• TopTone Light Drive and DG2 review

    About a year ago I did a review of the Drive Gate DG-1. Since then TopTone has gained a lot of recognition for their pedals and a couple of newcomers have been added to their rooster. I recently got my hands on the DG-2 and the Light Drive. Here’s my review.

    The Light Drive and DG2 are both housed in MXR-sized aluminium boxes and feature true bypass switching and runs on 9V battery or Boss-style adapter power feed. See my review of the TopTone DG1 here.

    Light Drive
    The Light Drive has a strong tonal resemblance to the Cornish SS2 with a warm, smooth character typical of many of Gilmour’s milder tones on PULSE. It really has a wide range of tones from punchy transparent clean boost to creamy overdrive/distortion. A mix between the Keeley/Analogman modded Boss BD2 and a classic TS9 comes to mind. It’s an incredibly versatile pedal that brings life to your tones, adds a nice crisp attack and lots of sustain. I prefer it as a clean booster set just on the edge of breaking up but it could easily double for the Tube Driver and those hard edge overdrive tones.

    I’ve always had a hard time finding overdrives that manages to stand out of the overwhelming variety of pedals. Every model seem to offer something different but only a few catches my interest. The Light Drive works very well for most genres and styles, whether it’s bluesy single coils or hard rock humbuckers. It also manages to stay nicely focused and maintains most of its character on typical bedroom volume levels.

    Drive Gate DG2
    The DG2 is very similar to one of Cornish’s more unique pedals – the G2. According to Cornish the G2 is based on a generic Big Muff design but the combination of silicon transistors and germanium diodes places the effect closer to a germanium fuzz with a much warmer, smoother character than the usual Muff. Personally I think it’s very close to a classic RAT (LM308 models) which isn’t that surprising really since the RAT was actually based on the old germanium Fuzz Face pedals that were modified for more gain. Compared to the average Big Muff, the DG2 has less lower end but considerably more mid range and sustain.

    For this review, I did an A/B test the TopTone DG2 and the Cornish G2 and there’s no doubt that the DG2 sounds better to my ears. In all fairness, they’re very similar and at some settings, they’re hard to tell apart. The G2 has buffers, which obviously makes a difference with long cables and huge pedal boards. The pedal buffers the overall signal, which also better maintains the character of the pedal. I don’t mind true bypass but it can end up sounds a bit too dark on some setups, which might result in the DG2 sounding not as open as the G2.

    The DG2 has a bit of noise, which is typical of the mid boosted pedals such as the RAT. It’s nowhere near a RAT in the level of noise though. It also got a much more open tone than the RAT. More presence and a bit more bite in the top, which is a pluss if you think the RAT and similar can be a tad too dark. Compared to the G2, the DG2 has quite a lot more gain, which is why I like this pedal more. Comparing the two I think the DG2 has more of an edge, a more open tone and that little extra, which the G2 doesn’t have. Call it mojo or whatever. I recommend this one warmly!

    I know some have argued that TopTone is basically making Cornish clones. Call it what you will but I don’t see how that’s any different than making a clone of any pedal. What matters to me at least is that a pedal offer a tone that I can use and one that makes my playing sound better. In this case, I also prefer the TopTones over Cornish. You may disagree but that OK. That being said, I think it would benefit the TopTone brand to reconsider the name of some of their pedals. It’s tempting to use obvious references but I think it only devalues the otherwise brilliant pedals.

    I don’t usually comment on prices but $300+ for a single stomp box is slightly above the average price range. However if you’re like me – not willing to have a huge grey box on your board that you have to wait over a year to receive – then TopTone is a welcomed addition to the wonderful world of stompboxes!

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83 Responsesso far.

  1. Willy says:

    Bjorn thank-you for ALL you do…

    what o.d.’s would YOU recommend to run a germanium fuzzface into?

    • Bjorn says:

      Thanks! Depends on the amp but ideally one that’s similar to the Colorsound Power Boost. Not just for David’s tones but that’s just a very classic combo. Obviously, fuzz pedals don’t like buffers, which rules out Boss and, you probably want one that’s not as compressed and mid rangy as a Tube Screamer.

  2. Sean Bachan says:

    Hello Bjorn,
    I’m sorry that this is late to this review, but I may pick up a DG 2 to replace an old RAT Big Box Reissue.

    I love the RAT as a dedicated distortion pedal, but it is very noisy and doesn’t play well with others as the noise increases exponentially with gain.

    There are other overdrives that I stack; my Fuzz is a Skreddy P19. (Which is very distortion like as far as fuzzes go, perhaps the DG2 may be redundant?)
    Acknowledging subjectivity, would the DG2 be a good replacement for a distortion pedal, especially the RAT? The RAT certainly has a cool thing going, just that noise! Yours and Kit Rae’s review would lead one to think that the DG2 is what the RAT aspires to be, and a very versatile pedal at that.

    Again, just wondering.



    • Bjorn says:

      The DG2 is based on the Cornish G2, which is kind of a mix between a Muff and Rat. It’s got the fuzz harmonics but also the compression and mids of the Rat. It’s somewhat overlapping in both worlds and very unique. I think the DG2 is an excellent version of the original.

      • Sean Bachan says:

        Outstanding! I bit tge bullet and found one at a very reasonable price. It should be here tomorrow.
        I can’t wait to see how it compares to the Rat. Maybe it will take it’s place or maybe it will justify a bigger Board!
        Thanks for responding!

  3. samsa says:

    Hi again!

    Between Buffalo FX Evo and Top Tone DG2, which one would you pick?

    Already have a Patriot, and I want to cover the fuzzy od that Gilmour uses on A great day for freedom, Echoes or Coming back to life (Live in GdaÅ„sk). I’m a Rat user, but I think the Rat won’t give me those sounds.

    So, I’m choosing between Evo, DG2 and Dover Drive.

    Any advice?

    • Bjorn says:

      Both the DG2 and Evo are great. The Dover is a slightly different sounding pedal. The Evo is slightly darker and smoother so that’s perhaps my favourite of the two.

      • samsa says:

        I’ll stick to your opinion. I’m not only aiming for Gilmour’s sound so I’ll give Evo a shot.
        Thank you, Bjorn, you are the best.


  4. Nicholas Love says:

    Hello Bjorn! Thanks for all of the great reviews. I’ve been thinking about replacing my Blues Driver with a Light Drive, but I wanted to make sure it could be used to boost a Muff before I did so. Thank you.

    • Bjorn says:

      Sorry for my very late reply, Nicholas. The Light Drive is similar to the Tube Screamer, with emphasis on mid range and compression and moderate low end. Not ideal as a booster in my opinion. The Blues Driver, or a Powerbooster clone, is better.

  5. Andrew says:

    Does anyone have any suggestions for an alternative to the DG2? I like it but want a bit more control over the low end as it is too wooly/woofy on the low strings when on the neck pickup.

    • Bjorn says:

      I’m not that experienced with active pickups, other than the DG20s, but among passive pickups, the SSL5 and P90s are very close but more responding to your playing and easier to tame.

      • Andrew says:

        Thanks Bjorn. Seems I wasn’t clear in my original post. I have SSL 2s (SSL 1 but with flat pole pieces) and a SSL 6 (SSL5 with flat poles) in my guitar. I’m not looking for a less wooly pick up. I’m looking for a less wooly pedal than the TopTone DG2. The TopTone DG2 sounds great through the bridge pickup but too much low end on the neck. Otherwise I like its tone.

        • Bjorn says:

          Sorry Andrew, I don’t know why I mentioned the DG20… I didn’t read your question properly. The DG2 is a distortion and saturated distortion will often sound boomy on the neck pickup. It’s just the nature of the pedal. The G2 doesn’t have all that low end either so you might want to consider the bass on your amp. If you really need to use the neck pickup you might want to look into a similar sounding overdrive, like the Vick Audio Tree of Life or the Fulltone OCD.

  6. Mick Z says:

    Hello Bjorn! Question for you: Is there a place on the board for both a Dover Drive and a DG2? I currently use a Wampler Pinnacle (boosted Marshall in a box) and would prefer to avoid redundancy. I’ll be running these through a Fender Supersonic on the clean channel (basically a Deluxe Reverb). Thanks in advance.

    • Bjorn says:

      Very sorry for my late reply, Mick. Depends on how picky you are :) The Dover sounds like a Tube Driver with the bass and treble all the way down and it has a lot of gain. The DG2 cover much of the same ground but it has a more open charter and a bit more gain for that distortion flavour. I would perhaps go for a TDX/PlexiDrive and DG2 combo for more versatility.

  7. Max says:

    Hi Bjorn!

    I love your site! You’re doing a great job!

    I was thinking about getting a TopTone DG1 or DG2 as my main muff. I already own a TS808 and an Fulltone OCD V3. Would I really get new sound texture with a TopTone, and which one would be the best one?

    Thank’s for your valuable advice!!!


    [Hi Max! Depends on what amp you’re using and what tones you want. The DG2 is no doubt the most versatile of the two, being loosely based on the RAT, with a nice amount of mid range for the pedal to cut through. The DG1 is a clone of the Cornish P2, which has an unmistakable Big Muff character. Personally I’d go for the DG2 :) – Bjorn]

  8. Lucas Saad says:

    Hi Bjorn.
    I would like to know how this drive goes whit power cords for rhythm.

