UK’s Thorpy FX is one of the few pedal builders able to instill new life into your “standard” effects, through rigorous circuit design, quality components and hand built assembly, but lately also through shrewd collaborations with legendary designers.
Based on the classic OTC-201 optical design, The Fat General Parallel Compressor V2 is not just a clone or a pedal inspired by that vintage classic, but can call itself an evolution of it, simply because it’s the fruit of a collaboration with Dan Coggins, the OTC’s original designer.
The pedal’s circuit consists in a parallel compressor with two modes – but before we go any further, “parallel” means that it lets you blend back in your original signal to reintroduce some of the natural dynamics of the performance.
While the Blend mode lets you use the Balance knob as you would expect to mix dry and wet sound, the Juice Mode locks that balance at 90% compressed and 10% clean, turning the Balance knob into a volume knob.
The other two knobs, named Treble and Sustain, deal respectively with subtle high frequencies boost and amount of compression (aka ratio).
Check out these videos by Brett Kingman, he has very complimentary things to say about this pedal.
The FAT GENERAL is an evolution of the critically acclaimed OTC-201 compressor. ThorpyFx and the original designer (Dan Coggins) have collaborated to deliver the next level of compression for guitarists. Unlike many other compressors, the FAT GENERAL adds sustain and balance to your signal without unnecessary noise or signal “pumping”. You’ll also notice that the FAT GENERAL can be particularly transparent but with a sparkle and clarity that you were missing before. For me it has become an always on pedal, I cant play without it!
Aside from achieving fantastic sonic credentials the FAT GENERAL is built like a tank with physical features such as recessed knobs and top mounted jacks. Robust build does not have to come at the sacrifice of looks, the FAT GENERAL uses a combination of a beautiful stainless steel laser etched centre console wrapped in a tough baseplate.
Internally the pedal is immaculately built using premium 1% metalfilm resistors, Wima and Panasonic capacitors, Neutrik jacks and a Burr-Brown Opamp. These are the crème de la crème of the electronics world and when coupled with a robust gold plated PCB and dust sealed potentiometers the recipe is as good as it can possibly be.
This is sonically identical to the V1 version, the V2 version is smaller and can only be powered via 9V power supply.