Free the Tone String Slinger Overdrive
The String Slinger overdrive

Japanese boutique pedal maker Free the Tone has just announced two overdrive pedals:  String Slinger Overdrive SS-1V and Fire Mist Overdrive FM-1V.

Both stompboxes seek to emulate the most ‘amp-like’ tones. The String Slinger is inspired by the electric bluesmen of the ’60s—in other words, a Fender Blackface. And the Fire Mist promises to recreate the sounds of classic British rock, or a Marshall Plexi. And true to their inspirations, these stompboxes are straightforward, ballsy and real easy to use.

Free the tone Fire Mist Overdrive
The Fire Mist overdrive

Each pedal has only three controls that really need no explanation: “Level,” “Tone” and “Drive.” But their simplistic façades belie the tech wizardry that went under their hoods.

Take Free the Tone’s HTS (Holistic Tonal Solution) circuit, for example. Unlike regular buffer circuits, this “brings out individual sound characteristics of your guitar and amplifier […] while providing impedance conversion and establishing both the ideal sound and low noise,” the company said. Free the Tone even researched the best enclosure dimensions to use.

The String Slinger and Fire Mist list for $350, and is expected to be released in June. For more information, check out freethetone.com.