    [Very well. It responds to the dynamics in your playing and cleans up nicely by using the guitar volume. – Bjorn]

  9. Shaun Porter says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    I’d be glad to try the “WeTransfer” once I learn what that is..LOL On the trem springs situation I was started at 3 springs then I upped to four, I can try to add the 5th, and I could send the trem claw screws into the body a bit more to try and bring the bridge down a little more. THe bridge rests at only a 1/8″ maybe a bit more off the body, its not bad, but the problem is it sticks some of the time and then it rests slightly sharp or flat. Not sure If some of the six screws are binding it, but when I look in the trem cavity on the backside, its not hitting on anything or binding in there that I can see. As far as string buzz-I have no business messing with the truss rod but it makes sense That I should probably have that looked at too as I had the neck made for me from a small operation out of New York. it appears to be of good quality but it may need some adjusting. I also heard that I may need to add a 1/64″ shim in the neck pocket to get a bit more clearance to eliminate the string rattle, which is not the worst I’ve ever heard, but it can be and should be able to be better. Thanks as always and I’ll look into the WeTransfer to send along pics. Shaun

    [Hi Shaun! Got the pictures. Looks great! Really like what you’ve done here :) There are lots of different opinions about action and string height and how to fix it, if it’s a problem. In my experience, the most effective way is to do a proper setup. That should be sufficient for both a proper action and for getting the most sustain. The right curvage of the neck, intonation and adjustment of the tremolo saddles to match the neck contour is crucial for the best performance :) What many players don’t get is that you always need to make adjustments to the recommended setup to match your playing and comfort. A 7.25″ vintage scaled neck can appear tough on the bends but making sure you got a flat neck and a hair higher action on the treble strings takes care of that… Anyway, good luck with your project! – Bjorn]

  10. Shaun Porter says:

    Ok Bjorn, let me know (about new pics sent!)..I got the guitar plugged in and playing although it has some quirks to be worked out, including a sticky bridge/trem block..!!?? I’m playing around with adjusting the spring claw screws and bridge pivot screws (its a vintage 6-point style) for a happy spot where the block returns to its proper position so the guitar rests in tune. No matter what I do I can’t seem to find a way to make the bridge non floating! I had to max out most all the saddle height screws to get the strings high enough to ring and sustain clearly after the 12th fret while doing bends. I think my after market neck might be a little thicker than stock reducing the headroom between the bottom of the strings and top of the fretting. It seems as though If I could somehow raise the entire bridge 1/8″ +/- it would provide the relief I need without maxing out the height screws on the saddles, but what do I know?..! its my first build and my first impression playing with it was not too shabby at all, The fat 50, Cs 69 and Duncan ssl5 all have very distinct and very cool qualities. once I learn how to make a decent recording for computer clip I’ll gladly send you the link. Thanks so much for everything- your and Kit’s help have guided me through this entire process and the results are pretty amazing. Some fine tuning and I’ll have one heck of an amazing sounding Strat I built. It makes it very cool when you plug it in and hear it, what a rewarding and gratifying feeling playing a guitar you built!!! Thanks Shaun

    [Glad to hear, Shaun! About the non-floating term. How many springs are you using? You might be needing a full set of springs to keep the plate flush with the body. It can be too tight also so you might want to leave a few millimetres float. I got the pictures but there’s something weird going on with the mails. I’m using IMAP and the mails are stored at my host’s and they keep disappearing. I’m not sure whether they’ve been taken by the spam filter or something but they’re gone. Could you try sending via WeTransfer? – Bjorn]

  11. Shaun Porter says:

    Hey Bjorn, no problem I’ll try and resend the pics and I would be glad to share the clip OAI with you, I first have to learn how to make a decent recording for computer clip. all new to me! I would be glad to get your opinion and feedback. It might help improve the tone ever more. I’d like to do it with the new black strat build if I can get it complete soon. I love this backing clip you did as its the only one I know of that has the extended bars necessary to play the extended solo version of the Gdansk version (with a little to spare I believe. love that, nicely done and thank you. -Shaun

    [Thanks, the clips has arrived! I’ll have a look when I get the time and get back to you :) – Bjorn]

  12. Shaun Porter says:

    Hi Bjorn, I sent a few e-mails of my “Black Strat” build to date at the link you posted above. I hope you got them. Sorry, Had to send a few at a time over a few e-mails, My computer is bad at sending a large amount of photos at once. I’m waiting for my loaded pickguard to be sent back, We had a problem when we soldered it in, was not hot so sent it back for inspection and I’ll keep you posted when It gets worked out and returned and installed! Tweaked a few more things on the Bassman 5F6A and all the magical Gilmour pedals and took a strong look at my pick attack and delivery when trying to emulate these tones and solos, Feeling very happy about things now, some fantastic sounding things happening. Once I get this Black Strat firing on all cylinders, I’ll try to post a recorded clip of playing to the extended OAI backing track. Thanks to whoever shared if this one wasn’t yours, if it was thanks to you again lol!! Sincerely, Shaun

    [Hi Shaun! Sooooory for my late reply… once again! I could swear I saw you emails in my inbox but I can’t find them. Perhaps I saw something else in that huge pile of mail :) Anyway, could you please try and send again? Love to hear the clip of OAI… I think the guy who made also owns this site… LOL :) – Bjorn]

  13. Shaun Porter says:

    Thanks for last advice Bjorn, I will keep all this in mind trying to dial this new rig in. I found a couple different great tones with the 5F6A Bassman for the rockabilly project. The Gilmour tones are warming up, but I believe this rig can be dialed in better than what I got so far. Between playing with the bassman, the tubedriver, top tone dg2 and boss ge-7, the tones are reminiscent, I’m tickling it, but not as close as I’d like to be yet. I’m optimistic. I wanted to check in with you and see how or where I can share some pics of the progress of the “Black Strat” build as promised if youd like. I’m eager to show what I got so far, it looks pretty good but I’m very nervous about its playability and sound as I’ve never built a guitar before let alone a humble attempt at this particular one of legendary satus. Let me know and I’ll gladly send you the pics of what I got so far. I thank you and Kit both very much as the both of you have been so helpful to my return to playing and my new rig line-up as well as this guitar build, I’m fired up and can’t wait to play this strat and I’m loving the warm tuby tones of the bassman and the great sound of the TT DG2. I did receive the stompworks moosepie pedal I mentioned to you a while back. I think it sounds pretty good but have not had enough time to really get acquainted. This was supposed to be a direct clone of the violet rams head. I used it with the tube driver after it as I do the DG2. Definitely not for RAH or Gdansk as we would expect it not to be. When I started playing the emg Gilmour strat with it noodling a little “On the turning away” solo some pretty familiar sounds were coming at me. Looking forward to trying some wall era stuff and the like with time permitting. I don’t have the background in muffs like you and Kit and others, never played through one yet (its a crime I intend to fix at some point), but I wish I had some reference to compare this violet clone to. Maybe Kit has tried one, I’ll have to ask, would love an experienced opinion on this pedal. I know ultimately it only matters if I like it, but I’d also like to know how it stacks up against better known pedals as I may go after one if the difference if worth pursuing. I’ll wait to hear back from you regarding sending the guitar build pics. Thanks very much as always, Shaun

    [Hi Shaun! Thanks for the update! I don’t have any place for the pictures here on the site but please feel free to send them to post@gilmourish.com and I’ll be happy to take a look :) – Bjorn]

  14. Shaun Porter says:

    Hi Bjorn, I did some more fiddling. I rolled the tone on the TT DG2 back to 10:00 and sustain pretty much full on and set the tube driver to light boost ( I found that for whatever reason the out,lo and drive levels on the BK all sounded a tad more accurate on my rig turned up a bit more than On DG’s board) at your recommendation (thank you) and The way I ended up tweaking the Bassman looks nothing like I would have imagined looking down on the control surface from research. But your indication of the amp being a darker amp makes sense with what my setting ended up being for the best results so far. The guitar is plugged into the bright channel with the amp’s bass level full off and believe it or not the Mid control full on, the treble at about 9:00 and the presence full on!! I will spend more time with it- It might be able to be improved. it took several hours to get it as close as it is now- Whole new amp to get to know…but its sounding pretty good. Another surprising result was on the Strat the tone sounded most accurate with the EXG full off and the SPC full on or close to it. The real funny thing is I’ll have to do this all over when I get my “Black Strat” built its starting to seem that perhaps I’m tone deaf our lack serious understanding of the tone spectrum as I find that the more mids I put into the mix, the more it starts to sound right on these later tones, maybe I had it backwards???. HEHe why do we do it to ourselves…oh yeah that’s right!! because its fun and when that tone gets even close to what we’re after it sends chills down our spines lol. For the first time, since I got this amp and new pedals, I actually and finally got some “Chicken Skin” going (goose bumps) while playing the final solo to OAI with the backing track form Gilmourish.com (Thank you!). I’m probably going to replace my Boss DD5 with a DD3 and then send out my Boss GE7 and DD3 for some Gilmour-esque mods. The CSW Violet Muff clone is on the way, I’ll be sure to keep you posted on the results and I have a shielding kit on the way for the “Black Strat” build which upon its arrival will allow the build to begin. Also if /when I get the opportunity to turn this beautiful 5F6A up to ramming speed (louder volume past 2-3)- what great things should I expect and what should I basically anticipate to adjust for tone “roughly” ( I know you don’t have all day to break everything down for a bumbling Gilmour fanatic recently back into the pursuit of the “Tone from Heaven” but a general point in the right direction perhaps???. One thing for sure though you and Kit hit it right on the head..SO much of what we love in Gilmour’s tones is delivered right through those very gifted hands and fingers. Pick attack and fretting in the proper or near proper fashion made everything sound much better so I’ll be re-polishing those techniques as well and hopefully with a few more years of age and wisdom upon my return into playing, I’ll get it better than ever. Thanks Bjorn, Happy NYE and may 2014 bring you, your family and Airbag wonderful things to celebrate-Sincerely, Shaun

    [Happy new year Shaun! Thanks for your kind words! Tone isn’t easy and it can drive you insane sometimes… especially when trying to replicate a certain tone… Anyway, mids are essential because our ears are designed to focus on the mids, which is the vocal range. That’s why a guitar with a mids scoop always drown in a dense band mix. Your ear can’t pick it out between the layers. It sounds awesome alone, those ram’s head and Tube Drivers, but a Tube Screamer or a cranked Fender, will always be easier to mix in a band setup. This is important to keep in mid when you’re setting up a rig. Still, too much mid range can sound boxy and dark. The Bassman has a lot of mids, although not as much as a Twin or Deluxe, but the Tube Driver doesn’t. By rolling off the treble on your amp and increasing the mids and presence you’re basically compensating for the mids boost and compression you get from driving the speakers really hard at high volume levels. It works on bedroom setups but be careful with the mids on louder volume :) The Tube Driver is a moody thing and sometimes it’s easier to keep a backup, like the MojoHand Rook or Fulltone OCD, which are in that same family but with a bit more mids and a darker tone, which sounds better on lower volume and recordings. Cheers! – Bjorn]

  15. Shaun Porter says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    I picked up the Fender Bassman (5F6A) amp yesterday. What a great difference from the JCM 900 to the Bassman using the same pedals. Huge step in the right direction but I’m still having trouble dialing in the Gdansk tone with the DG2 and BK driver. Its all new to me so I guess I have to keep turning knobs to try and get it the rest of the way there. But I did A LOT of fiddling. Don’t get me wrong, its sounding pretty sweet, but if my ears and understanding of these tones are accurate, I’d say the mids are not scooped enough but maybe I’m getting what it is that I love about this tone all wrong in terms of what it needs, but its definitely lacking of something and it does seem to me that scooped mids are lacking, which maybe means my rig needs more actual muff. I also need to remember that this rig still has my AM Fender EMG pu set up in front of it. Which Leads me to this Question! Are you familiar with the Chicago Stomp Works “Moose Pie” pedal that states it is a direct clone of the Violet Rams head v2? They credit Kit Rae with the schematic info necessary to build these supposed spec correct pedals. I’m looking at one online but with most of these type pedals, I live in a pretty rural area and the very few stores around often never heard of some of these pedals let alone stock them so that they can be tried out. Thanks as always and happy new year! Shaun

    [Congrats with the new amp! The Bassman is a fairly dark amp with lots of low end and mid range, which is very different from David’s bright Hiwatt stacks. When trying to recreate the Gdansk tones you have to keep in mind that those Hiwatts are the basis for all his tones. Replicating that with a smaller amp and bedroom levels is almost impossible. Still, the Bassman has been a favoured studio amp since the mid 90s so I think you should go back to Division Bell and On an Island and use those tones as a reference. I’m not familiar with the CSW pedals so I can’t comment on that :) – Bjorn]

  16. Shaun Porter says:

    No worries Bjorn, its a crazy time of year. Your advice is worth waiting for-thanks for info as always. I hope to start the Strat build in the next 2 weeks and I plan to keep you posted, hope that’s not a bother. Sincere thank you. By the way when you get a moment I was hoping to get your thoughts on an issue with My new pedal line up. I was trying to get acquainted with the new pedals and was running them through the JCM 900 (don’t have the Bassman yet) on the clean channel fairly bright and at a low volume (2-3). I ran in order as follows: Demeter comp>Topone DG2>BK Butler Tube Driver>Boss DDelay7>Boss GE-7 EQ. All pedals were set to the levels as seen on the Gdansk Board from Kit’s page (Thank you Kit), and the power was run to all pedals using a “Signal Flex” AC-DC 9Vpower supply except for the Demeter Compulator which has a different type of power supply jack so that was powered by a brand new good quality 9v battery. I used my Fender American Strat with the Gilmour EMG pu package (because I have not built the “Black Strat yet” and while the tones are getting pretty warm/close (Still have the wrong amp and guitar), the signal was incredibly noisy even at the very low volume. some playing around seemed to narrow it to the DG2 which was made noticeably worse when the Tube driver was switched on. Is this normal?, I know some noise should be expected- all my distortion and drive pedals of the past always put some hum and hiss through the amp, but I was very surprised to here how much noise this configuration was making especially at such a low volume, any thoughts or tips or even if you can verify that this kind of noise is typical for this line-up, or if I should expect things to quiet down a little when I can switch to the “Black Strat” and Bassman. But I’m a little worried because from what I read, I think I should expect even more noise without the active EMG Pups.Also HEHE …-The Bassman is really not in the budget but I’m very confident I will not have an opportunity to get one brand new for this price again for quite some time so I’m probably going to go for it, already put a deposit on it since I last wrote you that held it through Christmas. I look forward to hearing from you when you have an opportunity to respond regarding the signal noise with the new pedal line-up. Thanks so much Bjorn. You may not need anymore, But as far as I’m concerned, you got a new friend in New Hampshire! lol -Happy Holidays, P.S I found some AirBag vids on the net, pretty sweet sounding stuff best of luck to you with your band. Shaun

    [Thanks for your kind words, Shaun! Appreciated! There are different kinds of noise and what you are experiencing is first and foremost the noise created by too much gain. The JCM900 is considerably more aggressive than a Hiwatt. Although you’re able to dial in a clean setting it has less headroom and more upper mids, which means that when you’re combining pedals and setting based on a Hiwatt rig, the total amount of gain will be higher. I’m not sure what speakers you have but the usual Celestion + Marshall combo also produce a darker, middy and aggressive tone. So, I’d start by going over the amp settings and making sure that the amp is as clean as possible with a fairly neutral EQ set up. Roll the SPC and EXG on your EMGs all the way off for a flat response and engage the DG2. This pedal has quite a lot of gain so there will be some noise. It’s just the nature of the pedal. Set it up for your desired tone but try to keep the volume at unity and the gain moderate. Engage the Tube Driver with David’s clean boost settings and adjust the gain and treble to match the DG2. You might also have to adjust the gain on the DG2 a bit too. The best way to test is to unplug everything and just have these two pedals in the chain. The noise level you now get is something you have to live with. This is normal and be sure – David’s setup is hissing like mad too but you don’t hear that on the recordings :) In regards to the EMGs… They will eliminate noise caused by electronic interference acting much like humbuckers. They won’t do much for the noise caused by your pedals and you might even notice a higher noise level with these as they have a hotter output than most single coils. Hope this helped. – Bjorn]

  17. Shaun Porter says:

    Hi Bjorn, just checking in and sharing an update since we last spoke

    I now have a loaded pick guard with a “Fat 50, 69 and an SSL5 which also includes the arguably useless magic toggle switch, (it came with it). I have a vintage style 6 point bridge black strat body and a vintage “style” “c”- shape neck with 7.25″ radius and 11/32 tuning holes. I also ordered the complete vintage style hardware package from callaham which includes the shortened tremolo arm. All I need is the “baguettes” lol to start building this beast and some copper shielding tape for the body cavity. I have contacted Kit Rae as well who also has been extremely helpful with gearing up for this build. The one thing I’m really stuck on before I begin is I know I should place copper tape or some kind of copper shielding in the body cavity. I also noticed that Stewart Macdonald also offers an aluminum sheet for backing the pick guard for further shielding. My question is do you know If I can , should or should not use more copper tape for the pick guard back as well (instead of the aluminum)or should it be aluminum for a reason? Not sure if this is your area too or not but I really do not want to screw this up, never built a guitar before and I can’t afford to replace parts from doing it wrong,. I got one shot to get this. OH YEAH BY THE WAY DID I MENTION I PICKED UP A TOP TONE DG-2 and a Demeter compulator? You and Kit were completely right I dialed and played with that Marshall all 6 ways to Sunday and at its best, I could see/hear the potential of the DG-2 but not enough headroom on that JCM900 or warmth to get it all out. The clean on that amp is pretty good but way too thin to ever make the Gilmourish new pedals and future black strat to sing like it could. I have a local music store where the owner has been sitting on a brand new Fender Bassman LTD reissue 410 combo for too long and he wants to move it apparently as he said he would do $1000 for it. Its the wrong time to part with that kind of $ but from what I’ve seen it does not get any cheaper than that for one of these brand new, I may have to do it and worry about the spending later hehe! your thoughts?? , Thanks so much, hope the holidays season is treating you well, Shaun

    [Hi Shaun! Terribly sorry for the late reply. Thanks for the update! You don’t need to cover both the cavity and back of the pick guard with copper or aluminum. I’ve tried different things but it always seems to work best covering the whole of the cavity with copper. Remember to connect those wires for ground as well or it won’t have any effect. It’s not a shield but rather a drainage so you need to both connect to ground and make sure that there aren’t any contact between the copper and any hardware – it will short circuit if there is.
    The offer you got on the Bassman seems reasonable and it’s a great amp. Try it and if you’re budget allows it I’d go for it :) Enjoy the rest of the holidays! – Bjorn]

  18. Nathan says:

    How suitable would you say the DG-2 is for Dave’s early Atom Heart Mother germanium fuzz tones? I have a Green Russian Muff and a BC-109 fuzz face and the only thing I need now is something that can cover those tones. But I feel like I want something more versatile than another fuzz face and I don’t need another muff. Isn’t the G2 what he used for Fat Old Sun on the On An Island tour?

    [Either that or more likely a Tube Driver. The DG2 or G2 is based on the germanium fuzz. So is the RAT and they’re very similar. You should be able to nail those old tones with it but it’s not really the same. The DG2 has much more gain and mid range. An more modern tone really. Awesome pedal though. – Bjorn]

  19. Roger Sartori says:

    Bjorn, what do you consider the best for Pulse and Delicate tones: DG-2 or Wren and Cuff Box of War? Thanks.

    [See my reply to your previous comment :) – Bjorn]

  20. Roger Sartori says:

    I live in Brazil. Have a DG-1 bought directly from Olmar. He’s a very nice man, very respectful and treats everybody very well. Here in Brazil, it cost me about USD230, including very fast shipping. Now I’m severely considering to have a DG-2 too. But I don’t know… I really like the Delicate and Pulse tones, so I’m divided between DG-2 and Wren and Cuff Box of War. What do you say, Bjorn?

