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Fulltone Full-Drive 2 10th Anniversary MOSFET, Brand New Old Stock (NOS)

Fulltone Full-Drive 2 10th Anniversary MOSFET, Brand New Old Stock (NOS)

Regular price $ 259.95 USD
Regular price Sale price $ 259.95 USD
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This version of the Full-Drive 2 celebrates 10 years of Fuller’s most celebrated stomper, here with a new ‘mosfet’ mode in addition to the standard model’s sounds. According to Mike Fuller, in ‘vintage’ mode the mosfets add richness in the mids for a more ‘Dum***’ like lead tone, among other textures. From that, we assume he means Alexander Dumble’s ultra-rare, ultra-desirable amplifiers, used by the likes of Stevie Ray Vaughan, Larry Carlton, Eric Johnson and Robben Ford. It’s a big claim, and a tantalizing one at that.

The other part of the story is that in ‘fm’ mode, the mosfets are said to impart a ‘chimey, open, stinging Texas blues sound’. The FD2’s heavy-duty steel chassis is now a lovely shade of ‘red metallic’ in place of the regular blue, and is home to a collection of knobs and switches which are all of the very highest quality. The pots are bolted securely to the steel chassis – meaning minimum internal damage from a stray stomp – and then point-to-point wired to the rest of the components, using custom-made, heavy-gauge copper wire. The switches are triple-pole, double-throw types, which provide the connections needed for true bypass when the pedal is off, and the inclusion of an LED when it’s on. Mike Fuller is extremely picky about his true-bypass switching, pointing out that most pedals, even the more expensive ones, don’t truly leave the signal chain when they are turned off. It could be argued that with the right buffer, true bypass isn’t the be-all-and-end-all for effects pedals – and in your average pub gig, its arguable whether or not people would notice – but that argument is never going to convince the obsessives. In any case, all you TB fans are safe here.

The Full-Drive 2 has switchable ‘overdrive’ and ‘boost’ modes, meaning two sounds at your feet. The volume and tone controls are global, while the boost mode has a dedicated pot for extra level and distortion when you step on the corresponding switch. With the central mini-switch set at either ‘vintage’ (slightly peaked in the mid frequencies) or ‘fm’ (flat mids), the overdrive control provides the gamut of textures, from just a hint of break up to a healthy amount of gain. In that respect, the Full-Drive 2 has a wider range of usable gain than many pedals; likewise with its overall frequency response, where some overdrive devices – notably standard TS808 and TS9 Ibanez Tubescreamers– can tend towards a very middly tone, with not much in the way of subtlety in the high end, nor weight in the lows. Here, the overall envelope is wider and far more natural sounding, with a ‘tone’ pot that’s more of a presence control, according to Fuller, which affects the high-end harmonics.

Flicking the second mini switch from ‘standard’ to ‘mosfet’ adds punch and clarity to the whole shebang, a difference which is more pronounced at higher gain levels. This is the major change from the standard FD2 model, and although relatively subtle – it doesn’t totally transform the pedal – those of you who are decidedly more tweaky about fine adjustments will appreciate the mosfet mode’s increased muscle and definition in the mid frequencies: Robben Ford fans take note. According to Fuller, the mosfets make the pedal clip in a slightly more symmetrical manner, whereas the big deal with the original Fulltone is its asymmetrical clipping. What that means in practice is that in ‘mosfet’ mode, the Full-Drive 2 trades some of its extra harmonics and elasticity for a more direct, smoother distortion.

The ‘comp-cut’ setting provides a non-compressed version of the tone, which can be useful for an effective clean boost (regulated with the overdrive knob again). It’s fantastic for country or clean blues sounds, for example; a somewhat more direct tone and response. In that respect, you get the biggest, boldest, most open and precise drives using the ‘comp-cut’ and ‘mosfet’ mode; good for rockier sounds that need optimum note definition.

Conversely, the springiest, most transparent, chewy, vintage- style drives and dynamics are available with ‘flat mids’ and ‘standard’ mode.

Where the Full-Drive 2 Mosfet really excels is that however you set it, the intrinsic sound of the guitar is never lost, and at lower gain levels especially, picking dynamics really shine through. Humbuckers or single coils sound equally impressive, each displaying their own character: this pedal just oozes class. It’s definitely at its best through a valve amp at gig volume, and it’s also worth mentioning that you can run the Full-Drive 2 at 18 volts (just make sure the adapter is centre-negative) which increases its dynamics, adding headroom to give an even more open, amp-like feel. If you’ve struggled with how ‘regular’ pedals somehow ‘squash’ your amplifier’s dynamic range, this is a feature you’ll want to try for sure.

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