by MI Effects
The Megalith Delta high-gain distortion is a design like no other. All of the tone of the MI Amplification Megalith Beta 180W amplifier distilled down to stompbox form by none other than the designer himself. The Megalith Delta contains all of the tightness and heavy bottom-end giving you that complex and sophisticated signature Megalith tone.
From Michael Ibrahim:
“So many amp-in-the-box designs leave so much behind. It takes years of R&D to truly understand the variables behind great high gain tones. But by designing the amplifier from the ground up, I was able to really grasp how to make a complex, sophisticated high gain sound that kept all the nuances, huge bottom end and the clarity and character of the top end. Without this knowledge, it is very hard to capture all of the feel and tone that, as a guitarist, we come to connect with in our amplifier. Factors such as operating points, dynamic range, scaling of clipping thresholds, output impedances, and intrinsic capacitances due to things like the miller effect etc. all went into the design of the Megalith Delta. It is not a standard JFET copy of a preamp circuit, but for a design that captures the power of the Megalith Beta amplifier.”
Gain Control: The Megalith Delta starts in mid-gain territory. THIS IS A HIGH GAIN PEDAL! BACK AWAY NOW IF YOU ARE SEARCHING FOR THE VINTAGE BLUES TONES! The GAIN control offers a wide sweep in gain, from solid rock tones, to serious crunch, to every dark shade of brutal imaginable.
The stock, un-boosted tone is very fat in the low mids and is the Megalith’s thickest tone. This is a great mode for getting the punchiest rhythm sounds.
The GAIN control has a responsive interaction with each of the three EQ options (EQ SWITCH, CONTOUR, and THREE BAND EQ), allowing you to dial in, for example a slightly woolly tone at minimum gain, or flat-out brutality at maximum.
Gain Boost: The second footswitch of the pedal, BOOST, takes the pedal from a mid-gain base to its highest gain. This footswitch is equivalent to flicking over to the HIGH GAIN setting on the Megalith Beta amplifier. This BOOST mode not only adds more gain, but also tightens the response up considerably, with more of an upper mid emphasis.I thought by adding this gain boost as a foot switch, it gives you the option to really step up the crazy. I also figured that mid to high switching was a lot more useful than low to high, as there are already plenty of great options out there for the lower gain sounds. Let’s face it – someone interested in the Megalith Delta isn’t going to be too stressed about missing the low gain mode!
Contour Control: The CONTOUR control is another unique feature of the Megalith design. In the Megalith Beta amplifier; it affects the frequency response of the phase inverter in the power amp. I went to a lot of effort to recreate the CONTOUR control in the Megalith Delta pedal to mimic this response by designing a phase-inverter like stage, and integrating the CONTOUR control into it.Fully clock-wise, it’s fat and midrangy, with a slightly rolled off top end. As the CONTOUR control is turned down, the mids start to scoop out, and the sub-bass frequencies tighten up. This is a great control for further refinement of the overall high gain tone. You can also think of this as an alternate midrange control. Try running the MID EQ control high and the CONTOUR low (also adjusting the EQ shift), and visa versa for a huge range of tones.
Three Band EQ (Bass, Middle, Treble): The combinations of the EQ section will give an impressive number of high gain sounds, just like the Megalith Beta amplifier. The first thing to note about the three-band EQ on the Megalith Delta is that each control has a wider sweep than your typical tone stack. Small changes to these controls can have a large impact on the tone. They are also highly interactive. That is why I recommend using this feature to fine-tune your overall sound. Refer to “How To Dial In Your Sound” in the manual.
EQ Shift Switch: The EQ Shift is a unique feature of the Megalith’s tone controls. This switch shifts the EQ’s bands, allowing you to control different frequencies. Each position has a particular signature tone, and is useful for different things. The middle position “0” shifts the midrange up, and adds quite a bit of low-mids to the sound. This is great for really fattening up the tone, and works particularly well with boost pedals. Position “1” voices the tone stack closer to a traditional British voicing. There’s still a good amount of midrange in the tone, but the tone is more balanced. Position “2” is more of a traditional American voicing, with a more scooped and shifted midrange.
Output (Volume) Section: A big part of the Megalith Beta amplifier’s huge gain sound is the 160 Watts of headroom! Of course, this would always be the limitation in trying to emulate a high gain amplifier to stomp box form. But by adding voltage doubling circuitry in the Megalith Delta pedal, it allows the 9V supplied by battery, or DC adaptor, to be increased to 18V within the pedal’s circuitry. This has the advantage of producing the crushing low end without mush, much like the 160W output of the Megalith Beta does at the amp level.
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