Vintage Mk II & Mk 1.5 Tone Bender Bristling With Modern Features
About the DRUNK BEAVER Taras Bulba
The Drunk Beaver Taras Bulba is at its heart a vintage germanium Tone Bender MK II circuit, designed with an additional "Mk 1.5" mode plus exciting extras such as a Bias control and in-depth Pickup Sim section.
The Mk II Tone Bender is renowned for its smooth sustain thanks to its 3-transistor design, while the Mk 1.5 (an unofficial name given to the transitional 2-transistor circuit) was an inspiration for the Dallas Arbiter Fuzz Face.
The Taras Bulba utilises NOS germanium transistors: 1980s German MP20 & 1970s Soviet P416B.
Some of rock's greatest names have used a Tone Bender, including Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck and Mick Ronson.
Taras Bulba Controls
Attack Adjusts gain
Bias Varies the first stage transistor biasing
Hi-Cut Reduces high frequencies
Volume Adjusts output level
Mode Toggle Switches between Mk II and Mk 1.5 Tone Bender circuits.
PU Sim Toggle Adds/removes pickup simulator buffer from the circuit. When switched off the pedal is sensitive to what is placed before it in the chain, as with the vintage originals.
Impedance Works only with pickup simulator enabled and controls the amount of the signal hitting the circuit, similar to a second guitar volume control.
PU Type Toggle Works only with pickup simulator enabled and switches between lighter (think single-coil) and heavier (think humbucker) pickup response.
Taras Bulba Demos
Taras Bulba Features
Germanium Tone Bender Mk II & Mk 1.5 with modern features
Handmade in Poland
Attack, Bias, Hi-Cut, Impedance, Mode, Volume, PU Sim & PU Type controls
Very flexible mkii/1.5 multi bender. Great tones from all settings. Not quite as raunchy or loud as some TB clones, but plenty of range and character with added pickup sim/impedance matching controls. Extremely well built and expressive!
Mark Roberts (Seattle, US)
Very refined and flexible MK 1.5/2 multi bender
Broad range of tones from throaty, sizzling, to synthy available from settings of the Attack and Bias knobs. Responsive to pick dynamics and guitar volume (not glassy cleans like a FF, but does clean up and can become gated/glitchy at low guitar volume). A bit lower output than some TBs I’ve tried, but gets plenty loud with the Volume turned up. MKII mode can get ripping, but fewer heavy artifacts and crumbling than some TBs. I haven’t used the pickup simulator/impedance feature much, but it’s good to know it’s there should I need it for pedal chain impedance matching and it can be used to effect the tone further. Very well thought out, high quality build - great vintage tones with modern design features.