Trotsky Drive Pedal

Beavis Audio Research/ Superpuma Trotsky Drive Pedal

With his passion for science and a zeal to innovate, Dano produced various guitar effects by using commonly available and inexpensive components easily found at a radio shack. He also publishes a bill of materials and assembly & prototyping instructions on the Beavis Audio Research website that can be very useful if you want to build your own DIY effects.

Some of his very popular projects are Noisy Cricket (a half-watt, battery-powered guitar amp with volume/gain/tone controls. Based on the LM386 chip ), Four Knob Rat (a distortion pedal with switchable clippers and lube), Huminator (a tool for eliminating hum from power supplies) & Trotsky Overdrive (a single transistor low gain overdrive).

Furthermore, $uperpuma is owned by Nate Garcia in Sacramento, CA. It started with Nate’s interest in musical electronics & soon he made a few products for his fellow musicians.
The catchy company name is derived by his old forum name & suggested by Dano. Nate is highly encouraged for his quality production by many in the DIY community, geniuses like Craig Anderton, RG Keen, Jack Orman who’s been his inspiration, have all great things to say about his work.

Also read: Digidesign Mbox 2 Micro USB Audio Interface

Nate made his first Trotsky Drive for himself with a new approach using the ferric chloride etching method he has been introduced to while working on various stompboxes. He did an etched Trotsky Drive and showed it to Dano. Dano loved the implications and etched modifications so much that he encouraged Nate to make a licensed version of the Trotsky Drive Pedal, resulting in the collaboration of the two.

With that sort of revolutionary name, it was impossible not to come back, Beavis Audio Research and $uperpuma announce that the Trotsky Drive Pedal is out and about again. The return has been made possible because of some NOS Russian transistors that were procured by Dano of Beavis Audio Research which helped to create the design, inspired by the ‘70 Electra guitar distortion module.

These pedals are being designed and customized by Nate of $uperpuma, so if you want to own this pedal you should contact him, but if you feel a little bit DIY-ish you can also make your own using the Trotsky build guide [PDF] published by Beavis Audio Research. The price of the Trotsky Drive Pedal has not been yet announced.

Read more: Bird Electronics DJ5 Micro DJ Mixer – A Quick Synopsis


The Trotsky Drive Pedal is a booster, overdrive, and even a fuzzy stompbox featuring KT312 Russian transistors, NOS Germanium diodes, a bright switch that adds a high-end tone (good for humbuckers), gain and volume controls.

Read here: ESI U46 XL USB Audio Interface [Winter NAMM 2008]


Volume Knob: To set up the volume high or low.

Drive Knob: It’s where you decide how much dirt you want to gain from the Trotsky. For a boost just to add a little sparkle, this needs to be turned all the way down, Start at about halfway for some rhythm-crunch, various effects can be attained by adjusting the dial.

Clipping Toggle: When you want to drive your amp’s overdrive a little more, this setting becomes very useful. While 2 NOS1n60 Germanium diodes placed in the UP position deliver a good crunch, the two LEDs on the downside give a big volume boost.

Bright Switch: The Trotsky has been designed to be versatile with different kinds of amps and guitars. This switch makes up for its great compatibility as it can be turned on or off depending on the high-end articulation of an amp. If the amp is already heavy on the high-end, switch it off & if it is not, worry not as it brightens up even the darkest of amps in just a flip of the switch.
Similarly, It is very useful if you’re switching between single-coil & humbucker guitars. For single-coils flip the switch off and for humbuckers turn it on to add the high end.

Power: The small yet powerful pedal uses standard, boss-style 9V power supplies. The center pin should always be grounded as the Trotsky could get damaged if it is exposed to reverse polarity.

Finish: Trotsky’s surface is hand-etched with acid so each one comes with its unique personality, pits, and imperfections.

From its useful circuit to the beautiful artwork, Trotsky Drive Pedal is a perfect example of beauty in simplicity. This little pedal could be a very useful tool in the arsenal of tones with its versatility. You can use it with any guitar, any amp anywhere!


Related articles:
Belkin Tunestudio for ipod
Elektron Turbo MIDI TM-1 Is it Worth It?
Dunlop SW-95 Slash Signature Crybaby Wah Pedal – Overview
Tonium Peacemaker portable DJ player