In this crazy music/gear business, it’s very interesting how some things come together. In the case of the K.O.D.A, it started out in the brain of a pedal designer named Scotty Smith from ProAnalog, as well as a product idea from the great folks at Komet Amplifiers. If you have never heard of Komet, I highly recommend taking a look at their amps. Holger and Michael worked with Ken Fisher, of Trainwreck fame, to create the Komet 60 amp. I won’t go too deep into that lineage, but the Trainwreck amps are some of the most sought after amps in the world. Since Ken has passed Holger and Michael have taken Komet to the next level of tone. Which brings us to the K.O.D.A.
Scotty Smith had an idea that started out as early 60’s Neve 283 mic pre and morphed into an amp in a box. The purpose of most “amp in a box” style pedals is to help a player create a consistent environment when they go from gig to gig with different backline amps. It helps keep familiarity in the tone. This particular pedal was designed to go in front of anything from a tube amp to many of the class D amps that are out there.
The K.O.D.A is a full featured pedal. Starting at the input we go straight to the drive control. The Drive is a single JFET stage. The JFET gives you a tube-like warm tone, and as you turn it up it gives you more midrange and highs. The Drive is the preamp stage, and it has a great range on it. The gain knob is a twin transistor set up, which is where the harmonic distortion lies. Pairing that with the drive control, the options from clean boost to raging distortion are available. The active treble and bass are really boosts of those frequencies. Like a tube amp, all the EQ’s have gain as well. When the Treble and Bass are all the way counter clockwise, that is unity. Between these four controls lies is your discreet preamp, and the level control helps manage the overall volume. From there it goes into another JFET stage.
The first toggle on the left is called the “Output Stage.” When you engage that switch, it adds IC. It gives you a different break up in a higher gain distortion. Lastly, the high cut is in the preamp stage. When you bring up the gain it naturally brings out the high end, and the high-cut helps take a little off the top.
I was able to get great clean tones that added the pedal’s EQ to my base tone. I was also able to get the in between and higher gain tones. I was pulling some midrange honk out of this box as well. Overall, I was impressed by the versatility of the K.O.D.A and how it transformed my rig into an entirely different amp. The Komet K.O.D.A is worth a look.