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Keeley Retro Super Germanium Phat Mod


I've previously owned the 'regular' Germanium Super Phat Mod before, and I thought it was brilliant.  It just didn't have that... extra special something for me.  Then when Keeley announced the 'Retro' version I was curious what the differences were and how it would be better.  According to Keeley's website a germanium amplifier stage has been added to the front end of the SPM to take the circuit to '11'.  That being said...

- Touch sensitive and articulate like a great tube amp (just as great with volume knob adjustments and doesn't lose your pick attack when palm muting)!!
- Evenly overdriven across all frequencies/strings no matter how dirty or clean your amp is set (some drives NEED a slightly driven amp to work their best, this one does not).
- Essentially as thick or thin sounding as you like via the flat/phat switch and tone knob (I love it in the phat mode with the tone around 1 o'clock).
- It's not meant to emulate an amplifier, but it has many of the sonic qualities of my favorite small combo (the Fender Musicmaster Bass amp with 6v6's).
- The drive range goes from smokey crunch to grunty fuzz (I enjoy the knob at about 9 o'clock) and that covers a lot of sonic ground for me.
- Mike Hermans has done a spectacular video demo on youtube, but I think it sounds BETTER in real life.
- Is easily the best overdrive I've used by a wide margin and is now my favorite.

- Limited to 250 pieces (for now; I imagine with enough demand it may make a comeback one day).
- Paint job is likely a bit over the top for some, though well done.
- The input/output jacks are still on the left and right sides of the pedal (I know, this is likely much easier to manufacture, but it still makes pedalboard real estate more fun to manage).

So... is it worth it?

For me, quite.


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