Krank Krankshaft

Arizona-based Krank, a respected new marque in high-gain amplifiers, recently unveiled its second pedal—the aptly named Krankshaft Overdrive ($195 retail/$129 street). With its black painted steel enclosure and skull-and-pistons graphics, this pedal is about as subtle as a 1970 Pontiac “The Judge” GTO.  The Krankshaft features Output, Tone, and Gain controls, a bypass LED, and a standard 2.1mm jack for an external adapter (not included). Another little flashback from the Nixon era is that you have to undo the housing to access the battery.
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The Krankshaft is a good sounding overdrive with touch-sensitive, tube-like grind and a midrange presence and tight low-end that actually had some folks around here thinking we were playing a very distorted amp, as opposed to a pedal. But the Krankshaft also has a few quirks that bear discussing. First, the output level is highly dependent on not only the Gain setting, but also the position of the Tone control. To get the most output from this box, the Tone knob has to be near its maximum setting, which, unfortunately is where you encounter viciously spiky highs—way too intense for even our meatiest humbucker guitars. All of this makes the Krankshaft less versatile overall than many of the pedals in the group. In all fairness, though, turn the Gain and Output controls all the way up and keep the highs reigned in, and the Krankshaft works great for toggling between crunch and lead tones with a responsive tube amp. It may be kind of a one-trick pony in that regard, but it’s a good trick nonetheless.

Kudos  Delivers dynamic, tube-like distortion.

Concerns Output is too dependent on Gain and EQ settings. Tone control’s top range is excessively bright.

Contact Krank Amplification, (480) 967-5803;