A longtime friend of mine is about to unveil a foundational punk distortion with elite features.
Punk rock is not necessarily known for its love of effects pedals. However, one thing ever good punk rocker needs is serious distortion and punch. And when you can’t get that from cranking a Marshall or Mesa half stack, pedals can be an incredible tool to keep in your arsenal.
Luckily for all of you, Tone For Punk may have just created one of the most versatile punk distortions ever. I’ve messed with a few punk-centric high gain pedals, most notably the October Audio NVMBR Fuzz and Science Fair. But this Distort47, soon to be released by Tone For Punk, is definitely the most punk focused of the bunch.
How Does The Distort47 Work?
This distortion features several controls, including standard volume and distortion knobs that should explain themselves. Those two toggles though, they bring a lot to the table here. On the left most side, you have two clipping options; asymmetrical germanium diodes (down) or mosfet clipping (up). That’s a lot of flexibility, plus you get a bit of a boost on the mosfet side in volume. The other is essentially a tone knob in toggle format, with three different modes that control how much of the low frequency the distortion hits hardest. Sort of like a bass contour, you can get the full span of the EQ or dial in more precise sections (more bass, less bass, more mids). To be more specific, up on the switch brings more mid-focused distortion, the center position focuses more on the high end (leaving room for your bass player), and the down position brings full bass frequency flavor.
So What Do I Think?
I really dig it, especially because you know I love when pedals make good use of toggle switches. I fell in love with the Sensation Fuzzdrive for similar reasons, but this is a lot of distortion in one little box. I used this with my band for a bit, before replacing it with its newest sibling (more on that later). Overall, the Distort47 was very user friendly, and played nicely with both digital and tube amp options. The Mosfet/Asym Germ selection is brilliant. You get lots of different flavors, basically 6 different pre-set punk distortion tones to then shape with the knobs. I also loved the sustain, and huge feeling that the Distort47 provided. It’s not an amp in a box per se, but it sort of works like one.
It’s a key aspect of taking my non-punk amps (Vox AC15, UAudio Dream ’65 & Ruby) and making them perfect for Bad Religion, The Clash, and more. To be fair, I’m not sure I can tell if the circuitry is based on a clear archetype here. It doesn’t seem like a Rat, or DS-1 re-skin. I’m sure it is grounded in somewhat familiar circuitry, maybe OCD-ish with the variable clipping?? But honestly, it doesn’t sound like an OCD. Regardless, it is a really cool take on punk distortion, that’s is both a bit novel but also very familiar and easy to use.
These Distort47 pedals are going for about $138 currently via the Tone For Punk shop site. That price is becoming more and more reasonable as gear prices surge. It’s highly useable, very fun, and approaches distortion in a different way from a lot of other more standard 3 knob options in the price range. If you’re a notoriously picky punk who doesn’t believe in investing in pedals, this might be the one distortion pedal that changes your mind!