When you hear about the King of Tone, only two things come to your mind: the waiting list and the impeccable sounds!
The pedal is the result of a collaboration between Analog Man and Jim Weider. You’d expect nothing short of perfect from both of them. Unfortunately, if you want to get the KoT, you’ll have to join the line. The pedal’s scarcity is one of the primary reasons for its high sales.
Let’s see all about the device and how you can get on the famous King of Tone waiting list.
But first, let’s cut to the chase.
As of April 2021, the King of Tone waiting list is just under 4 years long (they’re currently serving those who signed up prior to August 2017). Here’s the source.
An Overview of the Pedal
Overdrive pedals are no new product to the audio market. Nevertheless, it’s hard to match the tones of the KoT. There couldn’t have been a better name for it.
The KoT aims to take the amp with normal settings, so it sounds naturally driven to tube distortion. Most pedals don’t have enough drive to result in that kind of distortion. They’ll have exceptional frequency response, but the resulting sound will be too dry for your liking. Plus, they may overshadow the guitar’s tone, which gets you to lose touch.
The pedal adds just the right overdrive amount to the guitar’s tone without compromising it. Additionally, it preserves the original sound of the guitar, which ensures a pure, authentic result.
If you’re aiming at a pedal that’s going to make a significant difference in your guitar’s output, the KoT will probably be underwhelming for you.
How to Get the King of Tone – The Endless Waiting List
The waiting list is everyone’s biggest fear when it comes to buying the KoT. The standard waiting time is three years, so some users actually wait for years before they can get the pedal between their hands. The KoT is probably the only musical equipment that has such a long waiting list.
When you think of it, the waiting list has changed the way people perceive the KoT. In a way, it made the pedal more attractive, thereby surging its popularity. Put aside the sound quality and the build; the list might be the primary reason the pedal is on the market’s A list.
But why is the waiting list too long, though?
That’s the question you should be asking by now. The KoT’s manufacturing process is different from any pedal on the market, and it’s the reason behind the extensive waiting list. Every KoT pedal is handmade by the Analog Man team and Mike Piera. The process typically takes time, so it’s only normal for the demand to outstrip the supply.
The manufacturers also claim that they use specific top-notch components for the pedal, prone to running out. That’s one more reason for the high waiting list; guitarists are afraid of missing out.
You may think increasing the production would solve the problem, but it won’t. Some capacitors and diodes that go in the process were discontinued altogether. So, the more KoTs produced, the faster the components will run out. The manufacturers are running in an endless circle of dilemmas.
To get the King of Tone, you’d have to visit the Analog Man’s website and assign your mail to the list. Then, you’re going to have to pray to get a reply soon!
Transparency & Versatility
Mike Piera’s aim when making the King of Tone was to crank the guitar’s sound a bit while keeping its tone intact. He said that it’s a suitable pedal for people who don’t want to change their guitar or amp sounds. If you’re content with how your amp sounds, and you merely want to add volume and gain, the KoT will do you well.
Such a feature is challenging to achieve; any audio-enthusiast will know that. Most guitar pedals on the market will change your tone the same, but only rare ones like the KoT will keep it intact.
A lot of guitar pedals only sound well with specific instruments. For example, treble booster pedals mostly only sound well with dark guitar sounds and amps. Plug them into a bright sound, and you won’t like the result much. Thankfully, the King of Tone is an exception to this law. It’ll sound brilliant with any guitar, thanks to its natural perseverance of the tone.
Independence & Adjustability
Most pedals similar to the KoT are dual overdrive pedals. The King of Tone looks like it’s the same, but it’s actually made of two separate overdrive pedals that are identical. That way, you can stack them together or play them independently.
The best thing about the KoT pedal is that you can endlessly tweak its circuits to achieve your desired result. It has a four-position configuration switch on the inside that you can use to choose between the modes: overdrive, clean, and distortion. You can set either pedal to any of these modes.
You can play all you want with these modes to reach the sound you want. If you’re aiming at a volume boost, you can set the KoT’s right side for a higher distortion level and the left side for a clean boost. Meanwhile, if you inverted them, you’ll get more compression and overdrive. In both cases, the tone will stay unchanged.
- Power source: 9V/18Vdc
- Pedals: overdrive, dist, and clean boost
- On/off bypass switches
- Treble boost knobs
- Power current: 6–10mA
- Battery life: 100 hours approx
- Dimensions: 3.75 x 4.75 x 1.5 inches
- Weight: 0.6 pounds
What Customer Reviews Say
Considering the extensive waiting list, there aren’t many customers to talk about the KoT! Most of them are still waiting for the device.
Yet, users who got it mostly praised its transparency when it comes to the tone. They couldn’t find that feature in any other overdrive pedal, even the ones in a higher price range. On top of that, they love the pedal’s adjustability. The fact that they could tweak the settings all they want in the two pedals gave them a sense of freedom.
Lastly, they liked how the components are all of the top-notch quality. Nevertheless, that’s what you’d normally expect from such a long wait!
Is the King of Tone worth the long waiting list? It definitely is, but it still depends on your usage. If you’re a fan of the pedal’s tone transparency, then you won’t find it anywhere else, so you’d have to wait it out. On the other hand, if the pedal’s versatility is what you’re looking for, you can find it in other pedals.
Still, the King of Tone is certainly hard to match!