    [Very different pedals. The Box of War is closer to your DG1, as both are in that Sovtek territory. The DG2 is a clone of the Cornish G2, which is more like a RAT distortion. Given that you already have the DG1 I’d go for the DG2. – Bjorn]

  21. Shaun Porter says:

    Bjorn, I sincerely thank you for all your advice. I truly appreciate what you’ve done here, I’m constantly on this site now. What an incredible resource you’ve provided here. Almost anything I’ve had Q’s or concerns about–you’ve touched on somewhere in the wealth of data you’ve laid out, and when I’m not sure, you consistently gotten back with a well thought out response that makes me feel confident in pursuing the advice. Sincere “cheers” and thanks for what your doing here. Shaun

    [Thank you, Shaun! Glad you enjoy my site :) – Bjorn]

  22. Shaun Porter says:

    Hi Bjorn, Since we last spoke I decided to make the leap and purchase a new Bk Butler tube driver (real one according to the listing), As we spoke of before I’m trying very hard to get as close to the solo tones on Gdansk as possible. I was wondering what your thought was on the optional 5th (bias knob) on the Butler driver. Do I need it for this tone profile or can I get away with saving the extra $75 without it? Also Now that I have ordered the Butler driver, I’m trying to determine Which Top Tone pedal would be best for the Gdansk tone I’m after bearing in mind I will be playing through a Marshall JCM 900 but likely switching to a Bassman of some sort down the road. But I now should have the Bk Butler on the way and the JCM 900 in the shop for service and I’m trying to figure out if I should go for the Top Tone DG-1 or DG-2 with the Butler for solo tones on Gdansk. Thanks so much Bjorn, you feedback and knowledge in this area is invaluable to me. No one even has the Top Tone pedals on hand in my area to try them for myself so its imperative to get credible advice before I spend $300 +/- on a pedal I’ve never tried. Sincerely Shaun

    [Hi Shaun! The bias knob allows you to finely tune the gain stage for more or less gain. I haven’t found the need for it but that’s very subjective. I don’t think you need it for the JCM900 but again, hard to tell without having tried it with your guitar and amp. The pedal operates perfectly without it though. Between the TopTones I definitely think the DG2, the G2 clone, would be the best match for your setup and to recreate David’s Gdanks tones. – Bjorn]

  23. Patrick says:

    In the video are you using a boost for the DG-2? And I was wondering in your opinion what would be the best distortion pedal without a booster for Gilmour tones? Thank You!

    [Hmmm… It’s been awhile since I recorded the clip but I think I used a Boss BD2 to boost the DG2. It’s not really needed though as the DG2 operates nicely alone. You might also want to check out Sovtek Big Muffs, which are fully capable of standing alone. Check out the Blackout Effectors Musket, MojoHand Iron Bell and Wren and Cuff Box of War. – Bjorn]

  24. Shaun Porter says:

    Thanks Bjorn, your feedback is extremely and sincerely appreciated and very helpful. I just need to elaborate a bit more and hope you don’t mind. I’m seriously considering downsizing from the Marshall as 100 watts is too much to crank up to the sweet spot. I’m thinking a fender Bassman or some other Fender amp head or combo which I would appreciate any suggestions from you on the best fit. Ideally, the amp would allow the strong clean tone needed for the Gilmour tone I’m after, while (you ready….,lol), also doubling for a rock-a-billy project I’m working on which is what led me to the Bassman as a possibility. Your opinion on if this or any amp (besides the P.F. previously owned Hiwatt on craigslist for 50k lol) you think might be up for the task would be really appreciated. I love the Marshall, but I can’t turn the volume past 2 without rattling the windows and doors. I’m prepared to overhaul the rig, pedals & amp to achieve that Gdansk tone and yes, I really want it as spot on as possible without spending $1,500 per pedal. Based on your review, and a youtube comparison, I like the Top Tone DG-2. So now onto the amp and Driver? or overdrive. I do have an Ibanez Tube king. would that fill the spot for overdrive in achieving the tone? I have a vintage Fender double neck steel guitar that I intend to install emg H model pickups in as That’s what I believe Dave uses in his Jedson. Thank you so much for your help, Shaun

    [Hi Shaun! I don’t think you can go wrong with a Bassman. David’s used them in the studio for some time and they’re versatile enough for a wide range of styles, including blues and rockabilly. I’ve used a Bassman 100w head a lot. It’s slightly darker than the combo and perhaps even more versatile. You might want to check out the Blues Deluxe as well. I also want to mention the Laney Lionheart L20. Wonderful and versatile amp. The Tube Kind should be able to cover the Tube Driver tones. – Bjorn]

  25. Shaun Porter says:

    Hi Bjorn, I’m playing through a Marshall jcm 9oo100w high gain duel reverb model 4100 head and matching 4×12 Marshall slant cab. I’ve been searching through this site and all over you tube for this answer. If I had to pick just 1 or 2 pedals for my rig for the Gdansk solos abroad, (And I can’t afford a Cornish p-1 or 2 or G2 and the like) which would be best. Based on my findings, byoc Beaver, Top Tone dg2 and light overdrive appear to be top dogs, But my emphasis would be on the Tone for “High Hopes” 2nd solo and Island solo with all other solos in mind from that performance as performed in “Live in Gdansk”. In addition to my amp I’m playing a Strat with the emg Gilmour set up including the 2 additional tone mods with A boss dd2 delay, boss cs3. Can you please make a recommendation for which pedal(s) (and do I need a tube driver) is best for this specific sound he had for Gdansk solos? Sincere thanks, Shaun

    [Hi Shaun! The JCM900 is a fairly aggressive amp. Although you can get some nice cleans with it, it’s still a fairly aggressive amp compared to Hiwatt etc. Muffs works OK but you might find it a bit hard to tame properly. Which pedals you should choose depends on how accurate and close to David’s tones you want to get. The TopTone pedals are awesome and I think they’ll fit the amp nicely. The Tube Driver is a great pedal but expensive. If your budget doesn’t allow it, then check out the similar sounding Robert Keeley Boss BD2, Wampler Plexi Drive or even the Fulltone OCD. All of these will give you David’s overdrive tones from Gdansk. As for distortion, check out the TopTone DG2, ProCo RAT or the MojoHand Iron Bell. All of these are in that Muff territory but I think they’ll work better on your amp than an actual Muff model. Hope this helped :) – Bjorn]

  26. mike says:

    Hi, I had a question about where in the chain should the Top Tone DG-2 or Cornish G-2 typically go, when you a combining with a tube driver. I typically go guitar-compressor, but then I get confused with whether to use the distortion (DG-2/G-2) next or the overdrive (tube driver) in the chain, then modulation, chorus, delay, etc. I know you can mix up your chain in many combinations, but I’m looking for what you think is the better chain setup when getting into David Gilmour’s later “Royal Albert Hall” & “Gdnask” sounds. Really enjoy your site and your feedback. Thanks.

    [Depends on your amp and how well it handles these pedals but the “normal” way is: guitar > compressor > DG2/G2 > Tube Driver > modulation > delay > amp. Test different combinations to hear what sounds best with your amp. See this feature for more tips on setting up your pedals. – Bjorn]

  27. Matt says:

    Bjorn: As always fantastic review (both here and on The Gear Page). I bought a DG-2 based on your recommendation and am very happy about it.

    One disappointment I had though was stacking a Muff (I have a SUF Violet Ram’s Head and a Wren and Cuff Box of War) with the DG-2. Especially when the DG-2 has the sustain low at 9 oclock, the results were horrible – raspy and all the low end content was gone.

    I wondered if you have had any luck stacking a Muff with the DG-2 and what your settings were, or, what to look out for in getting something really focused. Thanks!

    [Thanks! Well, I wouldn’t combine those two. The DG2 is essentially a distortion, very much like the RAT and combining this with a Muff will sound pretty bad. Even if you get to set the DG2 almost clean, its overall character is too aggressive. I recommend that you use it as a dedicated distortion pedal and use a transparent, milder overdrive (Boss BD2, ThroBak Overdriveboost, TC Spark Booster etc) for boosting your cleans, the Muff and the DG2. – Bjorn]

  28. John says:

    Thanks, Bjorn. Figured you took some extra measures (looper) when doing the comparison to make sure it was as similar as possible, but I think a lot of demos on youtube aren’t exactly apples to apples. Both the G2 and DG2 sound great, think it will just end up coming down to money. I’ll probably use the money saved on the DG2 and get a backup amp. If you get the chance, try out a VFE Enterprise. Its a great mxr phase 90/45 clone with the bonus of a vibe mode. The vibe is so so, but its workable.

    [Thanks, I’ll check it out! – Bjorn]

  29. John says:

    Bjorn, Kit, and others who have been able to compare the DG-2 to a G-2 in person… looking for a little clarification on how you did the comparison… I had the DG-2 and thought it was a fantastic pedal and was blown away when I used it for On An Island tones. I sold it because I was moving and found that I wasn’t playing as much as I wanted. Anywho, now that the move is over and I’m settled back in, I’m playing more again and I am missing this pedal. In a/b demos I agree that the two pedals are practically identical, but since most demos don’t show how the pedals are hooked up, I’m wondering if the DG-2 was getting the benefit of the buffer from the G-2??? Consensus seems to be that the DG-2 has more gain and that is the weakness of the G-2, while the G-2 has a tighter, brighter sound overall. If anybody can shed some light on their personal experience, I’d be greatful. Thanks

    [A/B test are tricky because you really need to give both pedals justice and the same conditions. Most tests I’ve seen are done by lining pedals together, which won’t give the same conditions. I always use the same type of cables and same lengths to and from. The test is done by first listening to each pedal alone in the chain (guitar > pedal > amp) and then with both pedals lined up with a looper to be able to switch fast between the two. Either way, the DG2 has a bit more gain and a tad brighter tone. I also found it slightly more silent but not much different. The G2 has a slightly smoother top and perhaps a more noticeable attack. Very similar but I must say that I liked the DG2 better due to the increased gain. I did the test with a Reeves Custom 50 and a Strat with a Duncan SSL5 bridge pickup. I’m sure you’d get different results on a different rig. – Bjorn]

  30. Rob Spence says:

    Great review of the DG-2, Bjorn. Based on your review along with Kit’s review I purchased the DG-2 for my germanium fuzz tone. It was worth the money! The DG-2 replaces the Germanium 4 Muff I have been using. I liked the Germanium 4 Muff but for some reason the pedal was way too LOUD! I had to set the level on about 1.5 out of 10 for a level slightly greater than unity. I felt that was choking the pedal.

    You handled the Cornish storm well. I did not see you as insulting to Pete Cornish. Your honesty in your product reviews is refreshing!

