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Free The Tone Custom Series QA-2 Quad Arrow Distortion Pedal


The Quad Arrow is the modern guitar players distortion pedal. Its great for when you want one pedal on your board that can go from warm, but powerful overdrive to brutal distortion that packs a lot of punch. The best part is that you adjust the wide frequency range with the bass and treble controls to really hone your distortion sound.

2 Band EQ

Instead of a tone control, the Quad Arrow allows you to control the Bass and Treble separately. Backing the treble off will smooth out the sound and by pulling the bass back, you will give your guitar more 'cut' in a band mix for guitar solos. It really is up to you how you use the pedal because it can do the lead distortion sounds as well as it can do metal/hard rock rhythms.

Greater Headroom

The headroom that this pedal has it what makes it so different from other drive pedals. It achieves higher headroom with its internal voltage boosting that takes it from the 9v input up to 15v.

Higher headroom means less compression and a bigger more open sounding distortion. In simple terms it means you can get more volume out of the pedal before it distorts which results in a warm, creamy tone that will bring out the natural characteristics of whatever guitar you plug into it.

Holistic Tone Circuit

The HTC is a circuit inside the pedal that manages the signal so that the effected signal and bypassed signal will be exactly the same. This means no 'tone suck' and you can put loads of these pedals in a row without losing any signal or sound.

Here's what Free The Tone say about the QA-2

The QUAD-ARROW DISTORTION has a new power circuit that was developed for the FREE THE TONE Custom SOV-2 Overdrive.

The sound has been refined to produce a powerful distortion pedal. The voltage is boosted internally to ±15Vdc.

This distortion pedal features wild power made possible by this voltage. The effect follows the guitar’s output in a natural way, going from distortion to crunchy or clean as the guitar’s volume is turned down. It responds to picking nuances in the same way.

The TREBLE and BASS tone controls are provided to allow a wide range of tonal adjustment. Also, you will find that the signal-to-noise level is excellent for a high-gain distortion.

  • Distortion pedal with wide dynamic range and powerful expression based on ±15 Vdc internal boosting.
  • The effect follows the guitar’s output in a natural way, going from distortion to crunchy or clean as the guitar’s volume is turned down.
  • Although it is a high-gain distortion pedal, it features a powerful sound with a tight core that is never buried in the band sound.
  • Astoundingly excellent Signal-to-Noise ratio.
  • Exceptional sound stability by using long-life high reliability components.
  • NOTE: Due to relatively large current consumption (approx. 90 mA/9 VDC), we recommend to use an AC adapter.


While working in the lab and listening to a Van Halen album I was impressed by the way Eddie could create a variety of sounds by adjusting the volume control on his guitar. The more I listened the more impressed I became, and I decided that I wanted to create a distortion effect that would get crunchy or clean when the guitar’s volume is turned down, and deliver full distortion when the volume is turned up. At the same time the distortion would have to be bright without being too heavy, and it would have to deliver the required performance with any amplifier – even a small practice amp! In short, I had decided to make an effect pedal that would deliver tube amp sound.

It wasn’t easy. Achieving tube amp type distortion that responds naturally to guitar volume in an effect pedal is something many pursue but few achieve, and development was dragging on. Then one day I realized that the 9-volt power supply was the root of my problems, causing too much compression and robbing the sound of it’s edge. At that point the design approach shifted from “effect pedal” to “preamplifier,” so a ±15V power supply of the type used to achieve maximum dynamic range was incorporated, and after adding a bit more “special” technology, the sound I had envisioned finally became a reality. It took a very long time to create the QUAD-ARROW DISTORTION, but we believe you’ll appreciate the difference.


  • Input impedance: 1M
  • Output load impedance: max. 200
  • Terminals: 2× 1/4" phone jacks (for input and output), 1× DC9V input jack (for AC adapter)
  • Power supply: 9-volt battery (PP3/006P), AC adapter
  • Current consumption: approx. 90 mA (max.)
  • Dimensions: 100W × 123D × 52H mm (incl. protuberances such as footswitches, jacks, etc.)
  • Weight: approx. 340 g (excl. battery)
  • Accessories: warranty card, manual, battery (PP3/006P), 4x rubber feet
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