First Impressions: Visual Sound Truetone

 Sporting only Volume and Tone controls, the Truetone ($148 retail/$99 street) is a clean boost pedal that aims to deliver a UFC-type blow to the front-end of your tube amp, brutally pushing the tubes to further harmonic expanse.
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The Truetone sports a beefy black enclosure with recessed knobs to save you from the indignity of a bent or sheared pot. Our test version’s potentiometer shafts felt a bit wobbly, but that’s my only quibble with what is otherwise a very stout pedal. In fact, Visual Sound says that their proprietary footswitch is rated for 10,000,000 (ten million) on/off cycles, which compares to 5,000 stomps for a standard mechanical footswitch! Sonically, the Truetone delivers on its promise of slamming the front end of your amp Chuck Liddel-style for a boatload of added dynamics and grind. Unity gain for the pedal is about a quarter of the way up, so turning the Volume control beyond that point yielded a formidable pounding on the front-end of my Fender Princeton, Deluxe Reverb, and 50-watt Marshall—giving me howling sustain or clean tones bursting with oodles of touch sensitivity. The Tone control is voiced extremely well, providing all sorts of ultra-musical options with humbucker or single-coil-equipped guitars. In fact, I found it particularly useful with my Gibson SG, as the control allowed me to not only dial-up the aforementioned boost, but I was able to glean some cutting slice to push solos and chordal stabs even further up front in a live mix. The Truetone is also quiet. A simple, great-sounding, workman-like booster. —Darrin Fox
For more information contact Visual Sound,