Back in 2014, when Nordvang Custom was launched as a company, we released the No.1 Overdrive. Our first pedal and our take on the mythical K-circuit. It was discontinued in April of 2020. Now it is time to add a new chapter to the No.1.
The No.1 Signature however, is not a direct successor for the original No.1 Overdrive and their circuits differ. While the Org. No.1 was a tweaked version of the K-circuit the new No.1 Sig is as close as we can get to the tone and feel of the Klon.
The Org. No.1 overdrive used full size 24 mm. Japanese Hi-Fi potentiometers and had in increased headroom to +/-15 Volt on all op-amp stages. The No.1 Sig. uses std. size 16 mm. Vimex potentiometers and follows the K-circuits supply voltage scheme. +9 Volt on the buffer and overdrive stage and +18/-9 Volt supply on the EQ and output stage.
Like all Nordvang pedals, the No.1 Signature is made using premium quality components. We use WIMA MKP10 input capacitors and NO electrolytical capacitors in the signal chain. It features buffered relay bypass and Pure Tone audio jacks for the in- and out-put. A three position toggle switch labeled "Clipping" enables you to select between Germanium diodes, Schottky diodes or no diodes in the overdrive stage.
But what really sets the No.1 Sig apart is the Pre Drive.
The Pre Drive is basically a cascading overdrive circuit activated with a toggle switch. Similar to stacking another overdrive with the K-circuit. One of the qualities, that fans of the Klon favors them for, is their stacking capability. They simply sound great stacked both in front and after other overdrive pedals. So with that in mind and to expand the tonal horizon of the K-circuit, we decided to add the Pre Drive.
The Pre Drive is, as the name implies, an overdrive stage that precedes the K-circuit itself. The circuit is fixed and we have voiced it as a low gain overdrive with a mild touch responsive breakup. It uses asymmetrical soft-clipping and has a slightly mid focused frequency response.
The K-circuit in itself is extremely versatile and has equally high tonal qualities as a "flat" frequency clean boost, with the gain knob at zero, a low gain mid pushed overdrive as well as at higher gain settings. The Pre Drive will add another layer of tonal options in each of these scenarios.
With the K-circuit dialed in as a clean boost and the gain knob at zero, adding the Pre Drive will make the No.1 Sig. a dynamic low gain overdrive with a slight mid-hump, that is very responsive to your pick attack. Add to that the EQ and output stage of the K-circuit controlled by the tone and volume knob and you get a versatile overdrive with loads of output on tap. The gain knob works as a blend control and turning up the gain, you will immediately hear the mid characteristics of the k-circuit's gain/clipping stage blending in and an increasing harmonic complexity. The Pre Drive can be used with the entire sweep of the gain knob and lets you experience the power of stacking.
The clipping switch enables three choices for clipping diodes in the gain/clipping stage of the K-circuit. This affects the response of the K-circuit, compression, tone and feel wise.
- Germanium diodes - low headroom and most compression.
- Schottky diodes - Higher headroom, more punchy low end and less compression.
- No diodes - Loads of headroom and no compression. At higher gain settings it will get LOUD.
The different clipping options combined with the Pre Drive, further expands the tonal possibilities of the No.1 Signature.
The No.1 Sig. features control knobs for gain, tone and volume and two toggle switches for clipping and the Pre Drive.
- Replica of the K-circuit
- Buffered relay bypass
- External three position Clipping switch to choose between a pair of Germanium clipping diodes, a pair of Schottky clipping diodes or "no didoes"
- Original Russian D9B germanium diodes
- Switchable Pre Drive - overdrive stage
- VISHAY 1% metalfilm resistors
- Audiophile WIMA MKP10, MKS4, FKP2 and Panasonic film capacitors
- NO electrolytical capacitors in the audio circuit.
- VIMEX potentiometers
- CARLING Footswitch
- CKK and TAIWAY toggle switches
- PURE TONE MULTI-CONTACT 1/4" JACK
- Silver plated teflon insulated cable for internal wiring.
- US made DAVIES MOULDING 1470 knobs
- 9VDC power
- Negative tip polarity