Grand Classic Distortion

$222.50

This product will be made available for general purchase after I deliver all pre-orders and Kickstarter (roughly 50). There is no ETA for general sale, but I strongly hope Winter 2023. I haven’t disabled pre-orders but please be aware that if you do choose to support this project at this point then you wont get your unit until several months from now.

Kickstarter and second-wave editions will be supplied with a Low Pass Filter expression controller module. All orders made after this and the general release of this unit do not include this and the add-on effects module is sold separately. I intend to make a wide variety of effects modules available over the coming years to allow you to individually customise your pedal.

All Second-Wave pre-orders are now taken. ETA isĀ  February 2023 March/April 2023 unknown!…. please see notes below for progress.
This is available only for a maximum of just FIVE units. By purchasing a pre-order you will help me pay my bills whilst I finish this pedal, and as a bonus reward, in addition to a discount, your Second-Wave pedal will be uniquely hand-engraved with “The Second Wave” plus numbered and signed. To follow progress as I finish designing these please visit the Kickstarter page where I post regular updates:

GC Updates on Kickstarter

Grand Classic Second Wave Supporters

Serial NumberSupporterDispatched
GCSW1MLETA unknown
GCSW2
SSETA unknown
GCSW3RKETA unknown
GCSW4ASETA unknown
GCSW5ABETA unknown

Available on back-order

SKU: ASGC Category:

The Grand Classic is a ground-breaking new distortion which uses cascaded FET input op-amps to create a natural and responsive high-gain distortion far unlike the common diode-clipping style that almost every other popular distortion uses. You don’t have to sacrifice responsiveness and nuance, you don’t have to tolerate buzzy and unnatural tone, you can have your high-gain cake and eat your fluid sensitivity at the same time!

The GC also features a revolutionary new pre-distortion stage that lets you sculpt your harmonic content to simulate different tube amp types, entirely in analogue.

It features carefully designed active EQ that complements your guitar tone instead of the usual awful hi-fi treble’n’bass tone stack circuit clone that is so often mindlessly copied and is too extreme and harsh to be usable.

And it includes an incredible expression jack Low Pass swept Filter which gives a synth-like wah-like sound when used with an expression pedal (TRS type) or with a 0-5v CV voltage.

As I write this post the unit is undergoing slow and careful design whilst being funded via Kickstarter so please expect updates and changes šŸ§”šŸ§”šŸ§”

NEW FEATURE ADDED! (October 2022)
Now with removeable, modular effects board so you can change what your expression jack does (new modules will be released during mid to late 2023)

NEW FEATURE ADDED! (November 2022)
Now with true relay bypass and ultra-tough silent switching. This has a 50x longer lifespan of mechanical parts than the usual stomp switches, and makes no click noise, yet looks -exactly-like a traditional stomp switch!

*DELAY (December 2022)
Due to logistical problems with DPD and Royal Mail, plus personal problems with a leaky roof and a falling down wall, I’m now running several more weeks behind schedule. I will do my best to catch up in January. I’ve already sourced a faster PCB house to shave an extra week off the time and am testing them out right now with a repeat order for an existing product.

FINALISED FEATURE – Core Switch (17 January 2023)
Got the component values spot-on now. Really gorgeous and powerful sounding. Swap from the default tighter, flatter sound to a midrange-focussed sound great for focussing your guitar in the mix. Video soon.

FINALISED CORE DESIGN! (31 January 2023)
Over the last two weeks I’ve fine-tuned the Drop mid and Growl options, altered the treble to make is sweeter and more airy, worked out how to fit everything in, got the momentary relay switching sorted, tweaked a few buffers and a myriad of other things. Oh and I renamed Core to Crunch, because it sounds more appropriate. It’s really sounding fantastic! Oh an I also tweaked the artwork and layout.

PCB CORE LAYOUT COMPLETED (10 February 2023)
I’ve managed to fit everything I need onto the board and route the tracks in a basic manner so it all works. This is a huge milestone! It’s really fantastic and gives me huge confidence that we’re progressing. Next I need to do clean-up and get spacings, alignments and fine details sorted, which is pleasant work really. And after that it’s on to the daughterboards for the effects system, which are much easier and less cramped and don’t need any strange and complex part placements. But first I am grabbing a week off because I am almost burned out from all this intensity and everything is blurry now! See you all soon. Much love’

TRAGEDY (19 March 2023)
On the 3rd March my my beloved cat Batfink severed his spinal nerves in a freak indoor accident, which let him partially paralysed and without bowel function, so after a number of x-rays, tests, medications and a second-opinion, I had to have him put down. The whole experience has really messed me up and I’ve been struggling to function. Ā He was far more than a pet and I haven’t coped very well with this at all.

