The Pettyjohn GOLD MKII is an update to our best selling golden amp overdrive. The GOLD has been loved for its ability to sound and feel like a high watt plexi syle amp. The GOLD MKII features many updates to the Version 1, including our new 36V dual rail power supply, our new Quiet Bypass system, a new box with recessed bottom screws with many updates under the hood plus an array of carefully selected custom shop upgrade mods to choose from.
We gave the GOLD MKII an extended gain range on both ends of the Gain control. It now effectively goes from a low gain, Plexi style edge of breakup tones to all out JCM 800/900 gain levels on the edge of all out distortion.
The GOLD MKII is loaded with our most powerful 3-band EQ featuring our wide-range, sweepable Low cut and High cut filters and a powerful sweepable mid bell. With an ultra wide gain range and extremely flexible EQ section, there is no amp the GOLD MKII can’t transform into a formidable rock machine.
We have listened to feedback from players and dealers alike and have come up with a refined GOLD MKII that represents the very best pedal we can engineer.
The GOLD MKII also features two internal mini toggles for further adjustments to the tone: One mini-toggle switches the high cut cap between a clear, punchy Wima cap we love with a classic 716 Orange Drop cap for a smoother, vintage-feeling high-end profile. The second internal mini-toggle switches the headroom of the clipping section.
Custom Shop Options
Both the internal toggle options can be further customized below via Pettyjohn Electronics Custom Shop along with our Delux opamp upgrade and your choice of foot switch tech.
Our standard GOLD MKII ships with high quality Burr Browns opamps taking care of input and output buffering. Upgrading to the GOLD MKII Delux replaces one Burr Brown with a dual studio-grade 990-style discrete opamp. This chip runs the input buffer and the active level control stage giving the GOLD a more natural, open sound quality that is truly uncompromising.
High Cut Cap Mods
The GOLD MKII has an internal switch allowing the user to select one of two installed capacitors for the Highs control. Each capacitor imparts a slightly different flavor on the tone of the pedal. The Orange Drop cap is a classic vintage amp cap imparting a smooth, warm tonal quality; being our most colored option it great for taming bright amps or guitars. The WIMA MKP10 cap is more neutral sonically but very punchy and 3D sounding; our favorite all around cap. The Auricap XO is an esoteric audiophile cap with a very transparent sound. It is clear and focused, ideal for players with darker rigs or for anyone looking for a very pure tonal experience.
Clipping Upgrade Mods
The GOLD MKII has an internal switch allowing the user to select one of two clipping headroom options. Stock is our favorite for all around plexi-style tones but it can be configured with several options to expand the tonal range of the GOLD MKII. We have secured a small stash of rare NOS (new old stock) blue stripe germanium diodes from Russia, the same ones often found in the original Klon Centaur pedals. Installed in the low headroom setting is magical and the Plexi turns into a Klon. We noticed a tightened lowend, warmer highs and a smooth mid forward drive quite reminiscent of those classic big box overdrive pedals, thus it is the Klonish Mod. Install four of the NOS diodes in the high headroom setting the result is similar, more richness in the mids and a slightly earlier breakup, these are excellent for ripping a solo or tight palm mutes, again a little warmer than the stock diodes and a little less “marshally”. Finally, if new technology is your gig try Nanolog Devices N2 carbon junction device instead of the low headroom diodes… it rocks. Smooth and musical, similar headroom to the high headroom setting; if your not into low headroom try this option to give you two really cool high headroom options!
ByPass Switch Option
We recommend our proprietary quite relay true bypass with soft switch. However, for players looking for true bypass looper operation we offer our Classic True Hardwire Bypass. WARNING: The Classic True Hardwire Bypass is not a soft switch nor a quiet switching system.
The Pettyjohn GOLD MKII is an update to our best selling golden amp overdrive. Below is an in-depth guide to the features of the GOLD MKII.
Powerful Tone Shaping
The GOLD MKII is designed to be a full range pedal, which means all tones pass 20Hz to 20kHz. We did this to let the user have the most ability to shape the tone to fit their needs. To compensate for this extra frequency range, we developed our signature wide-range sweepable Low and High cuts, giving the user complete control over the tone.
The LOWS control sweeps at 6dB per octave from sub-frequencies to 1kHz allowing the user to precisely set the low-end profile. Furthermore, the low cut is pre-overdrive stage so the way it is set greatly impacts the way the overdrive circuit loads and clips.
The HIGHS control is a similar sweep from the other side of the frequency spectrum ranging from 20kHz down to 1kHz. The GOLD comes loaded stock with two capacitor options for the HIGHS control, switchable internally between a Wima MKP10 cap, which sounds very clean and punchy, and a genuine Orange Drop capacitor has been selected for it’s classic, smooth tonal qualities, i.e. MOJO!
