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The circuitry secrets to heaviness
Go heavy or go home. The Behringer UM300 Ultra Metal Effects Pedal has a surprisingly complex circuitry. In simple terms, you’ve got the input buffer, the pre-distortion tone shaping circuit, the gain stage and clipping diodes, the post-distortion tone shaping circuit, the High and Low tone controls, and the sweepable Mid tone control.
The pre-distortion tone-shaping gives a notable “mid hump”. If you put a wah pedal in front of a distortion pedal, you’ll find you can alter the tone of the distortion by moving the wah. This what’s going on here: a peak in the frequency response is being created to boost mid-range and shape the sound of the distortion.
Next is essentially a two-stage clipping circuit. At minimum gain, there’s just enough signal to make the diodes conduct, so it generates a light crunch. As the gain gets up to x8 or more, the op-amp will start to clip too, and the boosted output will be clipped hard by the diodes. So this gain control doesn’t just go to 11, it goes way up to 252!
By that point, all that is left is a ridiculously heavily clipped signal. After the diodes, we’ve got our raw distortion, with as much gain and crunch as anyone could possibly want. Then comes a filter which gives a soft lowpass action and removes some treble. The post-distortion tone shaping is a more sophisticated version of the pre-distortion tone shaping circuit and has two gyrators, and therefore two peaks in the frequency response. The sweepable mid control is in essence a semi-parametric EQ and gives a cut or boost of 15dB so you can switch between the classic scooped sound and chunky mid-heavy tones.
Whereas on many other distortion pedals, the chosen op-amp or clipping diodes have a major influence on the outputted sound, in the UM300 it’s all about frequency response. Heavily shaped at every stage, those frequency responses determine the sound of the pedal, much more than component choice ever would. That initial mid-hump before the distortion, high-gain double clipping, and then the scooped-mid response after it give the pedal its signature tone. Add to that the high degree of tonal control that comes from the powerful EQ and you’ve got a successful pedal- you just need to know how to use it.
- Extreme and sought-after hard rock or heavy metal distortion
- Designed to compete head to head with leading products on the market
- Multi-gain circuitry to give you super-thick, tube-like distortion plus endless sustain
- Dedicated Distortion, 3-band EQ and Level controls for versatile sound shaping
- Status LED for effect on/off and battery check
- Runs on 9V battery or the Behringer PSU-SB DC power supply (not included)
- First-class electronic on/off switch for highest signal integrity in bypass mode
- Designed and engineered in Germany
- High EQ
- Low EQ
- Mid EQ and Frequency
- Input Connector: 1/4'' TS
- Input Impedance: 500k?
- Output Connector: 1/4'' TS
- Output Impedance: 1k?
- Power Supply: PSU-SB 9VDC or 9V Battery
- Dimensions: 54mm x 70mm x 123mm (H x W x D)
- Weight: 0.33kg / 0.73lbs