If you’ve been a fan of music with guitars tuned lower than standard in the last 30 years, there’s a chance you’ve heard of this hot new sound, usually associated with heavy riffs and power tools. In lay terms, the Carbide is a pulverizing distortion with heady boosts to certain frequency bands—three of them, to be exact—and a ton of volume. Officially, obtaining this “chainsaw sound,” as it came to be known, consists of plugging into a Boss HM-2 Heavy Metal and maxing all four knobs. Our Carbide starts with this at its base, then tweaks the majority of the distortion circuit for maximum crunch and thud. Instead of giving you a paltry blend control, the Carbide splits your signal into two paths; one path heads to a powerful clean boost specially configured to downtuned instruments, the other heads into the gears of the distortion. Each path is given its own volume knob before being mixed in parallel, letting you fine-tune the right amount of dirt. An Emphasis control tightens up the extreme low end while cutting treble, letting the boosted frequency bands jump out of the mix. Let’s head in.
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