I love compressors. I love them more than any other guitar effect - and there's a reason; they are the glue that sticks a great performance together. Unless you're Jimi Hendrix or Eric Clapton a compressor *will* improve your tone and help you sit in a band mix much better.
The Pigtronix Philosophers Tone has been making waves for a while now and I thought it was time to get it placed up on the blog.
Pigtronix Philosopher’s Tone is unlike the common compressor. This pedal has more sustain and less noise. The dynamic range, touch sensitivity, overall transparency and outright sustain of the Philosopher’s Tone is un-paralleled in the crowded world of compressor pedals.
Practitioners of the mystical and ancient art of alchemy long sought an element called the Philosopher’s Stone, believing that, if found, it could turn lead into gold and bestow immortality upon the man who wielded it. For such a tiny pedal to create so much sustain, this device represents a musical equivalent to this mythical substance in the world of guitar pedals."
Now, onto the guts of this thing. Thanks for these photos goes to jwpartain1 of the freestompboxes.org forum;
From these gutshots and the attached information Mystic Whiskey managed to draw up a schematic and verify a build against an original Philosophers Tone Gold Germanium. Here's the scheme for you;
Let's have a look at a few of the different sections - the "Grit" control blends in either a clipped or clean version of the compressed signal. The "Blend" control blends between the unaffected signal and the compressed/clipped signal. The "Treble" control is nothing special and is set up as a simple treble cut. It's a decent design and really works for a nice overdriven yet compressed tone.
For those of you brave enough to take it on - here's a vero layout for the Philosophers Tone Gold;
For reference here's the freestompboxes.org forum topic; http://freestompboxes.org/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=11954