The Roger Mayer Spitfire is the latest fuzz guitar effect in the Rocket Series and has been deliberately designed to produce the classic triode tube type distortion that is particularly rich in harmonics that are very musical and pleasing to the ears. This basically means that chords can be used at high levels of distortion without sounding raucous or just plain nasty, as would be the case with other types of fuzz boxes.
The Spitfire maintains the guitars original tone characteristics with the open sound, detail and sonic heritage that have their roots in my association with the making of Jimi's recordings. I have added a few new design twists and coupled with my extensive knowledge from the retro fuzz and distortion boxes we already produce have come up with a new sounding modern distortion/ fuzz sound that does indeed sound fresh and distinctive and not just another boring reissue or clone of a 30 year old design.
It has definite advantages that will appeal to those players who strive for a modern sound with strong roots in the past. The Spitfire is a very Low Noise analogue high gain design, stable, free from radio and other electronic interference that cause so much trouble. It has a greatly increased output level that enables it to overdrive the front end of any amp very hard. Turning up the Gain or Drive control will produce feedback at very low sound levels and a virtually never ending sustain that is very full and tight with the top end staying sweet encouraging soaring string bends and wild solos.
The overall EQ has been carefully developed to produce a well-rounded fatness and musical tone, not the nasal or fizzy thin type of fuzz sound that is common with digital modellers, multi effects etc. Analogue circuitry really does sound better when it comes to high gain low noise situations; there is no contest. The unit really comes into its own during live performance situations as it cleans up superbly well using the guitar volume control whilst maintaining the guitars original tone as the signal goes from wild distortion to the original guitar tone.
This effective control from the guitar makes life a great deal easier for the live player who likes to change tone effortlessly from his axe. The Spitfire even when used at high gain levels maintains a very clean transition from note to note that is transparent and free from the usual nasty type of spitting sounds heard so often when the signal decays and a new note begins. This of courses encourages fast solos with lots of sustain that actually sound louder due to the fact that the spaces between the note are not filled up with mush and noise.
The circuit senses and uses electronic information fed directly from the guitars pickups to control its own operational parameters and it is recommended to use the Spitfire 1st in the signal processing chain to take full advantage of this internal feedforward feature. It is this particular feature of the Spitfire that that helps to make it quite different from early fuzz pedals and makes the unit respond very well to each individual players touch, style and playing technique.
Five minutes playing with the Spitfire will convince anyone this is not just a re-hashed design but genuinely innovative with some new tone colours.
The unit comes in the very rugged Rocket housing and features Hard Wire Bypass and an attractive and striking Signal Red paint finish. It has two controls: Output Level, Drive or Gain and is powered by an internal 9 Volt battery with an operational life of over 150Hrs so changing a battery should not be a problem. An external power supply (not supplied) can be used. Successful operation is simple and is probably our easiest box to use with no previous knowledge or study of a manual required.