Cult Is Coming!


Of the four pedals new I announced at NAMM, Cult is probably closest to my heart— it’s my favorite overdrive circuit. If you’ve watched many of my videos, you’ve heard it. I even built it into a few guitars, including this one, this one, this one, and this one. And now Cult is coming in pedal form.

It’s no secret that 90% of today’s overdrive circuits are derived from the Ibanez Tube Screamer. Screamers are great if you want to compress your signal for consistent and predicable results. But Cult provides the opposite effect, expanding your guitar’s dynamic range rather than compressing it. It’s great for players who vary their touch and guitar-knob settings for maximum tonal variation.

Cult is sort of the mutant grandchild of the single-transistor boosters of the 1960s, including the Dallas Rangemaster. It’s no Rangemaster clone, though — the parts, values, controls, and tones have little to do with that classic treble booster. But Cult has the crackling presence and extreme dynamic response you only get from such minimal germanium-transistor circuits. (Guitar Player magazine went so far as to call it “the most dynamic overdrive we’ve heard.”) The pedal heard in this video is a final factory prototype, and the units now in production look and sound identical.

Have a listen:

As the video demonstrates, Cult lets you veer from crispy-clean to spatter distortion just by adjusting your guitar’s volume control. But my favorite way to use it is to set the gain so that you can go from sparkle to splat just by altering your touch, as heard in this video:

Cult with be available from Vintage King in the next month or two. There’s more info on the Joe Gore Pedals product page.

21 comments to Cult Is Coming!

  • Aww, I was really hoping for a late January/February release! I’m waiting in line at Vintage King and really looking forward to putting the Cult in the place of my Fiendmaster.

    I’m sure it will be worth the wait!

    • Joe

      Thanks! Well, it’s definitely in the same quadrant of the tone galaxies the Fiendmaster — just more extreme on all fronts. 😉

      • I agree that every player must own at least one Rangemaster, but would you need one in the board if Cult is in there? I did a treble booster purge recently, settled on the Fiendmaster, and sold the rest.

  • rob the quiet

    Man, this pedal really gets it. Nice bright and punchy sound. With all the $thousands being spent on digital modeling with rockstar presets, this is the kind of box that brings it back to the fingers, where it belongs. On my wish list along with Filth. Guessing it’s perfect if you have PTB tone on the axe.


    • joe

      Thanks, Rob! I’m actually a great believer in modeling, but these sort of minimal, hair-trigger overdrive circuits whose response varies according to nuances of touch are, to my ear, one era where digital doesn’t quite go.It’s no accident that all five pedals I’m currently offering fall right into that zone. 🙂

  • Jjamie Ray

    This sounds like all of the nuances of a shifting, crisp winter morning with the suggestion of the sun behind an overcast sky on the Canadian prairies. Will this circuit (& the Filth circuit, for that matter) ever be available for building into a guitar? Would so very much love to have those knobs & sliders near to hand. Hoping . . .

    • joe

      Hee hee — have you ever considering a marketing copywriter career, Jjamie? Or are you one already? 😉

      Oh man, I’m dying to do these as built-in guitar effects! Tony Lott, the clever engineer I work with at Cusack Music (who manufacture my effects) even whipped me up a version of Duh attached to a tone pot, small enough to install in almost any guitar.

      Filth would be harder, because it has four controls, which means lots of guitar modification. Whereas the single-knob effects could simply be substitute volume controls, with the distortion activated by a push/pull pot.

      • Jjamie Ray

        Job offer accepted. Now I need to work on my Green Card . . .

        I wouldn’t endure one day as a copywriter, because I’d be compelled to extol rubbish. However, hearing the Cult circuit on your Kitschcaster or Les Paul conjures that squishy visceral feeling, flipping through the new 1974 Sears or Eaton’s catalogue. Struck by a glimpse into a hitherto-unknown world: a Marlin or other LP-style sporting on-board phase, distortion, tremolo switches.

        Rich & crisp crunch, even barely implied, is so musical & organic. Like an old cracked bell, or the buzzy resonance of an African xylophone. I very much appreciate this artisanal approach in an overdigitized world. Your labours are really paying off here.

  • wildkoba

    what a gorgeous reading of that song. what would it take to get RT in for a jam?

  • That Germanium Overdrive sounds great! Just watched the video. Nice double-stops in that demo too, I’m a sucker for pickless electric. Cool site, I have no understanding of electrical engineering so pedals like this are forever magic to me – love it haha. Might be time to buy some new gear!

  • James

    Hi Joe,

    Curious if you have an ETA on the release of the Cult pedal? I’m eager to buy one.


    • joe

      Oh man, like DAYS! They’re out of production, and they’re stocking them at Vintage King. We’re finishing the product page right now. Argh! Soooooooo close! (Filth and Gross are also being released, and we’ve restocked Duh after the last run sold out.)

    • joe

      Thanks a million, James! Mark has been of on tour for a couple of months, but we’re planning to get together in June to finish the record. So I hope it’s just a couple of months away. Glad you’re liking the work in progress! 🙂

  • James

    Great news Joe – if I was itchin’ to get into DIY pedal building, and wanted specifically to build a germanium fuzz, which project out there do you think would be a good complement to the Cult and least redundant in sound?

    • joe

      Hiya James — thanks! This may sound like a weird answer, but one of the things that works nicest with Cult is a good clean boost. (Especially if the boost comes right after Cult in your pedal chain.) Cult + boost = gigantic fuzz tones The clean boost project here on this site works especially well. 🙂

  • James

    Alright! Thanks for the answer!

  • wjmwpg

    Though I completely understand that this is probably quite low on your list of priorities, thought I’d share that most of your parts kits on Mammoth can’t be added to a Cart (and purchased), because Mammoth either no longer stocks, or is currently out of, one particular small component contained in the kit. It’s unfortunate that you can’t simply buy all the other parts in the kit by adding the kit to your Cart, but it appears to be all or nothing.

  • wjmwpg

    For the Project 1, 2, 3 Kit it’s the 10K ohms : Xicon 1/4 watt (Resistor)
    For the Fiendmaster Kit it’s the 22uF : 25V (Nichicon Electrolytic Capacitor)
    For the Fuzzface Kit it’s the A500K : RV16AF-41-15R1-A500K

  • wjmwpg

    Hey Joe,
    I contacted Mammoth directly about the kit/parts issues and it appears they’ve fixed the problem on their end. Now to building a boring boost! 😉

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