    Keep up the good work. – Rob

    [Thanks Rob! Glad you liked the pedal :) – Bjorn]

  31. Miroslav says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    I always enjoy your reviews and use your advice – great addictive stuff ! How would you now compare the TopTone DG-1 vs DG-2 ?
    Thank you,

    [The DG1 is based on the Cornish P2, which is a very dark and aggressive Muff, while the DG2 is based on the Cornish G2, which is very close to the RAT. – Bjorn]

  32. Brad says:

    Bjorn, this is kind of an older post I know but after reading what people are saying about “pete cornish” and how you are “insulting him” I had to say something back. Bjorn is NOT downing the man…at all. He never once insulted him, all he said was that its a better deal to go ahead and buy a VERY good clone from toptone instead of wating a long time to recieve a G-2, the toptone is smaller, for more room on the board, and its about $300 cheaper!! My lord people he is trying to help you! Just saying. Remember Bjorn no matter what you do in life, there is always someone who has to not agree about it and show their opinion… Dont let it bother you, you have the greatest site on the internet IMO. btw I went with the DG-1 and couldnt be happier!(: thanks to your review! thanks for your site! and God bless!


    [Thanks for your comment Brad :) I never get insulted by this and know very well that people have different opinions and it’s also natural to justify and defend the choices you’ve made. I have nothing against Pete Cornish and appreciate very much what he’s done for Gilmour and tone but he’s no God and I must be honest and say that his pedals aren’t what I’m looking for. I guess that’s a bit hard for people to understand. Cheers! – Bjorn]

  33. Dom Numakura says:

    The Greath Sound!!!…

  34. Tom says:

    Thanks lots for the help Bjorn!

    I think I’ve finally made up my mind & will go on to buy an RB pedal. I believe cause its so versatile it’ll suit my rig perfectly. Am still also thinking about getting the Rabbit, but will see on that. At the moment I have a Vox AD120 valvetronix stereo amp (with dual preamp tubes), which i guess makes it a hybrid kind of amp. Its not bad, had it for some years now & can get some decent sounds out of it, but for the future I’m definitely thinking to get a nice REAL tube amp. I got a couple in mind, including the Reeves custom 50 that you’ve recommended. I run an original TS9 for rhythm stuff & a Catalinbread Hot chilli volume boost pedal along with an Eq pedal in the fx loop. Got a Voodoo lab Sparkle drive too that I use. I’m sure that a nice fuzz pedal will liven things up there :). My main guitar is a custom Start copy that I’ve had modified over the years, custom birds eye maple neck with ebony fretboard, 22 frets. I have a Duncan ssl 5 in the bridge, plus Fender lace sensor gold in the neck, silver in mid position. Also have a Gibson Nighthawk as my second guitar.
    I realise that there’s so much stuff out there gear wise, it can be tricky to make decisions on what to invest in, though being able to learn from a great website like yours sure makes things a bit easier! ;)

    Ps. Just been watching a Skreddy Pink flesh pedal on ebay recently & the other day it went for $ 640 !!! No wonder I could never own one now hehe… Though when it comes to collecting guitar gear I’d reckon never say never,….I’m sure you’d agree ;).

    Cheers, ….

    [Definitely :) Thanks for sharing! – Bjorn]

  35. Tom says:

    Hiya Bjorn!

    Mate thanks again for your guidance, i now have a much clearer picture in my mind about what options i have out there.

    I was fortunate enough to go & try out the Musket pedal the other day when i went to a local shop here that stocks a LOT of boutique style pedals. A nice pedal no doubt, can be used as a Muff “modeller” & got some decent tones out of it. I also had the chance to try out this really awesome pedal by Freakshow Effects called the Rabbit. Not sure if you know of it, but essentially it is a Rat clone but with so much more! Besides having identically same configurations & components, it also has a 3 way mini toggle swith that engages diode clipping stages which really brings the pedal to life & turns the common Rat pedal into one dynamic beast. I definitely recommend checking it out ! I’d say that cause of the DG2, which is close to the Rat as you’ve said, it would be fairly easy to achieve that kind of tone with it, amongst some other cool ones. Goes for good price too.
    Btw, i’ve read your review of the Royal Beaver & am strongly considering giving that a go also. Too bad that i cant find anyone that stocks it here though :( . But i must say that on the clip you’ve made it really sounds amazing! Seems like such a versatile,flexible pedal! Looked at some others on the net & found them sounding great too.
    Lastly, that little Laney head you have sounds awesome! What a fine little amp. How’s the clean headroom with the El 84’s? Do you still have the original tubes in it? I couldn’t see on the website if it had channel switching or not. Have you ever had the chance to check out the Blackstar HD5 mini amp head – that little beast sounds great too. Though not as powerful as the Laney, being that it has 5w output, it sounds pretty loud, at least for home use.

    Am strongly leaning towards getting the Royal Beaver, though i really dug the Rabbit & the DG2 is still on my conscience ;).
    Either way, they’re all great sounding pedals so in the end im sure i wouldn’t regret getting either of ’em.

    Looking forward to more of your cool reviews & your advice is always a great help in my quest for that awesome tone : )!

    Cheers again!

    [I haven’t tried the Freakshow Rabbit but from your description it sounds very similar to the Distortion from RetroSonic. It’s a RAT with a 3-way toggle switch. Amazing pedal. The Royal Beaver is incredibly versatile and it’s been my main Muff for the past 6 months. Dead silent and you can pretty much tweak any Muff tone. Good luck with your tone! – Bjorn]

  36. Tom says:

    Hi back Bjorn,

    Thanks lots for the feedback, i really do appreciate it!

    Since i cannot guarantee that i’ll be able to hunt down a Pink Flesh pedal any time soon in the future, (btw, i’ve heard stories that they’re supposed to go up to triple their value & more when they turn up on ebay ) so its a distinct possibility that i won’t be getting one perhaps.

    However, as i’ve mentioned earlier, the Top tone DG-1 / DG-2 are right up my alley too tonewise & am strongly considering getting one of these instead… Am starting to feel they’re sounding better to me now than the Pink Flesh after listening to clips more closely.

    So in light of that, i just wanted to ask you what your thoughts are on them as far as preference goes…..
    I do recall you mentioning a little while back when you did the DG1 review based on the performance from one of your shows & said that you’d be happy to employ it in the future on your pedalboard.
    I’ve heard some sound clips & it really does sound awesome, but so does the DG2 on your Money demo… Its just that i can’t quite settle the differences between the two & not sure exactly how they’d differ in a sonic sense.
    Am probably asking for too much, but it would be great to get a pedal that’s versatile enough for a wide range of Gilmour tunes. You’ve also mentioned that the DG2 is now one of your 2 main lead pedals alongside the RB. I’d take it that you were going after “YOUR” preferred sound too when you gave the thumbs up for the DG1 at your gig. In the end, what then made you settle more on the DG2?

    I have to be honest when i say that apart from the classic mid to late 70’s sound i absolutely dig the sound Dave’s got on the Live in Gdansk shows ! So rich & monumental (like when he plays Castellorizon/On an Island) … I do love the Pulse & Momentary Lapse tones of course, but i guess thats mainly just the similar sort of tone but with the mids scooped out a bit more. Extra mids in my mind help to cut through the mix better & has that raw organic feel to it…

    Like i mentioned, i do love a versatile pedal, which is why i’ll check out the Musket also as you’ve recommended it.

    Thanks for the help again Bjorn, you’re the man :) Keep up the great work!

    cheers…. Tom.

    [The DG1 is a clone of the Pete Cornish P2, which is again very similar to the late 70s Big Muff and early 90s Sovtek models. It has fat gain saturation, lots of mid range and lower end. Quite aggressive with lots of warmth. The DG2 is a clone of the Pete Cornish G2, which is a fairly unique design from Cornish although it’s very close to the RAT. In terms of overall tone the DG2 is a more versatile pedal than the DG1. With it you can cover most of David’s lead tones and its classic distortion tone allows for anything between ZZ Top to Metallica :) The DG1 is a Big Muff all over and works very well for David’s 80s and 90s tones and perhaps his presents but not that much for other genres. In regards to David’s Gdanks tones, he’s mostly using a ram’s head Big Muff and a Tube Driver overdrive. – Bjorn]

  37. Tom says:

    Hi there Bjorn !

    Firstly I’d honestly want to thank you for your continuous support to us fellow guitarists & keeping such an unbelievably great site in exsistance…

    I basically just wanted to touch on an issue that you’ve probably heard of before in the past, but unfortunately myself not being mr. current affairs on some issues, had just became aware of it…
    Its basically concerning the Skreddy Pink Flesh pedal… After doing some personal research Im assuming its true that its not made anymore :(… I kind of became a bit ticked off & frustrated cause of this cause after reading your excellent review plus other peoples positive feedback & of course comparing it with other pedals, including the Toptone dg1 & 2 among others, my heart was happy & was really looking forward to getting one of these babies! Tried looking for it elsewhere but with no success… Truthfully, I really felt in my bones that this was gonna be The PERFECT pedal for me especially when you yourself mentioned that its a kind of pedal that sounds quite as good on both a small & larger rig!
    Don’t know where to go from here & am a bit stuck for options as you may imagine. Not sure where I could possibly source one now, I guess the only other one I been thinking to get is the DG1 , but i cannot know for sure just how similar/different these 2 could be. Was perhaps thinking to ask you what your opinion is on this matter & perhaps point me in the right direction. I love the DSOTM,Animals, Wall era as well as of course Pulse & Island tones. As far as I knew the Pink Flesh had a right grip on pretty much all of them …
    Do you feel that with what’s out there,would anything compare same or at least similarly?

    Thanks so much for your help in advance, any help would be greatly appreciated!

    Cheers, ….. Tom.

    [Choosing the right Big Muff for a given set up can be a tricky challenge. Some models are very similar with minor differences but big enough to matter, while other models have more unique characteristics. The Pink Flesh is no longer made but it’s very similar to the Skreddy Pig Mine. I think the idea was to make a pedal that captured David’s tones from the Animals-Wall era when David used the Muff+Powerboost combo. I don’t think it managed to do just that because the combo is much more dynamic than what a single pedal can produce but the tone was very nice indeed. Personally I prefer a milder Muff because the Pink Flesh was a bit hard to tame but if you prefer only a single pedal it certainly did the job. I also want to recommend the excellent Musket from Blackout Effectors. An incredibly versatile Muff that covers more Gilmour eras than any other Muff I’ve tried. – Bjorn]

  38. Eric Nyberg says:

    Bjorn, Kit (anyone else) does anybody have any thoughts on the Mad Professor Fire Red?

