#1
Hello UG family,

I am in the market for a new overdrive to go with my Vox AC30 C2. For heavier distortion I use a ProCo Rat Whiteface (85 reissue) and I think it pairs up really well with the Vox. However, I mainly use this for solos and leads and chunkier rhythm stuff (i.e. if palm muting is required).

I have a Maxon OD9 and it went well with my old go-to amp (Peavey Classic 50) but for some reason it just doesn't seem to go well with the Vox. The sound isn't as crisp and it feels muddy and off - I think I need to move away from the Tubescreamer genre (I've also heard that Tube Screamers aren't a great fit with AC30s).

I play in a cover band so I like to leave my amp fairly clean as many of our songs call for a real clean tone. The Vox sounds great with the volume channel turned up for some dirt, however this is a little too much for a lot of the songs that require a very clean tone. I'd prefer to have a pedal to step on rather than tweaking the Rat or the amp as there just isn't much time for that during our shows, and an expansion of the possible tones I can get is obviously a nice bonus.

This would be ideal for a more middle ground between the Rat and the clean amp. Something that keeps and compliments the tone of the AC30 and just adds a little dirt and brings the amp to life more. Some recommendations I've gotten have been the Paul Cochran Timmy and the Wampler Paisley, unfortunately I won't be able to play these or any other ODs (my local store only has BOSS pedals and Ibanez Tube Screamers). My cousin uses a Keeley modded Boss Blues Driver and he likes it, but he strictly plays blues stuff.

Any recommendations and personal experiences are most welcome! I'm pretty sure I can sell the Maxon if I find what I'm looking to help offset costs for so I'd be willing to spend up to $200 or so (and I'd be cool nabbing something used or via a trade for the Maxon as well) so pretty flexible.
#2
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#3
well my ussual are subdecay liquid sunshine, most things from lovepedal including the hermida zendrive, CMAT MODS siga drive or the budda drive

wampler is good, mad professor, JHS, catalinbread,JMK pedals, black cat od-boost, vick audio has some good cheaper options, heavy electronics.

if you can tell, i prefer boutique options. sooooo many makers on the market. your options are endless. 200 can get you a top quality pedal.

oh right - the crowther hot cake is always good for VOX, but it is almost on the verge of fuzzy drive, it can get more sggrssive, it may be too close to your rat.

oh yeah, the luther drive, Xotic effects pedals, i can go on for days.

not trying to toot my own horn here, but this is a great demo of the SIGNA through an ac30, good recording. it actually sounds like this. 135 bucks. what he does not illustrate is how low the level setting is. the middle toggle on the SGINA is basically a clean boost. its VERY high output very low gain, if you notice he has it maxed. whereas, the bottom toggle is fairly crunchy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7kWRFR-528

that said, i would gladly own a pedal from any brand i listed.
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Last edited by ikey_ at Jan 28, 2014,
#4
Since you said that your local store only carries Boss and Ibanez pedal, I would check out the stuff that they have in stock first and see how it goes with your amp. You might just find something you like. Maybe Boss SD-1? It's a common alternative to Tubescreamers, at least in the boost department (one has asymmetrical clipping, the other symmetrical).
It all depends on what sound you're after.
#5
zendrive would be the best IMO. i use it as a lighter extra boost on the lead channel of my MKIV, very smooth if you have it set right.
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#6
Timmy is the default answer here. Zendrive is another good one. One I'd maybe suggest is a Crowther Hotcake, I'm not 100% sure, but I think it was designed with the AC30 in mind.

If you want to stick local and you're stuck to Ibanez or Boss, you could just grab a TS-9 or TS-808. Alternatively, grab a DS-1 and mod it a bit.
#7
i am all about pedals but i feel like light overdrive is something the ac30 absolutely shines in all on its own, i think a boost would be a bit more useful......on topic though check out the jhs morning glory.
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#8
Quote by telemetal
Timmy is the default answer here. Zendrive is another good one. One I'd maybe suggest is a Crowther Hotcake, I'm not 100% sure, but I think it was designed with the AC30 in mind.

