AMPTWEAKER TIGHT METAL PRO
James Brown is a hit man, a killer in our industry. Whenever somebody wants something done right, they call him. Whether it’s the Peavey 5150 or the Schecter Hellwin, James is known for getting things done. Which is why the TheToneKing.com is always keeping an eye on him, especially when it comes from his own company, Amptweaker. For 30 Pedals in 30 Days TheToneKing.com had a chance to check out Amptweaker’s Tight Metal Pro to find out why James Brown is on everybody’s speed dial.
Fans of TTK will remember James Brown from our earlier article The Godfather of Modern Amplification To give you the quick talking points: The dude’s had his hand in the 5150, the JSX, the Classic 50, the Classic 30, the Delta Blues, and the Hellwin just to name a few. That’s a big freaking list of some of the biggest name amps.
The idea behind Amptweaker was to get feedback directly from the players. The website has an “ideas” page where you can tell James what kind of gear you want to see him come up with next. Every pedal that Amptweaker designs is a direct result of feedback from players all around the world. And, the TightMetal Pro is no exception.
This goes without saying, but the TightMetal Pro is the big brother to the TightMetal, a pedal that took saturation to the next level. These pedals dripped tone. Where a lot of pedals fail with too much saturation is when they start to sound sloppy. That’s where the TightMetal’s Tight control came into play. James mentioned Mark Kloeppel from the band Misery Index as an inspiration for this. “Like many other metal players, Mark was looking for a particular guitar tone, one with a lot of harmonics but with the ability to stop the notes really fast to work with their music.”
But, more gain isn’t always the solution to a great distortion pedal.
You need a good foundation. Otherwise the whole thing falls apart. James went with something he already knew worked. His own pedal, a carefully modified TightDrive. Using the TightDrive as a foundation, he added additional gain stages in the front end until he reached those harmonics and that saturation that he was looking for. The result was a rich distortion that reacts well to harmonics that hasn’t lost its punch.
Apparently, that wasn’t enough for Mr. Brown.
At Summer NAMM 2013, Amptweaker unveiled the TightMetal Pro. A two-button version of its predecessor, the TightMetal Pro gives players more control over their tone along with a ton of new features. “While developing the TightMetal Pro, we not only used suggestions that had been flooding in since the introduction of the first TightMetal, but also contacted people who DIDN’T like the original. That’s where things like the Fat switches and Smooth Edge switches came from, and when combined with the 3 band EQ, this allows the pedal to reach more players with it’s ability to get a lot more of the various metal tones.” If nothing else, the TightMetal Pro has more features than many 100-Watt amps.
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