To make the Backslide, I sourced the exact same vintage semiconductors as sits inside the Tokai: An oddball Sanyo LA6458D dual opamp IC, never metioned in the holy books on overdrive pedals, some weird looking transistors called C2021Es and the ‘magic mojo’ 1S2473 clipping diodes, which are sought after in early vintage Boss pedals. I believe, this trio of parts is the secret sauce that sets the pedal apart. The obsolete 1S2473 diodes are known to have a softer ‘knee’ than current production silicon diodes, giving the overdrive a less harsh edge.
The boutique pedal treatment I gave the Tokai circuit in the Backslide interpretation, getting grid of the FET switching in favor of mechanical true bypass, reducing the parts count considerably, refined the sound and made my pedal a whole lot better than the already great vintage pedal. Clearer, punchier, more dynamic and less noisy.
If you are in the market for a simple, classic overdrive pedal, you can’t go wrong with the Backslide. It’s at the top of the game for the genre. The craftmanship of the Reuss pedals are second to none in the Boutique pedal business. Completely handmade in the European Union.
Inside the Backslide Overdive you can switch the clipping diode configuration from the stock Tokai/Boss asymmetrical clipping (edgy, dynamic) to symmetrical clipping (softer, more compressed), effectively turning the pedal into a killer sounding tube screamer-type pedal.
There’s also a ‘fat switch’ inside, which extends the low-frequency response one octave down.
You can argue it’s weird to clone the Tokai as it’s not really a collectible pedal, but this one holds a special place in my heart. And it’s just a great, great sounding old pedal, so it deserves the boutique treatment.
Limited production of only 30 pedals in the first batch!
Demo/shoot-out by Budda Guedes
Download the Reuss Backslide Overdrive manual here
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