Posted by
Jul 14, 2020

Crazy Tube Circuits Killer V

Magnatone amps have gained some sort of legendary aura for their vibrato effect, which consisted in a very subtle modulation affecting the tone’s pitch, rather its volume – the latter effect being later named “tremolo,” while, in case you are wondering, the “uni-vibe” (aka vibe) was something else entirely.

But, of course, these California-born amps from the ’50s and ’60s were a lot more than just vibrato.  Greek pedal builder Crazy Tube Circuits released today the Killer V, a pedal emulation of the entire Magnatone amp:

With every detail in mind we copied the behavior, sound and feel of the preamp, phase inverter, power amp and the compression/sag of tube rectification found in these designs. Applying JFET technology and an internal voltage multiplier for high headroom and the ultimate tube-like tone we managed to recreate not only the overdriven sounds but the lower gain / clean sounds of these amps as well.

Needless to say, a painstaking amount of attention went into recreating these vintage amp’s signature vibrato through dual-phase shift modulation stages, which, in this pedal, can be turned on and off independently from the drive, thanks to a separate footswitch.

The Killer V also adds some extra features paying homage to mods found in some amp models:

  • The B/N/M Toggle changes the feel and behavior of the preamp section (Bright / Normal / Mellow)
  • The Wet/Dry Wet Toggle lets you choose between 100% wet vibrato and 50/50 with the clean signal mixed in
  • An under-the-hood switch lets you access a Modified gain structure emulating a popular update in the amp’s preamp circuit, which affects the range of the volume and the behavior of the circuit.

All the other controls are pretty straightforward, including a Volume and Master knob, for the gain section, Depth and Speed for the Vibrato, and also

But enough talking, here are the videos of the Crazy Tube Circuits Killer V!

Killer V was inspired by some very cool and unique amplifiers born in California, USA in the 50s and 60s, with a very distinct, true pitch-shifting vibrato circuit.

With every detail in mind we copied the behavior, sound and feel of the preamp, phase inverter, power amp and the compression/sag of tube rectification found in these designs. Applying JFET technology and an internal voltage multiplier for high headroom and the ultimate tube-like tone we managed to recreate not only the overdriven sounds but the lower gain / clean sounds of these amps as well.

The most important part was emulating the LFO and the dual phase shift modulation stages to create a pitch modulation effect reminiscent of the real thing. This effect enhances the 3D acoustic image and musical feel. Like in most of the original designs we’ve also added the option of placing dry (unmodulated) signal in parallel with the wet (modulated) signal thus creating whirling phaser / vibe sounds.