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DSM & Humboldt Black Clouds High-Gain Drive Engine Preamp Pedal

A sophisticated "lead tone machine" distortion stompbox with built-in 'X-Gate', powerful 3-band EQ, dual boost function & more!

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Product Description

DSM & Humboldt have expanded their compact stompbox line with the Black Clouds high-gain preamp pedal — their vision of what a "lead tone machine" should be! Aggressive and articulate, the Black Clouds is forecast to drench your tone with ultra-tight, modern distortion without sacrificing the organic amp feel that all contemporary metal players crave.

Capable of producing the most amazing chugs, the Black Clouds also boasts a handy built-in noise gate ('X-Gate') designed for chopping breakdowns, a powerful 3-band EQ, plus a dual boost function for adding even more gain and volume! Three modes of operation allow you to perfectly integrate the Black Clouds into your setup too.

Tactile, Amp-Inspired Controls

  • Pre Boost: Controls the amount of input boost from 0 to 30dB, with a slight mid boost to add definition. Use it if you want to raise the gain and compression when using the boost function. This knob is not functional if the pedal is bypassed.
  • Gain: Dictates the amount of gain, ranging from dynamic crunch to high-gain mayhem!
  • Level: Influences the output volume.
  • Master Boost: Sets the amount of output clean boost, from 0 to 20dB. Use it to raise the volume when using the boost function. This control is still functional if the pedal is bypassed, and can be used as an independent clean boost.
  • Pre Tone: Use this knob to balance the amount of high or bottom-end entering the drive circuit, and compensate for different pickup characteristics for a consistent tone. Clockwise, the low-end is reduced and the top-end is enhanced (for tighter, more aggressive chugs). Counterclockwise, the bottom-end is enhanced and the top-end reduced (for fatter, fuller single lines).
  • Bass: Controls the low frequencies below 300hz, +- 10dB.
  • Mids: Dictates the mid-range response, between 300 and 2khz, +-12dB.
  • Treble: Allows you to control the high frequencies above 2khz, +-15dB.

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'X-Gate' Feature/Switch

X-Gate is a passive noise gate that chops silent passages instantly, optimised for "Djenty" percussive breakdowns. It also adds crossover distortion which introduces another layer of texture to your tone.


  • Voltage: 9-18V DC, centre negative
  • Current Draw: 40mA
  • Pre Boost: 30dB
  • Post Boost: 20dB
  • Input Impedance: 500k
  • Output Impedance: 1K
  • Weight: 360g / 0.8 lbs
  • Dimensions: 9.5 x 12 x 5 cm / 3.74 x 4.7 x 2 inches
Elliot Stent author picture

Written by Elliot Stent

Customer Reviews


1 review





Mr Wei Wen Lai10th Jul 2023

A powerful Distortion between Crunchy JCM 800 and modern Djenty Metal Tone, with noise gate and a really flat boost function, which can work alone as a Clean Boost. Great sound, Great Value. The Bypass LED was not working after 1 day, after fixing it, still the best Distortion pedal I bought this year.

Value 5Looks 5Durability 4Sound 5

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Andertons Music Company's Registered Office: 58-59 Woodbridge Road, Guildford, GU1 4RF. Andertons Music Company acts as a credit broker and not a lender and only offers credit products from Secure Trust Bank PLC trading as V12 Retail Finance. Not all products offered by Secure Trust Bank PLC are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Andertons Music Company is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, firm registration number 716155. Credit provided subject to age and status.