Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 131

WALK THE PLANK

Pirate Guitar Effects' Plank Overdrive and Boost

E

very pro guitarist who has laid eyes on the
Pirate Guitar Effects Plank has initially
thought they recognized the logo and taken
a second look. The Plank is something other
than a clone, though: it's a take on a classic
overdrive circuit - with added bonus points.
Germanium this, true-bypass that - all of
the Plank's boutique bells and whistles reside
inside a heavy-duty red casing with that
eye-catching graphic. The Plank uses a 9-volt
battery (now considered old-school) or a
standard center-ring 9-volt power supply.
With Gain, Treble, and Output dove-head
knobs and a stomp switch labeled "On/Off,"
it's all self-explanatory territory familiar to
OD pedal users.
The left stomp switch, however, puts
the Plank in unique territory, kicking in
an Echoplex EP-3 preamp. And there are
secrets to be explored by simply removing
the back cover. For the musician who needs
to compensate for differing outputs and
sounds of humbuckers versus single-coils,
there's a Dark/Bright switch and the internal
volume trim pot.
An OD pedal needs to hit a tube amp to
work properly, so a Tele-parts guitar was
plugged into a late-model tube combo set
flat with reverb on 4 for a classic rock/blues
jam session. With all knobs turned straight
up, the guitar and amp performed together
with smooth added boost exhibiting little

Price: $199
Info: www.pirateguitarfx.com

breakup or squashed compression. Finding a place in an unrehearsed band mix
was easy with the Plank. It simply made a
good-sounding amp and guitar sound better without the crunch that can overwhelm
an onstage mix. A strong
single-note solo voice was
characterized by good note
separation, and double
stops with bent notes
sustained and sang with
clarity and attitude.
It was still possible to
color chords without
damning dissonance, yet
a bent B string could hang
on seemingly forever with
a little finger wiggle.
Kicking in the Echoplex
preamp circuit via the left
stomp switch redefined the
Plank, adding a hi-fi gloss
with noticeable gain. Selecting the preamp before the
right-switch circuitry produced different colors, and
a few moments of tailoring

the sound through the internal adjustments
compensated for the impact of humbuckers
in a hollowbody. Though these adjustments
couldn't be done on the fly, they maximize
the usefulness of the Pirate Plank.
Smooth, sustaining overdrive, not too
gritty, is what characterizes the Pirate Plank.
You want fuzz or ragged breakup? Check your
pedal stash - you already got that. Maybe
it's time to walk the Plank. - Chip Wilson

WAMPLER ETHEREAL
DELAY & REVERB

Wampler Pedals' Ethereal double delay/reverb
has delay with subdivision selector, plate-style
reverb, and a side-mounted Trails button that
selects between buffered and true-bypass. Its
second delay can be layered in three patterns.
Other features include true-bypass wiring,
top-mounted jacks, and soft-touch footswitch.

JHS PINK PANTHER

JHS Pedals' Pink Panther Delay offers up to
one second of delay with four time subdivisions in Tape or Digital modes, along with
two types of modulation, Dark EQ for repeats, tap-tempo, and top-mounted jacks.

October 2017

131

VINTAGE GUITAR

TKL CONCEPT CASES

TKL's Concept series cases have the
company's Rigidlite molded exterior with
Cushion-Soft Secure-Fit interior and
Providence Forge hardware. They are designed to fit most acoustic-guitar shapes.


http://www.pirateguitarfx.com http://www.vintageguitar.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open

Contents
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - Cover
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - IFC
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 3
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 4
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