ALPHA DOG

VINTAGE DISTORTION

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Demos

How It Works

Features

Tech Specs

Story

Music

Discontinued

Versions

ALPHA DOG BLOCK DIAGRAM

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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.

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.

All VFE Pedals are built by hand in Puyallup, WA and include:

 

- Rugged diecast aluminum enclosures

- DualMode standard or momentary switching operation

- Industrial-grade Carling switches & Neutrik audio jacks

- Alpha pots soldered directly to PCB

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

- Ultra-pure, eutectic silver solder

- 1 year warranty on parts & labor

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

BY THE NUMBERS:

14 RESISTORS

17 CAPACITORS
1 INDUCTOR

4 TRANSISTORS

10 DIODES

1 OP AMP

2 INTEGRATED CIRCUITS
7 POTENTIOMETERS
2 SWITCHES

3 JACKS
2 CIRCUIT BOARDS

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.

 

Over the years, the developement of the Alpha Dog has let to the evolution of technologies that I now use in many other pedals - single-sided asymmetrical clipping, variable HCC circuitry, as well as 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 current unit.

-- Peter Rutter, founder of VFE Pedals --

MUSIC by VFE ARTISTS

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