One of our friends/customers bought his pedal board in to try some guitars earlier this year. He has over 300 pedals in his collection so we knew how much thought and process had gone into it. On the board was a Sapphire Drive but we weren't aware of Vahlbruch Pedals. We heard it and were completely blown away with the tone, transparency and versatility - it's handbuilt in Germany so of course the build quality is superb. We contacted Henning Vahlbruch and ordered another one of his pedals hoping that it was of the same quality - a Spacetime Delay. Lets just say it's the best delay pedal we have ever heard! We now carry almost the full range of pedals in store, many of which feature on our own WG Pedal Board.
Since the Vahlbruch "Jewel Drive" is more a so-called "medium-gain" overdrive pedal, the "Sapphire Drive" offers higher gain/distortion sounds. It´s still a very open sounding pedal with a great transparency, also the 6 knobs are closely related to the "Jewel Drive".
The "Sapphire Drive" is a pure 100% analog hand-built two channel distortion effect pedal, especially designed to offer you authentic tube overdriven amp sounds ranging from sparkling clean to moderate crunch to more distorted sounds. This pedal is extremely open sounding with high transparency and wide dynamics. The "Sapphire Drive" reacts extraordinary touch sensitive, the differences between softer and harder picking are reproduced in every nuances. Due to it´s novel and unique analog circuit, the "Sapphire Drive" creates a rich, complex and beautiful singing overtone texture, while the inherent tone of your amp and guitar you are playing is perfectly preserved.
Used as on overdrive in front of your amp the "Sapphire Drive" gives you the feeling of a cranked amp even at lower volume levels. Clean notes now have a wider dynamic range and more overdriven sounds are still pronaunced and rich with the right content of even-order harmonics. By simply turning the guitar´s volume knob you can blend through the complete overdrive spectrum, the "Sapphire Drive" interacts very, very well, very similar to a good tube amp!
Basically you have the common overdrive controls to adjust your tone: Drive, Tone and Volume. But there is an additional "Character" control which makes this pedal again unique. Turning this knob influences some dedicated electronic parameters inside the pedal at the same time. The midrange spectrum, the overtone structure, the dynamic and frequency response can be adjusted to perfectly suit your personal tone! And this is realized by only ONE "Character" control and not many confusing switches and knobs. And the greatest thing is that you have an additional foot-switchable and adjustable Gain AND Volume Boost, e.g. for solo work, which makes this pedal so versatile.
Thanks to its extremely large signal-to-noise ratio the Vahlbruch "Sapphire Drive" shows very low background noise and is therefore suited for any studio work and professional live performance.
The pedal has a true bypass switch for perfect signal transfer without any tone loss. A blue LED shows you the on/off status. You can use a 9V battery to power the pedal or an external standard 9V power supply (ring +, tip -). The power consumption is approximately 20mA.
The "Sapphire Drive" pedal has NO pcb-mounted jacks, NO pcb-mounted footswitch and NO pcb-mounted pots! This certainly means more effort building the pedal compared to industrial mass production but it´s truly worth it! Like all Vahlbruch pedals the "Sapphire Drive" is hand-made utilizing only the best components available worldwide for high-end tone and years of trouble free operation.