EarthQuaker Devices Sunn O))) Life Pedal Octave Distortion Booster V3
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Sunn O))) Life Pedal is a distortion with a blendable analog octave up and a booster combined in one compact package. The “Amplitude” side is faithfully modeled after the classic “White Face” distortion unit, using modern, reliable components to last a lifetime. The only modifications made to the original circuit are in the clipping section. The traditional circuit uses a single pair of silicon diodes for a tight, compressed crunch. The Sunn O))) Life Pedal introduces two additional clipping options to better adapt to different rigs. The first position is no diodes to allow for full, grinding OpAmp assault at maximum volume. The second position utilizes two silicon diodes and one LED in an asymmetrical clipping configuration. This delivers a slightly compressed and smooth crunch, similar to a valve amplifier. The last position is the stock double silicon diode configuration which provides that classic tone you know and love.
The Octave in the Sunn O))) Life Pedal is an all-discrete, analog full-wave rectifier base on a classic vintage design. Located at the input of the circuit, the Octave control slowly blends in the octave effects as you turn it clockwise. This feature can also be used via expression control allowing for wild, hands-free octave swells mid-riff. Because this is an analog octave effect, it is monophonic and works best playing single notes above the twelfth fret while using the neck pickup. Playing chords with the analog octave will sound clanging and chaotic. Using the bridge pickup and playing below the twelfth fret will produce a very subtle octave effect. Going full Octave transforms Sunn O))) Life Pedal from a simple distortion device into a swelling, raging fuzz similar to the classic Super Fuzz!
The “Magnitude” section of Sunn O))) Life Pedal is a simple all-discrete MOSFET booster designed to blast your preamp tubes and drive them wild. It is a 100% clean, no-nonsense, high impedance booster that adds very little color to your tone. It does not add distortion on its own but has plenty of output to push your amp into saturation.
The signal path goes Octave > Distortion > Boost. The octave distortion and booster can be used independently with their own respective footswitches.
Octave: This blends in the analog octave as you turn it clockwise.
Distortion: Turn clockwise for more distortion, counterclockwise for less. This provides about +60dB of gain.
Filter: This is a low pass filter with a frequency response from around 500Hz to 30kHz. Turn counterclockwise for more high-end, clockwise for less.
Amplitude: Output volume for the octave distortion side. Clockwise for more hearing loss, counterclockwise for a healthy life in old age.
OpAmp: No diodes to allow for full, grinding OpAmp assault at maximum volume.
Asymm: Utilizes two silicon diodes and one LED in an asymmetrical clipping configuration. This delivers a slightly compressed and smooth crunch, similar to a valve amplifier.
Symm: This is the stock double silicon diode configuration which provides that classic tone you know and love.
Magnitude: This is the output volume for the booster. Clockwise to blow up your amp, counterclockwise if you are a baby. Unity is somewhere right around noon on the dial.
Amplitude Footswitch: Distortion Activator
Magnitude Footswitch: Boost Activator
Octave Footswitch: Octave Activator
Octave EXP: Connect any expression pedal to this input to control the analog octave blend. Before inserting the expression pedal, make sure the pedal is powered off.
Current Draw: 15 mA
Octave Distortion: Input Impedance: 1 MΩ /
Output Impedance: <1 kΩ
Booster: Input Impedance: 500 kΩ /
Output Impedance: <1 kΩ
This device features Flexi-Switch® Technology! This relay-based, true bypass switching style allows you to simultaneously use momentary and latching style switching.
For standard latching operation, tap the footswitch once to activate the effect and then tap again to bypass.
For momentary operation, hold the footswitch down for as long as you’d like to use the effect. Once you release the switch the effect will be bypassed.
Since the switching is relay based, it requires power to pass signal.
This device takes a standard 9 volt DC power supply with a 2.1mm negative center barrel. We always recommend pedal-specific, transformer-isolated wall-wart power supplies or multiple isolated-output supplies. Pedals will make extra noise if there is ripple or unclean power. Switching-type power supplies, daisy chains and non-pedal specific power supplies do not filter dirty power as well and let through unwanted noise. DO NOT RUN AT HIGHER VOLTAGES!
EarthQuaker Devices Life Pedal Octave Distortion Booster V3 Manual