If you want to stick local and you're stuck to Ibanez or Boss, you could just grab a TS-9 or TS-808. Alternatively, grab a DS-1 and mod it a bit.


hell i love my timmy as well. for some reason i was under the impact of a smooth OD, and the zendrive excels on that and i also think that it would sound good on a vox AC
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#9
That Signa Drive sounds pretty sweet. I like how transparent it is, the AC30 tone still shines through which is what I'm after.

I do like how that and the Timmy are both around $130 from what I can gather online. That is pretty nice compared to some of the alternatives. But I'm going to check out the other suggestions as well - lots to research!

Thanks guys, and any other suggestions are welcomed. When I finally do nab one I'll try to remember to report back here what I settled on and my impressions with it.
#10
Quote by trashedlostfdup
hell i love my timmy as well. for some reason i was under the impact of a smooth OD, and the zendrive excels on that and i also think that it would sound good on a vox AC


Fair point. I think he'd be quite happy with either in all honesty.
#11
yes the crowther hot cake is a classic AC 30 pairing. great pedal.

Very smooth and also very gritty / fuzzy at the same time if you set it that way. comin in right around 180
http://www.amazon.com/Crowther-Audio-Hotcake-Effect-Pedal/dp/B003TY94S8


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FXuRpPXRBa4
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#12
cant find s good one with a ac30, but heres this guy with a TopHat, top of the line british voiced amps similar to an ac30 setup.

you can tell it can be both smooth but a bit agressive depending on the setting.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZG4-F3KWLZw
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#13
Quote by ikey_
yes the crowther hot cake is a classic AC 30 pairing. great pedal.

Very smooth and also very gritty / fuzzy at the same time if you set it that way. comin in right around 180
http://www.amazon.com/Crowther-Audio-Hotcake-Effect-Pedal/dp/B003TY94S8


http://www.youtub.com/watch?v=FXuRpPXRBa4


damn either that was poor processing or i really don't like it that is my opinion. though. and i do like AC's so its not that.

_______________

second example is better, but not mic'd
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Last edited by trashedlostfdup at Jan 29, 2014,
#14
Xotic ep booster...
___________________________
Playing on some new gear....review to follow
#15
these are good

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZBJUiicuSs8

xotics are top notch. these are pretty popular. i love my EP boost.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iDpVL1VGTNE
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#16
FWIW, I've gotten good results with the T. Rex MAB Overdrive & my Fender HRD combo. It's kind of a Goldilocks OD pedal.

Here's a couple of demos:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5DPipoRtP6Y&list=PL2FD1F2168664E8E4&index=1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OqHlhJcIilk
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Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Jan 29, 2014,
#17
Quote by trashedlostfdup
hell i love my timmy as well. for some reason i was under the impact of a smooth OD, and the zendrive excels on that and i also think that it would sound good on a vox AC
I love how smooth the Timmy sounds if you dial it right in front of a decent tube amp. In front of my Tweed module I get some great Santanaesque tones. Can't wait to get the Mark module and stick the Timmy in front of that.


PS: I hate this thread. I need to reduce the size of my board, if anything. Stop showing me things I'd like to buy.
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Last edited by Cathbard at Jan 29, 2014,
#18
I had heard good things about the Dr. Scientist The Elements, so here's demos of that too:

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=RAMlcSBw9xc&app=m

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=byD6l1kmCPk
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#19
Maybe I'm weird, but I like my Voodoo Labs Sparkle Drive (TS808) with my AC30C2.

But as previously stated, why not set the AC30 itself to light overdrive? It's clearly excels at that.
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#20
i am amassing a library of boutique pedal bookmarkers. if people have not noticed, i am on a mission to get people to stop buying OD pedals out of guitar center. not that its a bad thing, but (queue disney music)...."its a whole newwwwww wwwwwwworlllddddd" out there so to speak. not to mention, support small businesses.

and often times, in the case of CMAT mods, some of these "boutique "pedals are as cheap as mass produced ones.
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#21
i'd avoid the signa drive, it's a glorified tubescreamer.

timmy is a good call.

if you can try your cousin's keeley bd2 i'd do that, a bd2 is more transparent than a tubescreamer too.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
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#22
Quote by ikey_
i am amassing a library of boutique pedal bookmarkers. if people have not noticed, i am on a mission to get people to stop buying OD pedals out of guitar center. not that its a bad thing, but (queue disney music)...."its a whole newwwwww wwwwwwworlllddddd" out there so to speak. not to mention, support small businesses.


