52 pedals, week 26—Crazy Tube Circuits Black Magic MkII

Is it week 26 already?! Wasn’t week 25 just a few days ago? Well yes and no. It’s actually week 27, but I’m a little bit behind. So although week 25 was a couple of days ago and it’s currently week 27, today is week 26. Confused?! Imagine how I feel! I’m writing about yet another pedal I wished I owned, but don’t. Crazy right? Crazy indeed. And that’s why this week—or is that last week?—I want the Crazy Tube Circuits Black Magic MkII pedal. Because if anything can make sense of this nonsense, it will be magic.

The Black Magic MkII pedal is a distortion pedal that uses JFET technology to mimic the signal path and response of a high gain all-tube amplifier. Sounds good right? That’s the distortion type most people are after. What I like about this pedal though is that it’s not a simple Volume-Tone-Gain pedal. There’s a lot more going on here and that results in a far greater variety of tonal options.

Before delving into those differences, let’s focus on the standards this pedal has. True bypass. It’s got it. Gain, volume and tone controls. It’s got those too. But the tone settings are handled through the three individual bass, middle and treble knobs. Already you have greater tonal control.

What sets this pedal apart from the others though is the presence and boost controls. The presence is handled through a dedicated knob as is the boost volume. the boost type though is somewhat more intricate. There is a three-way switch that allows you to switch from Gain (G) to Volume (V) or Volume and Gain (V+G). The gain control is customisable through the use of a switch built into the pedal’s Printed Circuit Board (PCB). There are two options for this gain. Boost 1 has a small amount of gain and sustain and boosts the upper mid frequencies. Boost 2 has added gain and sustain as well as a wider frequency boost.

To my knowledge this pedal can only be powered with a 9V power supply. Not by a battery. That suits me perfectly.

The best way to see how the pedal works is of course to hear how the pedal works. While watching. Thank goodness for video! Check it out and see if you’re like me … Wanting the Black Magic MkII.

Disclaimer: I’ve not played this guitar pedal. I have not experienced first-hand the sound or effects of this guitar pedal. That doesn’t matter. It looks awesome, it’s obviously played by winners and I want one.

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