tc electronic Cinders Overdrive (2024)

I've decided to buy the TC Electronic Cinders because when I watched and listened to the online reviews/tests I felt that there was something there that was close to my dream sound for use on a future pedal board.
And this dream sound is the overdrive channel of a Fender "The Twin" (red knob) with its crisp transparent colour that keeps the tone on each string distinct - wether you play chords or single notes.
A band buddy some 30 years ago described that sound with the words: "Ey cool, that's overdrive and at the same time clean!"
(I was playing the Dual Showman (red knob ed) at that time which is basically the same thing as "The Twin").

Now what can I say... The Cinders really does that! Of course in a limited way but the sound is really there. (Of course I can't boost all of the equaliser bands separately or give the whole signal an overall presence push, but...)

Okay, for testing the Cinders at home I'm going into the Orange Crush 20 (Clean channel proper clean, Dirty channel slightly in crunch territory) with a self built Tele-style guitar with Fender Tex Mex pickups. Cinders at one o'clock each dial.

It does wonders to the clean where it produces the afore mentioned Twin transparent crunch and it certainly drives the crunch channel a good deal further resulting in some kind of boost which is a good alternative standalone use for this pedal imo.

If I'm using the dirty channel at higher gains the Cinders will drive it into fuzzy distortion territory just short of signal breakup if I put it past four o'clock on the drive.
Tone control has plenty of headroom. I've not used it past the two o'clock setting as yet. The same applies with the volume...

(The above works equally good with a 2008 Mexican Fender or my 1983 JV Squier, just requires some more volume).

I've tested low output Humbuckers from a Harley Benton building kit (DC Style) which don't respond too good to the Cinders unless I'm using a (ridiculously high pitched) treble boost (EHX Screaming Bird).
With that thing on it's fairly acceptable but not really my idea of a good sound.
With a modded (for microphonic use) set of high output Humbuckers from an Ibanez AX-something or other the Cinders gives incredible endless sustain (and I mean endless!).

Additionally I've run all of the above through a 2x100W Vermona Regent 2010 end stage with a 4x10 Kustom bass cabinet with tweeter in parallel with the 2x12 of my Fender "The Twin".
... The Cinders does convince even at high volumes!

If you like Fender-y sounds, if you like single coils, if you like to tickle the best out of your single coils in a Fender-y style, if you're looking for a transparent open sound, if you'd like to boost your crunch-channel just that little bit (or even quite a lot) more, if you want to give your high output humbuckers that sweet sustain...
The Cinders might actually be what you should try out. (And at that price why wouldn't you...?)

Oh, by the way, I haven't even heard an hint of noise from this baby.

And one more thing that bugs me a bit: The name of the pedal seems a bit weird. I think what the crazy Danes really wanted to call it - and should have done so - is of course: "Embers". There is a difference!

Things I forgot to mention:

I've tried to drive a 1986 Marshall Guv'nor (which is basically a diode-driven preamp) with the Cinders and it did't do anything much to the overall sound - neither before nor after nor in the loop of the Guv'nor. I conclude that the Cinders just not meant for use with darker more heavy amplifiers. (It would explain why "Eitschpi42" didn't get any acceptable sound from this Pedal. I think he mainly used Engls and Diezels or equally "heavy" amps).

The Cinders works phenomenally well with Burns-style Tri-Sonic pickups and therefore I would venture to guess it's equally good with P90s which I unfortunately have no way of testing for the lack of owning any guitars equipped with any of those beauties.

Okay, I think that should be it. I think most of the provided videos on this site give quite a good idea of the sound of the pedal.

The Cinders is maybe not perfect for every guitar, maybe not for every amp, not for everyones ears but then, what pedal really is? I really like it!

tc electronic Cinders Overdrive (2024)


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