GOLD MKII: The Golden Era of Plexi Tone
Updated: Mar 29, 2021
It was an era that changed the music industry and guitar tone forever. It was the choice of legendary guitarists such as; Townsend, Clapton, Hendrix, Johnson… and the list goes on, even today. Back then the goal was loud, but the outcome was so much more than volume.
The GOLD MKII, much like its predecessor the GOLD v1, was designed to capture the classic tones of the Marshall Plexi (1959SLP) in the simple format of a guitar pedal. The original GOLD was great at providing players with that classic crunch and character so many of us have come to desire and was easily our best selling effect, until now.
Since the release of the MKII series at Winter NAMM ’19 Stephen has been revamping and improving our popular Foundry Series V1 overdrives; first the CHIME MKII in January, the IRON MKII in June and now The GOLD MKII this July. The same proprietary power supply and Quiet Bypass Switching System from the CHIME MKII and IRON MKII is now in the GOLD MKII along with its redesigned MKII enclosure. That means by only plugging in 9V 200ma of power you get 36V of internal headroom, with a totally quiet bypass switching system, that won’t obliterate your delay’s and reverb’s when the unit is engaged. With 36V of internal headroom the GOLD MKII is as close to an amp in tone and response as is possible from only a 9V power source.
Aside from these new features the GOLD MKII boasts twice the gain range. The sweep of saturation and tonal character on this pedal is stunning. Low gain exists from 7-10 o’clock on the Gain knob. The low-gain settings are great at adding some punch to rhythm tones or for fattening up a bridge/hook. Mid gain is from 10-2 o’clock. Here the GOLD MKII starts to come alive with sweet harmonics and incredible dynamics that are guaranteed to make any player leave it on through an entire show. Beyond 2’clock the notes are simply pulled out of the guitar. There is plenty of saturation on tap that doesn’t suck or get muddy even when stacked with other Overdrives and Distortions.
Inside the GOLD MKII you will find two mini toggles. The first toggle controls the hi-cut. The GOLD MKII comes set up stock with a punchy WIMA cap that adds clarity and a modern feel to the top end of the tone. Flipping the toggle moves the hi-cut to a 716 Orange Drop providing a smoother, more vintage vibe to the highs. The other toggle is for the pedal’s headroom. Stock, the headroom is set to a more open, amp-like feel that we believe resembles that classic Plexi tone in all its glory. Though the low headroom section is not a “klone” circuit, flipping the toggle to this setting will take the GOLD MKII’s overall character and feel to that other golden era of tone that we all know and love, the Klon. This low headroom setting is more pushed, capturing all the attitude and character of that iconic overdrive so many of us are searching for.
Hold on though, that’s not all! Just like the CHIME MKII, Stephen installed a Gain bypass in the third position of the headroom toggle. Switching the headroom toggle to this setting completely bypasses the clipping section. This makes the GOLD MKII a formidable preamp, with a semi-parametric 3-band EQ, capable of sculpting any instrument with its 20hz-20khz frequency range.
We are super pleased with how this pedal came out and can’t wait for you to get your hands on one. The GOLD MKII can be found at your local Pettyjohn Dealer or on our website here. There are even Custom Shop options for direct orders to enhance and change the pedals performance to your playing style and ear. Audio GOLD, get some!