The Son of Kong is an EQ/Gain pedal and DI of massive aural proportions, elegantly designed to provide a multitude of features, functions, and tones.
The brainchild of audio architect Arthur Sloatman, as Frank Zappa’s long time technician and friend, he installed this EQ circuit in all of Frank’s stage guitars beginning in 1979. Frank used these guitars throughout the rest of his road career. 30 years later, we are bringing the essence of that circuit to you with a few added features.
- 2 switchable channels (V1 and V2) with up to 15 dB 0f clean gain at V1 and up to 35 dB at V2.
- Super-flexible, fully parametric EQ with 20 dB of boost/cut, available to V1, V2, and the DI.
- Provides an almost limitless array of clean and distorted tones.
- 55 dB maximum possible gain to your amp’s front end!
- Studio quality, ultra-musical DI output.
- True Hardwire Bypass.
- Throughput to feed additional pedals or for amp switching.
- Output, Throughput, and DI can all be used simultaneously.
- Conveniently runs on a single 9V battery or up to 40V from an external power supply for increased head room and pristine transient response.
- 100 hour life on a single 9V battery
The Son of Kong puts you in complete control of your tone. Equally at home on the stage or in the studio, it’s perfect for guitars, basses, keyboards, and even vocals. The possibilities are staggering.
2 Gain Channels
The SoK features two switchable channels of gain, V1 and V2. The EQ is always in the V1 signal path. A switch allows the EQ to be placed in or out of the V2 signal path as desired.
Super Flexible EQ
The EQ provides up to 20 dB of boost or cut at the selected frequency. The frequency selection is infinitely variable from almost sub-bass frequencies to high frequency definition and edge. The selected frequency band can be as wide as 2 octaves or as narrow as a single note.
The SoK features two Gain Modes – DI (Low Gain) Mode and +20 (High Gain) Mode.
DI (Low Gain) Mode
DI mode allows for low gain through the EQ circuit resulting in increased headroom, perfect for big, clean tone shaping, for using the DI Output, and for feeding additional pedals in your signal chain.
+20 (Hi Gain) Mode
+20 Mode allows for increased gain through the EQ circuit, perfect for overdriving and distorting the signal and, as the last pedal in the chain, feeding a hot signal to an amplifier.
Though the SOK is capable of extremes, it can be used in a much more subtle and precise manner allowing for shimmering bell tones, wide clean leads, dark, vibey motown sounds, and everything in between. Even without using EQ or gain boost, the SOK will bring out more depth and detail in your tone just by passing through it.
EQ and Gain Switching
The SoK can be used simply to switch between your direct guitar amp sound in Bypass, to an EQ’d boost in V1, to a super boosted signal (with or without EQ) in V2. The channels can also be configured to have matched gains by turning down the channel volumes. Switch between bypass and V1 without adding EQ or Gain and notice how the SoK brings out more depth and detail just by passing through it.
The EQ circuit can be clipped to create a pleasing distortion. Turn the EQ gain fully clockwise, then tune your distortion by sweeping the frequency and widening or narrowing the Q to achieve a variety of distortion sounds – from big, thick and heavy to sharp and nasal. Use the Channel gain to set your post-distortion level. Back off the EQ gain to reduce the amount of saturation.
The SoK can be used to switch between amps by utilizing the Throughput. By default, the Throughput is always active. Set the internal THRU MUTE jumper to ON. Now, In V1, both the Throughput and the Main Output are active while in V2, the throughput mutes when leaving only the Main Output active. By turning V1 fully counter-clockwise, when V1 is selected only the throughput will send signal and, when V2 is selected, only the Main Out will send signal. This gives you the following:
V1: Amp 1 with unaffected Throughput signal (Main Output turned down). V2: Amp 2 with Main Output signal (Throughput muted)
Same as Amp switching but using 2 channels on the same amp. Switch between clean and distortion, rhythm and lead, dry and tremolo, etc. V1 can be turned up to allow both channels to receive signal simultaneously. See Trem Chorus below.
Using a 2 channel Amp with tremolo, send the Main Output of the SoK to the Dry channel and the Throughput to the Tremolo channel. Set the tremolo to mid speed, mid-depth. Set the EQ to a low mid boost.
With Channel 1 engaged, turn V1 gain all the way down. You should hear only the tremolo channel (Throughput) when you play. Start bringing up the V1 gain until you hear the two channels phasing with each other. It is possible to achieve Leslie rotor type sounds this way. This happens because the EQ’d circuit is naturally out of polarity with the throughput which causes comb filtering. Note that some amps have 2 channels that are already out of polarity with each other. In this case, you will not hear this effect as the two channels will be flipped back into polarity.
Frank Zappa often tuned his guitar to the room’s natural resonance to invoke room shaking sustain. Do this by presetting a narrow Q, high boost at the room’s resonant frequency (sweep the bass Frequencies till you find it). Likewise, you can tune the EQ to any single note that will have huge sustain when you hit it.
The SoK can be used as an insert effect on a channel strip of a mixing console. Use an unbalanced Insert Send into the Instrument input of the SoK. Use the EQ to mold, sweeten, and distort vocals, guitars, or other signals. Use the V1 or V2 volume controls to increase or decrease the output level to match the input level. Return the signal back to the Insert point from the Main output of the SoK.
The SOK is an exceptionally musical DI perfect for basses, keyboards, acoustic guitars, pedal steels, mandolins, and all other instruments requiring a DI. Plus it can make use of the the SoK’s flexible EQ circuit, allowing you tailor or transform the sound of your instrument. The DI does not pass signal when the +20 boost is engaged. By default, the DI output does not pass signal when Bypass is engaged to allow for “True Hardwire” bypassing. The DI output can be switched to always pass signal by changing the internal jumper, however, the Bypass will no longer be “True Hardwire”.