We also offer a custom shop modification to the HIGHS control which give several other “flavors” by exchanging either of these capacitors for an Audiophile grade Auricap XO, which have a subtle but noticeable effect on the tone and feel of the high cut control, which to our ears is smooth and a little bit compressed with tighter low-mids and more clarity and focus on the top end. We generally recommend this option if you have a very dark amp or guitar.
Mid Range Control Freak
The GOLD MKII is equipped with a powerful sweepable Mid range bell filter. Boost or cut up to 8 dB between 400 Hz and 2kHz and dial the perfect tone for your rig. Extremely popular on the Version 1, you can use this control to emulate a certain amp mid control, push the mids for a solo, cut mids for rhythm playing, even smooth out the bite or get a honky wah type mid range if you push it. Some find themselves wanting two Golds just because you can get so many great but different tones with the sweepable mid control!
More To Gain
We also expanded the gain range making the GOLD MKII even more versatile. The lower gain range has been extended giving more settings akin to preamp or clean boost without overdrive. Plus the GAIN control now tops out with almost 2x the original gain amount.
Now with greatly extended controls and gain range the GOLD MKII can satisfy almost anyone looking for anything from an always-on low-gain sweetener to fully overdriven, thick rhythm playing chords to soaring, classic leads.
We have updated the GOLD MKII with our new proprietary dual rail supply offering an industry leading 36 Volt swing from a 9V, 200mA
High voltage means high headroom and 36v is the maximum spec most opamps are rated for ensuring the high-qualify opamps in the GOLD MKII are operating at their maximum potential.
High headroom and high voltage imparts an openness and 3D quality that sounds incredible and just feels great while playing. Now everyone can have the tonal experience of high headroom when they plug in the GOLD MKII without the need for a special adaptor.
Internal Clipping Headroom Switch
The internal switch for the headroom of the clipping circuit has a low and a high headroom setting stock and now can be updated to several options via Pettyjohn Custom Shop, either at time of ordering direct or as an upgrade after purchase. Upgrades currently include the Nanolog N2 carbon junction clipping device and NOS Germanium diodes, rumored to be found in the original golden centaur pedal. The NOS diodes are rare and supply is limited, so we will offer this upgrade as long as we can source them. The NOS germanium diodes offer a classic sound, tighter lowend, richer mids and smoother highs, arguably less “mashally” but more in line with the classic big gold overdrive pedal of mystical legends!
Secret Preamp Mode:
By popular request we added a “Preamp Mode” setting. Access this by moving the internal clipping headroom toggle to the middle position, thus bypassing the clipping section. In general we recommend keeping the gain low but some wild tones are possible if you push the gain in preamp mode. Also makes for an amazing clean boost with powerful tone shaping.
Quite Bypass Switching System
The GOLD MKII comes with our new relay based true bypass circuit with soft touch switch. We have had many requests for this and found it harder than we expected to develop a relay circuit that met our quality standards. We are very proud of our unique design that accomplishes a totally quiet switch via a sonically transparent gold contact relay. It auto-bypasses when the power is disconnected, never leaving you in the dark! Hardwire, classic true bypass is available via custom order on our website for those who may prefer this option.
- New! High voltage power! – 36 Volts of internal power from standard 9v adaptor (200mA)
- New! Relay True Bypass switching
- Soft touch switch with totally quite switching and auto-bypass when power is off
- New! Extended HIGHS and LOWS wide-range sweepable filters
- New! Extended Gain Range
- New! Re-designed Active Level control
- New! Increased headroom and lower noise on all stages
- New! Discrete Opamp Upgrade Option
- Upgrade to CHIME MKII Deluxe and the input and output stages become powered with our Studio Grade dual 990 style discrete opamp for extra clarity and depth
- New! Knobs and Labels – Easier to read on stage
- New! Foundry Series MKII custom enclosure with in-set screws
- New! Updated Internal “Secret Settings”
- Clipping options: Choose between low headroom for more compression or high headroom for super punchy, open overdrive and Preamp Mod for now clipping diodes!
- High Cut Cap mod: Choose between a punchy Wima cap or a smooth Orange Drop cap in the high cut circuit.
Audiophile, Studio-Grade Performance
- Burr Brown OPA input and output buffer
- Audiophile grade, through-hole 1% Metal Film resistors
- Top-shelf WIMA and Silver Mica caps used in tone sensitive operations
- Lead-free PCB constructed with Audiophile lead-free silver solder
- Extremely low noise
- Made in the USA: Box and circuit handmade in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, USA
- Dimensions: 2.75”W x 4.75”L x 2.5” H
- Weight: 2 lbs
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