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Kestrel Soft Distortion (Blue Hammertone)

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 deep blue hammertone powder coat. Zinc top plates have been lightly patinated for an aged nautical appearance and top coated with a matte clear powder coat. Black Marconi style knobs and orange LEDs complete the aesthetic.

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