If you’ve ever found yourself wondering what the rarest guitar pedal on the planet is, Josh Scott of the JHS Pedals YouTube channel has put forward a worthy candidate to take that title – the Ibanez SK-10 Visual Super Product.
But what makes it so rare? After the success of its iconic 9 Series, Ibanez released the so-called Power Series of pedals back in 1986.
Otherwise known as the 10 Series, additions to the Power lineup include the Modulation Delay, the OT10 Octave and, of course, John Mayer's fave, the TS10 Tube Screamer.
Despite owning most of the pedals in the lineup, there was one that proved to be particularly elusive for Scott.
The pedal in question – the Ibanez SK-10 Visual Super Product – was made as part of an incredibly limited run exclusively for a small store in Japan, with an official number of existing pedals currently unknown.
After a prelude in which Scott reveals he traveled all over the world to trawl through guitar stores in the hope of hearing even just a whisper of its whereabouts, he finally introduces us to “the rarest pedal on the face of the Earth” – which he ultimately received as a gift from fellow pedal company, Snouse.
“It does a really good grunge-y, rock distortion that's right up my alley,” says Scott after an initial playthrough of the pedal, which boasts a simplistic three-knob control layout of tube, EQ and power.
Explaining the controls, Scott says, “Tube feels like a drive control. Whatever the circuit is, the tube control is cranking the tubes of an amp… that’s my first guess. EQ is a hi-pass. I’m pretty sure it’s just allowing you to have all the possible high end, and then roll it back to get rid of it. Power is volume, without a doubt.”
After putting the pedal through its paces and showcasing its extensive display of dynamic overdrives, bite-y clean tones, and its ability to stack with other pedals, Scott cracks open the housing to check out the circuit.
Breaking down the components, the pedal has a dual op-amp and a diode arrangement reminiscent of a classic '70s-style hard-clipping circuit, ruling out the possibility of it being a TS10-style pedal.
However, that's all the information we got before Scott revealed he felt morally obligated to keep the circuit a secret.
Having said that, during Scott's inspirational speech about the importance of mystery and discover, two pedals are not-so-subtly shown behind him – the Ibanez FC-10 Fat Cat and the ProCo Rat.
That, along with the subtle hints of hard-clipping and hi-pass EQs, it can be reasoned that the so-called "rarest pedal on the planet" is just an iteration of the FC-10, or another Rat-inspired pedal. Whatever it really is, a little mystery never hurt anyone.
But for those of you who fancy tracking down the SK-10 Visual Super Product yourself, be warned: it could take a lifetime to get your hands on…