The Overtone Story


Overtone Works

Hand Built in the USA by Gary Phillips

Tel. +1 954.786.1800
E.  overtonepedals@gmail.com

I designed the first “clean” to “variable overdrive” sweeping pedal for a fellow band member and life long friend, Dan Newman in 1982. Most of our favorite gear was very basic in that era, with a few new multi-channel amps and rack pre-amps showing up in slowly growing numbers. The new pre-amps were higher gain and more aggressive overdrive in performance.

For the progressive rock, fusion, and metal we were playing, the high gain overdrive was a challenge for the vintage amps Dan loved. With my knowledge in electronic engineering, I set out to design a solution to his overdrive enhancement with full respect maintained to the attributes of vintage instruments and amplifier characteristics.

His growing collection of favorite pedals also created a need for easy activation and routing. So my design included an ultra-wide gain range with a routing feature that all integrates into the pedal sweeping positions. It can activate other effect pedals as it sweeps through the “clean-overdrive” expression range and maintain a balanced level in the mix. This is beyond the capability of multi-channel pre-amps and amplifiers.

To fit modern framework, Sweep-Drive is a result of shrinking the large 80’s enclosure to the size of a popular wah pedal. Now available direct from Overtone works it includes my unique tube tone rendering, ultra wide range high gain overdrive, level and EQ compensation, 3 zone loop routing, lead master / toe boost, and the highest quality low noise components available from the USA and Europe.

Gary Phillips / Gary Phillips designs.