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NAMM 2024: Pigtronix unveils the revamped the Philosopher’s Tone 2, an optical compressor with a switchable Si/Ge drive and blend control to take you to “a new plane of tonal enlightenment”

 Pigtronix Philosopher's Tone 2.
Pigtronix Philosopher's Tone 2.

NAMM 2024: Pigtronix has unveiled the Philosopher’s Tone 2, a second-generation version of the brand’s compressor pedal that arrives with an expanded feature set, with two clipping options for its onboard gain stage.

The Grit control was one of the thing that made the original Philosopher’s Tone a super useful addition to the pedalboard. Having gain on-tap is never a bad thing for a compressor/sustainer, and it's something players of all styles can benefit from.

But with the Philosopher’s Tone 2, Pigtronix has taken the idea further, giving the Grit section its own independent footswitch, and players not have the choice of two clipping modes, silicon or germanium, selected via the Voice switch on the enclosure’s front.

The Grit circuit is designed to complement the sustainer circuit, with the germanium model delivering “smooth top end and rich midrange response” to your electric guitar tone.

There’s no question the Philopher’s Tone 2 is now packing a bit of heat, with overdriven tones from the edge-of-breakup to the “overflowing” but it doesn’t lose sight of its core mission: compressing your guitar’s signal, and ultimately making those dynamics work for you.

That’s the idea, and the addition of the Blend control lets players fine-tune their sound, dialling in as much or as little of their uncompressed signal to find the right balance for their playing style – balance being the keyword when it comes to compressor/sustainer pedals. Players might want sustain, some levelling out, but they still want the pick attack.

Pigtronix Philosopher's Tone 2
Pigtronix Philosopher's Tone 2

The control setup is straightforward, with the Volume control setting overall output, Treble applies 6db of boost or cut to your frequencies at 2kHz, allowing you to take control of the high-end. Blend is as discussed but is only active when the Grit stage is disengaged. Worth noting that now. Sustain dials in how much sustain you want, Grit dials in the overdrive.

Jacks are mounted on the top of the unit, and you’ve got LEDs to let you know when the pedal and Grit stages are respectively engaged.

Pigtronix Philosopher's Tone 2
Pigtronix Philosopher's Tone 2

Running at 18V from a pedalboard power supply, the Philosopher’s Tone 2 has no shortage of headroom. It’ll draw 100mA. It might seem like a world away from the classic Dyna Comp paradigm but Pigtronix’s quick-start guide promises that you can get all those old-school Nashville Telecaster tones, dialling in a bit of the germanium drive to heat things up a bit.

It does single-coil funk and the Open Americana setting – unity gain, everything at noon, mild compression – sounds like it would work a treat as an always on sweetener for adding warmth and that certain something to your sound. The Philosopher’s Stone 2 is available now, priced $199. See Pigtronix for more details.