Rhythm & Detonation

Yak Dragger

I feel like I just crossed a threshold: I am now the guy who will put ANYTHING on your pedal. I built this one for Matt Spence from the band The Stereo State. I really dig his band's sound and their sense of humor. Matt wanted to put this picture on his pedal and call it YAK DRAGGER. You'll have to ask Matt what it means; he just told me it was an inside joke.

Matt has a SERIOUS setup, and I am really glad to earn a spot on his pedal board.

Guitars: Mostly humbucker-equipped Fender guitars, sometimes single coils (Tele, Strat, Jazz Master).

Pedals: Pedaltrain PT-1; Voodoo Labs power supply; Ernie Ball Volume; (tuner out:) Korg Pitchblack+; Barber LTD SR (almost ALWAYS on); Morley MOD-GDB Noise Gate/Line Driver. All George L's cables.

Amp: 1971 Traynor YBA-1, all stock, but added bias-adjustment control.

Cabinets: Avatar Contemporary 4x12; Celestion G12H-30 and G12M Greenbacks in an X pattern; '80s Marshall 1960a stock G12T-75. I just got a 1961a with G12-65's that we may be using instead.

We went full custom with this overdrive, with a lot of boutique touches: asymmetrical clipping, hi-fi metal film capacitors, and a hi-fi op-amp upgrade. The Yak Dragger has an OPA2134PA op-amp, which is wide band, very low noise, and also eight times more expensive that a typical op-amp. The only downside, besides the high cost, is the high-current draw, but Matt has a power supply as a remedy.

I socket all my op-amps so they can be switched out to try different ones at any time.

I will also be sending him the LM353, which is my favorite, and the JRC4558D, which is the stock op-amp on the original tube screamer.

I painted the pedal in INCA GOLD, I went with the white knobs, and a clear yellow, super-bright LED to match the paint job.