Batfink has been beside me throughout the whole growth of Audiostorm and in an odd way was even partially responsible for the ‘AMP’ control on this pedal. At the time I knew what I wanted it to do but couldn’t figure it out. It was an idea I’d been chewing on for a couple of years with no luck solving it. One night at 1am he knocked over my most precious guitar and woke me up. I was unable to get back to sleep so I fired up the computer and whilst sat there at 2 or so in the morning fussing him finally had the revelation of how I could make this control work.

Progress is continuing, I haven’t stopped, just slowed down because grief is clouding my thinking a bit. The primary boards are almost ready to send for production and have passed DRC (Design Rule Check). This means that every part on the board is in place, every track is connected with no shorts, and everything meets the manufacturer requirements so the board can be made and will work. It doesn’t mean the board is optimised or however, so now I’m just fussing around with ensuring that all the earth screens are in place and that all tracks take the shortest and quietest routes. This bit is very labour intensive and is what separates merely good design from truly great design.

I’m also removing all ETAs. At this point I am so far beyond my initial design idea, I’ve added so many incredible features and used more than twice the number of parts I budgeted for, it is anyone’s guess as to when I will actually deliver. If it’s any consolation, at this point, it’s a pure labour of love, it’s art and boundary-pushing, and I’m also really not making any money on these! They’ve become my Sisyphean magnum opus. A true legend piece I believe. I hope!

Final Prototype (12 April 2023)
I’ve been told I am suffering from depression. I’ve never really experienced anything like this before, I’m always full of energy but suddenly it’s so hard to get out of bed and each day seems painfully quiet and empty. But I’m continuing to work because I find some comfort in that. I built the soft-switching system on a large circuit board (SW BETA) and debugged it: The tests were successful and after discovering I had two diodes backwards the switching system is proven as superb! Stable, low noise, fast switching. During the last few weeks I’ve also put together a final prototype design for the main audio region which I aim to etch and assemble at the end of this week. If that goes to plan I’ll sign-off on the final core board design and send that board for production.

Final-final Prototype (21 May 2023)
Over the last weeks I assembled a large board etched prototype (BETA 1) and, although it sounded good, it had stability problems. After many days debugging and finding no fault I theorised that the layout on this pedal was more critical than I realised. I created BETA 2 which was the same circuit but with carefully thought out trace routes, something normally only done for fast computer systems and ultra-critical tech, and it completely solved the noise issues. On the 21 May I took this big-box prototype to the North West Guitar show and let everyone demo it. The feedback was unanimously positive! Loads of people commented on how versatile and powerful it was and every player coaxed completely different tones from it, varying from light blues and rock to full on punk and metal. Very pleased!

Final-final Prototype (7 June 2023)
Finishing up PCB. Had to re-draw all the footprints. Time-consuming! I confess that I’m really out of money and energy at this point. You -will- get your pedals but I just have to sacrifice a lot of time to making and selling HotBoxes to paying bills because I’ve spent more than double what I took off everyone on developing these.Ā  Really. I know! Absolutely no business sense, utter stupidity, just pure pride and love at this point. I think my next releases will have to be more business minded, both for financial reasons and my sanity. No regrets, and yet… never again!

Core PCB order (19 June 2023)
I’ve placed the order and am awaiting proofs and verification.

Manufacturing (13 August 2023)
I’ve been posting more regular updates on Kickstarter but the synopsis is that I have the equipment almost ready to begin manufacture. I should be doing a test run next shortly. I really am working as hard and as fast as I can manage, I’ve just over-reached myself and had to learn so many new skills to make these units. I’ve also spent around three times as much as I have taken from everyone, I’m hugely in debt on this project so far, and I -know- that doesn’t necessarily get me any sympathy, but I hope it reassures everyone how serious and committed I am to this project and how much I believe it is absolutely worth it.

First board done! (26 August 2023)
I’ve assembled and soldered the first board. It isn’t fully audio tested but it looks beautiful and toggles on and off just fine. Unfortunately I’ve caught a chest infection so gimme a few days and I’ll get back on track testing and making these very very soon!