The History of The Imagine Overdrive


Four years ago, the Imagine Overdrive pedal was conceived when Sal D’Amore approached me and asked if I would be up to the task of designing an overdrive pedal better than the one he was using. I found out he was using a tweaked version of the classic TS which he built himself. Having the same fondness for vintage musical equipment, we got to know each other very well. Sal is a professional guitar player, who has never held a day job in his life except studio work which he has extensive knowledge and have recorded and produced 4 albums for Indy Artists. He can be seen demoing the unit in our video section. He has basic tech school level electronics and is a great tinkerer. His passion for quality shows in his amps and guitars and other equipment he owns. I on the other hand am an engineer from the old school.

Click on any of the images to zoom in.

The Beginning

1st gen

Having 40 plus years experience in the electronic industry. I started my very first project building an AC-DC tube AM radio. Those in my age group will know what this AC-DC tube radio is. I’ve had my share in the pro musical equipment arena. Repair, redesign, rebuild. From rewinding my own transformer, to modifying equipment. I had the privilege of having all kinds of tubes to use. RCA, GE, Raytheon, Toshiba, National, Philips, Telefunken, Mullard, and others. These were real good quality tubes. Coupled with excellent transformers using high quality cores, it was a time in which quality was tops.

The Challenge

2nd gen

I was given the challenge of distorting a sine wave into something that should sound sweet. Sweet distorted sine wave? What followed was research and study of almost all brands there were out there. And there are a lot of them. After so much research and development, and believe me, we went through a lot, we finally made the first prototype. It had some more features other than being just an OD pedal. It has a switch that could turn the OD into a distortion pedal. It could also become a tone boost pedal and much more. Sal used it on was so so. The thing is, it sounded like a glorified TS, nothing spectacular.

Research and Refinement

3rd gen

The second unit was a lot better but still could be improved. I finally added a cut control and that is what pushed the pedal away from the crowd. I made a unit in an aluminum case for Sal to use on stage. He confirmed it was the best pedal he has used having all the aspect that a pro wants and more. We decided to make some nicely painted blue pedals as demos. They were sent to Canada and here in the United States to serve as test units. To be honest I was skeptical. We were expecting some negative feedback, but to our surprise, we were getting purely positive reactions to the performance of the pedal. Mostly all of the professional guitar players who demoed the pedal and had the expensive top of the line pedals in their rig opted to use the Imagine instead. The blue pedals are still out there! Hear and see Mike Nugen, one of Nashville session player plays thru the Imagine overdrive in our video section.

The Present

3rd gen

Four long years later, the production units are finally here and they are black in color. They are all handmade here in the US. Maybe in the future we will do some other colors and some other models with more features. I will also probably design some guitar amps. One thing will always remain, anything we design will be first rate in all aspects. I will not exaggerate on how the Imagine performs. Comments from some people who use it on stage said “sometime I forget I am playing thru a solid state pedal and a battery operated pedal too!” A couple musicans said that "this pedal kick ass!" The Imagine overdrive, try it! -JP

Purchase the Imagine Overdrive


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