One of the overdrives are based on the immortal TS circuit and the other is a FET-based circuit with cascading clipping stages. The two circuits are very different in nature and complements each other beautifully. One having the classic mid-range ‘hump’ and the other being transparent, smooth, dynamic and 'natural' sounding, with a slight mid-range scoop. With the Reuss Epic Overdrive, you can mix these two flavors into an endless combination of unique, complex and exquisite sounding overdrive effects.
The combined sound of the two overdrive circuits can be mixed with any amount of clean sound for some very clear, dynamic and subtle overdrive effects. Kind of like a klon-type pedal, but endlessly more flexible and with a hugely more attractive and useful drive sound to add to the mix. Inside the pedal you can set the amount of boost to the clean channel (via DIP switches) to customize it to how much clean sound you need at tap for your mix.
The Epic Overdrive offers the possibility of creating some completely cool new overdrive sounds, never heard before. One great trick is to set one circuit to a high drive level and dial off some of it's high-end and mix it low, set the other circuit to a lower drive level and mix it higher to deliver sparkle and definition, then mix in clear signal to taste, to preserve punch and uncompressed and undistorted transients. You'll be amazed how much clean sound can be mixed into the drive sounds completely seamlessly, not audiable as clean sound, the whole thing melting beatifully together.
The Epic Overdrive features a few ‘easter eggs’ inside for even further flexibility. The TS circuit can be set for asymmetrical clipping (like the classic yellow SD-1 pedal), for 808 or 09 specifications, and both drives features a ‘fat’ mode which extends the low-end response one octave down.
The range of the DRIVE 2 knob can be limited via a trimmer inside the pedal if you wish to spread out the control over the low gain - which might be where you wish to use this effect. The range in 'stock' mode is vast.
The Epic Overdrive is a great pedal for bass guitar too. Both circuits have excellent low-end (set for ‘fat’ mode) and the ability to dial in any amount of clean sound helps to preserve punch and low-end tightness. The clean channel is linear in frequency response from 2 to 200,000 hertz!
When designing the Epic Overdrive, we stripped both original versions of the drive circuits completely from unnecessary parts, not involved in the actual overdrive sound shaping, and then created our own dedicated input/splitter/mixer/output stages. The result is something completely new. Simple and complex at the same time - and truly amazing sounding.
If you run the Epic Overdrive via an external power supply, you can run it at up to 18V for increased headroom. Many players believes the TS circuit really opens up at higher voltages than the 'stock' 9V.
The TS circuit features a LM1458 opamp, which is the greatest sounding chip for this circuit to my ears, but we put it in a socket for easy replacement, if you are a JRC4558D fanatic – or just like to experiment with different opamps.
Both drive circuits uses rare vintage new old stock 'yellow band' 1S2473 clipping diodes, famous from vintage late 70s/early 80s Japanese pedals. These have a slightly softer "knee" compared to the diodes used in modern pedals, resulting in a less harsh tone. It takes no less than seven (!) expensive 1S2473 diodes to make a single Epic Overdrive pedal!
Demo by Aaron Sternke
Download the Reuss Epic Overdrive manual here
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