Karma Suture will sound great into any amp, whether set clean or set dirty. Whether you’re using the Karma Suture as your standalone dirt box into your amp or you’re using it to boost, overdrive, and enhance your existing dirt pedals, you’ll be greeted with harmonic distortion laden with even-order harmonics – sweet and musical, even with complex chord voicings.
Both models provide you with amazing even-order harmonic distortion with distinct personalities. If you’re familiar with the difference between a germanium and silicon fuzz face, then those qualities apply to the Karma Suture as well – germanium gives you a thick, sweet response with a softer picking attack. Silicon provides a more immediate picking attack with a more aggressive tone.
So, you’re thinking, is it a fuzz? Yes! Is it an overdrive? Yes! Is it a sparkly boost? Yes, again! Karma Suture’s four control layout allows you to dial in a huge range of harmonically rich tones that sound great into clean amps and as well as overdriven amps. Or into a foundation overdrive, such as the Dirty Little Secret. It can work equally well with vintage single coils and hot humbuckers.
Although it works great off of a 9V power supply, we suggest that you use a fresh battery to power your new Karma Suture, without any other pedals, plugging straight into your amplifier set up for a full clean to verge of breaking up tone. In order for you to become acquainted with your new Karma, start by setting all of the knobs to noon, listen to and feel where this takes your playing! After you’ve had some fun playing and getting a feel of what each knob seems to do, you may feel the need to learn more about your Karma. In which case, read the manual!
Because Karma Suture generates predominantly even-order harmonic distortion, you will notice amazing clarity even with extreme settings. You can even play complex chord voicings and yet every note rings through clear! Try that with your average fuzz or distortion pedal! And even at maximum settings, the Karma Suture retains an open and responsive character unlike a lot of fuzzes and distortion pedals. Even though it has an open character, you can get amazing sustain with the Karma Suture on, especially if you’re hitting a cranked up amp with it. Harmonics come in waves, undulating in and out as you hold that epic power chord.
The Density control goes from a thick fuzz tone that can sound like an amp ready to explode all the way to a tight harmonically rich overdrive that screams “rock and roll!”. This control is the key to dialing in the Karma Suture with any rig, allowing you to fine-tune to find the exact sweet spot.
The Diodes control allows you to set the threshold of the diode clipping circuit – from full clipping to get the most distortion and compression all the way to no diode clipping for a wide-open (and LOUD!) sound.
The Input knob controls how much of your guitar signal gets to the harmonic generator. Set it low for a lively boost, laden with even-order harmonic content. Or crank it all the way up to get fuzz blasts!
And Output controls the volume level. This pedal is capable of some serious output in certain settings!
Guitars and Karma Suture
The Karma Suture has been designed to be able to work great with a variety of guitars with passive pickups. If you’re running vintage output single coils, you’ll be able to get away with much higher settings of the Density and Input controls. But if you’re running a guitar with hot humbuckers, worry not! With the pedal’s controls set high you’ll get awesome overloaded amp meltdown sounds but you can quickly tighten things up by setting the Density and Input controls lower. With the Density control set low, you’ll slice right through the band mix with authority!
In particular, the Silicon Karma Suture works especially well with humbucking guitars and downtuned guitars.
Amps and Karma Suture
Karma Suture will sound great into any amp, whether set clean or set dirty. In general, if you’re plugging into an overdriven amp (or pedal) and you want to tighten up the sound, try any or all of the following:
Turn the Density control down. This will reduce the amount of bass and prevent farty or pinched-off sounds.
Powering up the Karma Suture
Turn the Input control down. This will lower the amount of drive and help tighten things up.
Turn the Diodes control down. This will open up the sound and reduce diode compression. However, the volume level will jump up as you lower this so compensate by adjusting the Output control.
And finally, turn your guitar’s volume control down a bit. In fact, you can run the Karma Suture at more extreme settings for fuzzy, amp-overload goodness, and then with a twist of your guitar’s volume knob get a great, tight, harmonically-rich overdrive sound!
Just use a standard 9 volt DC center-negative power supply for pedals. You can run it up to 18 volts if you want but you may or may not get oscillation and other misbehaving sounds. If you like that, go for it! Otherwise, it has been tuned to sound the best at 9 volts.
For even better tone and response, run a 9 volt battery instead. The pedal draws very little current so a battery should last a good long time if you remember to unplug it or at least bypass the pedal so that the LED is not on. You’ll notice a warmer tone and better dynamics with a battery.