While the SENSEI was designed to be the first in the signal chain after the instrument, I've intended the LoCo Motive to be as a platform at the end of gain based effects, dirt pedals in the pedal chain.
LoCo Motive is a little bit of study over a modified Dumble amplifier tone stack, a good amount of love for the 70's and 80's rock sound of Trainwreck and Soldano amps, and a whole lot of lessons learned from my SENSEI preamp. Three cascaded Class A transistor amplification stages with the gain limiter working in parallel after each of the first two. This allows the circuit to be louder with higher headroom before it would break up in clipping, and a more even overdriven sound at higher gain settings . Yes, it is a loud pedal! More of a pushing than self overdriving. With the three band amp style tone stack, two character switches and a footswitchable voicing option, gives a lot of tone possibilities but it also keeps its own personality.
All the control knob functions are described in their name and they act just like on a tube amp. High Gain and low Volume sounds darker, low Gain and high Volume will be brighter, but you have the Treble knob plus the Presence switch for fine tuning. That's all we want from a good drive pedal right? A balance. To smoothly overdrive a bright clean amp, or boosting some more sparkle in an already driven but dark amp. The Motive is very much a mids rich circuit by its nature, but with the Middle knob turned low, you can drastically scoop the mids. With every tone control at noon I was careful to balance the sound as transparent as possible, and from here you can tweak the tone stack knobs to your liking.

About the -\+ sign.
With Volume and Gain set to this position, the pedal should be clean and relatively at unity gain, considering the character difference between the two channels. One more trick I could do here thanks to the parallel gain, is that turning down the gain the sound will not go to zero. With the Gain in the -\ zone the Motive will simulate the character of a smaller amp instead of cutting out totally. For this "amp shrinking" effect, start experimenting with all the tone controls and the Volume at maximum and Gain at minimum, Channel on Boost and Presence on Smooth. As you turn up the gain, the amp is getting bigger. Now you can dial out what you don't need.

Presence switch
Besides the Normal, two more options to balance the overall treble content of your sound with the character of the amp and the pedals is used with. Glass is boosting treble content for the dark sounding amps, and Smooth can be used with a bright sounding amp to avoid shrill sound when boosted or overdriven with the Motive. Fine tune it with the Treble knob.

Channel switch
It is rebiassing the second amplification stage with two more options that I like. The Bright is more cutting through, good match for humbuckers, and the Boost is just right for fattening up single coils. Hint. When playing with higher gain and looking for a good rock tone, give the Boost to the Raw to go totally train wrecking or Smooth out the Bright and you have sold an overdrive crunch.

Voicing footswitch
With all the knobs at noon, Channel on Warm and Presence on Normal, JAZZ (Blue) is the tight bass, high headroom sound for the seekers of the holy grail D amp tone. With the same settings, the ROCK (Red) is a more even and slightly more powerful sound, with more body and sparkle that breaks up quicker. Switching between the two, can also take place of the boosting or taming function of a dual channel amp that shares the same tonestack.
Test it and some Presets I can recommend
Put all the knobs at noon, Channel switch on Warm and Presence on Normal. This is the setting that has a good amount of volume boost, a good touch sensible overdrive and the most neutral response from the toggle switches.
Play with the switches now. When found a tone to your liking, now you can dwell in that D amp style tone stack. I strongly believe that that's the magic of the original amp. You can't simply make a bad sound of it. All the knobs have that pleasant musical role. Wherever you turn them it's just a new sound and not an "meh, I'll never use this setting".
You can now decide if you want a boost, an overdrive or a low gain distortion with the Volume and Gain.

Setting Examples

  • Basic Push sounds
Power Push Start here. Select the channel according to the pickups of your instrument. I like the Boost with single coils and Bright with humbuckers.
Clean Push This is where I hear the SSS sound. Back of from mids about 15/20% to set the headroom with your amp. A little mid scoop will give a more clear clean sound.
Drive Push
This is where I hear the ODS sound. Now turn up the mids with 15/20% to give a little more drive to your amp. You can also match here the channel with the pickups of your instrument.

  • Signature sounds
Gravitating When low gain touch sensibility is not working against us.
Sultans Scooped mids for that fingerstyle playing that gets you shiver in the dark.
Plexoid Plexi on steroids, 'cause we all ended up as music lovers.
Kloned The mids that go clean all the way up of the volume swipe.

Don't forget the Voicing footswitch! If you like one, you will like the other. They are just a tad different, enough to offer you a little dynamic change while you play, on a footswitch.

Standalone boost or overdrive pedal.
Pedal platform as the final touch of the tone before the amp.
Three band amplike tonestack for your overdrive or distortion with two voicings.
"Under your fingertips" analog preamp when going directly to soundcard recording. (instrument input)

How does it sounds?
Sam and single coils
Sam with Les Paul
The Motive pedal is using mechanical True Bypass.
You can use it with up to 18 Volts adapter for more headroom.
Please power the pedal with a proper DC standard negative center, 5.5x2.1 plug power adapter, or 9V battery.
AC voltage will damage the circuit. Please be aware of this, as a faulty usage will void warranty.
Any kind of modification to the circuit or any type of physical damage made intentionally or by user negligence will void warranty.

How to buy it
I build the Motive as a complementary tool to my SENSEI preamp.
When there are available units built, it will be listed on my Reverb shop.
Use the below Buy button to be redirected to the shop.

Have a Musical day!
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