The following is a guest review by Bart Raeke. If you are interested in guest posting or submitting a guest review, please contact me!
A few months ago one of my oldest friends posted a YouTube video on Facebook, a demo of the Amptweaker TightMetal pedal. Mark Kloeppel of the band Misery Index, who had a major hand in the design phase, did the demo, and as I listened and watched, I was blown away. So was my friend, who got his hands on one almost as soon as they were made available to the public. I got a chance to play through it for a bit, and even in the brief time I had, the promise shown in the demo was fulfilled, and then some.
My very first impression is that, at its core, the TightMetal is what Boss was reaching for with the MT-2 Metal Zone. Plenty of gain, with the ability to tweak the mid frequencies. Now, this doesn’t have the sweepable mid pots, but along with the standard Tone control is a mid switch. Standard and Thrash for that unmistakable scooped tone that still retains some punch so it doesn’t get lost in the mix. Also along for the ride is an onboard gate with a switch, aptly called Chomp. A quick decay and fast, percussive, stop filled riffing is now tight as a drum.
Speaking of tight, the Tight control is definitely something to be happy about. Already a part of their TightDrive and TightBoost pedals, an individual pot for controlling your amps attack response through the pedal is amazingly simple in theory and wonderfully useful in practice. As I played, my friend played with the Tight control, and the amount of response and tonal variety alone floored me.
Finally throw in an onboard FX loop, and the MSRP of $180 seems like chump change for what you’ve got.
Official description of the Amptweaker Tight Metal Distortion:
The new TightMetal™ distortion pedal takes the TightDrive™ and TightBoost™ overdrive platform to the next level by providing over-the-top metal and hardcore crunch tones with adjustable tightness thanks to the Tight control. This issue came up early on when discussing various ideas with Mark Kloeppel, guitarist from the deathgrind band Misery Index. 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. As on the original TightDrive, the Tight control varies the low end from smooth and thick to tight and aggressive so you get the attack that works with your guitar and picking style.
In the same way high gain tube amps are designed by cascading extra tube stages, the TightMetal was created by adding additional stages in front of a carefully modified TightDrive. The resulting thicker and much heavier distortion is tweaked by a simple built-in output EQ curve, and can further be adjusted by the output Tone control, so it’s easy to get a stack sound even through a small combo amp’s clean channel.
About Bart Raeke:
I’ve been playing guitar for 18 years, and I became a pretty big gear/effect nut about 10 years ago after not understanding why I could never get close to replicating the sound in my head. I’ve worked in the event production field for almost 15 years, including quite a bit of sound reinforcement for any number of applications. A lot of my musician friends will come to me for gear advice or gear questions. Even when they know I probably won’t know immediately, they know if I don’t know I’ll want to know and track down the answer. I’ve played in various bands and projects over the years, but have been quiet for about 6 years, although I’m searching.