The Artisan is a hand wired valve (tube) overdrive/fuzz pedal using a 12ax7 tube pushed by a JFET transistor. Although the valve based circuit is not related to any of the traditional well known fuzz circuits, it produces a distinctly fuzz-like tone, quite different from our other overdrive pedals and preamps.
The Artisan is powered by a traditional 9VDC power supply, which is stepped up inside the pedal to around 237VDC for the tube plates.
The Tone circuit is pre-drive and features a tone control and a 9-position rotary switch that selects 9 different tone capacitor values. This allows for a huge range of tonal responses, from very warm and fat though squarky midrange to bright and cutting.
The input impedance control (labeled Input Z) varies the input impedance from 10K ohms up to 1M ohms. This control also functions as a high pass filter as it is rotated counter-clockwise, making it an effective bass control.
The combination of the Tone pot, 9-way Tone capacitor selector switch and Input Z control allows the circuit to interact directly with your guitar's pickups and alter the guitar's resonant frequency in subtle or dramatic ways. This enables a huge array of tonal responses and also allows the crcuit to be dialed in to significantly increase your guitar's clean up ability.
The Bias pot sets the operating point of the tube's 2nd gain stage and can be set anywhere from hot biased to cold biased for spitty, gated fuzz sounds.
The Gain control in standard mode goes from mild to medium gain. Stepping on the "More" footswitch adds a preset amound of gain for a higher gain tone. This feature is also remote selectable via the ring connection of the TRS output jack.
Note that the Artisan wants to be first in line to function properly. The whole circuit is all about how it interacts directly with your guitar's electronics. Placing another pedal that is turned on or a buffer before the Artisan will ruin this interaction and the resultant sounds will be rather bright and harsh. Other true bypass pedals can still be placed before the Artisan as long as they are turned off when the Artisan is selected. Note that this is also the case with many other fuzz pedals and treble boosters.
Measurements: 3 7/8” wide x 4 ¾” deep x 2.56" tall
Power requirements: 9VDC @ 500mA, center negative, 2.1mm jack
Weight: 1.27 lbs (575g)
The following video is of a custom prototype of the Artisan. It is exactly the same as the production unit except that it lacks the second "More" footswitch and so is permanently in the higher gain mode.
Custom pre-cursor to the Artisan (exact same featiure set) with Fender Stratocaster:
Custom prototype of the Artisan without the "More" footswitch, with Gibson ES335: