The first time I ever played a GOLD I had just picked it up from Stephen Pettyjohn personally. I was working for a local store in Bend, Oregon and was super excited to put it through its paces.
I opened the box, took the pedal out and set it down on the floor. I didn’t touch the knobs or even pay attention to the where they were set. I plugged in nine volts of DC power, a couple 1/4” cables and flipped on my Deluxe Reverb. Without thinking “Manic Depression” erupted out of my fingertips (sure, I already new how to play the song. The tone though, coming from the GOLD through my amp, was… perfect).
I played a few more Jimi songs before finally looking down at the unit. Pretty straight forward I thought, “3 band EQ with an adjustable mid bell curve, Gain & Output”. By simply thinking of a favorite player’s tone and adjusting the EQ to where I thought it should go, I could dial in any sound I so desired.
Seriously though, the Pettyjohn GOLD is a definite go-to overdrive for almost anyone playing an electric guitar. From cleaner bluesy tones to mid-bumped high gain British amp distortion, the GOLD does it all. The dynamic response on this unit is superb! The ability to clean up the pedals is as easy as dialing back your guitar’s volume knob or simply playing with a lighter touch. “Plexi” tones for days but the magic for me on this pedal is found in the EQ section.
First, lets just mention how cool it is that this unit goes from 20hz-20khz, which is a huge frequency response (bass/synth players, did you just read that!!!). The High Cut provides a huge sweep, all the way down to 1000hz, completely shelving the highs should you so desire.
Stephen also provided two solid options internally to filter the highs through; an Auri-Cap audiophile capacitor (super transparent, stock setting) or a more vintage sounding Orange Drop (classic & smooth) that can be selected via an internal mini toggle. The Lows can sweep all the way up to 750hz, got a cranked amp British amp or a saggy American one? No problem, cut those lows and add some extra crunch and musical response to your amp’s tone.
A lot of time could be spent talking about the Mids and the Mid Freq knobs and just how crucial they are to dialing in the right era of classic “marshall-y” tone.
First off, the Mids provide +/- 8db of boost or cut to wherever the Mid Freq knob is set. Want to dial in some Gibbons or Hendrix-y tones? Cut the mids and turn the Freq to about 10/11 o’clock. What about some Eddie? boost those mids and set the Freq dial closer to 2 o’clock. From Cream-y Clapton to some angsty Angus the Mids and Mid Freq knobs are where you will find them all.
Another trick with the GOLD: shelf the Highs/Lows and experiment with the Mids section. This will provide a cutting crunch that no one can deny.
Couldn’t finish talking about the GOLD without mentioning the DC input. The pedal runs on anywhere from 9-18v of DC power. However, the unit is equipped with a dual-rail, high voltage power section.
When you plug 9v into the GOLD you actually get 18v of response. Plug 18v into it and you get 36v. Combine the superb EQ section with the internal Auri-Cap at 36v and you can basically get rid of that giant stack taking up all the space in your bedroom or practice space.
For an amp-in-a-box sound that can do it all, the GOLD is the only way to go.