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Umbrella Company Hitchhike Drive 

Tweed Overdrive / Pre Amp


Umbrella Company Hitchhike Drive

  • Umbrella Company Hitchhike Drive

    The Overdrive / Preamp pedal captured the tone of vintage Tweed Amps.
    "Hitchhike Drive" by Umbrella Comapny is a Overdrive / Preamp box that inspired from American vintage Tweed Amps. You can select 3 amp modes (D/T/B).
    With adjusting gain knob you will have variety of tone option from preamp-ish boost, mild crunch and cruncked top boosted sound. In addition gain will perfectly cleans up when you down the volume on guitar, just like real tube amp.The "Saturate" switch will active the "Dynamic Filter", it will apply mild compression to only high frequency bands.
    You will enjoy the distinctive saturated tone that real tube amps and it perfectly follows to your strum and playing dynamics.

    *3 amp types
    1. D modeWe deeply investigated the tone of Fender Deluxe of Tweed era. With Topboosted setting (GAIN 12/TB) you can get trembling tone of cranked little amp, while it has organic feeling.While on high gain setting you can control the tone from mild crank to boosted sound with dynamics of picking and playing, and it cut through the mix.

    2. T mode
    This mode futures the presence and deep tone of that Fender Twin has . On high gain you will enjoy gorgeous drive sound that perfectly much to American Rock. On the other hand, with go down the Gain knob it will works as superb clean booster. With Saturate On, you will feel real and beautiful texture of tube amp. It will provide depth to chorded playing with retaining the clarity.

    3. B mode
    This mode futures more gain than T mode, has powerful and dynamic tone that more thick mid and punchy low end. On low gain setting it smoothly changes from natural clean to mild crunch, and has bluesy overdrive tone on higher gain. It outputs solid and edgy tone by combination with "Saturate" switch.

    ・Hybrid combination of "descrete designed gain section" and "op-amp designed tone shaping / active EQ".
    ・Gain section from 2N5088 silicon transistor.
    ・"Scoop Filter tone shaping" - emulates howling sound of cabinet and speaker units.
    ・TREBLE / BASS Active EQ
    ・3 modes of amp type (D/T/B)
    ・"Saturate Switch (Dynamic Filter)" - emulates real tube amp tone
    ・The Optical Reduction Device that sepcially designed is used to Dynamic Filter.
    ・True Bypass with relay
    ・With internal power regulator, pedal works perfectly regardless of what power supply is used.
    ・DC9V negative center pin, current draw 25mA
    ・D127×W71×H60mm 290g

    *Approach of circuit design
    1. Gain SectionIn Hitchhike Drive, we used 2N5088 silicon transitor for descrete gain section. Also with combination of diode clipping, we created 3 modes of amp types (D/T/B).
    To eliminete the volume differece for each modes, we corrected the level differece due to switching the cliiping diodes.*D mode: Symmetrical clipping, higher gain, inspired from tone of Tweed Deluxe Amp has.*T mode: Symmetrical clliping lowest gain, tone of American Twin Amp. Perfect for booster and crunch.
    *B mode: Asymmetrical clliping from combination of different diodes, more punchy low end and gain from T mode.

    2. Tone Shaping
    We apply two approach of tone shaping to Hitchhike Drive, "Scoop Filter" and "Active EQ".
    The signal thorugh gain section has reached to "Scoop Filter" and shape the signal to really amp-like tone. The EQ curve emulates sound of howling cabinet and speaker units, this is basis of sound of Hitchhike Drive.
    *"Scoop Filter" is a fixed filter in the circuit, so it can not be changed.

    3. Acrive EQ
    We pursuit natural controllability of two band active EQ circuit (TREBLE / BASS). A combination of elements, by careful selection of constant, has achieved the degree of effectiveness the ideal EQ curve sought.

    4. Saturate Switch (Dynamic Filter)
    With Dynamic Filter, you will get compressed saturation tone that tube amps has.
    This Dynamic Filter can be turned on with Saturate Switch, it adds little compression to only high frequency bands (2kHz-). To get optimal response, we specially disigned The Optical Reduction Device. It react very quickly every time you strum, it emulates the distinctive compressed tone that real tube amp has. Also the tone will slightly change from Attack to Sustain, and apply different envelope between high and low frequency, so it become more organic sound.

    A general limitting circuit is limitting the tone by averaged envelope, but this Dynamic Filter drives the Optical Reduction Device directly from signal's amplificaiton. It follows to playing dynamics and nuance very smoothly because reduct the signal directly and quickly. It also respond to fast phrase by one note (and only to high frequency bands), this is totaly different from general compressor pedals.

    You will enjoy the perfect feeling of real tube amps has, with acheving the distinctive smooth tone on higher frequency and unique attack of strum.

    *Note: Saturate Switch
    Saturate Switch will add small change to tone. Sometime it's hard to notice this effect like already your amp is saturated or youor volume is low, but you will find it useful while using the pedal for long term. With turning off the Dynamic Filter, it will change to more less compression and open tone. To realise the effect of Dynamic Filter, we recommend to play with clean tone amp like Jazz Chorus. Hitchhike Drive will add mild character and saturation that tube amps has.
    5. True Bypass Switching
    Hitchhike Drive has True Bypass Swithching with relay. We designed the signal routing to minimum and no wiring material in the circuit to acheive no change in tone character.

    6. Stable power supply circuit design
    With internal power regulator, pedal works in excellent condition regardless of what power supply is used.


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