Is it hot in here or...
Durham, North Carolina’s very own Dusky Electronics is a sharp bunch of musical innovators. With an impressive lineup of effects, Dusky has honed their craft specifically in the realm of drive and dirt. The fuzzy creations Dusky produces rewrite some of the classic fuzz formulas we’re used to. From octave fuzzes to treble boosts, Dusky has blazed their own trail in the realm of all that is dirty and distorted. Among this collection of boost and breakup is the Dusky Electronics Toasted V2. Let’s dive in.
An Unexpected Journey
Toasted is Dusky’s entry into the pool of modern transparent, tube-like overdrive pedals. A popular category of pedal these days, Toasted makes its case with an unconventional interface and a distinct driven tone. This pedal deviates from the norm with a new take on natural-sounding amplifier overdrive. Where other transparent drives and treble boosts may follow a similar path in physical circuity and design, Toasted utilizes MOSFET gain stages to naturally summon authentic tube-like overdrive. Toasted is designed to interact with your pickup configuration and amplifier setup in ways that are complementary and unique to your sound. With a three-dial, one switch design, it wastes no time in getting into the action.
Fanning the Flames
Toasted features three controls – Heat, More, and Color. This simple trio of dials covers a lot of ground when it comes to shaping the unique overdrive character Toasted is capable of.
The Heat control shapes the general gain structure of Toasted. This control will be your main toggle for the overall character of Toasted. At lower settings, Heat will roll you through warmer, more transparent overdrive with some grit. The twinges and crackles produced lower on the dial show off Toasted’s ability to breathe some warmth into your tube amp. This pedal’s utility to toss in a dash of crispiness to a clean signal already makes it a useful addition to a board. Push the Heat knob past noon and you’ll find yourself in louder and dirtier territory. From one end of the dial to the other, Toasted brings out organic-sounding tube breakup at any setting.
The More control supplements the Heat control. More adjusts the volume output of Toasted, making the pedal overall easy to dial in and control. The More dial will work in tandem with Heat to give you a responsive handle over the pedal and work together to make the best of your guitar and amplifier. Where other distortion pedals may be uneven in volume when turned on and cranked, Toasted has no such problem. More and Heat give the pedal a very flexible and responsive distorted character to fall in line with your amplifier easily. No unwanted jumps in volume here.
The Color control is the secret weapon of Toasted. Gain structure and volume control aside, Dusky went an extra mile to enhance the experience with this dial. Color works to fill in the gain of your signal where you need it most. This equation is not strict science or a hard and fast rule, rather, it can come down to your amp settings, pickups, or simply adjusting Toasted further to your exact specifications. Lower on the dial, Color can complement brighter signals produced by single-coil pickups – the opposite being the case for darker humbuckers. The Color control gives the pedal more nuance than a traditional drive, which contributes to the overall experience splendidly.
The beauty in Toasted’s control setup is that the knobs are less “zero-to-ten" than your average overdrive. Toasted encourages more mixing and melding, resulting in a richer drive experience. The interaction between Heat, More, and Color gives Toasted a particular versatility that you may not immediately find in other drive pedals.
Dusky Electronics Toasted V2 Final Thoughts
The Toasted V2’s overall outlook on tube-like amplified overdrive differs from a traditional dirt pedal. With this different angle taken on transparent and distorted overdrive, Dusky Electronics brings something new to the table. Toasted’s overdrive formula inspires more tinkering and experimentation than a traditional amp-in-a-box or treble boost pedal to get players in on a deeper effect experience. This pedal rolls through distinct crackle, singe, and burn just as its name suggests, and even on the hottest of days, Toasted’s tone is sure to be welcomed on any board.