The pedal is based on the vintage 1980s Tokai TOD-1 Overdrive, which Chris has been using consistently during his career, starting in the early 90s. It’s a great pedal which coincidentally also was my own first ever pedal (Chris Brokaw owns my old pedal today, since I gave it to him as a back-up back in the 90s). The Tokai is also a favourite of Kid Congo Powers (The Cramps/Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds/The Gun Club), and was used on The Gun Club’s ‘Mother Juno’ as his main overdrive.
Originally the Tokai TOD-1 was a copy of the Boss SD-1 Super Overdrive, but the Tokai engineers added their own magic to it, and came up with a superior sounding pedal.
For his signature pedal, Chris wanted to add a foot switchable bass boost. This turned into the EQ / Boost section of the Recidivist, which is an original Reuss design. The tone controls are based on the good old Baxandall tone stack, which means that if you put them in the middle positions, they are neutral. In this setting, you can use the QC / Boost as a clean boost. You can also set the level to unity and use the tone controls to shape a different sound. The EQ / Boost circuit works independently, and can be used with your clean sound too, without the overdrive.
Inside the pedal, the overdrive circuit can be preset for a ‘fat mod’ and symmetrical clipping (practically turns the overdrive into a tube screamer) via small switches. The pedals ships in ‘fat’ mode with asymmetrical clipping (like the Tokai original).
The Tokai Overdrive circuit is also available as a stand-alone pedal, as the Reuss Backslide Overdrive. It's completely identical to the Reidivist version in every detail.
Update November 2023: Now, the 'EQ Boost' half of the Recidivist is also available as a stand-alone pedal, in the shape of the new Reuss Tone Booster.
Download the Recidivist manual here
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