Nordvang Custom Mid Air
Nordvang Custom wanted to capture the tone and feel of the TS side from the Gravity but add a layer of functionality. So instead of making a regular single TS style pedal, they set out to create a new pedal-design-platform, with stacked PCBs, that would allow them to squeeze as much “TONE” as possible into a compact sized enclosure, and at the same time serve as a platform for future pedals.
They decided on the Hammond 1590B3, which is a size between the classic 1590B and 1590BB. This allowed them to add an extra footswitch for a separate boost circuit, besides 5 knobs and two toggle switches.
The TS circuit stays true to the OG. TS-10 and nails those classic mid pushed tones. We have of course added some features making it more versatile and appealing even to those that might not dig a classic TS.
On the front, in addition to the standard “drive”, “tone” and “level” knob, you will also find the “air” knob. This controls the cutoff frequency of the overdrive section and enables you to push the classic TS mid-hump to higher frequencies, giving you a glassier tone.
On the other end of the spectrum the “lows” toggle switch gives you two additional levels of low-end boost.
Unscrew the lid and you will find a 4-way dipswitch for further tweaking the tone of the TS side.
- Clean output boost. If you primarily use the TS at a lower gain setting and always wished you had a tad extra output on tab, this is for you.
- Clipping: Open setting, removes the clipping diodes from the circuit. If you seek the most dynamics and least compression.
- Clipping: Dipswitch 3 and 4 gives you a variety of clipping diode settings. Choose between symmetrical clipping, using either 2 or 4 diodes, or two different options for a 3-diode asymmetrical clipping structure, with the higher clipping threshold on either the positive or negative half cycle.
- Clipping: See #3
The boost circuit is pre-drive and can be used independent of the main drive circuit. It’s a “clean” boost built around an op-amp and not meant to color or change your tone but give you more of what you already got. The boost knob controls the gain of the boost circuit, from unity with the gain at minimum to an 18dB boost, with the gain knob at max. On the front you also find a three-position toggle switch labeled “eq” which gives you three different voicings to choose from. Full frequency, low-mids and high-mids.
Instead of just going with the buffered bypass from the TS-10, which consists of three NPN transistor buffer stages in series, we took another route. We took inspiration from the Gravity, where both the TS and the K-circuit have buffered bypass, which means that with the pedal “off”, you have two buffers in series. We really like the buffered tone of the TS transistor-buffer followed by the K-circuits op-amp buffer.
The new buffer circuit consist of a NPN transistor input buffer with an input impedance of 510K Ohm, like a TS, followed by an op-amp output buffer stage, with an output impedance of 100 Ohm.
Because not every guitarist likes a buffer and, in some situations, true bypass is preferred, we wanted to make the buffer switchable. This is done via a dip switch found on the inside. As an extra feature, if the pedal is set to “buffered bypass” and the power fails, it will automatically switch to true bypass and let signal through. This will also happen if the power fails, while the pedal is engaged.
We use high quality components, Vishay metal film resistors, WIMA audiophile capacitors, Taiway switches and Pure-Tone jacks.
- Dimensions 4.57 in x 3.03 in (116 mm x 77 mm)
- Supply current: 100 mA
- No battery operation
- Buffered or true bypass