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Landgraff Amps & Pedals
Landgraff Dynamic Overdrive
$379 on the 6th of November 2002
Where to find it:
As far as we know it's only available though Blues Angel Music in Pensicola, Florida. You can order on the internet from them: http://www.bluesangelmusic.com
Controls like a Tubescreamer from left to right drive, Tone and Volume. There is also a small three way toggle that lets you select different diode clipping options, more on that under sound. True bypass and 9v power jack runs on an ordinary 9v battery.
Is it wise to spend as much money on an overdrive as $379? especially when living in Europe when you have to add shipping cost and VAT, which in Sweden is 25%. A new Landgraff shipped to Sweden would cost around 500€ or (roughly the same in dollars) before you get it in you're hand. For the same price you could buy a good used tube amp or a brand new Fender Pro-Jr.
So the question is can you justify such a cost for a small box called Landgraff Dynamic Overdrive? You have to judge that you're self. I hope this will help. As always we will make this pedal available to ToneParty goers so please sign up and we can offer you the chance to try the pedal out.
I have had a small one man Tone Party with the Landgraff, Fender Pro-Jr amp (http://www.fender.com/gear/gear.php?partno=0213203000) and my Blue Ernie Ball MM Albert Lee guitar (http://www.ernieball.com/mmonline/specs/instruments_albertlee.html) at my country cottage. The reason I use the Pro-Jr is that it's easy to carry and I want to show that you can get these sounds with an ordinary amp. The guitar is made to sound Tele like on the bridge Pickup which has a base plate, otherwise it has the Pickup configuration of a Strat, the pickups are low output Syemor Duncans. You can hear the clean sound of the guitar through the Pro-Jr, volume set on 2,5 (8 o'clock) and Tone on 9 (2 o'clock) here.
The setting on the amp are the same for all sound files. All sound examples are recorded with a Korg PXR-4 only using the internal microphone and no effects.
I have owned this pedal close to a year now and I liked it from the first day. My initial reaction was that the pedal produces very rich harmonic overdrive. I used with a Fender Prosonic and the overdrive from the Landgraff was much better than the overdrive channel on the Prosonic when it comes to the type of sound I like. I'm not after a super distorted sound but I want sustain , string separation and I usually go for a sound that almost clean when I turn my guitar down and a mild overdrive with sustain when I turn up. The Landgraff does this very well.
As mentioned above the controls are basically like a TS-9 but with the addition of the switch that let's you chose diode clipping pattern the Mid position has the hardest clipping pattern it let's you go from a good clean boost to a smooth strong overdrive that reminds me of Robben Fords sound. The up position gives a sound that reminds my of a Marshall and the down position gives a smooth singing sustain, in this setting I can hear SRV and Scott Henderson (House tore down) type of tone. I have recorded three clips with a high drive setting that shows the difference between the clipping settings.
The first one is the switch in Mid postion, hard clipping. I use the bridge pickup an the guitar and as you can hear it's a full fat sound, I just played something that I improvised based on the sound character, the drive is one notch below maximum (4 o'clock), tone is on 3 o'clock for all sound files: Example 1.
The second example is Up position, a much more Rock'n'Roll type of sound, again bridge pickup and almost same settings except that you have to raise volume to achieve the same output volume the drive is lowered one notch as well (3 o'clock): Example 2.
The third example is switch down and neck pickup, to me this setting is made for singing lead playing on the neck pickup, this sounds a lot like my Mystic amp when the clean channel is almost flat out: Example 3.
As you can hear the sound is quite different with the different setting, they playing response also differs all three setting clean up well when you pick softer or lower volume and over all the response to picking technique is good even at this extreme settings. I don't usually play with this much distortion and since I mostly play clean country style guitar this is not something I do well.
Example 4A and 4b use the same settings as example 1 but I try to play a little bit softer.
Example 5 is closer to my sound drive is on 12 o'clock and the clipping switch is in the middle position. I go from bridge to neck pickup: Example 5.
Here we have the same setting again put clipping switch is up, bridge to neck: Example 6.
And this is with the switch down: Example 7.
When you switch diode clipping you also change the amount of amplification from the pedal therefore you have to adjust volume with the switch in mid position I have volume at around 9 o'clock, with the up position around 11 o'clock and with the down postion almost at 1 o'clock.
I notcice that I tend to like the mid clipping best for Country playing with a low drive setting and drive a bit higher for an attempt on Robben Ford style of sound. The up position is great for Rock'n'Roll type of sounds from Allman Brothers to AC/DC or Blackmore, with the switch down I'm almost always lured into Texas Blues style of playing, Freddie kings 70's sound and SRV can be found here, also a very Scott Henderson style of sound, a bit like the perfect Tube Screamer.
Example 8 is close to cleanboost especially with the switch in midposition here drive is at 9 o'clock and first its pedal off, mid, up and down postion of the switch, bridge pickup on the guitar. You can hear how distortion increases and changes character with the different settings: Example 8.
In the last example I have drive just one notch above minimum with the switch in mid position it is a subtle clean boost type of sound, up position compress the sound a little and down gives you a mild smooth overdrive. In this example it's also pedal off, switch mid, up and down and neck pickup is used: Example 9.
There is very hard to hear the difference between off mid and up position when listening to the file, the difference is in the response when you play.
The pedal seems to be of very high quality, I have opened it and the interior looks just as on the picture from Blues Angel.
The pedal is hand painted and signed by John Landgraff the paint seem to be applied well and doesn't fall off easily, a problem you might experience with hand painted pedals.
The Landgraff is the best overdrive pedal I have tried. It sound very natural vey much like really good tube amps. I have tried it with many different amps, from my cheap Pro-Jr to my very expensive Mystic, I have also played it through Budda Twinmaster and a ToneKing comet, the comet did not like my Klon Centaur, to much midrange boost, but the Landgraff sounded very good through it. So I find the Landgraff to work well with all tube amps I have tried it with, it sounds good through a clean Fender but also blends well with a distorted amp. The three clipping settings make it very versatile. It might not be as good as clean boost as the Klon and the Klon also have a type of overdrive that differs a bit from the Landgraff so I have both and use the Klon for Clean Boost and the Landgraff for different types of overdrive.
I think that players of many different styles would like the Landgraff but it does not do modern Metal distortion.
I highly recommend this pedal to anyone looking for a professional overdrive pedal.
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