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John Mayer's beautiful guitar tones have always captured my imagination. I remain continually inspired by his warm and dynamic overdrive tones. And the challenge of recreating these has long interested me - first as a player and now as a pedal builder. So I am very proud and excited to introduce our new Triple Gain pedal.
The Triple Gain is based on three classic overdrive circuits:
BB-circuit, TS-10 and the K-circuit
Each of these pedals has played - and continues to play - a significant role in John Mayer's tone. They all contribute individually, but it is stacking them together which helps Mayer create his signature drive tones. It enables him to create different textures and shape his tone in a way that is not possible with single pedals alone.
Gain stacking provided the inspiration for our Gravity pedal. We saw how Mayer stacked his Klon and TS-10 together in songs like 'Gravity' and 'Belief' to dial in his signature tone.
And with the Triple Gain we have taken this one step further. Adding the BB into the mix gives you further gain stacking and tone shaping options. And this will enable you to dial in a wide range of drive tones and recreate specific tones from Mayer's different eras.
The BB stacked into the TS-10 will help you recreate the tones you hear on albums like Continuum and in Mayer´s earlier live performances. The K-circuit stacked into the TS-10 (or vice versa) will help you create Mayer´s tone from more recent years. And should you want to push beyond these tones into higher gain territory, you can stack all three overdrives together.
After all, whilst the pedal was inspired by John Mayer, it works well for anyone looking to dial in a variety of blues and blues rock tones. The pedals that we have recreated in the Triple Gain are some of the most iconic drive pedals of all time, and we have gone to great lengths to capture the essence of these pedals, whilst making a few choice upgrades. These are as follows:
Of the three pedals in the Triple Gain, we have made the most changes to the BB-circuit.
We have raised the internal voltage supply from 9v to 18v, giving the pedal improved headroom and dynamics. We have also increased the minimum gain level slightly and changed the taper of the gain and volume potentiometers from audio to linear, resulting in an improved response. Lastly, we have added an external toggle switch for a high gain mode, an internal trim pot for presence control and a dip switch for different clipping diode options.
With the K-circuit, we stuck as closely to the original as possible. The one significant change we have made here is to the electrolytic capacitors, which we removed from the signal chain and replaced with premium Wima polyester capacitors. The diodes used are NOS Russian germanium.
To capture the true TS-10 tone we have stuck closely to the original and focused solely on quality. As such, we are using original NOS Toshiba 1S1588 diodes and 2SC1815 transistors. The main change here is the addition of an internal dip switch which adds an extra pair of clipping diodes in the overdrive stage for increased headroom and a more open sound.
The signal chain of The Triple Gain runs from the Bluesbreaker to the Klon and then into the TS-10. However external toggle switches allow you to alter the signal chain, stacking the TS-10 into the Klon, as well as adjusting the gain level of the BB. This gives you a broad variety of stacking and tone shaping options, taking you from soft break up all the way through to much higher levels of saturation.