Some cool pics and nice words on The Gear Page from some Williams MK11 users: The Gear Page - Williams MK11 OC81D
Great Review of "Whole Lotta Fuzz" OC81D Tonebender and Ranger received by email 03/2013
Today I received the Williams "Whole Lotta Love" Tonebender and plugged her into my Marshall 2266 Combo. My immediate thoughts on this pedal were the following: the Williams "Whole Lotta Love" Tonebender is the Nastiest, Rudest in your face fuzz pedal I've ever played or heard. I've spent the past three years pursuing the ultimate Tonebender, chasing down every Tonebender I could find. At first I started with the J.M.I. models but these lacked the drive and attitude I longed for. Thus, I left the J.M.I. models behind and went into the build your own clown models, however, this served as an exercise in futility. Once again I found a lack of attitude and rudeness and felt rather discouraged. Today my journey ended, I plugged my Gibson SG into the "Whole Lotta Fuzz" and transcended into the realms of tone heaven. This pedal is the best Tonebender on the market that I've come across in my three year search; Nick's quality and craftsmanship are simply first class.
If you're a musician with a deep appreciation and love for vintage hand wired pedals you need to check out Williams Audio. This pedal marked my third purchase with Williams Audio. Nick places the same first class craftsmanship, dedication and care into each effect pedal. I'm also the proud owner of the Williams "Ranger" Treble Booster, this pedal serves as an amazing boost for lead guitar playing but I use it for "bluesy" rhythms predominately. Once again Nick hit it out of the park with this unit, a beautiful piece of first class craftsmanship that can be used for soaring lead lines or "bluesy" rhythms and riffs. If you're a creative guitarist with a knack for vintage tonality you need to be sure to check out Williams Audio for all your vintage needs!!!!
Review of "Whole Lotta Fuzz" OC81D Tonebender received by email 01/2013
The fuzz pedal is incredible Nick! Absolutely amazing. Thanks again! I've spent crazy amounts of time playing with it. It's a cheesy thing to say, but it is the exact sound I've been looking for! I have a tumblr account and a few guitarists who are massively into gear and stuff follow me, so I've posted a wee review and a link to your website, I hope you don't mind. But honestly, it is the greatest sounding thing I've ever played through. I couldn't even begin to imagine how great the OC81D version sounds.
Review of "Whole Lotta Fuzz" OC81D Tonebender received by email 01/2013
....So i got the MK11 today....and there is one problem........I LOVE IT TOO MUCH!!!!! I seriously just stopped playing it forthese few minutes to type the email! It is that awsome!!! Pretty much NAILS the Page tone from the LedZep BBC Sessions album. Thanks for the awsome pedal
Great descriptive Review of "Whole Lotta Fuzz" OC81D Tonebender received by email 01/2012
Hi Nick, the MK11 arrived today! Actually I would have got it yesterday if I'd been at home. I've been playing it for the last four hours, and I just can't believe how many different tones and distortion colours are in that thing. The tone circuit is absolutely perfect. OK, the Les Paul and the Telle are the stand out winners with the MK11, any wonder the Yard Birds alumni used it so much. The Telle through the AC-30's normal channel with the MK11's tone pot turned off is nothing short of perfection. Every time I moved the Telle's Volume or Tone pot I found another sound. What I especially love is using the MK11's volume control as a master volume for the amp. I had the Vox running pretty hard at one point in the proceedings and the perceived volume was reasonable. Like the Supa, this pedal has a tonne of power in the volume pot. I love running the Supa with the Fuzz turned down and the Volume up to push those little Gibson amps. The MK11 is so musical, it makes mundane, heard it a thousand times before riffs sound so good, it's like you just heard them for the first time. The MK11's natural brightness tends to be a little over whelming with the little Gibson amps, but the tone pot is voiced perfectly, so I adjusted the top end and out came this huge sound. You can use so much of the tone pot, usually on a pedal you can dial in a sweet spot and there's not much else in there. With this MK11, the tone pot is focused so well that, depending on which guitar you're using, there's usable tones all over the pot sweep. This pedal MAKES me want to play. I had so many things I wanted to get done today, but all I'm going to do is play that MK11. I have a '68 Bassman that has a pair of early '70's Celestion G-12 30's in the cab. It didn't matter which guitar I ran through that amp it all sounded incredible. I think the closed back cab smoothed things out. I could nail those early Zep sounds, and there were all these other sounds as well. I couldn't be happier Nick. There's only one problem that I can see with this pedal, it's ruined me for pretty much all the other pedals I have. I was playing it side by side with the Supa, and between them, I was finding all the sounds I wanted. I still think the Supa and my Strat are made for each other. Your soldering skills are wonderful Nick, the inside of that pedal is like modern sculpture. Well that's my happy little rant. Thanks tonnes Nick.
