GOLDEN BOY OVERVIEW
"The bluesbreaker circuit has been my favorite overdrive
circuit forever. I have a collection of clones that I love. The Golden
Boy takes that classic tasteful circuit adds some 3D depth, marries it
with the modern ideas of Brad Jackson and turns it into an absolute
Swiss Army knife for just about any pedalboard." - Joey Landreth
The GOLDEN BOY is a very flexible overdrive with 4 presets for
clipping options, an innovative gain adjustment feature that we call
GAIN CYCLE, and a 3 band active EQ for maximum tonal flexibility. To top
it off, we added a boost circuit which is the same type of MOSFET boost
circuit found on our top selling Preamp pedal.
The boost circuit is in its own true bypass loop which means it can
be used independently of the DRIVE circuit. The boost circuit in the
GOLDEN BOY is a MOSFET based boost much like the AMP MODE found in our
best selling Preamp pedal. To activate/deactivate the boost circuit simply press the BOOST footswitch.
One of the things that makes the boost in the GOLDEN BOY different
from other boosts on the market is that it has 4 presets available. Each
preset is EQ’d slightly differently to allow it to alter how it
interacts with the overdrive circuit in the GOLDEN BOY or any other
pedal you may have in your rig
Preset 1 – YELLOW LED: Bright Boost. Very useful for creating a thinner sound or when boosting a thick sounding overdrive.
Preset 2 – GREEN LED: Mid Boost. Not as
thin as the yellow mode, the green mode allows more lows and takes on
the character of a mid boost.
Preset 3 – AQUA LED: Tailored Boost.
Most people will find this a perfect setting that will complement most
any overdrive setting in the GOLDEN BOY.
Preset 4 – BLUE LED: Full Range. No tonal coloring here! Just your guitars natural tone!
To select a boost preset, press and hold the BOOST footswitch for more than 1 second and boost program mode will become active.
When in this mode, the BOOST led will flash to indicate that you are
in program mode. A quick tap on the BOOST footswitch will cycle the
boost presets and you’ll be able to hear these presets change as you
cycle through them, assuming that the boost circuit was active when the
boost program mode was entered. Once you arrive at a boost preset that
you want to use, press and hold the BOOST footswitch for more than 1
second and boost program mode will exit.
EASTER EGG! There is an easter egg in the
boost circuit of the GOLDEN BOY! The boost circuit is based on a MOSFET
transistor which is a very popular type of transistor to use for boost
circuits because it has many “amp like” characteristics when it clips
etc. There can be downsides to this circuit though.
Several very popular MOSFET boost circuits on the market have a very
noticeable crackle when their boost knobs are rotated. We fixed this
issue in the GOLDEN BOY and our boost is perfectly silent when the boost
knob is rotated. The only downside to our fix of this problem is that
we lose about 5% of the gain at the highest rotation setting. To most
people this would never be a problem as the boost on the GOLDEN BOY is
crushingly loud as it it.
However if you are a purist, or you just want to hear the difference,
I have good news for you. We included an internal jumper that you can
move to go back to stock MOSFET boost operation with 100% gain and all
the crackle your heart could ever desire! Quiet or Crackle. The choice
STND BOOST – Our version of the MOSFET boost. Same tone, no noise.
ALT BOOST – Modified version of the MOSFET boost. Same tone, slightly more gain, crackles when you turn the knob.
The Golden Boy is based on the Bluesbreaker/King of Tone circuit, so
the resulting tone is very open, uncompressed and transparent sounding.
Think John Mayer overdriven tones. The Golden Boy sits in the mix
perfectly and while it adds overdrive and grit, your guitar still sounds
like your guitar!
Where the Golden Boy differs from other Bluesbreaker type circuits is
that it has the ability to run much higher gain and instantly switch to
a low gain transparent overdrive with a tap of the footswitches. With
four gain settings at your feet while you play, you can use the GOLDEN
BOY as an always on tone shaper, a low gain transparent overdrive, a mid
gain drive or a high gain solo drive all without bending down to adjust
settings! With the GOLDEN BOY, you keep playing and use your foot (or
MIDI) to adjust the gain for you!
