One Control Dyna Red 4K
Distortion is a must for nearly all heavy music. Occupying a sonic space that is distinctly different than overdrive or fuzz pedals, the classic distortion boxes were seeking to create a heavier yet smoother sound. The new One Control Dyna Red Distortion 4k is the culmination of two decades of handbuilt production of the venerable BJFe Dyna Red Distortion. Over 20 years ago, this red pedal was the first BJFe distortion pedal Bjorn Juhl had ever created, and over the years has found itself on many a touring pro board or studio player's collection. This is the latest evolution of the Dyna Red, with many tweaks learned along the way, and a brand new fourth knob (4K) that helps dial this pedal in precisely for a wider variety of amplifiers as compared to the original models.
Plug into the Dyna Red and feed it to any amplifier you have - classic UK, blackface americana, even a stereo chorus solid state amp or any other ubiquitous backline amplifier a player may encounter. While the big rock stars may get to carry multiple amp rigs, they have roadies. Many working pros have to use a variety of amps in the studio or at live gigs, and pedals like the DRD4K are a life-saver in these situations. This pedal is designed to give you a beautiful, organic distortion reminiscent of the halcyon days of early to mid 70s UK voiced amplifiers, cranked up to 10 with the tubes worn down just a little, and maybe a little "browning" of the sound with a Variac. Notes in lead solos pop effortlessly off the fingerboard, and chunky rhythm riffs seem to chug and groove with an ease of playing and an attitude that cuts through the mix.
The new 4K knob is designed to help dial in the critical treble frequencies for a wide variety of amplifier situations. Set it at noon, dial in the pedal to suit your needs for gain, and then experiment with the setting of the fourth knob. See how it almost brings the sound forward or backwards in the mix spatially. You can also think of this knob as a sort of "presence" control, but it's much more than that. It's a very psychoacoustic thing that is happening here, more than just an upper mid bump. This pedal is very close to an "amp in a box" AIAB style machine in the classic 70s UK amp mold, and it responds especially well to being boosted and prodded by preamp, EQ, and other first pedals. Like many of Bjorn's creations, the DRD4K can end up being the core of your classic rock sound, with other pedals adding a bit more gain or EQ boost to take your solos into the stratosphere. A great "stack" for the DRD would include the Little Green Emphaser pedal, which was a BJFe Custom Shop model (very rare) that was included as a two pedal special set to work together as a tonal team!
- Input impedance: 370 K
- Output impedance: 25K
- Drive voltage: 5-15 V center minus
- Current Consumption: 3.5 mA
- Size: 46(W)x113(D)x64(H)mm
- Weight: 305g
- True-Bypass Switching
- High Quality Aluminum Enclosure
The DRD just turned 20 years old, and was the second BJF model to be released in spring time 2000. The original idea behind DRD was to get a specific rhythm sound that you can get with distortion knob set at little below noon, depending upon pickups. At the time, distortion boxes could do full on distortion but rarely convincing semi-distorted sounds that could be dynamically controlled. This is a sound I personally would have much use for, as it allows changing sound from
seemingly clean to distorted and is most useful when playing rhythms. As a designer, I also felt tempted to go full on distortion but then to make this dynamic distortion I needed so to say remove any 80’s tendencies. Of course you can set a dense, heavy distortion with the DRD4K, but it is older in sound and not as streamlined. So when it was time to name it, I told my wife that this is a red distortion box that is dynamic and it became the Dyna Red Distortion.
The Treble control was originally designed to be about equal bypass at about 9 o'clock. This fit many amplifiers and speakers, but there were some that it didn’t work so well with so last year an additional 4K (presence) control was added and that completed the design for the One Control DRD4K.
With this new knob, sound could be brought back and forth in the sound picture and the response was tuned with an amp that is known to be difficult on distortion pedals.
A note on the design is that since this is a design with an OP amp, it draws only a little current - this model can work down to 5 volts, which is the definite end of a battery’s life. At about 5 volts an internal bias trap havocs and there is an additional distortion mechanism. So, if you have a variable supply, listen as you turn down voltage and the sound gets more complex around 6 down to 5 volts. The BJF DRD 100 was complimented with a gift in form of a prebooster called Little Green Emphaser and so was the DRD 200 in the original BJFe line.