• Past FX Elastic Mattress, TDY and Patriarch

    In this new video I’m looking at the Elastic Mattress, TDY and Patriarch from Past FX.

    Past FX’s Spectrum Collection feature clones of the Buffalo FX range. Pedals that have all been reviewed here on Gilmourish. Sadly, Buffalo went out of business a few years back.

    The TDY is a faithful take on the Tube Driver and what to my ears sound like the 2006 and present version of the BK Butler version. It has a slightly scooped mid range, with a fat low end and a nicely rounded top. It responds incredibly well to your picking dynamics and pickups.

    The Patriarch is based on the early 90s Civil War Sovtek Big Muff. The pedal has an onboard mid range booster and low cut control, for more presence. Compared to the Civil War, the Patriach has a bit more gain bit that same throathy character, with tons of sustain.

    The Elastic Mattress in one of Past FXs unique pedals and not part of the Spectrum range. It’s a take on the mid 70s 18V Electric Mistress, with impressive accuracy. A blend control allows you to dial in the preferred amount of the effect. No volume drop and a very low noise floor.

15 Responsesso far.

  1. Robert Richardson says:

    Bjorn! Do you think the Patriarch is a 1:1 of the Patriot? Are there any reasonable differences you can hear or feel?

    • Bjorn says:

      They’re very close. To my ears the Patriarch may be a tad brighter, with a bit less low end. Whether or not they’re identical schematic wise I don’t know.

  2. Scheckter Barreto says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    How do you think the TD-Y compares to the Nobles ODR in terms of gain structure? I’m looking for a step up from the Boss BD2.

    • Bjorn says:

      They’re somewhat similar but the Tube Driver, or TDY, has slightly more headroom and an overall more transparent tone or a flatter EQ response. The ODR has slightly more mids, more gain and a bit more compression. It depends on the setup but to my ears the TDY sounds better for cleans and milder overdrive, while the ODR sounds better for higher gain overdrive and distortion.

  3. Nick says:

    I can confirm the PastFX TD-Y is extremely versatile. The last few days I’ve been using it as an EQ/Boost with my high output humbucker super strat and my high gain Marshall style amp and it sounds incredible. Adds presence and definition to the tone. Much prefer it in this capacity to a tubescreamer. This pedal can do so much more than Gilmour tones.

  4. Bryan says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    Great rundown as always!

    I’m thinking of buying the PastFX Canberra (B-FX Carrera Repro), as I’m looking for an OD with a Tube Driver flavor, but with more mid-range presence as I’m running it into scooped Fender Blackpanel style amps. Running a Strat with D.Allen Echoes pickups.

    Do you think the Canberra would be a good fit for the TD flavor in this setup?


    • Bjorn says:

      It should fit nicely. You might also want to look into the EHX Crayon. A bit more compression and mid range than the TDY and Canberra but definitely based on the Tube Driver.

  5. Troy says:

    All sound very tasty.

    Have you tried stacking the Patriarch into the TDY by any chance?

    The PastFX Elastic Mattress looks very similar to RetroSonic’s take on the Electric Mistress which you’ve also reviewed. Was that RetroSonic the earlier, darker one that was apparently made that way to minimise noise but or the later one (from serial number 250 on according to one of your commenters called Nick) that they put out following user feedback?

    Have you had a chance to compare the PastFX unit with the RetroSonic?

    I see that PastFX use NOS Panasonic/Matsushita MN3007 chips & RetroSonic use the MN3207.

    I’m guessing that Retrosonic are using the Behringer/Cool Audio 3207 clone of that chip as they just list it as “Analog BBD delay path (3207 device).

    Apparently Thorpy’s Camoflange take on the Electric Mistress used Matsushita 3207’s & that he has said that he’s also used the modern clone (in his later units perhaps?). Several users have noted that that pedal had headroom issues. No idea if that is just down to the chip though. I gather though that the 3007 has a higher SNR than the 3007.

    I found some interesting info at a a couple of forums on the chip differences by searching “BBD mn3207 vs mn3007”. Apparently they respond differently to different voltages & the 3007 has higher headroom.

    & as an aside: It seems that PastFX also had an earlier flanger called the PastFX Reticon that used the Reticon SAD1024 chip that the original 70’s Electric Mistress used.

    I have the earlier version of the Hartman Flanger that used the Reticon SAD1024 chip. I’ve always been very satisfied with the sound (a blend control would be nice though). Later ones used the 3007.

    IIRC I that you’ve tried one of the 3007-based Hartman units & you preferred the Mooer flanger due to it being closer to your Deluxe Electric Mistress.

    Keeping track of Electric Mistress clones is getting to be almost as nuanced as keeping track of the various changes to the Electro-Harmonix versions!

    • Bjorn says:

      Depends on what you want the Mistress to do. You can track down two seemingly identical Mistress pedals from the late 70s and they sound very different to each other. Overall I think both the RetroSonic, and I have both versions of it, and the Past FX nails the early Mistress. The biggest difference is the top end. The RS is slightly darker, which suits brighter amps and high gain pedals. The Past FX is brighter and in that sense perhaps closer to the original Mistress, but maybe a bit too bright for brighter amps and high gain pedals.

  6. Martvince says:

    Nice demonstration as usual Bjorn! How do you compare the TD-Y to the TD-X? Have you tried the internal symmetrical/asymmetrical clipping switch on the TD-Y? Cheers from Quebec City!

    • Bjorn says:

      I haven’t explored the internal stuff yet. To me the TDY is not a clone but rather an improvement on the TDX. Smoother top, tighter low end and more of that tube character of the Tube Driver.

  7. beyondfloyd says:

    Hi Bjorn, I’m so glad you launched your new blog.Please allow me to ask questions.

    How many scores would you like to give Patriarch based on past standards? If I can’t get buffalo, is this the best civil war bigmuff on the market?

    • Bjorn says:

      It’s very close to the Patriot. Perhaps a tad brighter and a bit more gain. Which to me is an upgrade. There are clones that are more authentic, as the Patriarch has the low cut and mids boost, but to my ears, the Patriot and now the Patriarch are the ones that captures the sound I hear on Pulse the best.

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