We are on similar missions, you and I.

I just started the process of slowly adding more and more pedal sites to my library of bookmarks...

But I've already accumulated links to a few hundred guitar makers' sites as well, from the big corporate names down to the solo luthiers.

I swear, if I ever win a mega-lottery, I'll be broke so fast.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#23
Yeah the Signa Drive is basically a Tubescreamer so unless that's the sound you're looking for you'd be best to avoid one.

The rhythm guitarist in my band uses an AC30 and we've been testing a lot of boost and drives through it lately. He plays either a Tele or a Semi-Hollow with p90s exclusively on the normal channel with all of his dials set roughly to 5. I've plugged into it a number of times with a Les Paul Trad with 57 classics.

TS9: Not good for all the reasons you mentioned

TS808: Dramatically better than the TS9, added warmth and clarity

Timmy: Fantastic and very transparent. Honestly the same effect could be achieved by turning the amp up and using the guitars volume knob.

Xotic BBPreamp: Tonal Bliss, probably not what you're looking for although I suspect it would replace your Rat in a hurry.

Xotic EP boost: My favorite. Adds fatness and weight to the mids without really muddying up the sound. Definitely colours the tone but in a VERY good way.

Xotic RC: Reminded me of the Timmy but slightly less transparent and more character.

Fulltone OCD: Sounds a bit like the BB Preamp but uglier meaner and more dynamic. I found it tricky to dial in though, there were some great sounds, but it could get harsh and muddy.

Zendrive: I know these things get a lot of love, but neither of us could get a decent sound out of it. Judging from the amazing videos on youtube we were missing something but I've no clue what.
#24
Any difference you've heard between a TS808 and a TS9 can be heard between two different TS9's due to component tolerances. They're the same pedal apart from two resistors that have no effect within the audible range.
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#25
interesting run down. i agree that the signa has a TS "mode" switch down, but i would argue that middle toggle is basically a flat EQ clean boost (with a tone and gain) and teh top toggle is a more transparent, uncommpressed light drive, kinda in the klon viewpoint of uncompressed boosted crunch territory opposed to the highly compressed, mid boosted, lows cut TS territory.

anyways,

interesting. i also have a EP booster. love it. great boost. if i had unlimited budget, i may have gotten a 100% flat EQ boost with some tone tweaking ability, like a mids knobs, or a frequency knob, etc.

i find the EP booster adds slight coloration, slight EQ shift (internals dip switches to adjust this), and ALSO adds slight compression. its slight, but its there no doubt. its a solid clean boost.

whatever it does, most agree its awesome. i would NOT recommend it for a high gain boost, as if anything it adds lows and would get overly thick and muddy with brutal high gain i think.

with a crunchy amp, a EP will boost it into a thick, open, slightly compressed crunch or even heavy drive.
__

end of stoty i consider an overdrive an overdrive and a boost a boost. one created a clipped signal one doesnt. one has a gain knob and normally the other doesnt. however you want the amps to react? well, there dozens of ways to get a crunchy tone, and putting a boost into a driven amp is one of em.

and yeah TS, you cannt go wrong with most pedals from xotic. BB, RC, AC, even the new SL. for this "light overdrive" i would think the AC booster would work (almost clean booster).

you know, in every demo i LOVE the zendrive for lead tones but am not a fan for chord work. is that just me?

hard to go wrong with mad professor or lovepedal kalamazoo. i accept the fact that a timmy is a good pedal, but like a klon, i am beginning to think that it is so overblown i am just frsutrated with the hype. i think a lot of pedals do it about as good.

