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The Double Hotcake has two Hotcakes 'A' and 'B' in one box. The A is a Bluesberry version, and the B a normal version (the "Bluesberry" voicing of the Hotcake has a slightly less buzzy edge at the onset of distortion, and often works well when guitarists have amplifiers with extra extreme treble boost, like some Marshalls for instance). Both have three knobs and a footswitch as with regular Hotcakes. If both Hotcakes are switched on together, the A Hotcake drives the B, and its controls are bypassed, but an extra Drive control is switched in to adjust the its gain. There is also an extra clipping stage and a reduction in low frequencies to make for a better lead sound in the high gain situation. The A Hotcake has the usual buffered bypass (the circuit becomes a buffer in bypass mode), while the B Hotcake is hard bypassed using gold plated contacts.
The first Hotcake was made in 1976, while creator Paul Crowther was in the UK with Split Enz. It is designed to leave the undistorted component of the guitar sound unchanged, while providing a nice fat distortion sound without resorting to a treble cut circuit which will also affect the guitar tonality.
With the Drive and Presence controls set to minimum, and the Level at around 2 o’clock, you should be hard pressed to hear any change in the sound at all when you switch the Hotcake in and out. You can get a clean volume boost by increasing the Level control. Increasing the Drive will give you a thick distortion sound with a little bit of edge to it, and the Presence control adds some mid-range punch to the sounds.
The Hotcake also handles chords superbly, just like an overdriven amp.
Note: Since 2008, The Hotcake has included a jumper switch system. This system allows the user to change the setting to The Hotcake Bluesberry specification. Using the same jumper switch system you have a Bass Accentuation facility. We advise the user that the settings should not be altered on a regular basis – the jumper switch system is in place to allow the user to fix a setting and is not intended as a constant switching option.
It is recommended that the Hotcake is patched between the guitar and amplifier, rather than into an amplifier’s effect loop.Generally speaking, if you are happy with your guitar and amplifier combination, the Hotcake will work well as a primary distortion.