NAMM 2024: “This pedal facilitates an alchemical dance”: Pigtronix’s Philosopher’s Tone 2 is the sequel that looks set to top the original – adding footswitchable grit to the world-class compressor pedal

Pigtronix Philosopher’s Tone 2
(Image credit: Pigtronix)

NAMM 2024: It’s rare a sequel is superior to the original when it comes to the movies, but fortunately that’s not the case in the pedal world. Either way, Pigtronix might have cracked it with the follow up to its “alchemical” optical compressor and sustainer, the Philosopher’s Tone. 

The Philosopher’s Tone 2 adds a new footswitchable grit channel to the compressor pedal (making the most of original’s grit dial setting, similar to the firm’s Philosopher’s Twin spin-off), alongside a choice of silicone or germanium clipping.

The Germanium side adds smoother, more rounded vintage overdrive to the compressed tone, while switching to Silicone gives you a bit of a tonal update, with a sharper, more contemporary sound.

Pigtronix Philosopher’s Tone 2

(Image credit: Pigtronix)

The previous tone shaping controls found on the compact-sized original are all here, including Volume, Blend, Grit, Sustain and Treble.

However, now they have luxurious new full-size knobs and a little more real estate between them, thanks to the enlarged double pedal format. It’s also got a new paint job that makes the layout feel much clearer and easier to operate.

In terms of the control set, it’s otherwise much the same in operation, except the new grit circuit upgrades now mean the Blend control is bypassed when the overdrive is engaged. 

When it’s not engaged, you can use Blend to mix the compressed and raw sound to your preference, in order to find the optimum balance for your pick attack. Finally, the Treble control offers a 6dB cut/boost at a frequency of 2kHz/.

Pigtronix’s demo of the pedal really lets the tones do the talking, running through some common scenarios – funk rhythms, Nashville Tele twangs – with stunning results and a really rich midrange. 

We’re always suckers for some fine slide playing, too and the final example of reverb-laden slide guitar tone with added Grit has us reaching for the bottle neck.

“Whether you seek the warmth of the sun, or the cool embrace of the moon in your playing, this pedal facilitates an alchemical dance,” says Pigtronix in the clip, which is just the sort of nonsense we love to hear. Sadly, we still await The Echo Chamber of Secrets...

The Philosopher’s Tone 2 is set to retail for $199. For more information, head to Pigtronix.

To keep up to speed with all the new gear releases, visit our NAMM 2024 news guide.

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Matt Parker

Matt is a staff writer for GuitarWorld.com. Before that he spent 10 years as a freelance music journalist, interviewing artists for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar, NME.com, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched CreativeMoney.co.uk, which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.