Hello Gearheads! I'm happy to bring you a new experience at Tinkercity Music... Video Demos! I will still be writing reviews and content here in the Gearheads Blog (which you're reading right now!) but will be adding some great video explorations on how I use these tools in a studio environment. Each demo contains an original composition and a unique perspective on the tonal usage of each piece. Feel free to comment below or drop me a line --- I'd love to hear from you all whether it be questions, advice or inquires on future demos.
To kick off this new year and beautiful 2018, I'd like to introduce the Dan Drive Austin Blender, a very cool Octave Fuzz, Boost and unique tone machine. Based in Germany, Daniel Querner is building some cool pedals that focus on vintage-minded tones while retaining a step towards modern guitarist's needs.
The Austin Blender is Dan's answer to the incredibly cool, yet no longer made, Prescription Electronics C.O.B. pedal. It's a unique octave fuzz pedal that has a clean blend (hence the name, Clean-Octave-Blend, or C.O.B.) to create familiar and unorthodox octave fuzz tones. While the Blender is most certainly derived from that rare and now extremely expensive RX C.O.B., the Blender offers a redesigned gain structure to help with the interaction between other pedals like fuzz and overdrive. The Austin Blender shines at boosting other gain pedals, but also sounds incredible on it's own to create some fantastically huge ring mod boost tones, as well as the classic Octavia madness.
I found some great pushed boost tones with an almost flange voicing on the tail end of each note with humbuckers into my Two Rock Classic Reverb Signature set right on the edge of breakup. Using single coils I was able to find the familiar nostalgia of the Hendrix inspired psychedelic Octavia of yesteryear. I combined the Austin Blender with a Vemuram Jan Ray to get a massive lead tone, thick and singing enough to cut through any mix in the best of ways. I found the relationship between the gain and clean-blend controls to be incredibly useful to manipulate the "right" sound for each part in a session. Specifically, you can really fine-tune the clarity of the tone you're working with via those two controls. I was most surprised with the less crazy rhythm tones I was getting with the gain dialed back. They were rich and full with something special on the edge of each note (whether it be a slight flange or ring mod) that would really bring out the magic in layering in the studio. All in all, the Austin Blender is a formidable addition to the Octaver market, helping fill a growing hole created by an ever elusive and out of production pedal.
Thanks for checking out my experiences with the Dan Drive Austin Blender. You can find more information about the Blender and the other great pedals they're making here: https://www.dandrive-pedal.com/
Stay tuned for much more content and cool gear demos & reviews soon!
Check out my video demo of the Austin Blender below!