30 Pedals in 30 Days 2014: AmpTweaker TightDrive Pro



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At TheToneKing.com, we’ve covered so much James Brown gear that we should probably get his name tattooed on our chest. Ever since he started building pedals under then name AmpTweaker, we’ve still managed to keep up on his repertoire. There’s nothing of his that we haven’t tried. Of course, this year we wanted to check out something that really rocks. And, of course, Mr. Brown didn’t disappoint. This year for 30 Pedals in 30 Days 2014, we checked out AmpTweaker’s TightDrive Pro.

If you need some background on James Brown, then you must be new here. We could tell you how he innovated the amplifier industry with the Peavey 5150, or we could tell you how he continues to create cutting edge amps like Schecter’s Synyster Gates Signtature Hellwin, but this is 30 Pedals in 30 Days 2014 Dammitt!!!! We’re here to talk about pedals! Get used to it!

The guys at AmpTweaker are no slouches. The minute they got the TightMetal and BigRock Pro in player’s hands, they started work on the 2-button version of the TightDrive. Now, that’s initiative son!

The TightDrive was the first thing to come out of the AmpTweaker factory. The concept was simple, give players the most dynamic and versatile gain pedal possible. Is it a drive, or is it a distortion, or is it a boost? Perhaps you didn’t hear me the first time. It’s all about the gain.

James Brown knew that players like diversity. Sometimes, they just need a bit of a nudge to put their amp’s distortion over the top, and sometimes they need a little more saturation for choice solos. Whatever players wanted, they got it with this pedal.

Not surprisingly, everything wasn’t enough for James Brown and company. So, they took the TightDrive and turned it up to eleven with the TightDrive Pro.

With the same dynamic variety of its predecessor, the TightDrive Pro has two boost knobs, one before and one after the distortion. A bit of a lesson here: boost before the gain = a gain boost. Boost after gain = volume boost. That’s because a boost before the gain stage will end up pushing that gain stage harder. Thus, creating more gain. Usually, boosts will be limited to one of the other. But you know those silly-heads over at AmpTweaker, always trying to create the ultimate pedal. Next thing you know, they’ll have one that can control the fabric of spacetime. I wonder if that would include an Infinite Multi-Dimensional Quantum FX loop?

Well, until AmpTweaker comes out with the Infinite Multi-Dimensional Quantum FX Loop, we’ll just have to settle for three. That’s right, the TightDrive Pro has three goddamn FX Loops.

The Universal Loop is always on like Donkey Kong.

The Boost Loop is engaged when the Boost is engaged.

…And the SideTrack Loop. Which is only engaged when you turn off the TightDrive Pro.

In our video, we had some fun by throwing a chorus in front of a clean amp into the SideTrack. Like and A/B switch, we were able to choose between two different paths for our signal to go. You could also use it as a splitter by just plugging the send of the SideTrack FX loop into another amp, driving two amps simultaneously. AmpTweaker not only gives players what they’re looking for, but they give them shit they would never have thought of.

James Brown has made his way to being a household name for guitar players. And, AmpTweaker is where he calls home. Therefore, when he builds something, he means freaking business. Improving on a flagship piece can be daunting for many manufacturers, but AmpTweaker handled it like a ninja, giving players a broader array of tones and features, while maintaining the sound that made them great. The TightDrive Pro was a killer feature for TheToneKing.com’s 30 Pedals in 30 Days 2014, and we can’t wait to see what’s next. Knowing them, AmpTweaker’s probably already working on it.


[youtuber youtube=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYhWqB1gDb8′]

[youtuber youtube=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cT4SNkJ52-Y’]



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About the Author: The Tone King | TheToneKing.com | TTKRocks | REAL reviews for REAL players! ROCK hard, ROCK loud, ROCK ON!

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