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Seymour Duncan shoots for hot-rodded hard-rock and metal tones with the Diamondhead Multistage Distortion + Boost pedal

Seymour Duncan has introduced the Diamondhead Multistage, a new distortion pedal designed to capture the tone and feel of a hot-rodded tube amp being pushed by a drive unit – or, as the company puts it, "the guitar sound that defined classic '70s and '80s metal and hard rock".

The Diamondhead sports two rows of controls – a three-band EQ with bass, mid and treble on top, and boost, level and gain knobs below.

Additionally, a SAT (saturation) switch based on Seymour Duncan’s TS-style 805 Overdrive pedal adds a 24 dB pre-gain boost that tightens up low-end for more aggressive and defined attack and, with the lows and highs rolled off, allows the midrange to cut through.

Meanwhile, the pedal’s boost section, with 0 to 15 dB of available gain, operates independently of the drive circuit, and is activated by clicking on the dedicated bottom-left footswitch. Seymour Duncan recommends using the boost with a slightly dirty amp as the first gain stage, and then adding the drive section for higher overdrive sounds.

(Image credit: courtesy of Seymour Duncan)

The Diamondhead can also be run into the effects return of a tube amp, or in front of a power amp to be used as a pre-amp unit.

For more information on this black diamond, which is offered for $229, head to Seymour Duncan.

Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.