There is a type of overdrive pedal that delivers variations on its voice via a switchable selection of clipping options – and this certainly offers versatility. But the Kernom Ridge goes further by delivering its clipping options via a rotary Mood knob, the actual overdrive voice being determined by the knob’s position.
The new technology behind this, ‘analog morphing core’, is said to control the non-linear elements of the clipping stage, changing their threshold in real-time. Kernom says the Mood knob is roughly divided into five segments, running from a clean and open sound through transparent overdrive, a more coloured overdrive and high gain, to ‘almost fuzz’.
We found that those descriptions are accurate, but it’s not a totally seamless shift through them as there’s a distinct jump from the first to the second segment. Generally, though, it’s a smooth gradation along the knob’s travel, allowing extensive nuance in choosing your overdrive’s character.
All the controls are highly interactive, including Volume and Drive working in conjunction with the Mood knob and a trio of knobs offering comprehensive tonal sculpting and shading. Pre Tone adjusts the EQ before the signal hits the circuitry and has a big influence on the nature of the drive, perhaps by making your bottom-end a bit leaner.
Post Tone adjusts the output EQ to set things up for the rest of the chain and is great for getting the sound to sit right with your amp, while Mid has influence on the overall drive character – turn it left to scoop the midrange, while right gives you more presence.
The upshot of all this control is that the Ridge is an extremely versatile pedal that not only gives you the opportunity to dial in a huge range of original drive tones but can also accurately mimic just about any drive pedal.
You can quickly save a dialled-in sound to one internal preset, recalled by the Preset footswitch, so you can have instant access to two drive variations – which can actually be morphed between if you plug in an expression pedal. Via MIDI, you get access to 128 presets and continuous control over parameters.
- PRICE: $299 / £269
- ORIGIN: France
- TYPE: Overdrive pedal
- FEATURES: True bypass with relay, 1 onboard preset (128 accessible via MIDI), High (Punishing) Voltage mode, expression pedal capability
- CONTROLS: Volume, Mid, Mood, Drive, Post Tone, Pre Tone, Bypass footswitch, Preset footswitch
- CONNECTIONS: Standard input, standard output, standard EXP pedal input, MIDI In, MIDI Out
- POWER: 9V DC adaptor (not supplied) 250mA minimum (300mA recommended)
- DIMENSIONS: 164 (w) x 112(d) x 52mm (h)
- CONTACT: Kernom