- Published: 07 June 2020 07 June 2020
Hello, Effects Fans!
Yikes! We’ve been so busy working on new modules that we let some of our new product announcements slip. It’s time to correct that oversight.
Today we announce the Gerlt Technologies Chainsaw module. It is an extreme high-gain distortion for the most brutal and heavy metal you can legally play in most countries. If you like your metal Swedish style, then our HM-2 configuration may be what you want. It compares to the original Made In Japan Boss HM-2 Heavy Metal pedal, a classic ingredient to that heavy Swedish death metal sound. Add a humbucker guitar, a solid state amp, set all the knobs to 10, and you’re on your way. Or if you prefer some American heavy metal, choose the FX56 configuration, which compares to the Made in the USA DOD FM-56 American Metal pedal. The circuits are nearly the same.
The Boss HM-2 was produced from 1983 to 1991, first in Japan and later in Taiwan. The two versions of the circuit are nearly identical, with some minor part changes. The earlier MIJ models seem to be most popular, although it is difficult to tell the difference in sound between the ones made in Japan and Taiwan. The HM-2 wasn't really all that popular, but you may remember that the heavy metal bands were just beginning to emerge around that time. Somehow it caught on in Sweden, and suddenly the price of the older units jumped as players began buying them up for the heaviest of heavy metal tones. It is often used with all controls set at max to get maximum distortion tones.
In 1984 US pedal company DOD released the FX56. The FX56 circuit is basically the same as the HM-2, but some different part values were used and the Low and High controls were combined into a single Presence control, although it continued to use the unique tone stack design of the HM-2, but with slightly tweaked frequency ranges. The FX56 goes from overdrive to distortion, although perhaps the level of distortion is a bit lower. The Presence control goes from a subdued, compressed tone to bright and cutting. With the controls turned up, you'll likely get out-of-control feedback and squealing.
Make no mistake, both configs are designed primarily for very high distortion metal tones. But if you dial it down a bit, you may find your Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, and other British metal tones in there, too. With all that gain, you’ll have loads of feedback and it may get into a squealing, out of control mess depending on your guitar, amp, and other gear. If that happens, you know you have all the gain your rig can handle and you’ll likely need to take a little gain off somewhere to get it under control. Of course that much gain means there is also an excellent opportunity for noise. Gain will multiply noise just as easily as your guitar tone, as high-gain players well know. You’ll probably want humbuckers and some sort of active noise management somewhere in your chain.
The interesting part of this circuit is the tone stack. It is designed to help maintain some clarity with all that gain. This is also where the two configurations differ most. The HM-2 config has Lo and High “Color Mix” controls. The Lo controls the low end like normal. But the frequencies controlled by the Hi band adjust as you adjust the level of highs. The FX56 config is similar, but the Lo and Hi controls are combined into a single Presence control.
We offer some customizations for both circuits, but if you’re looking at this module then you are probably after that heavy tone and you won’t need any options to get it.
You can see the details about our Chainsaw at: Chainsaw. Or look for it in the Distortion Modules section under Products -> Modules -> Modules By Type.