WHITE HORSE

OPTICAL COMPRESSOR

COMING SOON

SCHEMATIC (PDF)

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

The WHITE HORSE is an optical compressor pedal and a whole lot more. The blend control allows for longer, sustained notes that aren’t squashed to oblivion. Our unique drive threshold technology allows for touch-sensitive effects, responding to the intensity of your picking and adding grit as you play harder. We’ve included additional controls to fine tune the punch and feel of the compressor to accommodate a wide array of instruments and playing styles.

Click the different parts of the pedal to learn more.

Demos

How It Works

Features

Tech Specs

Story

Older

Versions

WHITE HORSE BLOCK DIAGRAM

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FEATURES & CONSTRUCTION

TrueSoft  Bypass

Low Noise Op Amp

Extended Headroom

DualMode Switching

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

USA Made PCBs

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

A modern, high-speed op amp was chosen for its low-noise and high-fidelity properties.

PRP Audio Resistors

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

*Not used in the Junior series.

A simple voltage inverter circuit was used to effectively turn 9V into 18V. More voltage means more headroom & bigger tone.

DualMode Switching can convert the footswitch into momentary operation.

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

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:

1.8M-ohm

 

CURRENT DRAW:

~30ma continous

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

BY THE NUMBERS:

24 RESISTORS

18 CAPACITORS
1 INDUCTOR

6 TRANSISTORS

5 DIODES

1 OP AMP

3 INTEGRATED CIRCUITS
8 POTENTIOMETERS
2 SWITCHES

3 JACKS
2 CIRCUIT BOARDS

1 OPTOCOUPLER

HOW THE WHITE HORSE CAME TO BE

THE STORY

As someone who got their start playing acoustic guitars, I prefer compressor pedals that don't sound like an effect. I want my transparent tone from top-to-bottom to stay true, but then add some smooth leveling and sustain to help the guitar stand out in the mix. In the quest to build the perfect compressor, I tried many things, and finally narrowed it down to the features that matter most for guitar and bass.

 

The White Horse can add loads of sustain with natural dynamics via the blend circuitry, but the unique drive control is what really sets it apart. This control balances the circuit between clean and dirty compression, giving you a responsive drive that stacks well with your dirt boxes.

-- Peter Rutter, founder of VFE Pedals --

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

 

#1 - The original version had a 3-way mode switch to toggle between overdrive, boost, and compressor modes. The THRESHOLD control affected the input volume needed to kick in the compression circuit.

 

#2 - The second revision replaced the threshold control (which was redundant, as the sustain control also affects the threshold), and replaced it with a much-needed bass control. The human ear compresses bass different than treble, and the bass control helped balance the circuit for a more "neutral" effect to the listener when adding significant amounts of compression. The release control was simply re-named RESPONSE to better identify its function.

 

#3 - The "White Stallion" was the first experiment into a variable balance control between the clean compression and dirty drive compression circuitry.

 

#4 - The first production version model took the ideas from the White Stallion and refined them, adding range and ease of use.

 

Here is what is new in the current version:

- Less noise, more natural compression

- More transparent when cranking the DRIVE control

- Dual-Mode switching