ALPHA DOG

VINTAGE DISTORTION

Click the different parts of the pedal to learn more.

Demos

Features

Reviews

Music

Circuit

Story

Component

Sourcing

Discontinued

Versions

VIDEO DEMOS

TECH SPECS

DIMENSIONS:

Enclosure dimensions: 2.37"W x 4.37"L x 1.16"H  (60 x 111 x 29mm)

With knobs & jacks: 2.6"W x 4.4"L x 2.1"H  (66 x 111 x 53mm)

POWER:

Standard 2.1mm, negative-tip 9V to 18V power supply or 9V battery.

 

INPUT IMPEDANCE:

1M-ohm

CURRENT DRAW:

~5ma continous

+30ma surge for 4ms during on/off switching

FEATURES & CONSTRUCTION

TrueSoft  Bypass

Variable HCC

Custom Alpha Pots

DualMode Switching

We combine durable true bypass relay switching with an effect-side FET switch for pure and smooth switching.

Variable HCC circuitry allows you to fine tune the harmonics, compression, and clipping character of your tone.*

*Applies to HARD/SOFT controls only.

The GAIN, FAT, HARD, and SOFT controls are built in the USA with custom-designed tapers specifically for the Alpha Dog.

DualMode Switching can convert the footswitch into momentary operation.

To use, wait 5 seconds, then press the sequence tap+tap+hold until LED flashes.

USA Made PCBs

Our circuit boards are made in the USA by Advanced Circuits (large PCB runs) or OSH Park (small PCB runs).

PRP Audio Resistors

We used low noise, low inductance resistors made for audio circuits by Precision Resistive Products in the USA.*

*Alpha Dog & Alpha Dog Glass only.

All VFE Pedals are built with these quality components and features:

 

- Rugged diecast aluminum enclosures

- TrueSoft + DualMode true bypass switching

- Industrial-grade Carling switches & Neutrik audio jacks

- Alpha pots soldered directly to PCB

- 5% WIMA film capacitors & 1% metal film resistors

- Cardas Audio ultra-pure, eutectic silver solder

- P3 system phantom-power compatible

- Built by hand in Puyallup, WA, USA

- 1 year warranty on parts & labor

REVIEWS

WRITE A REVIEW TO ENTER OUR GIVEAWAY!

MUSIC by VFE ARTISTS

THE CIRCUIT

TECHNICAL WALKTHROUGH

HOW THE ALPHA DOG CAME TO BE

THE STORY

The very first Alpha Dog pedals were built back when VFE was just a hobby. The earliest design can be found in a small batch of dual-pedals I made in 2009 called the "Killer Rabbit". It was paired with an overdrive circuit that would eventually become The Scream. The first stand-a-lone units were named "El Ratón", in obvious reference to the Rat pedal that I used as the basis for my experimentation.

 

The evolution of the Alpha Dog included the discovery or development of technologies that I now use in many other pedals - single-sided asymmetrical clipping, fine tuning of how our variable HCC circuitry works, as well teaching me lessons in making a quieter true bypass switching system.

 

From the beginning, I had a clear vision of what I wanted the Alpha Dog to be - the ultimate dirt box for the lead guitarist. Through the years I've made continuous updates until finalizing my original vision in the v2 unit.

-- Peter Rutter, founder of VFE Pedals --

We are committed to building products with the highest quality. That commitment also means that we ask the hard questions about how the components we use are made, and what role VFE Pedals can play to promote fair treatment of workers across the globe.

Component - Manufacturer - State/Country

Enclosures - New Sensor - Made in Taiwan

Drilling/Painting - Pedal Parts Plus - Louisiana, USA

Switches - Carling Technologies - Made in Mexico

Stock Potentiometers - Taiwan Alpha - Made in Taiwan

Custom Potentiometers - Alpha Products - Made in California, USA

Circuit Boards - Advanced Circuits - Made in Colorado, USA

Small-Run Circuit Boards - Advanced Circuits (USA) or OSH Park (USA)

Relay Switch - Panasonic Electric Works - Made in various countries, all in Asia

Semiconductors - Too many to list - Made in various countries, primarily in Asia

Film Capacitors - WIMA - Made in Germany

Other Capacitors - Too many to list - Made in various countries, all in Asia

Blue Resistors - Xicon - Made in ??? (distribution warehouse in Texas, USA)

Red Resistors - Precision Resistive Products - Made in Iowa, USA

Audio Jacks - Neutrik - Made in China

Knobs - Sourced from Small Bear & 4site Electronics in USA - Manufacturers unknown

Solder - Cardas Audio - Made in Oregon, USA

LEDs - Sourced from Pedal Parts Plus - Manufacturer unknown

Stickers - Sticker Giant - Made in Colorado, USA

All VFE Pedals are proudly assembled by hand in Puyallup, Washington, USA - just 30 miles south of Seattle.

Please email us at sales@vfepedals.com if you have a possible new source that will be an upgrade in terms of quality and social justice (worker conditions, environmental costs, etc.). Also, please contact us if you have documented evidence of any of these components being made in poor working conditions. VFE Pedals is a very small player in the electronics industry, but we want to play our part in promoting the fair treatment of workers throughout the world.

Here is the list of the older versions of the Alpha Dog circuit:

 

#1 - Back when VFE was a hooby, my first attempt wouldn't fit into the thinner enclosures we use now. So I combined two effects into one box. One of these pedals was called the Killer Rabbit, which combined the effects that became The Scream and Alpha Dog.

 

#2 - The original was called "El Raton". The circuit was basically a Proco Rat with added features, such as dual 3-way clipping switches and a variable bass/gain FAT control. When driven hard, the G mode glitched out and produced a pseudo-octave effect. The M mode used the body diodes of dual mosfet transistors.

 

#3 - The first production unit kept the same basic concept, but improved ease of use with better taper of the controls. The M clipping mode was improved to use a combination of true mosfet clipping with the body diode for more output and even harmonics. An internal trimpot was added to smooth out the glitch of the G mode at high gain settings.

 

Here is what is new in the current version:

- Variable HCC circuitry in place of toggle switches for more control over harmonics, compression, and clipping characteristics

- Variable HCC circuitry allows G mode to be tweaked for glitchy pseudo-octave or smooth it out and add even harmonics, without needing an internal trimpot

- Modified FAT control for more tonal range & ease of use

- American-made, audio-grade resistors

- Dual-Mode switching

Copyright VFE Pedals 2014

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