Van Weelden Royal Overdrive
In 2008 I got a request from one of my best friends and
a world famous guitar player to design and build an
overdrive pedal with a sound quality like never heard
before. A pedal that had to be very rich in terms of
musical harmonics with much clarity to make a great
lead sound with both humbucker and single coil pickups.
Since a full tube pedal, with the options that we
now have on the Royal Overdrive, would have been
way to expensive, we decided to come up with a solid
state pedal. As you might know, we have been working
with tubes for many years so we knew that this would
be a real challenge and maybe almost impossible to
accomplish. Just making a lot of distortion isn’t really
that hard, but it’s a completely different story if you
want to have a musically rich harmonic distortion
where you can hear every string when playing chords
with lots of sustain and also preserve the specific
characteristics of the type of guitar you are playing.
First we started to check out some popular pedals
for a reference but surprisingly, a lot of them were
based on a tube screamer. However, since we had
our own personal ideas about a good overdrive
sound, none of these seemed to be a good basis
for us to start from to get the dynamic and
harmonic sound impact that we wanted to achieve.
So, we decided not to take the easy way by using
any of the existing circuits. We chose to explore
other possibilities and started our own design
completely from scratch! This approach seems to
be pretty unique these days and very, very time
consuming. It would have been a lot easier if we
had chosen the other way. But hey, we wanted to
make an original. Looking back now, we definitely
made the right choice in 2008.
After 2 years of experimenting and building several
test circuits we finally had a breakthrough and found
the sound that we were looking for. This was the basis
for the design of the Royal Overdrive. From that
moment on we started to work on all the other
options we had in mind to make the Royal Overdrive a
very versatile and extremely flexible pedal. After
another 2 years of prototyping, trails and errors we
were more than satisfied and amazed by the end
result so we finally froze the design.
The Royal Overdrive has become a well balanced,
very dynamic, powerful and professional solid
state overdrive pedal. The tube like sound and
especially the “elastic” tube sound where the
notes seem to explode of your pick is probably
something you never heard and felt from a pedal
before in your life!
What makes the Royal Overdrive so special?
It takes close to 400 hi-quality parts to build a Royal Overdrive, which is almost 25 times as much as some
of the popular vintage units had! The Royal Overdrive has a completely internally isolated and flexible wide
range DC input power circuit for absolute quiet performance. This was an expensive but nescessary move
we had to make and it will allow you to use all types of 9VDC to 18VDC adapters, even a modern switching
power supply, without having any hi frequency switching noise and most of all, no ground loops because of
the power supply! The Royal Overdrive also has a very hi quality PC board for the best audio performance
and circuit stability. The Royal Overdrive is the most “amp friendly” pedal in the world and can be used on
any amp including solid state amps. Try the Royal Overdrive in front of one and you will be amazed how
tube like your whole setup will sound! The Royal Overdrive has outstanding hi headroom dynamics and a
super tight, powerful low-end crunch. Together with the wide frequency range, the excellent pick attack and
articulation, the Royal Overdrive is an absolute must have for the professional and amateur guitarist who is
serious about his or her tone! The unique 6 position preset bright circuit will help you to match your Royal
Overdrive with any guitar amp. The Royal Overdrive sounds superb both in clean and crunch mode. You
will never have to make a compromise on your clean sound because the pedal and amp combination can
act as a real 2 channel setup. The Royal overdrive has a full frequency hi headroom buffered bypass mode
and is designed for use in live situations as well as at bedroom levels. It can be used for any style of music.
ca. 2 Days.