Review of "Whole Lotta Fuzz" OC81D Tonebender received by email 02/2012
Just wanted to say that My MK II is the finest , best sounding Fuzz I have ever had and I have had a bunch, great work...... .I have had several, including Pete Cornish (Which I have still, the G2) Skinpimp, Skreddy and Pro Analog and yours is by far the best one, I love it and will recommend it to anyone I can, keep up the good work.
Review of Supa Tone - received by email 12/2011
Nick, how can I ever thank you enough. Your Supa Tone sounds better than my original ever did. There are so many sounds and tones hidden in that box. I have spent a large portion of the day trying out Strat's, Les Paul's, Tele's and a 335 through an AC-30, '60's Bass Man and three little Gibson Amps from the early '60's and all combinations sound fabulous. The Supa works really well in front of a clean amp, but it is truly exceptional when the amp is overdriven . The little Gibbo's with the Les Paul sound like a wall Marshalls at a reasonable volume. I am just so impressed.
Review of Vintage Tone MK11 OC81 Classic and Williams FZ-1 Fuzz Tone - received by email 06/2011
"Hi Nick.......... WHERE can I write a review of this incredible, incredible pedal? Infinite sustain. Sweet harmonic overtones. Smoothness when you want it and snarl when you need it. A lot of pedals just thin out when you back off the guitar volume. But this pedal just takes it up a notch for all of us Jimmy page wannabees. Backing off the volume makes the pedal downright nasty. As in Led Zep nasty. I have four different Stratocasters and a Les Paul Custom. My amps are a Mesa MK IV, Fender deVille Tweed with 4 x 10’s, and my newest addition a limited edition Deluxe Reverb Reissue with Alnico Jensen. No matter which combination that I use, the pedal growls, snarls, spits and mauls. It truly is all that you promised it would be. The workmanship, materials and wring are the best that I have seen. And yes I do have other “boutique” pedals."
Review of Vintage Tone MK11 OC81 Classic and Williams FZ-1 Fuzz Tone - received by email 06/2011
"Pedals are just awesome. Exactly what I was after, never understood the meaning of the phrase 'the sound in your head' until now. I can't wait to get them going at proper volume with the band over the weekend."
Follow-up email a few days later.......
Review of "Whole Lotta Fuzz" OC81D Tonebender received by email 02/2011
'I finally got the pedal today, and honestly, I'm blown away. I try to keep a level head on new gear acquisitions, but this one is so obviously a cut above that I can't help but be giddy by the tone coming out of my amp. I have another boutique MKII pedal, but your MK11 sounds completely different. With my other pedal, the fuzz is very buzzy; it's like a digital distortion. Your MK11 is a very smooth fuzz that is incredibly sensitive to the volume control, something I don't get with my other pedal. This just nails the thick distortion on Led Zeppelin I, and I'm just in love with it. Thank you!!!'
Please also check out a great review on The Gear Page left by the same person: The Gear Page - Williams MK11 Review
Review of "Whole Lotta Fuzz" OC81D Tonebender received by email 01/2011 from Japan
I received MK II Tonebender.
