Krank Distortus Maximus Distortion Pedal

KRANK'S REVOLUTION and Krankenstein amps are at the top of many metal guitarists' most-wanted lists, but not every player can afford to drop a G and a half to have that million-dollar tone all to themselves. Ever conscious of musicians' needs, Krank recently introduced the Distortus Maximus pedal, which offers Krank's signature wicked high-gain tones in an affordable stomp box format.

Like a lot of distortion pedals currently on the market, the Distortus Maximus pedal features three-band EQ (treble, midrange, bass), gain and volume controls. A true-bypass switch, red LED and requisite nine-volt adapter jack complete its list of features. But while many other pedals feature EQ sections with rather radical ranges, the tone controls on the Distortus Maximus are voiced like an amp's tone section. The bass knob provides an ample amount of low-end thump, and you can dial in treble that sizzles satisfyingly, like five pounds of bacon in a deep fryer. Midrange settings interact with the bass and treble settings in a subtle but musical way instead of stamping your sound with an indelible sonic imprint, as lesser pedals often do.

Even with the gain and volume knobs maxxed, the tone retains exceptional clarity and note-to-note definition. The sound is lively and responsive, with none of the overly compressed, flat tones common to distortion pedals. The Distortus Maximus sounds more like an additional amp channel than an effect, especially when paired with an amp that delivers stellar clean tones (like a vintage Fender Twin Reverb). No matter where you set the EQ controls, the Distortus Maximus delivers attractive, usable tones, and dialing in your ideal tone is as easy as getting your email address added to the list of a spammer pushing bogus Viagra.

The Distortus Maximus delivers raw and raunchy high-gain distortion tones that sound exceptionally similar to those of Krank's Revolution and Krankenstein amps for about a tenth of the price.

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Chris Gill

Chris is the co-author of Eruption - Conversations with Eddie Van Halen. He is a 40-year music industry veteran who started at Boardwalk Entertainment (Joan Jett, Night Ranger) and Roland US before becoming a guitar journalist in 1991. He has interviewed more than 600 artists, written more than 1,400 product reviews and contributed to Jeff Beck’s Beck 01: Hot Rods and Rock & Roll and Eric Clapton’s Six String Stories.