Jackson Audio has teamed up with Vulfpeck and Fearless Flyers guitarist Cory Wong to launch The Optimist, a dual overdrive and EQ pedal with MIDI control.
The pedal fuses two of the most revered transparent overdrives around: the Klon Centaur and the Timmy. These two overdrive circuits are independently switchable, and are joined by a three-band EQ and extensive MIDI control options.
The first overdrive circuit, OD 1 is based around the Klon, and keeps the famous Germanium clipping diodes in the circuit. It adds an active EQ, although this can be bypassed if you want. The second, OD 2, is the one inspired by the Timmy, which has a wider range of gain and a flatter EQ response. The additional three-band EQ is an active Baxandall-inspired one, with 12dB of cut and boost for each band, allowing you to have dramatic control over the overall character of your sound. Its engaged by pressing both footswitches at the same time.
MIDI control is granted over all of the pedal’s knobs and switches, meaning that if you need to integrate the pedal into a more complex rig, you’ll be able to do so easily.
Cory Wong said of the pedal: “The Optimist is the most versatile overdrive pedal I’ve ever used. My goal was to design a pedal that could give me the full range of drive levels for punchy rhythm to soaring lead guitar lines.
“I knew that Jackson Audio was the place to land for this pedal. I’ve been blown away by the pedals they’ve made and wanted to explore some new circuits with them. The Klon has been this mystical and hyped up circuit for years and for good reason! It’s an incredible-sounding circuit and the way it pairs with the flat response overdrive is incredible. OD1 has the mid-bump Klon circuit that we know and love.
“OD2 has a flat response overdrive that has an incredible range of drive. When the two of them pair together it creates an even more boosted drive that doesn’t squeal because they’re both mid-level drives!
“The final piece of magic on this pedal is the EQ. Brad Jackson has been trying to convince me about the power of an EQ pedal for a long time and now I know why. We created an EQ section that focuses on the frequencies that you want more of in single coils and less of in humbuckers. The EQ can help tone shape your guitars to match each other or it can help you get the perfect clean tone out of an amp”
Check out the pedal in Jackson Audio’s launch video below.
The Optimist lists for £349 / €349. Find out more at jackson.audio.