The TO1 ($79 retail/$39 street) is a straightforward overdrive/ boost pedal that, with its green paint job, reminds me of the venerable Ibanez TS-808. Sporting Gain, Tone, and Level controls, the TO1 also has a nice degree of Tube Screamer dynamic sensitivity—dig in for some amp-slamming grind, or back off on your attack to clean things up. Low Gain control settings provide some of the cool nuances of a mildly overdriven tube amp, and the distortion comes on quickly as you increase the Gain. Past the 12 o’clock position, the TO1 doesn’t deliver much additional grit, but the harmonics are definitely accentuated and the tone becomes more complex with good note definition.
The Tone control on this pedal has a little more range than a TS-808’s. You probably don’t want to do the old trick of putting it on zero (which many players do automatically with a ’Screamer), while turning it fully to the treble side can put some serious sizzle on the notes. With my guitars, I found that setting the Gain and Tone knobs to approximately three o’clock created a balanced-sounding distortion tone that just ripped when pumped though a cranked tube amp.
KUDOS Nice array of low-to-medium overdrive tones. Great price.
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