CLIPPING DIODE PRESETS
The GOLDEN BOY allows for 4 different presets of clipping diodes
which themselves drastically alter the tone and feel of the way the
overdrive clips and distorts.
To select a clipping preset, press and hold the DRIVE footswitch for
more than 1 second and the clipping program mode will become active.
When in this mode, the DRIVE led will flash to indicate that you are in
program mode. A quick tap on the DRIVE footswitch will cycle the
clipping presets and you’ll be able to hear these presets change as you
cycle through them, assuming that the drive circuit was active when the
clipping program mode was entered. Once you arrive at a clipping preset
that you want to use, press and hold the DRIVE footswitch for more than 1
second and clipping program mode will exit.
Preset 1 – GREEN: Classic Screamer. Two
symmetrical silicon diodes give the classic drive and compression that
the Tube Screamer is known for.
Preset 2 – MAGENTA: Asymmetric
Clipping. Three asymmetric silicon diodes will clip the top and bottom
portions of your guitars waveform differently resulting in a more
complex and interesting tone. This sounds great when laying down
aggressive rhythm parts!
Preset 3 – BLUE: Symmetrical Clipping.
Four symmetric silicon diodes will clip the top and bottom portions of
your guitars waveform evenly which gives a more focused and direct
tone. Two notable pedals that uses this style of clipping are the Timmy
and the King of Tone.
Preset 4 – AMBER: Vintage Marshall. Two
RED LED’s are used to symmetrically clip the top and bottom portions of
your guitars waveform evenly. The LED’s allow MUCH higher headroom so
your tone will stay more open and less compressed much like a vintage
Changing clipping diodes are a great way to radically change how an
overdrive pedal sounds and feels but oftentimes the change that you
perceive has more to do with a change in volume than an actual change in
When we were designing the GOLDEN BOY we knew we wanted to give the
overdrive section a lot of tonal flexibility and most importantly make
that flexibility useful on stage. So when changing clipping diodes we
included circuitry that level matches the output of the pedal as various
clipping diodes are selected. So now you can select between all four
clipping options, your volume level will remain constant. More
importantly, the difference that you hear between the clipping modes
will be because of the difference in how those clipping diodes sound and
not because your volume is jumping all over the place as it does with
The most exciting feature of the GOLDEN BOY is the new feature that
we developed called GAIN CYCLE. GAIN CYCLE takes the GAIN knob setting,
which selects your maximum gain, and divides that level of gain into 4
equal parts. Say for instance you have your GAIN knob set at the maximum
setting or in other words, 100% gain. Every time you press both footswitches simultaneously,
the gain of the pedal will jump up 25% until you get to 100%. The
following press after 100% will cause the gain cycle to start again at
TIP: Set the GAIN control to around 3:00+ to have 4 distinct overdrive settings as you cycle through the gain!
My goal with the GAIN CYCLE feature is to allow guitarists to easily
ramp their gain up without having to bend down and change it or try to
adjust it with the edge of their foot while playing live. Here’s a
perfect use case!
Let’s assume the GAIN control is set to 100%
Verse 1 – Gain cycle set at 25% – Slightly overdriven edge of breakup tone.
Press GAIN CYCLE
Chorus – Gain cycle set at 50% – Distinct overdriven tone.
Press GAIN CYCLE
Bridge – Gain cycle set at 75% – Heavy overdrive tone.
Press GAIN CYCLE
Solo – Gain cycle set at 100% – Heavily saturated overdriven tone!
TIP: Add the BOOST to push the overdrive even harder for endless sustain!
It’s important to remember that GAIN CYCLE setting #4 (100%) will be
as much gain as you have the GAIN knob set for. Think of the GAIN knob
on the GOLDEN BOY as your maximum gain with each GAIN CYCLE setting being a percentage of that maximum value.
The brightness of the DRIVE led will change to let you know which
percentage of gain you have selected. The higher the percentage, the
brighter the DRIVE led. For instance:
GAIN CYCLE #1 – DIM LED – 25% of GAIN knob value.
3-BAND ACTIVE EQ
GAIN CYCLE #2 – BRIGHTER LED – 50% of GAIN knob value.
GAIN CYCLE #3 – BRIGHT LED – 75% of GAIN knob value.
