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Audio Kitchen Fake Plastic Trees Review

Audio Kitchen

Eric Lapp • Posted on 04/30/2021 • 3 min read

If the Fake Plastic Trees falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

We certainly hope so because that sound is sure to be sweet.

Not Falling Far

The London-based Audio Kitchen’s world-renowned amplifiers and pedals are among the most revered and highly coveted devices in the game. If you’ve never had the pleasure of experiencing some of these tonal gems, there’s never been a better time to get acquainted than with Audio Kitchen’s newest pedal, the Fake Plastic Trees.

The Fake Plastic Trees is the product of some keen experimentation by the crew at Audio Kitchen. Originally based around the circuitry of Audio Kitchen’s The Big Trees, the all-valve Class A amplifier and preamp, the Fake Plastic Trees came to life with a simple experiment: replicate EL84 tube output using a JFET transistor. What this process came down to was a way to replicate the tube output of The Big Trees using transistor circuitry – in essence, recreating tube power tone using a completely different set of materials. The result of this experiment is the device you see before you. It couldn’t be more exciting.

The reinvented circuitry and new tones from the Fake Plastic Trees make it stand out among other pedals as well as among other Audio Kitchen devices. With new Audio Kitchen tones to share, hardcore fans and newcomers alike are sure to quickly take notice. Audio Kitchen’s new take on their own boost and preamp sound make this a particularly special pedal.

Branching Out

The Fake Plastic Trees covers some new ground from its Big and Small predecessors. Audio Kitchen regulars may plug in, take a few strums, and instantly feel at home with the tones ready right out of the box. To get familiar, the Fake Plastic Trees quickly summons iconic Audio Kitchen tones that you will not find anywhere else.

The Fake Plastic Trees is quick to open up and tonally bloom. With some nice boost in volume and enhanced articulation, the Fake Plastic Trees busts out some new spots on the Audio Kitchen tonal topographical map. It does not take long to find a couple of your own tonal sweet spots from the get-go and if you’re looking for some pure amplified inspiration, the Fake Plastic Trees is a treasure trove.

Mixing the dials of the Fake Plastic Trees produces some interesting tones. Think of the Root, Branch, and Gain settings less like 0% to 100% parameter controls and more like settings that inspire more interactivity between tonal characters. Since the Fake Plastic Trees is not as clear cut as a traditional pedal, there is more experimentation to be had between the dials to home in on a sound. This experimentation is part of the Fake Plastic Trees experience, but it will never be a chore.

The Giving Tree

Working together, the Root, Branch, and Gain controls uncover new tonal interactions at every step and with every slight turn of a dial. The Fake Plastic Trees spans a spectrum from clean boost to organic overdrive, the pedal is a flexible device that can paint a tonal canvas all on its own.

Plugging the Fake Plastic Trees directly into a clean tube amp is where some real magic happens. The Fake Plastic Trees works to get the best out of your amp. At lower settings, the clean boost of the Fake Plastic Trees comes to life as this section of the pedal smoothly livens up clean amp tones and quickly gets loud. Luckily, the volume control of the Fake Plastic Trees reels in the output effectively to keep a close grip on the overall character of the pedal. The Fake Plastic Trees cranks up to some organic breakup as the controls are pushed, so if you’re looking for a natural form of overdrive for your straight instrument-to-amplifier setup, the Fake Plastic Trees is a great pick. The Fake Plastic Trees complements single coil and humbucking pickups as it thickens both types while retaining their unique clean character – twangy, biting, and everything in between.

At higher settings, the Fake Plastic Trees naturally transitions into some real fuzzy overdriven tones. This is where the kick comes in. Strutting its stuff, the Fake Plastic Trees fills the room with some natural-sounding high gain breakup. Those looking for a way into creating some authentic bluesy distortion with only a guitar and an amp, the Fake Plastic Trees will be that bridge between your fingers and the amplifier tubes. Along with the output provided from the pedal, the Fake Plastic Trees is especially responsive to your playing and lets your licks and riffs shine. Articulate and powerful, there is little this pedal cannot do when it comes to a good organic boost.

Audio Kitchen Fake Plastic Trees Final Thoughts

As the reputation Audio Kitchen has garnered through their one-of-a-kind devices today goes without saying, this thing is the real deal. A product of unique design with a tone all its own, the Fake Plastic Trees makes the Audio Kitchen sound more accessible than ever. Audio Kitchen’s reinvention of their own tube-based masterpiece is noteworthy by itself, but when fit into a pedalboard-friendly package? That’s another story. From its careful construction to its charming art, Audio Kitchen fans are sure to already feel at home when first plugging in and newcomers are sure to receive a warm welcome.

The experience of the Fake Plastic Trees is an awesome tonal trip that anyone can take. Check out the Fake Plastic Trees and hear tones as real as you or me.