Aeolus - Custom Bass Overdrive for Gavin Devlin
Currently playing in Edinburgh-based five piece Titus Pullo, Gavin asked us to build a ‘desert island dirt box’, one which would offer a myriad of driven tones from low gain growl to full on filth. This desire to have a ‘one pedal solution’ stemmed from Gavin’s previous experiences playing in a diverse selection of bands, from the garage-punk styling’s of ‘swagger-core’ pioneers Bloodbath Callaghan and the War Crimes to the melody-fuelled, multi-layered epics of Jump: Press A.
“I currently play Fender basses, and my gigging bass is a Road Worn Jazz fitted with DiMarzio Model J pick-ups routed to push/pull series/parallel switching on each pick up for added versatility. I’m a big fan of P basses and flat wound strings but I found that the lower notes sounding too tubby when tuning down to drop d so I’ve since switched back to the jazz/round wounds which definitely retain the top end zing and punch, especially with the drive pedals! To my ears the Jazz bass just works better for Titus Pullo and with these DiMarzio pick-ups, the tone knob and the switching options, I can go from punchy and modern to classic jazz bass tones. It can do a pretty spot on P bass tone too when needed. It’s the perfect solution!”
“For amplification I use a Musicman HD500 Audiophile head. It has a pretty straight forward EQ. It doesn’t do wild extreme settings but I’m not after that in my amp. I just want a solid tone to build off. Cab wise it’s a 112 Mesa Scout cab which sounds great and is very portable! I do like the Aguilar DB410 too when I need more volume on stage.”
“Effects wise my old pedal board was a bit more involved with a combination of overdrive, EQ, fuzz and boosts all routed through A/B loops and switchers. My current pedal board is a much simpler affair as I limit myself to what fits on my Pedal Train Mini!”
“For Titus Pullo I’ve stripped everything back so in theory I could gig with only my pedal board and go straight to front of house if needed. I run a Boss tuner, Effectrode PC-2A tube compressor into a MXR M80 bass D.I.+. Last in my chain and not sent to the D.I. is an Hao Rust Ride for a different flavour of gain! I’m pretty happy with my bass sound and I think I’ve a pretty solid tone. The PC-2A is like an old console valve preamp and just adds a little warmth to the tone which is very flattering. With the M80 I can fool around with the clean blend, EQ and colour switch on the fly to tailor the sound. I find I’m able to get classic or modern bass tones on the clean channel. I’ll often use the MXR distortion channel in conjunction with the clean blend to add a touch of colouration/dirt to fatten things up but it can sound a bit modern due to the pre-set EQ. I still felt I was missing a good overdrive pedal hence my involvement with Cog Effects”
Gavin contacted us to build a dirt box which would incorporate the gain circuit of the Hao on one channel and the Cog Effects Darklighter to compliment the M80’s modern, scooped drive tone in another.
“In collaboration with Tom we agreed that the Darklighter’s low to mid gain OD capabilities would be a good match to the other sounds and added a clean blend to the original design”.
"This build was always going be more than just a one pedal box with a tweaked version of the Darklighter OD pedal. The final drive channel is based on a low gain unit which adds that old school ‘grease’ to the tone, a bit of a valve tickler! I like the idea of having an always on, low gain thing to compliment the PC-2A and give the vintage hair, Y’know, that fat finger-style type thing! I was after a versatile pedal that can come to any gig and cover the gain spectrum from vintage to burn. Tom made me that pedal!”