GAIN CYCLE #4 – VERY BRIGHT LED – 100% of GAIN knob value.
To top it off, the DRIVE circuit of the GOLDEN BOY has a 3 band
active EQ. The EQ circuit features a studio grade EQ that gives
tremendous tonal flexibility to the GOLDEN BOY. Based on the legendary
Baxandall EQ that is featured in countless studio EQ’s, the GOLDEN BOY
EQ takes this circuit and tailors it for guitarists! We spent tons of
time on this EQ dialing it in so it would hit all the frequencies that
guitarists need to adjust, and then sweetened it by removing the ear
fatiguing highs and lows that can appear at extreme settings.
EQUALIZER CIRCUIT FEATURES:
Studio-grade EQ with High Bandwidth and Flat Response at 12:00
+/- 12dB Boost/Cut per control
Center Detents on the pots that make it easier to get back to a neutral or flat response.
It's 2020 and it's time to expect more from an analog overdrive
pedal! Since the BROKEN ARROW came out in 2019, all of our overdrive
pedals have featured MIDI control over clipping options, gain cycle
options, boost eq options as well as ON/OFF of the overdrive and boost
circuits and the GOLDEN BOY is no exception.
We always want to make sure that our pedals are as easy to integrate
into complex rigs as they are into simple rigs and MIDI makes that
CABLE INFORMATION: In order to use MIDI on the
GOLDEN BOY, you will need a cable that converts a MIDI (DIN-5) connector
to a TRS cable. This is the cable that we have used with great success
and can't recommend it enough.
those building their own cables, the GOLDEN BOY receives MIDI
information via the RING connection on a TRS (Tip, Ring, and Sleeve)
Check out this link for some detailed wiring:
By default, the GOLDEN BOY ships with MIDI Channel 1 being the
selected channel. This can be changed by pressing and holding the DRIVE
footswitch while applying power to the GOLDEN BOY. Press the BOOST
footswitch to increment the MIDI channel number.
that as you continue to hold the DRIVE footswitch, the BOOST LED will
flash to indicate which MIDI channel you have selected. IE – 7 flashes =
MIDI Channel 7. After the LED flashes, we inserted a 2-second pause so
you could tell when the LED was finished flashing. The LED will continue
flashing as long as you are holding down the DRIVE footswitch. Once you
have selected the MIDI channel you want and have verified it by
counting the flashes, simply release the DRIVE footswitch and the pedal
will save this MIDI Channel to the internal EEPROM on the microprocessor
Accessing the new MIDI features of the GOLDEN BOY is done by Control
Changes. Below is a list of the features of the GOLDEN BOY that can be
accessed via MIDI as well as how to access them.
CC #1 – DRIVE ON/OFF (value of 127 = ON /value of 0 = OFF)
CC #2 – BOOST ON/OFF (value of 127 = ON /value of 0 = OFF)
CC #3 – CLIPPING DIODES
(value of 1 = 2x SYMETRICAL DIODES)
(value of 2 = 3x ASYMETRICAL DIODES)
(value of 3 = 4x SYMETRICAL DIODES)
(value of 4 = 2x SYMETRICAL RED LED's)
CC #4 – GAIN CYCLE
(value of 1 = 25% GAIN)
(value of 2 = 50% GAIN)
(value of 3 = 75% GAIN)
(value of 4 = 100% GAIN)
CC #5 – BOOST EQ
(value of 1 = BRIGHT BOOST)
(value of 2 = MID BOOST)
(value of 3 = TAILORED BOOST)
(value of 4 = FULL BOOST)
Acts as a master volume for the overdrive circuit.
Sets the amount of boost when the BOOST footswitch is engaged.
Sets the maximum gain for the overdrive circuit.
The 12:00 position is totally flat with +/-12dB boost/cut on either side of center.
The 12:00 position is totally flat with +/-12dB boost/cut on either side of center. The mid frequency is centered around 660hz.
The 12:00 position is totally flat with +/-12dB boost/cut on either side of center.
- Input Impedance: 1M
- Output Impedance: 100k
- Power Supply: DC
- Voltage Input: 9V MAX
- Polarity: Center Negative
- Min Current Required: 150mA
- Dimensions: 2.7” x 4.875′