Pigtronix Philosopher’s Tone Germanium Gold LTD Review – Best Compressor?


Reviewed by:
Rating:
4.5
On August 9, 2013
Last modified:October 6, 2016

Summary:

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For ancient alchemists, attaining the legendary Philosopher’s Stone was the result of a lifetime of dedication to the Great Work. Many of them did not succeed. But the engineering wizards at Pigtronix have turned lead to gold once again. Behold the Pigtronix Philosopher’s Tone Germanium Gold LTD. For those who already regard the original Philosopher’s Tone as one of the best guitar compressors available, this limited edition variation of that classic pedal may be your new holy grail.

As Above, So Below

The Philosopher’s Tone Germanium Gold LTD uses 1N60 Germanium Diodes in an asymmetrical clipping format. This results in a very smooth top end and midrange response, resulting in even more character and punch than the original Pigtronix Philosopher’s Tone. The differences in these two guitar pedals become apparent when you compare the sound of the grit settings on offer. More on that in a moment. Let’s run down the features and dive into our Pigtronix Philosopher’s Tone Germanium Gold LTD review.

Features:

Germanium Enhanced GRIT.

Pigtronix-Philosophers-Tone-Germanium-Gold-LTD-Review-Best-Guitar-Compressor-03

Handpainted by Jason Myrold in a Gold Sparkle Finish.

Limited Edition.

Exclusive for ProGuitarShop.

Grit control mixes in a smooth layer of distortion into the effect.

Sustain control sets the threshold for the compressor. Turn it up for more intense compression and sustain.

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Blend control determines the mix of effected and dry signal.

Treble control buts or boosts frequencies at 2k.

Volume control sets the overall output level of the device when engaged.

Super compact form factor.

No noise operation.

Powered by included 18VDC 300ma negative tip power supply.

Visit Pigtronix for more info about the Philosopher’s Tone Germanium Gold LTD.

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Sound & Performance:

Be sure to check out my Pigtronix Philosopher’s Tone Review for comparison. I tested and reviewed both at the same time.

The Pigtronix Philosopher’s Tone Germanium Gold LTD is very similar in most regards to the original Philosopher’s Tone with the exception being the different tonal character provided by the Germanium Diodes.

Using an American Stratocaster and a clean amp sound, I was pleased to find that the Germanium Gold LTD is just as pristine and quiet when using it at flat knob settings.

I did a lot of A/B comparisons between the two pedals. The Philosopher’s Tone Germanium Gold LTD does have a little more power than the original Philosopher’s Tone at extreme settings. With no Grit and the Volume maxed out with the other knobs at noon, the Philosopher’s Tone Germanium Gold LTD punches through with a bit more authority.

The tone of the Pigtronix Philosopher’s Tone Germanium Gold LTD just seems a bit more colorful than the original Philosopher’s Tone which sounds a little more dry by comparison. The variation in tone between the two Philosopher’s Tone pedals is so subtle that it’s difficult to say one sounds better than the other. It’s simply a matter of personal taste that warrants close listening from ears experienced enough to hear the subtle differences.

The Philosopher’s Tone Germanium Gold LTD packs in the same level of versatility as the original Philosopher’s Tone, making it ideal for any compression need whether it’s country twang, warm jazz, bright funk, or saturated lead tones. Like the original, this pedal does it all and does everything exceptionally well.

Turning the Grit knob allows the differences of these pedals to become more apparent. I find the Germanium flavor of the Grit to be a bit thicker and a little fuzzier. The original Grit is a little more transparent in nature. The Germanium grit of the Philosopher’s Tone Germanium Gold LTD is just as adept at enhancing your drive sounds when used in front a distortion pedal or overdriven amp.

While the original Philosopher’s Tone specializes in really preserving the character of your guitar on every setting, the Philosopher’s Tone Germanium Gold LTD infuses your tone with the added character of the Germanium Diodes when blending in the Grit. This is a very welcome addition for anyone who appreciates that sought after character afforded by quality Germanium Diodes. For those who appreciate the Germanium flavor, you’ll certainly feel that Pigtronix have taken a good thing and made it even better. P.S. Try this pedal in front of the Pigtronix Mothership guitar synth pedal for a more consistent signal and epic guitar synth tones.

Let’s have the final result.

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Overall-Rating-4.5

The original Pigtronix Philosopher’s Tone is a modern legend in it’s own right. The new Philosopher’s Tone Germanium Gold LTD adds a welcome chapter to that legacy. This is a truly versatile compression pedal that will turn any sound to gold. The Germanium Diodes add a unique character that makes this pedal a great alternative to the already amazing Philosopher’s Tone. If you’re looking for the best guitar compressor out there, be sure to try out the Pigtronix Philosopher’s Tone Germanium Gold LTD. It may be the final alchemical stage to perfecting your ultimate guitar tone.

That concludes our Pigtronix Philosopher’s Tone Germanium Gold LTD review. Thanks for reading.

 

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