I plugged and played.
Overall, it's really great.
I am so satisfied.
I have never owned original Sola Sound MK II, but I have ever
owned many clones.
Some of clones sounds like Early Zeppelin, but not similar. Your pedal is similar. My Telecaster screams "Dazed and confused" with help from your pedal.... I love it. ......'
Review of Williams MK111 Fuzz received by email 12/2010
I received my MkIII and it is fantastic! It has such a great tone and exactly the sound I've been looking for. Its versatility is beyond what I could have imagined ranging from vintage rock to modern crunch and makes the perfect addition to my setup; it is by far my favorite pedal. Thank you for making such a professional grade pedal and for delivering 100% satisfaction.
Review of 'Whole Lotta Fuzz' MK11 Vintage Tone w/ OC81D's left on The Gear Page 14/10/2010:
.'...I chose the rarer OC81D model... named in a web link as "the one you want" to get "that sound". That said, I expected a "very good" simulation of the sound we all know and love from, most notably, Jimmy Page on the first Led Zep album. Plugging my new pedal into a variety of amps these past 24 hrs, I got that classic Led Zep "Whole Lotta Love" tone, and a whole lotta more... the pedal is amazing, the most musical fuzz/OD I've ever played (and I own several).
The pedal is simplicity, two knobs - level and attack. In front of a non-MV amp, like a Plexi, the level becomes the MV. The attack is called sustain on the original Mk IIs... and that is exactly what it is. Think violin... it's a glassy feeling as the note sustains... sweet. The odd thing about using one of these is the counter-intuitive act of turning the guitar down to get the searing lead... but who am I to argue with Mr. Page... besides, it works!
The touch sensitivity of the beast allows the guitarist total control of the gain and fuzz at the guitar. The pedal is set it and forget it.
Running it with a Strat, a Tele, and an LP yielded wonderful results... and not just with Plexi-type amps, but with my Fender PRRI and Swart AST Mk II. The pedal, for me at least, replaces the need for a separate OD, a separate dirt box, and/or a separate fuzz box. It is all of those things and much more.'
Full review can be found here: The Gear Page - Vintage Tone MK11 Review
Feedback Received by Email - 'Whole Lotta Fuzz' MK11 Vintage Tone w/ OC81D's - 08/2010
'Hi Nick, I really love my Vintage Tone MKII with OC81Ds. Sounds amazing, it's´s a bit less aggressive, warmer and louder than my other MKII's. Sounds great with my P90 Les Paul and my Tele. Thank you very much.'
Review of MK111 Tonebender - Received by email 06/2010
'Hi Nick. I got the Mk3 the other day, and WOW.. another superbly dialed in bender. real rich, warm but still has the searing aggression, and the tone control is great. Played it live Sunday and it cut thru well. Real versatility. Thanks again Nick....'
Review of MK11 Tonebender left on The Gear Page 05/2010
'This post is a review of Williams Audio's mkii tonebender (williamsaudio.co.uk and TGP user alteredsounds). *I ordered this pedal from Nick Williams the first week in April and it arrived from Great Britain about 2 weeks later.
I was so happy with the transaction, that I decided to write a review of Nick's pedal and his business.
First the pedal...I ordered the custom OC81 mkii, played it and then waited for the honeymoon to end. The long and short of it is this, this is what I always dreamed a mkii tonebender would sound like. My very first pedal back in 1995 was a black wedge of cheese shaped Vox tb reissue. The Williams tb is what I always wished the Vox would have sounded like. The Williams sounds like rock stardom, it is the sound that we all have in our heads. It is less wild, less ballsy than my Hudson and much smoother and fatter than my Vox ri. It is the smoothest tonebender that I have played. It sits wonderfully in front of my Dr. Z amps, and (surprisingly) cleans up better with my guitar volume than any mkii I have tried. It has a great cello-like quality to it. It doesn't sound like a cello, but it has a haunting resonance and grittiness in the lower mids that I love. The Williams has a refined sound compared to the other mkii's that I mentioned, making it my top fuzz for nearly the past month.
