In recent times Ive noticed the trend away from complex high powered multi channel switching amps and an increasing fashion for guitarists to instead have a pedalboard of varying levels of sophistication running into a single channel classic amp running loud and clean. One only has to spend a few minutes trawling websites like Huge Racks Inc and The Gear Page to see that this is the predominant fashion amongst many players who don’t have the resources to have multi amp rigs and a roadie down the Dog & Duck on a weds night blues jam.. I myself decided to go this way with my rig in 2012 after realising that I was fed up of running four cables between the guitar and amp and that it was a simpler rig to set up quickly on a busy stage.
I put together my pedalboard in 2012 and although I didn’t manage to gig I was rehearsing with a band for several months and as much as I liked my choice of pedals, the main shortcomings were…
1:The weight, going on public transport with a pedalboard this size and weight was akin to carrying a car door around with you. I did have fun when I bumped into an arrogant commuter, it was a bit like a scene from the movie Gladiator…
2: I was never happy with my two choices of distortion, the Suhr Riot is a beautifully made pedal with the construction standards of a Swiss watch however tonally, it was rather knarly, It did cut through a mix well, but at the end of the day it didn’t sound like me.
In contrast my Blackstar HT-Dual 2 channel distortion sounded pretty much like the front end of a JCM2000 series Marshall (my former main amp for the last 10 years), with the added benefit of the ISF control which although is a midrange filter, it seemed to tighten up the low end. However it was on the whole rather over compressed and if Im being frank, its knobs and switches although robust were a bit cheap feeling. In order to make the controls stay in the same place, I had to rubber band them together. In rehearsals it would disappear in the mix with a cymbal tastic drummer and on the whole felt not up to it beyond living room use. On the plus side it took pedals well. being easily overdrivable by my Boss SD-1
I tried numerous Distortion pedals as a substitute, the most disappointing being the much hyped Bogner Ecstasy pedals, after an afternoon spent at Guitar Guitar in Epsom I hd high hopes for the Bogner, but the Ecstasy Red was on the whole too fizzy and lacking in serious low end to compete with either unit. It had so many controls and yet ran off a 9v-DC supply.
I had high hopes for the Wampler Plextortion, but I tried it against a modern Marshall Guv’nor plus and struggled to find why it was 3 times the price.
Then I saw a Youtube video of the Goosoniqueworx Seventh Heaven or in logo speak 7thvn.
Designed and built in Singapore by the wonderfully named Ravi Goose (a former guitar tech who spent some time in the Aerospace Industry) The Goosoniqueworx 7thvn is a small run boutique distortion being made in very small numbers and only sold in 3 guitar shops in the world at this time.
The 7thvn has a gain, volume and 3 band eq with a presence control like an amp. it has 2 choices of eq shape, or a presence or feedback control
Its most unusual aspect of its design is that it uses JFET (Joint Field Effect Transistor) circuit. Most 9 volt pedals are clipping diodes or in the HT Duals case an actual preamp with a valve based EQ.
The 7thvn on the other hand has a JFET circuit, which is actually very amp like. However it sounded rather mediocre at 9 Volts DC, but when I switched it to 12 v DC, it really came alive, tonally it was more transparent than the Blackstar, but had a full low end fatness than made it blow away the Bogner. It really made the guitar come alive and the switching was excellent. The other big shock is how low the noise levels were when I stopped playing, almost as if the pedal had a noisegate built in?
My only complaint is that it isn’t really a 2 channel distortion, the red mode is high gain, however there is a huge disparity between gain stages, so the green channel sounded more like Peter Bucks Rickenbacker/AC30 tones on REMs Green than anything Ive ever heard. It wasn’t quite close enough to give the versatility of a Clean/Crunch/Lead set up which the Blackstar exceeded at so well. Its sort of a clean/low warm overdrive/hi gain rig. So I could imagine wanting to use another pedal for crunch tones.
Size wise its smaller than both the Bogner and Blackstar and as Im planning a smaller pedalboard with a smaller footprint, the 7thvn has earned its keep as my go to box for hi gain rock tones.
Price wise on grey import its about the same as the Bogner and its better made.
File under “worth checking out” if you can find one.