The CC-1™ features two fixed low gain Soft Clipping Stages preceded by a variable gain (maximum +22dB) linear preamp to compensate for low output pickups and provide extra drive to the soft clipping stages if required.
The advantage of using two low gain Soft Clipping Stages rather than hard diode clipping is that they are effectively (and automatically) removed from the audio path when the signal level drops below their transition point - ensuring a complete “cleanup” if the guitar volume is reduced. As the signal level increases due to stronger playing the soft clips gradually engage and start to add harmonics - more signal = more harmonics - but the loudness continues to increase as there is no clamping of the signal peaks. Dynamics are therefore preserved and superb musicality results.
Following on from the Soft Clipping Stages is a three band active EQ using frequencies I have specifically tailored to suit guitars. Being active, the three tone bands can be both cut and boosted as desired with the zero or neutral point being 12 o'clock on each control knob. I have included a second linear boost stage after the tone circuit to compensate for any reduction in overall volume when the tones are in "cut" mode.
The benefits of this active tone circuit, compared to the usual passive (Cut only) tone circuit is that the three bands are completely independent and there is no inter reaction between the Bass, Middle and Treble tone controls.
An output Master Volume is included to allow for perfect matching between bypassed and boosted/EQ’d signal level and there is plenty of signal headroom available to overdrive amp inputs if required.