GAIN CYCLE takes the GAIN knob setting, which selects your maximum gain, and divides that level of gain into 4 equal parts. Say for instance you have your GAIN knob set at the maximum setting or in other words, 100% gain. Every time you press both footswitches simultaneously, the gain of the pedal will jump up 25% until you get to 100%. The following press after 100% will cause the gain cycle to start again at 25%.
TIP: Set the GAIN control to around 3:00+ to have 4 distinct distortion settings as you cycle through the gain.
The goal with the GAIN CYCLE feature is to allow guitarists to easily ramp their gain up without having to bend down and change it or try to adjust it with the edge of their foot while playing live. Here’s a perfect use case.
Let’s assume the GAIN control is set to 100%
Verse 1 – Gain cycle set at 25% – Lightly distorted tone.
Press GAIN CYCLE
Chorus – Gain cycle set at 50% – Distinct distorted tone.
Press GAIN CYCLE
Bridge – Gain cycle set at 75% – Heavy distorted tone.
Press GAIN CYCLE
Solo – Gain cycle set at 100% – Heavily saturated distorted tone!
TIP: Add the DRIVE to push the overdrive even harder for endless sustain!
It’s important to remember that GAIN CYCLE setting #4 (100%) will be as much gain as you have the GAIN knob set for. Think of the GAIN knob on the Asabi as your maximum gain with each GAIN CYCLE setting being a percentage of that maximum value.
The brightness of the DIST led will change to let you know which percentage of gain you have selected. The higher the percentage, the brighter the DIST led. For instance:
GAIN CYCLE #1 – DIM LED – 25% of GAIN knob value.
GAIN CYCLE #2 – BRIGHTER LED – 50% of GAIN knob value.
GAIN CYCLE #3 – BRIGHT LED – 75% of GAIN knob value.
GAIN CYCLE #4 – VERY BRIGHT LED – 100% of GAIN knob value.
To top it off, the distortion circuit of the Asabi has a 3 band parametric EQ. The EQ circuit features a studio grade EQ that gives tremendous tonal flexibility to the Asabi. Based on the legendary Baxandall EQ that is featured in countless studio EQ’s, the Asabi EQ takes this circuit and tailors it for guitarists!
Another feature of the EQ that is unique to the Asabi is there are 6 internal trimmers that allow the player to adjust the Q (how narrow or wide the selected frequency is) and frequency select of each EQ band. This is an advanced feature of the Asabi and care should be taken as extreme settings can make the EQ sound unmusical.
The drive circuit in the Asabi is a soft clipping circuit that was designed to capture the smooth overdrive and touch responsiveness of a vintage Marshall Plexi. This circuit, which is in its own true bypass loop, can be used independently of the DIST circuit and is very useful for boosting the front end of the distortion circuit for even higher gain.
Just like the distortion circuit, the overdrive circuit on the Asabi features 4 clipping presets so you can adjust the tone and feel of the overdrive.
NOTE: When using both the overdrive and distortion channels simultaneously, the volume control on the overdrive channel gives way to the volume control on the distortion channel which now becomes the master volume control. This was done because each circuit has so much output available, that if the output of the overdrive channel were pushed too hard into the input of the distortion channel, it had the potential to cause instability and unwanted noises etc.
Preset 1 - AMBER: Vintage Marshall. Two RED LED’s are used to symmetrically clip the top and bottom portions of your guitars waveform evenly. The LED’s allow MUCH higher headroom so your tone will stay more open and less compressed much like a vintage Marshall.
Preset 2 - GREEN: Classic Screamer. Two symmetrical silicon diodes give the classic drive and compression that the Tube Screamer is known for.
Preset 3 – BLUE: Asymmetric Clipping. Three asymmetric diodes (two silicon and one red LED) will clip the top and bottom portions of your guitars waveform differently resulting in a more complex and interesting tone. This sounds great when laying down aggressive rhythm parts!
Preset 4 - MAGENTA: Symmetrical Clipping. Four symmetric silicon diodes will clip the top and bottom portions of your guitars waveform evenly which gives a more focused and direct tone. Two notable pedals that uses this style of clipping are the Timmy and the King of Tone.
It's 2020 and it's time to expect more from an analog pedals! Since the BROKEN ARROW came out in 2019, our more advanced overdrive pedals have featured MIDI control over clipping presets, gain cycle options, drive eq options as well as ON/OFF of the overdrive and drive circuits and the Asabi is no exception. Jackson Audio always want to make sure that their pedals are as easy to integrate into complex rigs as they are into simple rigs and MIDI makes that happen.