CG-Pedals Bænder Mk3
The CG-Pedals Bænder Mk3 is - as the name suggests - a fuzz pedal based on the venerable vintage ToneBender MK III.
The Bænder Mk3 has however been somewhat modified by Carsten Gerken of CG-Pedals to be much more versatile and useful in the modern guitar world, including making it work great in signal chains including buffers and wireless systems - without sacrificing the tone, feel or dynamics of a great vintage fuzz.
Also most fuzz pedals sound best with single coil equipped guitars, whereas they get a little muffled or woolly when used with humbucker equipped guitars. That is not the case with the Bænder Mk3 as one of the design goals was to make it work equally well with humbucker and single coil equipped guitars.
Mission accomplished - We can attest that the Bænder Mk3 sounds perfect with humbuckers, and it has become an instant favorite with the ToneDoctor staff.
Dialing back the attack, the Bænder Mk3 can sound similar to a vintage light treble booster, wind it up a bit and the character will change to a sublime vintage overdrive sound, while further pushing the knobs will bring the Bænder Mk3 into glorious warm fuzz tone courtesy of the vintage NOS Germanium transistors.
Vintage NOS Germanium Transistors
The Bænder Mk3 is made from high quality parts throughout, mostly NOS transistors, including vintage NOS Germanium transistors from the DDR / former Eastern Germany. These transistors have sublime sound characteristics and are less aggressive than modern transistors, making them work much better with humbucker equipped guitars.
Volume - self explanatory.
Tone - Classic Mk3 tone knob, to cut the bass and increase the treble content, dial the tone knob clockwise.
Attack - Controls the first stage of the fuzz circuit. Turn the knob fully counter-clockwise means only amplifying the signal without adding overdrive or fuzz, whereas turning the dial fully clockwise yields high levels of distortion and fuzz.
Fuzz - Controls the second stage of the fuzz circuit to dial in amount of fuzz.
Internal switches and dials for more tonal options
The Bænder Mk3 has several internal switches that allows you to further sculpt the tone of the pedal, and optimize it for your specific preferences and use.
Dials inside the pedal lets you adjust the bias of both stages in the fuzz circuit to let you dial in your preferred fuzz tone.
The Bænder Mk3 also has an build-in ingenious Pickup Simulator circuit, that allows you to use the Bænder Mk3 with buffers and wireless systems without loosing the tone, feel and volume pot interaction of a classic vintage fuzz pedal like you normally would when using it with buffers.
Power switch and options.
The Bænder Mk3 circuit is original positive grounding, but can be powered by a 9V DC plug from an external power supply or via a 9V battery, due to an internal voltage converter.
The 3-way mini power toggle located between the input and output jacks, allows you to set the pedal to operate on battery (Down position), where the battery is disconnected when you unplug the input. The Middle position is Pedal Off. Use this to power Off the pedal (and save battery) if you power the pedal with a battery, but can not unplug the input due to how it is mounted on your board. The Up position is external 9V DC power.
Great design and solid construction with rare vintage NOS components
This pedal not only looks great on your pedal board, it is also very solidly constructed. Everything is done in-house by the designer Carsten Gerken, as CG-Pedals is a true one-man operation. The Bænder Mk3 is hand wired on a carefully designed custom PCB. This pedal uses mostly rare vintage NOS transistors, including NOS Germanium transistors from the DDR, and produces a range of classic drive tones from treble booster to warm classic overdrive to the classic Bender Mk3 fuzz tones heard and loved for decades. The Bænder Mk3 is truly unique both tonally, but also in the way it works perfectly with humbuckers and especially as it works well with buffers and wireless systems - all this without sacrificing the classic vintage fuzz tone ! - What's not to love ?!
The ToneBender has been associated with many of the greatest guitarists of all time including Jeff Beck, but no one is probably more famously associated with the ToneBender than Mr. Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin. So it is only fitting that the pedal has a beautiful graphic print of a Zeppelin on the front.
Surprisingly the credit for the graphics goes to Carsten Gerkens son Loke, who at the tender age of 9 years old drew the Zeppelin on a white board at school between classes. Luckily his teacher took a picture of the drawing and mailed it to his parents. Cosmic coincident - Maybe ? What is beyond any doubt is that talent runs very deep in the Gerken family.
- Vintage NOS Germanium Transistors
- Works equally well with Humbuckers and Single Coils
- Huge, Fat and Warm tone !
- Pickup simulator circuit, to make the pedal work with buffers and wireless systems.
- Pickup simulator circuit can be set to simulate Single Coils or Humbuckers, and can be bypassed via switches inside the pedal. Delivered with Pickup simulator circuit engaged.
- True Bypass
- Internal Bias adjustment for both stages in the fuzz circuit. Allows for easy tonal refinement.
- Small screwdriver included, mounted inside the pedal.
- Hand Wired with Carefully Selected Components
- Runs on Standard 9 Volt Battery or 9V DC from external power supply.
- Power mini toggle switch : Up= 9V DC in Mode , Middle= Off, Down= Battery Mode (disconnects battery if input jack is unplugged)
- Adjustment of On/Off LED brightness
- Pedal purchase Includes T-Shirt, manual, picks and small screwdriver for bias adjustments (inside the pedal)
- Built To Last A Lifetime
- Dimensions : 12,8 x 9,5 x 5,0 cm (including knobs)
- Weight : 439 grams
- Recommended power supply : Cioks Power Supplies
- Limited Edition, only 10 units total.