The k**n overdrive is like a new standard, everybody offering a version these. I needed to make it my own, to have something new to bring to the table. What I did with the Swiss Army Knife, was scapping the high fidelity op-amps (chips) of the original circuit and replacing them with some really "bad" ones (bad meaning good when it comes to dirt pedals). Technically it means choosing a pair of dual opamps characterized by their low slew-rate (in short, their ability to amplify high frequencies) - which is what makes the legendary LM308 great in a rat distortion (and to some extend the 4558 in a TS pedal). You can say, that I gave my k**n chips with the same properties as found in a LM308 to achive a less sterile, more organic and warm distortion sound. With a great result. Everybody loved the Swiss Army Knife when I launched it at the Copenhagen Guitar Show recently. The sound is what you'd expect from a k**n - but with a slightly different flavour. Some would say better, but that's obviously highly subjective. It's a bit darker sounding and there's a slightly higher noise floor, due to the 'lo-fi' opamps.
Furthermore, I have experimented a bit with the controversal germanium clipping diodes of a k**n. Like in the original pedal, I am using vintage new old stock germaniums, but in stead of matching a pair, I am using two different types. In fact I made the Swiss Army Knife a succesful cold war summit of one US-made 1970s ITT brand germanium diode and one USSR-made germanium diode with a different clipping threshold. Effectively, the result is a slightly assymmetric clipping characteristics, giving a stronger, more edgy sound. In therory, at least (it's very subtle).
Inside the Swiss Army Knife, you'll find a switch making it possible to add one more USSR diode in parallel to the first one, to cut the clipping threshold in half for more distortion (in reality the difference is subtle because the germanium diodes clips so easily to start with - but it's there).
The R*t circuit of the Swiss Army Knife is pretty basic and vintage correct, featuring a vintage new old stock LM308 opamp. However, I added an internally switchable alternative clipping diode configuration. It's pretty complex, utilising mix of a total of six diodes. LEDs, silicons and a single germanium. It sounds fantastic. Three dimensional. Organic. Big. Gutsy. Much more interesting than the 'stock' configuration. I ship the pedal with the switch in 'Reuss' mode. In all modesty, I think it's superior.
Reuss Swiss Army Knife features and specifications:
Inside the Swiss Army Knife:
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