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Naoto - Electric guitar pedal - 80s Overdrive/Distortion

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All audio clips were recorded with a handcrafted tube head and 2×12 cabinet equipped with Celestion Creamback 75 speakers set to an extremely clean setting.
The guitars used in the clips:

Fender Stratocaster (equipped with 3 Fender single coil pickups)
Gibson Les Paul Custom (equipped with 2 Gibson humbucker pickups)
Fender Telecaster American (equipped with 2 Fender single coil pickups)

Clean sound guitar/amp with no effects at all


Clip 1
Guitar: Fender Stratocaster (bridge pickup)
Genre: Rock
Gain: 7/10
Tone: 6/10
Volume: 4/10


Clip 2
Guitar: Gibson Les Paul (bridge pickup)
Genre: Heavy Metal
Gain: 10/10
Tone: 6/10
Volume: 4/10


Clip 3
Guitar: Fender Telecaster (bridge pickup)
Genre: Rock
Gain: 2/10
Tone: 7/10
Volume: 4/10






Naoto is a distortion pedal that leads back to the sound of the 80s.
The tone concept of the distorted guitars of that era is crucial; how to define it!? Solid but sharp, thick but scratchy… a perfect cross between overdrive and distortion, or can be located halfway between a Marshall JCM800 and an ADA MP1 preamp. Drawn by Antonio Marsano, designed with the collaboration of Kazuya Yamaguchi.
Like all Colombo Audio Electronics pedals, Naoto is also fully customizable.

The scratch of the tiger
The character of Naoto is based on the color and the intensity of the guitars present in the vinyls of the golden age (80s): Bon Jovi, Survivor, Boston, White Lion, Europe, Def Leppard, Journey, Ozzy Osbourne… Just to name a few. Certainly not all the guitarists of these bands used the same equipment, yet the characters of these guitars all have something in common.
Colombo Audio Electronics has given a name to this distortion character sharing: Naoto.

A touch of Japan

“Luca, why did you think of a name and graphics inspired by Japan for this pedal?” is one of the most common questions about this pedal; the answer comes directly from Luca Colombo:

“I was born in 1983, music has always been part of me and my family in my house and having a good memory of my early childhood, I love to remember the winter afternoons in the second half of the 80s on my grandparents’ sofa watching TV, mostly Japanese anime, I really liked listening to the opening and closing themes of those TV shows, I clearly remember, with a little luck, sometimes some of the themes were the original Japanese ones and even if I remember very few today I don’t forget the rock imprint of some of those songs that marked my childhood and probably my musical life, in those years in my head the sound of the electric guitar was defined and I wanted to tribute this thing with a pedal. I’m not a lover of Japanese anime, simply those TV shows make me feel good because they make me take a great dive into a wonderful past that I had the great fortune to live. The character of Naoto Date in”The Tiger Mask” series, is one of the best written characters for children/teenagers ever, with this ambiguous double personality but never predictable. Every time I stomp on my Naoto, a part of my brain traces the tonal characteristics back to those legendary and carefree years, bringing with it a touch of Japan.”

Overdrive or distortion?
The question is very often discussed. It is common to think that low saturation means “overdrive” and the pedals with more saturation are called “distortion”.
Actually the distortion is obtained with very different principles, but without going into purely technical details, Naoto, sits exactly between these two worlds: an incisive overdrive like a distortion, or, a dynamic and controllable distortion like an overdrive.

Interactive controls
Naoto features 3 interactive controls to shape your tone precisely.

  • Tiger: set the output level, the powerful output stage allows to offer a boost of about 20db to drive your amplifier into saturation.
  • Mask: set the gain of the distortion, low levels offer a warm and full-bodied distortion; high levels return scratchy and sustained sounds. Dynamics always remain a strong point even at very high Mask levels.
  • U.T.D. (Ultra Tiger Drop): works on the presence of the signal; this control, in conjunction with Mask, set the overall tone-shape. Low values generate warm and thick sounds, high values can reach sharp and incisive tones without exceed in unusable sounds, interesting sounds can be obtained even at extreme settings.