As a pedal maker Nick Williams stood out to me in a couple of ways. *First, he never took more than a few hours to answer an email, despite the time difference between England and Kansas. Secondly he has stayed in contact with me after the fact to make sure that I am still happy with my purchase. I guess what makes Nick stand out in a world of boutique pedal makers who generally provide stellar customer service though is this, the man can flat out tune a fuzz pedal. *There are a million mkii's out there, all with fanatical attention to detail, but I can't imagine that there are more than a handful of people who have more of a knack for tuning one than Nick Williams. I think that Nick might be the next big thing (line forms to the right).'
'Just wanted to share a great discovery i've made recently. You know, and it's been said many times before on this forum that it is a great time to be a Fuzz junkie, with so many good builders offering great products. A couple of weeks ago i was looking around this forum to shop for another Tonebender type pedal. Accidentally i stumbled upon a tread from Williams Audio, (alteredsounds), offering some Tonebender's variant (vox tonebender MK2). I decided to contact the builder to ask questions like we all do.
From there i was treated with the best customer service i've had in a long while. Nick (the builder) is a great guy to deal with and very knowledgeable. He answered all my questions and left me very confidant that i wanted to purchase a product from him. I ordered a VTB (Vox tonebender MK2) and also his MK3.
He is located in the UK and his web site is :http://www.williamsaudio.co.uk
I received my pedals in a very reasonable delay and boy was i pleased with the result. It is looking great and the inside is pure work of art. I know that a pedal can sound great without the inside being pretty but it sure doesn't hurt (!!).
I will report on the MK3 in another post later on but for now i'll concentrate on the VTB. I was lucky enough in the last 3-4 years to have owned or tried some great MK2 variant : a DAM, Skinpimp MK2, Soulbender (MK3 i think ?) an original Sola sound Tonebender, a re-issue (90's) Vox Tone Bender and a real 60's Vox Tone Bender. I will not do direct compare because i didn't have them side by side at the same time and it is also a matter of taste but i will say this.... the VTB belongs with the best vox tone bender examples i've tried and that's for sure. I will try to shot a little video in the next couple of days to illustrate better then with words but i'll try to describe a little. It had that great MK2 tone we all know but (to my ears anyway) was warmer then some and also a bit more refined. It still has that very addictive sustain but also can clean up to some very usable overdrive'ish Zep tone. Not a Fuzz Face clean up but a very nice and usable tone, so not a one trick pony.
I also want to add that i have no affiliation with the builder, but i just wanted to share a great experience, both in the interaction with the builder and with the product itself. Also to give Nick a bit of exposure that i think is well deserved. He is a one man operation and i expect he will be getting very busy (if not already...) very soon !!
So more to come on the Mk3 and also some vids to come (both on the VTB and on the Mk3)'
FF also made a demo You Tube video for his VTB Tonebender: VTB Demo
Review of VTB Tonebender left on The Gear Page 05/2010
I'ts here and in the words of that bird on friends........OH.......MY.......GOD!!!!!!! I am going to see Dinosaur Jr tonight.......but now i want to stay in and fuzz out! (its that good!)
I bought the last VTB from ebay and it has to be the most pleasant buying experience i have had, Nick has been helpful and i got the very same VTB in the you tube demo AND got my name wrote on the insides! This really is a FANTASTIC fuzz! '
Feedback Received by Email 05/2010 - MK11 Tonebender OC81
'What a great tonebender. It's much like the old ones...nice taper on the pots, allowing more regions of the tonebender saturated sound. The OC81's are really rich but hang together nice, allowing guitar volume knob usage. Great mids, lower mids, not too woofy, and the sizzle on top. One of the best mk2's I've heard, and I have lots of them.'
I have many more great reviews and Emails and will add more over the coming months. Thanks to everyone for providing these reviews and feedback.