When I attempted to translate “Ubermut” from German, Google told me the word means “high spirits.” However, when I look at this new mod-ready overdrive, what immediately comes to mind is “super mutt”, which I think is a pretty fitting moniker.
So what does “mod-ready” really mean? You can crack the case on any old pedal and start modding, but what the Ubermut uniquely offers is a quick, solderless way of changing out the key components of the overdrive circuit, with protection built into the circuit for the pedal, the components, and you. The case of the pedal is hinged, and by flipping it open (see image), you can change out two diodes in the circuit, thereby changing the sound of the pedal without so much as turning a screw.
The really exciting thing about this particular pedal modding party is that you can bring your own parts. Got a couple vintage LEDs lying around? Throw ’em in there. Those vintage germanium diodes you have been watching on Ebay? Now you have a reason to buy them (although good luck explaining to your significant other when they show up). If you don’t feel like researching specs on obscure components, you can also buy Tone Packs of recommended setups directly from Ubermut.
While there are other circuit bending platforms out there, like the Z. Vex Inventobox, which is basically a breadboard with knobs, the Ubermut seems to offer a really compelling balance of power and simplicity for non technical users. – Nathan Smith