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Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Fulltone - Plimsoul

The Fulltone Plimsoul, a new(ish) distortion overdrive from the man who brought you the much appraised OCD. The Plimsoul piqued my interest when it was claimed that part of the circuitry was due to be patented.

First here's the description of the Plimsoul from the Fulltone website:

"For many, many years you've basically had 2 choices for your Overdrive/Distortion pedals: You could either get "Soft-clipped" Bluesy, slightly compressed, (Toob Screemer, FD2, etc.) type Overdrive pedals... or you could get "Hard-Clipped" (OCD, Distortion+, Boss DS-1, etc.) type Distortion pedals.

What if there was a pedal that offered both? There is now... the Patent Pending Fulltone PlimSoul.

PlimSoul has those Softer Bluesey, Compressed capabilities but also has a Second Stage that you can roll in with the turn of a little dial to add that firmer, crunchier, British output tube style Distortion! What's more is you not only hear and feel it... you can SEE the pedal reacting to your every mood via a firey LED that glows brighter and dimmer depending on how distorted it is and how hard you're hitting it.

Touch sensitive? Doesn't get any better.

Clean up with the guitar's volume control? More than any, yes, even more than the OCD.

Speaking of OCD, people ask "What's the comparison?" Easy answer: OCD has an honest flat EQ, won't change your amp's tone. PlimSoul has a gorgeous enhanced Midrange and Lower midrange... excellent to transform a combo into a Marshall-like lead machine, not so necessary if you already have a Marshall-like amp. I use PlimSoul on any combo, I use my OCD on both combos and larger Marshall-style amps/cabinets.

Good with Humbuckers as well as Single coils? Yep.

Does it play nice with other pedals? Yes, it has an Ideal 500K Input Impedance, ideal super low 10K output impedance.

Can I blend the 2 types of Distortion? Yes, and you can have ONLY Soft clipped or ONLY Hard Clipped :)

In a Nutshell? Extremely good Sustain/Feedback qualities, just the right amount of Mids, bottom, Great touch sensitivity, dynamics, and all those in-between shades available when you know how to use your guitar's volume control. I guess I should be flattered, I'm already starting to see pedal builders taking notice and "getting inspired" by the PlimSoul's unique design, which combines independently adjustable soft & hard clipping and successfully emulates the "sag" and other behaviors associated with a tube amp's output section and tube rectifier. With the OCD, I gooped the pcb for 5 years or so to slow them down, but you're now seeing a handful of "OCD inspired" pedals being sold under various names. Now I'm seeing Photoshop renderings popping up from other makers claiming to be developing "emulates output tube distortion" pedals ala Plimsoul. I didn't bother gooping the PlimSoul, but we are well into the Patent process. :)"

Quite a large description! For a real idea of how it sounds check out this demo video of the Plimsoul in action:


Well Winther over at freestompboxes.org took one apart and had a look inside:


Check out that nify looking dual-ganged pot there for the "stage 2" control. A schematic was also donated to freestompboxes.org:


As you can see the dual ganged pot simultanously increased the gain in the second opamp stage while lowering the resistance in series with those LEDs used for clipping. It's an interesting configuration but worthy of a patent? Well I don't know - I don't work at the patent office! The rest of the circuit is a pretty standard overdrive configuration with soft clipping (asymmetric) in the first opamp stage.

Rcustoms also posted this PCB layout: http://www.box.com/s/xlbez8loedjs2bfcdu8k

And here's the topic on freestompboxes.org: http://freestompboxes.org/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=10628

1 comment:

  1. A friend asked me to repair one of these -- the Hi-Cut pot broke when the shaft came loose from it. It is kind of exotic to match -- the small size and snap in lugs. Anybody know where one of these 100K pots can be had? Fulltone will not sell one to me.
    Thanks
    mupper

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