Keeley’s latest mod to the venerable platform has everyone grinning here at the shop. The Red Dirt Germanium is going to be made in two stages. The first 50 will have a Germanium transistor popping through the top of the pedal. Instantly identifiable as something new and unique to the Keeley line. From then on the transistor will be mounted inside the unit. Same exact circuit, just without the hood ornament.
The new mod happened as a result of me trying to be a touch lazy. Or let’s say, I was trying to find a short cut and struck gold. In modifying the circuit I came across a way to have variable gain on different parts of the frequency response. The rather small change isn’t ground breaking, but I’ve never seen it done this way in a tube screamer type of circuit. The resulting sound is exceptional. It sounds 3D. It’s more of everything. It in fact cleans up really nicely with the volume control even though it has plenty more gain on tap. It makes a stock screamer sound very flat and one dimensional. By allowing differing gain rates for the bass response, the bass stays tight and forceful. The mid range and highs are soaked in sustain and saturation. The balance is exceptional.