Joe Gore Gross Distortion. Gross is a simple, one-transistor distortion from the same family tree as the Electra circuit. Joe has changed parts and values for a fatter sound and even greater dynamic response. He’s also added an active 2-band tone control—something seldom, if ever, combined with primitive distortion like this.
The distortion isn’t too “gainy.” It’s more about definition than sheer power—one reason it pairs well with other gain pedals. The character of your guitar and fingers always comes through. The oddest feature is the diode section. Instead of a fixed diode pair, two 12-position rotary switches select from 24 diodes for 78 possible diode combinations! An additional switch adds a third diode for asymmetric distortion, which makes 156 possible shades. Some combinations are as different as night and day. Others are only as different as noon and 12:05. But this network of germanium, silicon, and LED diodes provides many crunch colors.
Gross Distortion was created in San Francisco and is built in Michigan by skilled craftspeople earning a fair wage.