Jack White’s Third Man Hardware pedal company has unveiled its newest effects pedal – the Double Down, which was made in partnership with MXR.
Available in a standard and Reverb-exclusive iteration, the humble functional unit was inspired by the MXR Micro Amp – a favorite of White’s – and has been dubbed effectively two Micro Amp pedals in one unit.
Specifically, the Double Down is loaded with a pair of Micro Amp circuits, which grants users two independent channels of “classic MXR preamp gain”.
In an in-depth demo video, which also charts White’s previous Third Man Hardware exploits, the White Stripes legend says the Double Down was crafted in an effort to give musicians of all types a stereo version of the prized pedal.
“We want to make things that appeal to people from all kinds of genres, and a Micro Amp like that has a vast appeal to people for all kinds of applications," White noted. ”You could see people using this for vocals or some kind of stereo effect for instruments.”
The Double Down was also born out of White's own personal affinity for the original Micro Amp, which he estimates he switched to in 1997 after a hardware update meant the DigiTech Whammy pedal he'd been using as a de facto boost pedal no longer granted him his go-to sound.
In practice, the Double Down features two outputs to connect the pedal to two separate amps, as well as two individual controls that can be used to dial in amp-specific levels of gain. There’s also a Phase switch for a stereophonic effect and a Buffer switch to select between true and buffered bypass.
The Double Down is quite literally two Micro Amps in one, with the original featuring a sole output, gain level control and single bypass footswitch. Interestingly, the Double Down hasn’t doubled up on the footswitches, meaning the gain boost is either applied to two amps or it isn’t: there’s no option to boost one amp while the other stays neutral.
Ever the effects craftsman, White puts the pedal through various test rigs in the demo video, in which he can be heard sending one signal through a Bumble Buzz and Triplegraph to a Fender Vibroverb, and the second through a Plasma Coil and Flex to a Silvertone.
In another clip, White keeps one amp clean while boosting another through the Bumble Fuzz pedal. The results, as you can imagine, are quintessential White.
“I'm not big on the, 'This is the Jack White distortion pedal: get that Jack White sound,’” White went on to say. “I don't really want to sell that concept. I'd rather try to make something useful that other people can get their sound out of.”
Two different iterations of the Double Down are available. The standard version will be joined by a limited-edition yellow variant, which is exclusive to Third Man Hardware’s official Reverb store.
To find out more, head over to Reverb.