PALE HORSE

DYNAMIC OVERDRIVE

This pedal is discontinued. Please check our dealers or our Reverb store for any remaining stock.

Schematic created by BuggFX

The PALE HORSE overdrive pedal started as a personal quest to improve the most widely revered overdrive pedal in history. Chasing down the answers led to a unique, new overdrive pedal. The PALE HORSE is so smooth, transparent, and dynamic, you might even find yourself using it instead of your own amp's distortion. For purists, the tonal constrictions common to mid-boosting overdrives have been removed, taking it beyond mere “green” pastures.

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Demos

How It Works

Features

Tech Specs

Story

Older

Versions

PALE HORSE BLOCK DIAGRAM

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FEATURES & CONSTRUCTION

TrueSoft  Bypass

Variable HCC

Custom Alpha Pots

DualMode Switching

We combine durable true bypass relay switching with an effect-side FET switch for pure and smooth switching.

Variable HCC circuitry allows you to fine tune the harmonics, compression, and clipping character of your tone.*

*Applies to COMP control only.

The DRIVE, HIGH, LOW, & A/M controls are built in the USA with custom-designed tapers specifically for the Alpha Dog.

DualMode Switching can convert the footswitch into momentary operation.

To use, wait 5 seconds, then press the sequence tap+tap+hold until LED flashes.

USA Made PCBs

Our circuit boards are made in the USA by Advanced Circuits (large PCB runs) or OSH Park (small PCB runs).

PRP Audio Resistors

We used low noise, low inductance resistors made for audio circuits by Precision Resistive Products in the USA.*

*Does not apply to the Junior version

All VFE Pedals are built with these quality components and features:

 

- Rugged diecast aluminum enclosures

- TrueSoft + DualMode true bypass switching

- Industrial-grade Carling switches & Neutrik audio jacks

- Alpha pots soldered directly to PCB

- 5% WIMA film capacitors & 1% metal film resistors

- Cardas Audio ultra-pure, eutectic silver solder

- P3 system phantom-power compatible

- Built by hand in Puyallup, WA, USA

- 1 year warranty on parts & labor

DIMENSIONS:

Enclosure dimensions: 2.37"W x 4.37"L x 1.16"H  (60 x 111 x 29mm)

With knobs & jacks: 2.6"W x 4.4"L x 2.1"H  (66 x 111 x 53mm)

 

POWER:

Standard 2.1mm, negative-tip 9V to 15V power supply or 9V battery.

 

INPUT IMPEDANCE:

50K to 950K-ohm (set by internal trimpot)

 

CURRENT DRAW:

~35ma continous

+30ma surge for 4ms during on/off switching

BY THE NUMBERS:

14 RESISTORS

19 CAPACITORS
1 INDUCTOR

5 TRANSISTORS

5 DIODES

1 OP AMP

3 INTEGRATED CIRCUITS
9 POTENTIOMETERS
2 SWITCHES

3 JACKS
2 CIRCUIT BOARDS

HOW THE PALE HORSE CAME TO BE

THE STORY

The evolution of the Pale Horse is more of a personal journey for me. The first circuit board I laid out from scratch was called the "Proto OD", and began a continual quest to design the ultimate overdrive. This quest led me to the signature 6-control layout you see on our products, it led to the develop of charge pump circuits for extended headroom, true mosfet saturation, treble/bass controls on all overdrives, and much more.

 

The bottom line is that the development of the Pale Horse is really what gave birth to the idea of VFE Pedals. Even with the gain cranked, it keeps a smooth drive character throughout. Use it on its own as a 2nd channel for your clean amp, or stack it and push your other diret pedals.

-- Peter Rutter, founder of VFE Pedals --

Here is the list of versions of the Pale Horse circuit:

 

#1 - The original VFE circuit was a 4-knob tubescreamer with the buffers removed, a 3-way clipping switch, and a FAT control that affected the pre-gain and bass response.

 

#2 - This version added a FILTER control over the treble response.

 

#3 - One of the earliest pedals to adopt the current control layout. All the same controls as version two, except with added mosfet clipping and a charge pump for more headroom.

 

#4 - After a few attempts to create a higher headroom, more dynamic mosfet clipping, we finally solved it and the Pale Horse was born.

 

#5 - The Pale Horse has kept the same control set in every version, with small tweaks to improve the versatility and tonal useability. The first silkscreen version was mislabeled, with L & M positions of the toggle switch inverted. In all Pale Horse pedals with a silkscreen, the center position used 5mm red LEDs, and the right position used mosfet clipping.

 

Here is what is new in the current version:

- Custom taper HIGH & LOW pots make it easier to use

- Removed LED clipping option in place of diode lift (clean boost)

- Variable HCC control with infinite shades of harmonics, compression, and clipping characteristics

- American-made, audio-grade resistors

- Dual-Mode switching