**Jan 01, 2023 – The Little Steamer is in stock and ready to ship, currently built with top jacks due to popular request. Contact us if you need side jacks!
What IS A “Little Steamer”?
It is based on the mysterious “Harmonic Percolator” circuit developed in the 1970’s, but we’ve tweaked the design to allow you to dial in sparkling light overdrive tones, warm sustaining overdrive, or nearly synth-like fuzz/drive sounds that sustain forever. The Germanium/Silicon hybrid circuit does an amazing job of combining the warmth of Germanium overdrive tones with the “snap” of Silicon fuzz. We use original 2N404 & 2N3565 transistors – there is indeed a great synergy happening with the original choice of transistors.
The “Little Steamer” is a unique pedal, and you won’t find many other pedals out there that pull off everything from subtle, dynamic overdrive to raging, ripping fuzz-tortion. It is also incredible on bass guitar, keys, and even drum machines. The two types of gain control allow subtle changes in texture and dynamics that help tones sit perfectly in the mix. “Roast” is overall gain and “Steam” allows a clean blend to the input, while the germanium/silicon transistor pair creates a Class A amplifier circuit that maintains the “oomph” of your signal.
If you are not a fan of the Tubescreamer “mid hump”, this pedal may be your Holy Grail. It is an overdrive that cuts through the mix for both rhythm & lead playing. The unique properties of the circuit create a pleasant (if at times wildly over-driven) sound no matter how you dial it in. It’s like coffee; it’s going to pep your tone up no matter how you brew it, you just need to dial in your flavor.
This circuit gets so much love that we’ve had requests for a “Double Steamer”. This way you can run it in stereo, use it in two different FX loops (some players just want it on almost all the time) or have it early in the fx chain, and then use a later instance for a boost/drive bump!
If you’re keen on having a “Double Steamer” drop us a line – I haven’t added it to the regular pedal offerings, as it’s a lot of work and demand isn’t so high, but we can do them to demand. Price is $200 plus shipping to wherever-you-may-be!
More Controls On A Legendary Tone Machine
There are four controls – “Roast”, “Volume”, “Steam”, and a “Clip” switch.
Volume is obvious. The Clip switch is also pretty straight forward; when in the “Clip” position, the signal is sent through a series of diodes, both silicon and germanium. This creates additional distortion and increases the harmonic content of the signal which gives your tone more “bite” and drive. This results in a small volume drop, which you can compensate for with the volume knob. There is plenty of output on tap!
The “Roast” and “Steam” knobs are unique to our design.
Roll back the “Roast” for mellower overdrive sounds, crank it for a “dark roast” high-gain overdrive. Even cranked up to wild gain levels, the solid midrange cuts through the mix beautifully.
“Steam” lets you reign in the the drive in a different way. Turned down (to the left) the circuit gain is reduced, but high end “sparkle” is maintained – perfect for spanking rock and country rhythm guitar sounds. As you crank it up, the gain increases and the sound becomes somewhat darker and focused. You can create furious lead sounds that won’t steam your eardrums with harsh harmonics. The interaction of “Roast” and “Steam” provide an amazing range of tones; from old school rock and mellow overdrive to gutsy distortion and slippery fuzz tones.
Get your Little Steamer now and pipe up your tone there, flapjack!
Some User Reviews
We’ve shipped a lot of these babies, and get a lot of great emails back. But publicly published feedback is the true currency of reviews, so here are some reviews from Reverb.com:
If you’re not satisfied with any JDM Pedal, you can return within 14 days for a refund (minus shipping and payment processing costs, which Paypal does not refund to us 🙁 If you encounter any functional problems with a pedal at any time just contact us! Since we use vintage transistors, it is possible that a transistor can fail, as rare as that is, and we’ll always do what it takes to get your beloved fuzz machine growling again.