    [It’s been some time since I tried it but it sounded pretty much like an early Sovtek with a fat lower end and a saturated tone. Didn’t blow my mind. – Bjorn]

  39. Pierre Chartier says:

    How the TopTone DG-1 compare with the SkreddyPedal Pink Flesh (or the new Pig Mine) you’ve already review? and Skreddy Pig Mine vs the DG-2 also… Tanks Bjorn

    [Haven’t tried the Pig Mine so I can’t tell about that one. The DG1 is very close to the early 90s Sovteks with lots of gain, mid range and bass while the Pink Flesh was based on the early 70s ram’s head tweaked for a bit more gain and presence – a bit too wild for my taste. The ram’s heads has a bright aggressive tone with that typical early scooped mids Muff tone. – Bjorn]

  40. Frails says:

    BTW, here’s a side by side A/B of the DG2 and G2 to nail the point home. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6THzuvdX3Lo

    [Nice clip. You can hear that the DG2 has a bit more gain. – Bjorn]

  41. Frails says:

    Hey Bjorn, long time….

    WOW. I haven’t been around lately cuz I’ve been in Gibson World. Great review! You always have a way of giving me pedal gas you bastard! LOL

    To all the detractors….lighten up. Cornish never did you any favors by charging such big money for his pedals and taking down the Gilmour board pics after some people started making their own similar looking ones. It was long overdue that someone would reverse engineer his stuff. As was already mentioned, he started with someone elses design too. Share the wealth if it’s not YOUR design.

    [Cheers Frails! – Bjorn]

  42. Jae says:

    If I haven’t thanked you lately Bjorn, let me say thank you. Your site has always about getting a Gilmourish sound without breaking the bank. And since I’ve been coming here I’ve come much closer than I ever have. From pickups to Big Muffs the credit is all yours. Randall mentioned phasers. I humbly suggest the BYOC phaser. I built one to see if I could do it, and Have A Cigar never sounded so right. The new model, the Phase Royal will even get uni-vibe tones. I haven’t built it because I have those sounds covered, but if anyone is looking to cover those bases I recomend BYOC highly. Anyway, I just wanted say thank you for all your work. Thank you


    [Thanks Jae! The BYOC Phase 90 is discontinued for the moment (I saw your mail) but I’d say that BYOC in general is awesome stuff. I have a handful of their pedals and have never been disappointed. Never tried the Royal Phaser though. The MXR ’74 Phase 90 is a gem. Very smooth and creamy and incredibly versatile. I also recommend the old Maxon Phase Tone, which is very similar to the 90. Cheers! – Bjorn]

  43. Randall says:

    Hey Bjorn, I just bought two new pedals recently you might be interested in hearing about.

    One is a Whirlwind Rochester Series “Orange Box”. This company was started by a c0founder of MXR, more specifically, the guy who designed the original Phase 90, DynaComp, and Distortion+ pedals. This pedal is basically a ’74 Reissue MXR Phase 90, but with true-bybass, LED light, and 9-volt AC jack (actually made with quality parts too). It sounds just like an original Phase 90, and doesn’t rely on batteries.

    The second is the new Electro-Harmonix Germanium 4 Big Muff Pi. This thing is really sweet. If you haven’t yet, you should check one out. Basically, a germanium OD and distortion in a combo pedal. Pretty sweet. With this and my MXR M-173 Classic 108 Fuzz, I get Gilmour tones all day long. Oh, can’t forget my Space Echo either! Haha.

    I seriously recommend scoping both of these out, if you haven’t already. Keep up the great work!

    [I haven’t had the chance to check out the EHX germanium Muff yet but it seems like a cool pedal indeed! The Whirlwind pedals are great! I’ve tried all three and although I’ve never liked the Distortion + the Orange Phase 90 and the Red Dynacomp is awesome. The phaser sounded dead on the MXR ’74 that I have and the compressor sounded a bit more open than the MXR ’76. Highly recommended! – Bjorn]

  44. Marc-Étienne says:

    Hi Bjorn ! I’ve one question for you : did you really buy this pedal 310 $ US ? because I saw the toptone website, and i know the price including shipping but, maybe its way to expensive ! cheers !! So if I want a DG-2, am I oblige to command it from Brazil or some american (or canadian) sites sell it ?? thank you very much for the answer(s) !!

    [I’m not sure if these are available from other retailers. Send TopTone and ask. They’re very helpful :) – Bjorn]

  45. ruodi says:

    ? So, what´s the difference between DG-1 and DG-2? If you can cover every distorted Gilmour solo with the DG-2 – what the DG-1 is for? Could we say that the DG-2 the Toptone take on the ProCo RAT, while the DG-1 is a better Big Muff clone (as the Cornish P2 is)? That would supposedly mean that the the DG-2 works better at home level than the DG-1. A practicing pedal deluxe, so to say.

    BTW: Cornish pedals and floorboards are pure crap, I´ve tried all of them! Sound nothing like Gilmour.

    No, beware! … I´m only kidding! ;-)

    Thanks again.

    [The DG1/P2 is based on the early Sovtek Muffs (Ciwil War and green). It has a distinct Muff tone with lots of lower end and a bit more gain and mid range than the original EHX versions. The DG2/G2 is much closer to a germanium fuzz with more gain placing it closer to the RAT. It has a bit more presence than the RAT too. Both pedals are capable of replicating most of David’s lead tones but the each will be more authentic for a given period. Both performs well on lower volume and smaller rigs but in my experience the DG2/G2/RAT is a bit easier to tweak. – Bjorn]

  46. The Fat Cyclist says:

    It makes no difference to me, I can afford neither PC or Top Tone. But I admire the beauty of PC custom boards, and I know all his stuff is brilliantly made. I know it sounds mad, but I have always thought the individual pedals sound like the box they are in. (yes I will buy cotton buds tomorrow). There is a boxiness in there amongst the tone.(particularily to be heard on vids on You Tube) Anyway what I really wanted to say was. The bulk of Pink Floyds’ best material was produced without any of these esotric items, so if you buy them you are trying to recreate the sound of somebody trying to recreate the sound even if that somebody is David Gilmour.
    I am glad however that you have the intergrity to say if you like a product or not, since you are not having to rely on advertising revenue for this or that huge conglomerate company. I have been around this website and elsewhere long enough to feel that if you say that a product has made its way onto your board or into use by you, it is not just because you got one free in the post. Keep up the good work, I know it will get harder as AirBag gets the bigger and wider audience that it is bound to do.

    [Cheers! – Bjorn]

  47. ruodi says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    didn´t recognize at first that this is a “DG-2” (and “Light Drive”) review – and not “DG-1”. I have a RAT 2 with that LM308 mod. (The LM308 chip costs about 0,60 Euros – and is definetely worth every cent. ;-) ) Good pedal, as I remember.

    Would you say that the DG-2 sounds also equal as a Skreddy Topfuel or maybe as a BOSS HM-1? (I´m asking because I have both, the Topfuel and the HM-1 – and don´t use any of them.)

    Which Gilmour solos are typical “G-2 solos”? Second solo from “Money”, okay, but what else?


    [The TopFuel is perhaps closer to the Light Driver… or somewhere between the two. The DG2 has much more gain and a distinctly brighter tone. You can pretty much cover any of David’s distortion solos with the DG2/G2… it’s a matter of taste I guess. It’s very close to Muff but I think it goes better with the 80s tones. – Bjorn]

  48. Dave A says:

    Come now guys and girls lets not loose our way with this review and definantly not loose sight of what this site is all about.This is an informed view of what our Gilmourish site owner thinks of a pedal that he deems worthy of a mention in that it is a nice pedal wich is quite capable of helping us achieve a gilmourish tone.Thats mostly the reason why we are all here isn,t it.He is not slating Cornish pedals or saying they are not capable,as we all no they are and thats even if we havent been able to try one.Mr Riis or Bjorn God bless him is just bringing to our attention different pedals that in his own opinion could help us to achieve this goal.And remember they are his opinions not the suppliers.Im sure most of us realise this but im very sure all of us have been thankfull more ways than others in one way or another for this site.I for one hope Bjorn continues to find these golden nuggets and continues to give us his views.Its up to us anyway in the long run if we want to pursue any of his views further.

    Anyway.Have you tried this pedal on your old marshall 5210 at all,if so how did it react.Remember your older You tube clips were with the marshall and those tones are not bad are they.Er sorry that was my question :)

    [Thanks for your comment Dave :) Erm… the old Marshall is 9n the basement at the moment and I’m not really sure what to do with it. I’ve had it for nearly 20 years and it has some great tones but as a practice/bedroom amp the Laney beats the crap out of it… Anyway, the DG2 with it’s typical RAT-ish tone will go nicely with most transistor amps. I’m a bit more uncertain about the Light Drive. – Bjorn]

  49. Allan says:

    Quite right Pete, god knows if i had the money I would have the whole lot!

  50. Kelton Gomes says:

    The fact is: concerning TONE, there are many other pedals capable to give you a gilmouresque sound as good as the ones provided by Cornish stuff. TopTone seems to be one of these alternatives.

  51. Demetris says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    Great review as always!!

    Tone is indeed a personal taste most of the times.

    People should not forget that Gilmour played with Boss pedals and he was still Gilmour.

    These Brazilian pedals are a serious job at it seems.

    I personally do not think that you said anything against Cornish pedals. Everybody knows that you said before that those pedals are amazing. And you said thet the reason you like DG2 more that Cornish G2 is that is has more gain. And you pinpointed that DG2 is more noisy.

    Given your set up and ears you like DG2. Good choice!! Each one has ears and personal taste and is better to use them more than just go buy gear based on reviews or based on artists.


    [Agree. – Bjorn]

  52. Kit Rae says:

    Bjorn, now you know why I wanted you to go first! The wrath of the Cornish horde!

