Posted by
Jul 15, 2019

EarthQuaker Devices just unveiled a new pedal, which – rather surprisingly – appears to be a Tube Screamer evolution, named Plum Overdrive.

Of course, this ain’t your regular green overdrive clone, but an entirely redesigned circuit presented as a “small signal shredder” and featuring three clipping voices selectable through a toggle switch placed in the center of the control panel:

1. Symmetrical LED clipping – More Crunch and Compression.

2. No clipping – Wide open OpAmp drive for clean boost.

3. Asymmetrical silicon diode clipping – More transparency with a loose feel.

Here’s how the manufacturer explains what makes the Plumes overdrive special:

…we’ve done away with the sacred 4558 IC and the classic BJT transistor buffers and replaced them with JFET operational amplifiers and raised the input impedance to nearly 10 megaohms! This offers lower noise, better signal integrity and more chime in the high end. We power this OpAmp by taking the 9v input and internally converting it to +/- 9v to give it more headroom. The end result is a more three-dimensional tone with added clarity that really pushes a nice tube amp over the edge.

Here are the first official three videos of it including ones with guitar, bass, and synth!

Plumes™ is a unique, all-analog approach to a classic tube-like overdrive circuit offering 3 different clipping voices, loads of headroom and almost three-dimensional clarity that will push your amp over the edge. The reimagined tone control is finely tuned to sculpt low end, clear top end, and focus midrange with blooming sustain.

Plumes is an overdrive based around that classically overdone tube-like circuit you all know, and amps crave. While this particular circuit has been done to death, we here at EarthQuaker Devices brand of special effects pedals think the Plumes offers an original take on the old, tired dead horse everyone loves to beat on.

For starters, we’ve done away with the sacred 4558 IC and the classic BJT transistor buffers and replaced them with JFET operational amplifiers and raised the input impedance to nearly 10 megaohms! This offers lower noise, better signal integrity and more chime in the high end. We power this OpAmp by taking the 9v input and internally converting it to +/- 9v to give it more headroom. The end result is a more three-dimensional tone with added clarity that really pushes a nice tube amp over the edge. You might notice how those badass leads you’re always ripping will blast over those awful, no good cymbals your drummer is constantly bashing around on. It sounds like diamonds…a million f**king diamonds!

We’ve also added three different clipping options for your consideration. Mode 1 is symmetrical clipping utilizing a pair of light emitting diodes. This is the crunchiest setting the Plumes has to offer. When played through a clean amp, it’ll deliver a reasonable facsimile of that classic black and gold British valve amp tone. If you already set your amp dirty, using this mode will make it filthy. Mode 2 is clean boost mode. This eliminates the soft clipping diodes altogether and leaves you with straight OpAmp drive. This is perfect for pushing your clean tone out in front or driving the preamp of an already overdriven amp into tasteful breakup territory. Mode 3 is an asymmetrical silicon diode arrangement similar to the stock screamer but with more output and clean clarity; the tone some people describe as “transparent”. It’s almost as if your clean tone is blended in with a slightly less clean tone, ya know? Using this mode gives a warmer low-end response and lower output. It’s less hard on your amp and your ears. It’s a classic pleasant tone the whole band can enjoy.

Not enough for you? We’ve also improved the way the classic tone control operates while still leaving it familiar enough to keep you warm and comfortable. It’s still a safe space, no worries in here. It’s now useful through the whole range. The low end is big and clear, and the high end is bright and cutting without killing the mids. Just the right amount of tonal tickling to excite those ear drums yet still give that familiar mid-heavy drive.