a third and half of full) I toyed with the
Aphelion’s controls at lower settings.
One of the first things you notice is
that the Gain control has an almost unholy
amount of power. The 8 o’clock position
gets you to unity between the clean and
engaged effect, but twisting the Gain will
soup up your output into enormous levels
fast should you need them. Keeping the
Gain low with the Drive around 11 o’clock
slammed the Twin with a fistful of stinging crunch that was sharp enough to cut
through some very heavy drumming and
provide contrast to a wailing, reverb- and
fuzz-tortured second guitar. The Aphelion is
a great match for a high-headroom amp like
the Twin and the Tone knob is super effective for taming runaway high-end and taking advantage of the Twin’s low-end capacity.
With a ’ 68 Bassman and a 4x12 in the
mix and the Aphelion’s Drive around noon
the Les Paul readily dished Superunknown-
era Soundgarden tones with ease. The
closed-back 4x12 cabinet demonstrated
how effective the Aphelion’s Tone control
is for tailoring the overdrive to different
guitar/amp combinations. And in this case,
a treble bump really helped preserve the
complexity of the humbucker’s voice and
the clear-but-detailed sound of the Fender
amp. To be certain, you’re never stuck with
stagnant midrange or piercing tone with the
Aphelion in the mix.
If you’re left cold from overdrives with
more knobs than usable tone, check out the
Aphelion Harmonic Overdrive. The tight,
responsive tone control makes it easy to
tailor the tone to any amp or pickup. The
Aphelion comes with a $269 price tag, which
isn’t cheap—and there are even smaller-run
variants that go for more. But make no mis-
take, the Aphelion is uncommonly well-craft-
ed. And with total production around a few
hundred, chances are you won’t see too many
around either. Get one while you can!
Aphelion Harmonic Overdrive Pedal
Ease of Use
Super-effective and expansive tone control.
Loves almost every amp it interacts with.
Pretty expensive for an overdrive.
Mod Tone is loading it’s popular
powered pedalboard with a
sampling of fantastic effects!
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