Introducing Dusky Electronics

Hello folks. Dusky Electronics is a new company I'm starting based out of Durham, North Carolina. I am a musician, recording engineer, and circuit designer who is designing and building tube amplifiers and solid state effects pedals for guitar, bass and other electronic instrument players. I am committed to designing and building gear that offers something truly new and unique for musicians.

At present, I have one tube amplifier and two pedal designs that are in final preproduction. These units are ready to demo now, and will be ready to buy in the coming weeks. During this time I will also be working on this website, complete with photographs, sound samples, videos, and more.

I am pleased that so far feedback on my designs has been universally positive. People really seem to dig the way these things sound. For now let me tell you a little bit about what I'm working on.

The D2O amplifier

The D2O amplifier is an all new design and not like anything currently on the market, either in terms of looks or sound. The D2O is a head unit which visually breaks the mold of the black box amplifier and sonically offers a sound that is truly unique. The D2O utilizes large, octal 6SL7 tubes in the preamp, for a different tone than ubiquitous 12AX7 based preamps. A paraphase phase inverter drives a 32 watt, cathode biased, 6L6GC based power section, which can be switched to 7 watts for driven tones you can play at home. The overspecced, full bandwidth iron core output transformer adds a great deal of heft tot he sound. The overall tone I would describe as weighty and authoritative while being crystal clear. In fact the name derives from this--D2O is deuterium oxide--heavy water.

The tone controls offer an unusual amount of control, allowing you to dial in anything from a warm, lush, vintage sound, to aggressive scooped mids and anything in between. This amp does clean, really, really well, but it can also roar if you crank it up. You may need to look elsewhere if you're looking for really high gains, but in terms of vintage style non-master volume crunch, this amp will do that, too.

This amp also makes a very nice sounding bass amp, when used to drive a bass cabinet. 36 watts isn't much for bass, so you're not going to use it in a particularly loud setting, but for recording or quieter ensembles, it sounds really fantastic. It can do a pretty good impression of a classic fliptop, or you can scoop the mids and crank it up a little for a post-rock sound.

Toasted Drive

The Toasted Drive is a drive pedal that can go from clean boost to medium gain overdrive--gently toasting your signal. Unlike most "amp-like" overdrive pedals, this doesn't use the ubiquitous opamp + clipping diode design. Instead it uses a pair of cascaded mosfets--so it doesn't just sound like a driven amp--it actually is a driven amp. The resulting overdrive is rich, creamy and compressed. The Toasted Drive features gain and volume controls, as well as a treble boost control which can add more drive to the top end. Sometimes I like to plug in a telecaster, crank the gain all the way up, and pretend I'm Jimmy Page in '69.

Octomotron Fuzz

The Octomotron Fuzz is a robot octopus that is coming from space to destroy mankind. Actually, it's my take on a vintage style octave fuzz design. And, as it turns out, what I wound up with, sounds quite different--almost synthesizer-like. It has only one knob--a volume knob. Although, honestly, I don't know why you'd operate it on any other setting than all the way up. It also features a switch for a bass boost, which is where the synthy sound really kicks in. I'm not sure why you'd ever turn that off. But you can, and you get something approaching a more traditional voicing.

The Octomotron also features a specially designed fet input buffer that isolates your signal from whatever's upstream. Unlike vintage fuzzes which sound very different depending on whether your guitar is plugged directly into it, or if you have another pedal or a buffer in front of it, the Octomotron sounds the way it's supposed to regardless of where it is in your effects chain.

Oh yeah, the Octomotron sounds great on bass too!

© Dusky Electronics LLC

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Chris Rossi

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