T.C. Jauernig Electronics Diabolical Gristle Tone Manipulator - GuitarPlayer.com

T.C. Jauernig Electronics Diabolical Gristle Tone Manipulator

From deep behind the cheddar curtain of Wisconsin comes a cool little overdrive with a funny name. The Diabolical Gristle Tone Manipulator ($139 retail/street N/A), the latest offering from T.C. Jauernig Electronics, was inspired by the “savage auditory pummeling” of the ever-wacky Greg Koch.

Similar in design to the venerable Tube Screamer, the DGTM features Gristle (distortion), Tone (tone), and Gravy (output) controls. It also sports a two-position toggle that allows the user to change one diode in the clipping section—a germanium diode for an overall smoother sound (left) or an LED for more output and a slightly crunchier response (right).

From a construction standpoint, everything about the DGTM exudes quality. The switch feels stompably sturdy, the knobs are silky smooth, and the jacks feel perfectly snug. To hear what sonic havoc it could wreak, I stuck it in front of a Fender Deluxe Reverb, set all the controls at one o’ clock with the toggle to the left, and had at it. These settings produced a tone that was loud, fat, and mean with a very detailed overdrive character. Switching the toggle to the right increased the crunch factor and made for an edgier, more aggressive sound. The Tone control is voiced very musically, taking you from a sexy, dark Woman tone to a bright, but not ice-picky, voice. Cranking the Gristle and pouring on the Gravy made the Deluxe sing and scream—this pedal has plenty of output. Lower Gristle settings with maximum Gravy were loud, throaty, and barky. Very cool. Notes really seem to bloom through this pedal. They don’t squash out, and the string-to-string definition is top-notch at any setting. To paraphrase the always-quotable Mr. Koch, “Goodbye vintage distortion boxes, goodbye boutique overdrives. You were delish, but now the DGTM is in town.”

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