NAMM 2016: Metallica's Kirk Hammett Introduces KHDK No. 1 Overdrive Pedal

With the recent success of its inaugural product, the Ghoul Screamer, Kirk Hammett's KHDK Electronics has unleashed the No. 1 Overdrive, an original tube-like overdrive pedal.

From the company:

The No. 1 Overdrive is a powerful, character-defining pedal that boasts a KHDK original circuit based on a radical blend of op-amp and mosfet technology.

Available now to the public globally, the No. 1 Overdrive is already in use by some of the hard rock and metal worlds' biggest stars including Kirk Hammett himself, Disturbed's Dan Donegan, Rob Zombie's John 5, Gojira's Joe Duplantier, Volbeat's Rob Caggiano and Hellyeah's Tom Maxwell.

"No one has done anything like our No. 1 Overdrive pedal before," Hammett says in a new press release (January 7). "It's so unique and so god-damned good."

KHDK co-founder David Karon adds: "The response we've had is just overwhelming. We knew we had something special on our hands with the No. 1's circuit and the incredible feedback we've been getting from guitar nerds worldwide is a validation of just how badly this was needed. At KHDK we don't shy away from paying homage to existing pedals that have been loved by generations of guitarists, but our focus is on taking new risks and pushing the envelope by creating original circuits to take guitar tones to a new level."

Constructed with feedback from Hammett, Disturbed's Dan Donegan and producer Tue Madsen (the Haunted, Hatesphere, Sick of It All), the No. 1 Overdrive features two gain controls that cascade the gain stages for a rich and harmonic overdrive. Gain one controls the first gain stage from a pure clean boost to a naturally compressing overdrive. Gain two shares one knob with the Bass control. It cleverly controls the gain and the low end of the next stage gain, which adds rich harmonics, bottom end and natural tube-like saturation to your tone. It is designed as an active high-pass filter for the second gain stage and will allow you to set the amount of bottom end with precision. The pedal has a powerful, dynamic character and is pick-sensitive and highly responsive. Like all KHDK products, the No. 1 is hand-built by a family-run manufacturer in Paducah, Kentucky.

KHDK's inaugural product, the Ghoul Screamer, was conceived by Hammett and designed by KHDK laboratories. The Ghoul Screamer is the perfect multipurpose guitar pedal, designed for the true guitar gearhead, possessing dramatic versatility with controls spanning from a clean boost all the way to a massive overdrive. In addition to the three standard controls (drive, tone and volume), five more switches have been added to the Ghoul Screamer to greatly expand the sound palette—bass switch, high switch, body switch, compression switches and foot switch.

For more information, visit

Note: Here's a demo video of the KHDK Ghoul Screamer pedal; we're still waiting for a No. 1 Overdrive demo:

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Guitar World Staff

Since 1980, Guitar World has been the ultimate resource for guitarists. Whether you want to learn the techniques employed by your guitar heroes, read about their latest projects or simply need to know which guitar is the right one to buy, Guitar World is the place to look.