    I’ll throw my two cents in about Cornish pedals, and side with Bjorn. I like his stuff, but I like anyone who makes good spins on Big Muffs because I am a Muff fanatic. I owned a P-2, and currently own a G-2, which filled the hole my Rat left when I booted it off the board. I also recently got the TopTone DG-2 to try out. I liked it better than my G-2, and the DG-2 has now replaced it on my board. The G-2 is a great pedal for that Rat-ish tone, and I really liked the buffer, but I simply prefer the sound of the DG-2. It’s as simple as that. The fact that I paid a ridiculous amount of money for the G-2 does not change what me ears prefer. They both sound great, but the DG-2 just had that extra something I liked, and it’s also a very well built pedal.

    My first Cornish was a P-2. Good Big Muff clone, but overall it was nothing special. I had several Big Muffs and Muff clones that sounded better and were much more dynamic. It just did not cut it against the sound of my Civil War Sovtek, and my BYOC Large Beaver Ram’s Head pedal (purchased based on Bjorn’s review here) with the mids switch on position 1, sounds identical to the P-2.

    I was fortunate to try out a P-1 this year. It was one of the finest sounding Ram’s Head Big Muff clones I have ever played. I own a vintage Ram’s Head that sounds slightly better, and a violet RH that sounds practically identical, only with less gain at max that the P-1. Pete has added his preamp buffer circuit, but make no mistake, the Big Muff circuit in this is an exact clone of a vintage Big Muff circuit. Not much originality there, but the add ons I mentioned, the nostalgia of owning a clone of a DG pedal made by Pete, and Big Muff my addiction, were enough to make me put one on order.

    A few other things to note about Cornish pedals:
    –Originality – All three of these pedals are based on Big Muffs circuits. In fact the exact same pcb board is used for all three, and clearly follows Bob Myer’s original circuit path, which itself was also based on a common amplifier circuit. There are some very interesting and original twists in Pete’s G-2 components and values however. Not so in the P-1. The P-2 has a few cap and resistor value changes that make the mids stand out more than a typical Muff, but nothing you can’t get on a BYOC L Beaver.
    -They have very good preamp buffers and are relatively quiet for Big Muffs. Though I take issue with anyone saying they are the quietest. I have other Big Muffs clones with no buffers that are quieter.
    – Pete spray paints his pcbs to reduce moisture damage, which is great for players who travel are outdoors a lot. Humidity is not kind to circuits over time. It also hides what his circuit values are from prying eyes :)
    -The components used on the pcb are common, no different than the components used on the majority of other boutique pedals out there (yes, I degooped mine).
    -Soldering and wiring are top notch, as are many other boutique pedals I own from other makers.
    -The gray boxes he uses are huge – unneccesarily so. Board real estate matters to me. Pete could economize his pcb and internal space much better like most of the other markers do. Perhaps space does not matter to him, though I have noticed he is now offering smaller enclosures as an option. Structurally the enclosures are no more sound than most other modern cast aluminum enclosures. Probably less so because of the wider face, but it is very hard to crush ANY modern enclosure.
    -Yes, you can wait up to a year or more for Pete to make some of these pedals as Bjorn said, especially the P-1. The wait on some of his other pedals is not so bad.
    -They are insanely expensive compared to other makers, but it’s Pete’s prerogative to charge whatever he wants.

    In summary – Pete is not God, he is just one of the better pedal makers out there, though over priced IMO. Pete did not invent the Big Muff, but added his preferred preamp buffer improvements. Pete makes good sounding pedals, built to last. You may absolutely love them. You may also find pedals that sound better, are just as reliable, and take up less space, for far less.

    [Thanks for your input Kit! You’re the Big Muff king :) – Bjorn]

  53. Pete says:

    It may be that you called cornish a big grey box, with they are, or the fact that you said you have to wait a year to get one, witch is not true.

    I got myself cornish pedals, cause I was sick of buying clones that got me 90% on the way. So instead of trying out all kindsa pedals and specially muffs, I saved upp and got the holy grail. P-1 P2 G2 SS3
    And I dont regret that one second, cause now I can read all your reviews without wanting to buy new pedals. In the long run It will save me a lot of money.

    Im sure Top Tone makes awesome pedals, but I guess I will never know! :) Conish pedals are PF and Gilmour history to me.

    [Good for you! I really mean that. I totally understand that for some, owning a Cornish or a ’73 DR103 Hiwatt or whatever is half the experience. I too have gotten pedals and gear just because David used it at some point. Again, I’m not being disrespectful of neither Cornish nor fans like you who swear by his pedals. All I’m saying is that I, in most cases, prefer other pedals just like you, I’m sure, have your reasons for preferring Cornish. Perhaps it was stupid of me to call it a grey box but in this case, I actually think that the DG2 sounded better than the G2 based on a thorough A/B test. As you might also have seen, I didn’t like the Light Drive and was honest about that. – Bjorn]

  54. Kelton Gomes says:

    “There’s no holy cows and even Cornish has based his pedals on already existing effects” [2]

    If you wanna blame toptone for cloning cornish, blame cornish for cloning ehx, mxr and boss first…

  55. Jean-Francois says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    yes I already knew that about Money solo, mostly by reading it on your site :)
    But what I wonder is if David did these 3 solos “intentionnaly” (I mean he get the idea of 3 different tones, before record) or, maybe did he played 3 different takes for ALL the solo (I mean all 3 12bar-cyles) with 3 diffrent setup (strat with fuzz and echo, strat with fuzz “dry”, and bill lewis guitar), and then MAYBE was it only during mixing that he decided to keep the 3 different tones, just by hearing it by using his technique to swap between different takes, as he do very often.
    Well just an idea, and I thought maybe you had some clues about it :)

    about the high note, what is it really ? F# ? If it’s so, indeed I guess its impossible to play it with a strat, but i thought it was maybe a bit lower (E or so)

    [There’s a lot of ideas and experimentation going on during a recording session and I’m sure the idea of producing three different sounds for the solos came about after having tried the usual setup and deciding it sounded a bit dull. The solo it self was developed during the early live performances on the 1972 tour. – Bjorn]

  56. Eivind says:

    Speaking for myself I prefer buying pedals that actually works when I get them, and that will continue to work for a lifetime without a single problem. And I certainly prefer a signal that is preserved in the best possible way from guitar to amp, with a minimal amount of noise. My local store has all the Cornish-pedals in stock too (not the Custom Designs of course), so that’s not an issue. And I have to say that I find a lot of pleasure owning pedals from the man who takes care of David Gilmours setup.. Did I say that they hold up in value quite well too?:) Have you tried the Custom Chorus and the TES btw? Just curious!

    But it was a nice review anyway, and I’m sure the DG-2 is a great pedal. Don’t take me wrong!:) And your playing is top notch as always Bjørn.

    [I know we disagree here Eivind but I don’t think taste or tone is the issue here. I’m certainly capable of recognizing the quality of Pete’s pedals and I’d say that noise elimination is his biggest selling point. No other pedals seem to manage the low level of noise. What I’m trying to point out in my replies to other comments here and in my reviews is that it would be stupid of me to only write about Fenders, Hiwatts and Cornish. The whole idea behind Gilmourish.Com is to show people that you can get those tones (or get close) with lots of other stuff too. Besides, you can find tons of reviews of David’s stuff on countless other sites. My main objective though is integrity. I don’t think you’d taken me seriously knowing that I’m not a big Cornish fan but all my reviews were in awe of his stuff. We all have different preferences and goals. I’ve always been more into the vintage stuff and sure they’re noisy and they break down but that’s part of the whole mojo for me (although I have to say that “I prefer buying pedals that actually works when I get them” as you say is pretty generic… Price doesn’t always go hand in hand with quality). People seem to think that not being a fan is the same thing as being disrespectful. It’s not. I don’t represent anyone so what I write about is always based on personal taste. You don’t find that in Guitar World or whatever. I’m not saying that I’m better but it doesn’t really matter what I think. Tone is personal but hopefully I can give you some pointers along the way… just as I’ve learned a lot from reading other people’s reviews and comments. Taste and opinions are personal and should always be respected but equally challenged with a healthy debate. As I’ve said many times before… Why does these comments always appear when we’re discussing Cornish? I really don’t understand… – Bjorn]

  57. J.J.F. says:

    Running out of topics?
    How about: http://www.artistdirect.com/nad/news/article/0,,7353622,00.html

    The Orb Featuring David Gilmour: “Metallic Spheres”.
    I heard the album and I got my opinion too… I’ll wait for you review!


    [I did a little post on that a couple of weeks ago but I’ll try to post a review as well :) – Bjorn]

  58. Hi Bjorn,Enjoyed your write up on the Top Tones…
    I think i have enough effects and amps for a while…

    I am not having a dig at TP but your Gilmourish site
    has helped to sell a stack of gilmour flavoured effects
    Amps,Guitars,Straps,Strings,cables and a multitude of bits and peices.
    Pete Cornish,Vintage effects,BK and the rest should be sending a big thank you to you…
    With out you and this site most of us Gilmour(Wannabe)fans
    would still be looking on ebay to buy that “Gilmour Pedal”.

    You have helped me enourmously…

    [Thanks a lot for your kind words Scott! Always glad to hear that I can help. That’s what it’s all about and I learn new things everyday too! The Gilmour community on the net has grown a lot during the last decade but Gilmourish.Com is not alone. Together with sites like TheToneFromHeaven and the DGForum there seems to have been a huge Gilmour revival. Cheers! – Bjorn]

  59. Allan says:

    Give Bjorn a break guys! haha, the man’s busy!

    If you don’t mind Bjorn I’d just like to say it’s great that you’re doing reviews of clones.

    Admittedly yes, I would love to have a pass to the country club, complete with two jaguars, an aston martin and the full range of cornish pedals built into a deluxe board, but cut a poor guy some slack, £400 ($650) is a helluva lot of money for a G2/SS3/P2.

    Pete Cornish makes AMPLE money from his pedal sales, considering his clientelle include Mr Gilmour and Pete Townshend. I’m sure if it was me, I’d enjoy the competition of another builder, and be honoured that there was such a demand for the sound i was making in the “underbelly” of the guitar society :P.

    Bjorn is right as well, how many guys have came on this site (including myself, who used to play through a boss os2 and behringer delay believing i had “the tone”) who have thought “oh look, Davy G. is using the G2, I’ll go buy one of those from Mr. Cornish.”

    Pete probably owes alot of business (and complaints of manual labour) to Bjorn for the informative research he has given on Gilmour which no one else would have bothered to do.

