The Kestrel Soft Distortion is an OPAMP based circuit with a transistor boosted input section, and is capable of a wide range of gain: crystal clear boost, light natural drive, deep organic overdrive, or a cutting & defined light distortion.
The basic timbre of the Kestrel is very bright and clear, so I’ve incorporated a high-cut circuit (labeled “SHADE”) to dial back the treble as gain & clipping are increased.
The Kestrel also has two complementary voices which can be selected via a top mounted mini toggle switch. The lower gain setting (switch down) has a full low end, gives a gradual drive increase as the gain knob is increased, and has a ton of volume available. The higher gain setting (switch up) is grittier in character with a slight low end cut that helps the Kestrel maintain focus. This setting has a touch less output and a brighter, sharper top end.
This batch of Kestrels feature high quality Burr Brown OP2228 OPAMPs, a mix of silicon and germanium clipping diodes in an asymmetrical arrangement, and NOS BC547 input boost transistors. The cases are finished in a copper & gold hammertone powder coat, with hand-hammered copper top plates which have been etched, lightly patinated, and top coated with a matte clear powder coat. Black Marconi style knobs and amber LEDs blend with the Autumn copper vibe.