it hadn't been a priority and was something that sat on the "tomorrow" list, until Si Poulton got in touch about a custom Knightfall for bass. We went backward and forward to collaboratively nail down the spec on what has become the Knightfall 66.
Si wanted to have two gain settings on the pedal, but had previously had issues with balancing the level of the higher gain channel with the lower gain channel and the bypass level on other distortions with two gain settings, so he wanted each channel to have it's own output control as well.
To add further variation to his sound, Si wanted to be able to choose his clipping diodes, and we were able to take this one step further by allowing him to choose from five different diode options for each channel (LED, Si, Ge, Rectifier, and standard Knightfall MOSFET), to allow a slight difference in the colour of the distortion as well as the amount of it.
In addition to the standard Tone control on the Knightfall, we modified the Bass switch into a Low knob to allow both a greater degree of control and also a broader range than the two-position switch. The Low knob shapes both the gain of the pedal and also the corner frequency into the first opamp stage. Turned anticlockwise, the result is a tight, focussed sound with reduced low-end clipping. Turning the Low knob up brings in more bass and loosens things up slightly, and all the way clockwise we are getting towards fuzz territory. The clean blend knob performs two functions here: adding any low end that needs to be restored at reduced settings on the Low knob, and bringing clarity to the more extreme settings on the Low knob.
Si onstage with his rather delightful 1971 P Bass
The result is a two-channel distortion that maintains a consistent response on both channels, while still allowing variations in their specific colour and shape.
"The genesis of this pedal was simply wanting as many quality dirt sounds and tones from as small a footprint as possible. My ‘utililty’ pedalboard is the small board I take out on most gigs when my larger board is overkill, it consists of the 4 main food groups: Tuner, Octave, Dirt & Envelope Filter. How I use the effects on this board differs per band and per song, so I want to have as wide a tonal palette as possible in a small footprint.
What I’ve added with the COG is a dirt pedal which fits into to the small amount of real estate allocated to an overdrive pedal, with essentially two very versatile, easily switchable, gain sounds inside.
On the ‘Circles’ Knightfall 66, each gain setting has a dedicated volume control, this allows you to volume match a much higher second gain setting on one channel with what might be a lower first gain setting on the second channel. Each gain setting has dedicated clipping options, selectable using internal an DIP switch, on this model we’ve got a choice of MOSFET, LED, Germanium, 4001 and Silicon, with the same available for channel 2, this means there are vast combinations of tones available.
We’ve also added a clean blend, which, along with the Bass & Treble, are global controls over both gain channels.
The right footswitch acts as the main on/bypass for the pedal, with the left footswitch acting as the channel selection. A bi-colour LED denotes which channel is selected, which is switchable whilst the pedal is off, this means you can queue up which gain setting you want to use before you switch the pedal on."
Here is Si's utility board. Tiny footprint with maximum tone available. Octave into Knightfall is something I am rather fond of, and I could see myself having a lot of fun with such a small board.
"Squares" - Custom T-65 Octave for Si Poulton
T-65 Octave modified so the contents of the effects loop is your bypassed sound, including internal level control for the bypass signal. Ideal for putting a large portion of your pedalboard, if not your whole pedalboard, inside the loop to add parallel octave to. If nothing is placed in the loop, the bypassed sound will default to clean.