    Bjorn, please keep reviewing clones/boutiques/mass prodcued AND rubbish pedals, as you’re drawing in a bigger and bigger audience with each post.

    (and btw, the top tone is STILL to expensive for a poor boy like me, I’ll just have to make do with my byoc muff and my little big muff ;) )

    [Thanks for your comment Allan. There’s no holy cows and even Cornish has based his pedals on already existing effects. There’s only a handful of unique effects out there and everything else is clones or “based on” pedals. It would be rediculous of me to not write about things that David doesn’t use or not agree with everything he’s using. That’s not what this site is about and I think you’ve misunderstood the whole concept of reviews if you think my word is the gospel. It’s not. It always amazed me that some people seems to consider all that David’s using as untouchable and especially Cornish. I have huge respect for Cornish and know very well that he’s shaped David’s tones perhaps more than anybody else but that doesn’t mean that I have to like or recommend it without any criticism. Anyway… – Bjorn]

  60. Dave A says:

    Well Mr Bloody Riis what can I say.Great review as always and an even better video :) Remember I bugged the hell out of you, must have been last year or so for a vid clip of money played on a 21 fret neck.Do one Bjorn go on do one,on a 21 fret neck please please do a vid clip blah blah Haha a bit bloody late aint it mate :)As i said,great review great vid keep em coming Bjorn.All the best mate .

    [Well, I gotta spread it all out or else I’d run out of topics :) Cheers! – Bjorn]

  61. Luciano says:

    Nice reviews, Bjorn.

    Maybe I should look at these pedals made here in Brazil. The prices are quite international, though… And I don’t know if it would be a big difference to change my Green Sovtek Muff for a DG-1. On the other hand, the DG-2 would be interesting, considering I don’t have any germanium pedal.

    You gotta update the “my gear” section… I guess that, by now, your stage board would be something like that: Vox Wah, Composus, DG2, Royal Beaver, OCD, Tube Driver, Rotovibe, Mistress (you have ditched the CPB and the Sun Face, yes, but I don’t imagine you without your beloved Mistress), CE-2, DD-2, Replica, EB Volume. Did I get close? ;)

    Going off topic: have you tried the EHX Deluxe Memory Boy. It seems to have some nice features and costs a lot less than the Memory Man.



    [That’s pretty much it yes. The CE2 is replaced by a BYOC Analog Chorus for the moment. I’ll have some new pictures up soon. The Deluxe Mem Boy is a great pedal. Perhaps not as warm as the old Mem Man but very close. – Bjorn]

  62. TP says:

    Thanks for the review. I’m sure those are decent pedals but I’m not sure I like to see you to advertise these pedals even after how much Pete has helped with your Gilmour gear research. There’s one difference cloning green muff and PC pedals. This most probably won’t hurt Pete’s business so I guess it’s more of a principle. Take care.

    [Not sure I understand what you mean but for one – Pete has never helped me that much with the site. He answered one or two questions when I started this site some 7-8 years ago. Second – I always do review based on a purely honest standing point. I could kiss Pete’s ass but I’d be pissing on my own site as well. It’s all about integrity for me and if that means that I don’t like the same things as you then so be it. AND to be perfectly honest with you I think my site has done more positive things for Pete’s business than anything else. Sorry for my harsh tones but please do some research before you load your guns. – Bjorn]

  63. Andrew Parker says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    Brilliant website but you really cannot compare these pedals to the cornish pedals, you really should order yourself the SS-2 and the G-2 and you will never look at a clone again

    [Have you tried the TopTone pedals yourself? I have tried all of the Cornish pedals (also used them for A/B tests for this review) and I’ve decided that they’re not my cup of tea. So, yes… I can compare TopTone with Cornish :) – Bjorn]

  64. Mouloudo says:

    hey Bjorn nice review as always :)

    I just had few questions for you if you dont mind ^^

    I just bought a 57 reissue body from 1986 on ebay ( stratosphere) for 300 dollars and I just wanted to know what you think about it and if you think it’s a good deal :)
    here it is: http://cgi.ebay.fr/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=200529046849&ssPageName=ADME:B:EOIBSA:FR:1123

    as you can probably guess, it will be the base for my black strat replica :) it has two holes cause the idi*t that had it place a floyd rose on it, but it doesn’t forbid me to put a fender tremolo on it , and even the real black strat had massive holes in it ( for the Kahler tremolo but I wont teach you that, master ^^) so I dont think it will be a major problem for the guitar resonance or sustain…

    I got few questions regarding that; first I just cant find a 57 neck on internet so I would highly appreciate if you have any sites, or links where I could find some.
    my second question is: the fullerton 57′ RI necks being ” wrongly” C profiled neck and not V’s as you can find on today’s reissue, what is the closest neck you can find today wich compares to these C profile necks? I would realy be pleased to find a fullerton era neck or even a fullerton reissue neck ( fullerton 57’s reissues being added to the fender catalog recently) but theses necks being rare and their prices skyrocketing, the closest aproximation of these fullerton era’necks would be great :)

    finally and my last question is, do you recommend changing the nut even if I buy locking tuning machines? I plan on buying locking tuners from schaller or something, so is it really necessary to change the nut to?

    thank you very much, I hope I didn’t bothered you and that you’ll ahve the time ton answer :)

    [I think I answered your mail on this but check out Warmoth, Allparts or RiableFender on EBay. I always replace the nut to bone. Not sure why you want locking tuners but my experience with these is that they often kills the sustaion on a Strat. A good quality bridge, like the Callaham Vintage S, will in most cases give you a much better tone. – Bjorn]

  65. Mouloudo says:


    hey Bjorn I just bought this black 57’s reissue body from 1986 for 300 dollars to start my black strat replica, I wonder if it’s a good deal :) it has two extra holes because the previous owner placed a Floyd rose on it -_- seems that it’s not a problem for placing a fender bridge and the holes will be covered by the pickguard… your advice would be much appreciate :)

    btw great review as usual I might have to take a closer look at these pedals

    [Seems to be a nice body. Shouldn’t be any problem to fit it with a standard bridge. The extra holes can easily be filled and repainted by a repairman. Good luck with the project! – Bjorn]

  66. Hugo says:

    Nice tones there Bjorn!! we (well, actually I jeje) really want to see your actual pedalboard updated.

    I’ve never understand all the emotion regarding the G2, I really preferr the Big Muff tones, but this clip shows very well the sound.

    I think I understand you about the overdrive, my search is infinite I think.. I need a good overdrive who can give me the open tone of Animals and the wall but still capable of that mid-hump that makes my amp go to the stratosphere..

    [I’ll have som new pix up soon! – Bjorn]

  67. Sean says:

    Hey Bjorn, I know your pedalboard has recently gone through a lot of changes with the work on your new Airbag album. Can you do an update to your pedalboard under my gear, maybe one for Airbag and one for the Pink Floyd Experience? I would really like to compare.

    Keep up the amazing work as usual!

    [We don’t really do that many Floyd shows anymore so my main pedal board is the one that I use with Airbag. Some of my sounds are inspired by David’s and while others tend to go towards a slightly different sound or genre. I have a “practice” board at home that I use for my Floyd sounds now. I’ll post some updates soon. – Bjorn]

  68. Jean-François says:

    great article as always :)
    I’ve just some questions, after seeing your video :
    – do you have 2 black strat clones ? I thought youhad just one.
    – about the Money solo(s) (one of David’s best IMHO), do you think that Money has 3 seperate solos (with 3 distinctive sounds) because David “wrote” the 3 ones “intentionnaly” before record (I mean he already had the idea before record), OR was it “accidental”, as David could have recorded 3 takes, trying different sounds, and by using his usualtechnique (switching from solo to another using the mixing desk) he found it good and decided to keep it that way?
    – last one : is it really impossible to play the higher notes of the last solo with a 21 fret Strat ? (I must admit I’ve never tried) Didn’t David played these notes on his strat (black in 70’s or red in 80’s and 90’s) I ask you because you don’t play these last high notes on your video.

    [1. Yes. It’s a Fender CIJ ’65 reissue rosewood and a CIJ ’50s with maple. I’m swapping pickups back and forth and some other stuff to see which is better. For the moment I’m more into the ’65.
    2. David’s Money solo is widely documented in interviews etc. All three solos are played with a Fuzz Face and Binson echo into a Fender Twin. The first solo was played with the Black Strat and dubbed manually (second take) to make it sound bigger. The second “dry” solo is played with the Black Strat, single track.The third solo is played with a Bill Lewis Custom guitar that had an extra fret for those high notes. The solo was automatically double tracked with a processor to make it sound bigger.
    3. I don’t think David’s played those high notes on a Strat and I think you’d be struggling pretty hard to manage it.
    – Bjorn]

  69. DG says:

    Great review Bjorn.
    Just curious, is that other strat in the background the one with the EMGs just with a black pickguard? Also do you find much tone difference in the maple neck you had on and the one you currently have? Thanks

    [I’m swapping pickups back and forth between the two Strats. Can’t really decide which combo sound better. The one in the back is my old maple 50’s reissue now with the EMGs. They’re very similar but the maple neck makes this one sound a bit brighter than the rosewood ’65 reissue. – Bjorn]

  70. Alan says:

    Id like to see your new pedal board….I bet that the setup is substantially different.
    And the pedal sounds amazing but then again you make every pedal sound good….

    [I’ll be posting some new pix soon. – Bjorn]

  71. Evel1 says:

    Fracking brillant Bjorn!! Geat job, again as always, and a huge thank you for this review. The DG-2 has been on my list, and I have been playing the waiting game for Kit or yourself to post a review. The price does not disway me too much, but I refuse to pay top dollas for (potential) rubbish. The clip is a huge bonus. I am sure that the Cornish is a tad superior, as I would expect it to be, but knowing there is a (more than) suitble clone is HUGE!!

    Hopefully, you’ll get your hands on some of the SUF products. Those are unreal as well!

  72. Jay says:

    what did you meen in the very last paragraph “– not willing to have a huge grey box on your board that you have to wait over a year to receive ” just curious about what you ment right there?

    [He he… it was a small reference to Cornish :) – Bjorn]

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