Mozztronics MD-1 MEW Drive pedal
The Mew Drive uses cascaded jfet mu amps to give a totally different sound to the screamer pedals, and all the variants (there are many).
First some background on how i came to do this pedal.
I am in the middle of making a valve mic preamp and in the valve section i use two valves in the main gain stage and a fixed 18dB gain SRPP (or mu amp) in the second gain stage.
My captive audio engineer alerted me to how nice the mu amp sounds when pushed very hard (so much so that I’ve had to add a pad to the output of the valve preamp section, but that’s another story).
It is impractical to build a two valve pedal, so i thought, a jfet operates in a similar way to a valve, i could use those in the mu amp configuration, so that’s what i did.
There is more than enough gain from the two mu amp stages, and while being very smooth & creamy, i wanted a little more bite as you wound the gain up, to make this an even more versatile pedal. I tried several approaches, but i ended up with a level dependent circuit to add some nastiness at higher gain settings.
PURR controls the gain in the first stage, TREBLE, MID and BASS are the classic 3 knob tonestack found in almost every amp under the sun, VOLUME adjusts the overall volume out of the pedal
Start with the gain low around 9 to 10 o’clock, you will get amp like edge of breakup with a nice shimmer & touch of dirt (just like a real amp), crank the gain if you want more drive. Even with the gain cranked there is excellent note definition in chords and sustain that lasts for days.
About the name of the pedal. I am not big on surreal or extreme graphics or weird pedal names, that’s just me, although there are a few exceptions in my range (bonebreaker GD1, baconizer MF1). I prefer cartoon like graphics & plain names. So what to call this pedal…
In the Mozztronics cave resides a 3 legged rescue cat, who loves scratching furniture, rugs and anything she can get her claws into. She oversees QA at mozztronics.
mu sounds like mew, so perfect for the name as this pedal does bite & scratch when the gain is cranked, so this pedal is named for my cat.
As this is based on a standard valve circuit that’s been around for ever, i since found that other people have done this too, not exactly like mine, and there is enough difference in the circuits to make a noticeable difference to the sound