Nowadays, the myth of the guitar-hero playing 7min54 instrumentals at the speed of light is no longer really a dream and the great mythical bands are becoming increasingly rare. However, a few rare talented musicians still manage to exert a significant influence on an entire generation of guitarists. This is the case of John Mayer, who, with his excellent sound culture, is one of the guitarists that many want to get closer to, this of course because of his playing, but also because of his sound signature which mixes nuances, solid light, extreme dynamics, organic drive and sobriety. The young man being a fan of gear, it is necessary to have the right tools and the right amp (in addition to a strato) to approach the much sought after "Mayer sound". If one is interested in the career of the artist, there is no doubt that Gravity is his most successful album on all levels. Quality compositions, a groove to die for and an anthology sound.
It is this memorable sound that Nordvang wanted to recreate with this Triple Gain pedal which brings together the circuit of the Gravity and the 83 Drive within the same box. Enough to cover almost all of the artist's work!
Let's talk a bit about the interface. Out of the "superb" box provided by the brand, the pedal is impressive due to its dimensions. Indeed, it is roughly the size of three BOSS type pedals. This is explained by the fact that the Triple Gain is a 3-channel pedal, with on one side, Channel A (left) which uses the specifications of the Ibanez TS10 dear to JM, Channel B (middle) which mimics the circuit of the legendary KLON Centaur and channel C (right) which recreates the circuit of the BluesBreaker.
Association that JM has favored for many years. On the left, channel A benefits from the usual Drive, Tone and Level controls as well as a DIP switch which allows you to activate 2 additional diodes for more headroom and dynamics. This slice uses NOS Toshiba 1S1588 diodes and original 2SC1815 transistors. The circuit is very close to the original and its buffer too, but the many additional settings really allow you to sculpt your sound in a much more precise and versatile way. We gain in clarity, response and complexity.
In the middle, channel B takes up the circuit of the KLON, another pedal that is one of the pillars of the Mayer sound. We are entitled to gain, treble and output controls. This channel is equipped with Russian D9B diodes and Wima polyester capas for greater clarity. There is also a mini switch to select the order of channels A and B.
On the right, slice C benefits from Drive, Tone and Level controls as well as a mini toggle switch called STD/HIGH. The toggle switch allows you to add an additional gain stage. Internally, you find a set of DIP switches to control the symmetrical clipping with 4 or 6 diodes. The circuit is very close to the original, but Nordvang has added a true-bypass and an 18V power stage for maximum headroom. These many additional settings really allow you to sculpt your sound in a much more precise and versatile way than the original pedal.
As mentioned above, the circuits are very close to the originals except for a few details: the quality of the components. At Nordvang, we only use the best: Vishay 1%, Wima MKP10, MKS4 and FKP2 film capacitors, Vimex knobs, Carling switches, Pure Tone jacks, silver plated teflon insulated wiring, etc…
So how do you best use this Triple Gain? Well, a very good stratocaster in an excellent clean channel, that would already be a good start. Ideally, like the King Tone Guitar The Duellist, the Triple Gain having been developed on a Two-Rock amp, the combination of these two beasts of race will give you all the quintessence of the sound that you can expect. John Mayer himself using this configuration. Add to that a discrete compressor upstream of the Norvang and you have most of the holy grail at your fingertips. All you need is your fingers!
Guitar in your hands, plugged into a Two-Rock Traditional 100W, the Triple delivers everything you need. Enormous dynamics, a very fast response, a "fat" side, dense, very thick in the mids that takes you through the mix by adding just the right amount of gain to your clean sound. This clean sound is there, present, the Triple Gain acting as a "layer" above it, preserving all the original dynamics of your clean sound, but adding sustain, thickness and fluidity. Close your eyes, Belief is there, all you have to do is interpret it.
With the Triple Gain, Henrik Nordvang pushes his concept to the maximum and achieves the feat of combining high standards, extreme quality and musicality. Nothing is left to chance and you can feel the passion that he put into making this pedal. The Triple Gain is not only a tool dedicated to the Mayer sound, but indeed a pedal of unparalleled musicality and extreme versatility.