It only seemed polite, when tasked with providing some of the most basic yet fundamental sounds in electric music, to put them all in one box. The STEP is a one-stop source for several flavors of fuzz, overdrive, and boost tones coupled with a switchable, sustaining and pure upper octave. With four tone-shaping switches and a texture control inspired by the Attack knob of the Mk1 Tone Bender, the STEP is an unusually versatile tool.
Volume (left knob)- Loud! or quiet.
Texture (right knob)-
- In all modes: 11 o'clock is a good starting point. Going CCW from there darkens the tone and creates a more muffled clipping character. Going CW brightens and, at extreme settings, introduces a more scrambled, lightly gated, and sharp distortion.
- With octave: 9-12 o'clock provides the most symmetric and pure octave. Varying in either direction will make things more asymmetrical and, as a result, reduce the intensity of the octave.
Switch 1 (under S)- Adds a full-range boost at the start of the circuit. This generally leads to either overdrive or fuzz, depending on other settings.
Switch 2 (under T)- Boosts treble and gain without removing bass. This is a less extreme boost than Switch 1 and provides a low gain overdrive with most settings.
Switch 3 (under E)- Activates the upper octave circuit. The STEP uses a specially biased transformer-coupled frequency doubling circuit that provides a cleaner, sustaining character.
Switch 4 (under P)- Adds an additional amp-like gain stage to the end of the circuit.
- All top-mounted jacks. Right to left: Input, power, output.
- Standard Boss-style 2.1mm 9VDC input, negative tip. Current draw is under 25mA.
- True bypass switching
- 1590N1 Hammond enclosure (4.7 x2.6 in) black textured with blue-white graphics. All screen printing, machining, and assembly done in-house in Portland, OR.
- Matched silicon transistor circuit.
- Double sided, through-hole plated PCBs produced in Mulino, OR and assembled in-house using RV24 Alpha full-size potentiometers, polyester film caps, metal film resistors, and other quality components.