A couple of months ago I was in search of a really good quality tone box which is capable of producing really high gain distortion to play heavy rock and metal music. In the quest for the ultimate tone box, I had come across quite a lot of digital pedals but I always found them weak and incapable of producing the kind of tight, crushing notes that I want. A friend of mine recommended the Amptweaker TightMetal Distortion Effects Pedal to me and life was never the same again! This one is the brainchild of the legend James Brown himself, who has designed a number of popular amps like Peavey 6505, Delta Blues, JSX, Classic 50 and so on in the past. Seeing how my friend was so fond of this distortion effects pedal I decided to give it a go and purchased it; the following is my review of it.
The Amptweaker TightMetal is capable of producing over-the-top hardcore metal crunch tones. Here, the Tight Attack Control can be used for adjusting the tightness of these tones. You can opt for anything from the smooth and thick settings at the low end to the tight and aggressive setting at the high end. This pedal does offer a great deal of harmonics but it is also capable of stopping the sounds extremely quickly. Thus, you can definitely count on this pedal for producing the kind of attack that would go with your guitar-playing and picking style.
High gain tube amps are generally designed using flowing extra tube stages. This pedal is no different. It is made using extra stages on a TightDrive that is carefully tweaked. As a result, the distortion produced is a lot thicker and heavier. The pedal also comes with an inbuilt output EQ curve which can be tweaked through the output Tone control. This way, it makes it possible to achieve the stack sound via the clean channel of a tiny combo amp. The pedal also features several switches for customizing or tweaking the tone and to contribute to its playability.
There is also a Mid switch located on the pedal, I use this for obtaining a more traditional metal rhythm sound. This can be combined with the Thrash control of the pedal in order to have a mid-tone that is scooped deeper. There is also a switch titled ‘Gate’ which can be used in conjunction with the Chomp setting just below it for stopping the notes quickly. These two controls go hand in hand and are extremely handy when I am playing quick riffs having a lot of palm-muted stops. During such instances, the TightMetal Distortion makes the entire band sound even tighter and fabulous!
Handmade in the United States of America, this distortion effects pedal comes with a True Bypass switch. Right at the top there are four main knobs: Volume, Tone, Gain and Tight (Attack). When connected to the power supply, these LED knobs light up, thus making them easier to spot in the dark. The pedal also comes with an Effects Loop that has a Pre/Post switch and a Tracks on/off footswitch. There is also a battery disconnect switch that has a red indicator beside it. The magnetic battery access door of the pedal can be opened without tools, which is definitely a major advantage!
The Amptweaker TightMetal Distortion is quite flexible as far as power is concerned. It can be powered via 14mA with 9V battery or 20mA with 9V adapter. The pedal is capable of working with supplies ranging from 9V to 18V, therefore you can vary the power in order to shift the amp up or down. Another good thing about this pedal is that it comes with a 5 year limited warranty. Overall, the pedal is extremely impressive and it does exactly what it promises. It is the perfect pedal for ‘metalheads’ like me as it can produce the most savage tones that would give your audience goosebumps!
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