in fact, i think i could tweaky my SIGNA drive and take the pepsi challenge with a TIMMY any day.
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#26
Quote by ikey_
interesting run down. i agree that the signa has a TS "mode" switch down, but i would argue that middle toggle is basically a flat EQ clean boost (with a tone and gain) and teh top toggle is a more transparent, uncommpressed light drive, kinda in the klon viewpoint of uncompressed boosted crunch territory opposed to the highly compressed, mid boosted, lows cut TS territory.


that doesn't really make sense, though, because all the switch does is switch between diodes, leds and nothing in the feedback loop of the first op-amp gain stage. all the tone-altering stuff (i.e. the massive mid hump/bass cut) should be unchanged.

from what i can remember my biyang od (which was similar I think) sounded fairly similar at all the settings. Maybe a bit less so (less clipping) but it still reminded me of a TS. That's from memory, though, it died.

i'd still err on the side of not getting a ts or glorified-ts if he knows he doesn't like it. there are non-ts ods he should probably try first.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
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#27
nah man i disagree. im not sure what internally its changing, but the EQ is drastically different. i feel as if that youtube vid does a decent job, but perhaps in person is better. i dislike how he maxed out the gain. not the correct use. who ever does that??? but still, there is definites a flstter eq and more open tone whereas the down position is WAY more mid heavy, definitely less base. like going from tight to boomy. the mid setting with my rig has almost too much low end with the middle setting and the EP boost. its literally as drastic as ahhh too much and oh hey thats the spot. i consider it 3 pedals in one, which is why i bought it. my swiss army knife of OD.
___

not the point - hmm trying to think of other good options.

DUDE. blackstone these things are "legendary" status. a bit pricey, about 225. perhaps a used one. fairly rare. most like em. it can get pretty fuzzy. i may consider this is a fuzz.

http://blackstoneappliances.com

these are nice

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_w0OzwsOz0I
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Last edited by ikey_ at Jan 29, 2014,
#28
Quote by icronic
Yeah the Signa Drive is basically a Tubescreamer so unless that's the sound you're looking for you'd be best to avoid one.

The rhythm guitarist in my band uses an AC30 and we've been testing a lot of boost and drives through it lately. He plays either a Tele or a Semi-Hollow with p90s exclusively on the normal channel with all of his dials set roughly to 5. I've plugged into it a number of times with a Les Paul Trad with 57 classics.

TS9: Not good for all the reasons you mentioned

TS808: Dramatically better than the TS9, added warmth and clarity

Timmy: Fantastic and very transparent. Honestly the same effect could be achieved by turning the amp up and using the guitars volume knob.

Xotic BBPreamp: Tonal Bliss, probably not what you're looking for although I suspect it would replace your Rat in a hurry.

Xotic EP boost: My favorite. Adds fatness and weight to the mids without really muddying up the sound. Definitely colours the tone but in a VERY good way.

Xotic RC: Reminded me of the Timmy but slightly less transparent and more character.

Fulltone OCD: Sounds a bit like the BB Preamp but uglier meaner and more dynamic. I found it tricky to dial in though, there were some great sounds, but it could get harsh and muddy.

Zendrive: I know these things get a lot of love, but neither of us could get a decent sound out of it. Judging from the amazing videos on youtube we were missing something but I've no clue what.


i have owned many OD's but i never tripped into the TS9 TS808 hole. i don't have the schematics in front of me, but they are about as identical as it gets. there is just at handful of small different variance in components you can convert them back and forth simply.

the OCD has so much gain it practically is as heavy as a distortion. they are not friendly with a lot of amps.

timmy is probably the best thing, to do IMO shy of spending a few minutes and figure out the settings on the zendrive would be better.
WTLT 2014 GG&A

Quote by andersondb7
alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



****** NEW NEW NEW!
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2017-04-13 RUN AWAY from COMPUTERS!!! TCE? RANT ALERT!!!
2017-03-02 - Guitar Philosophy 1001- Be Prepared For the Situation (Thursday 2017-03-02)
2017-02-21 How to Hot-Rod the Hell of your Stratocaster for $50! (Tuesday 2017-2-21)
Resentments and Rambling from a Guitar Junkie
---> http://trashedengineering.blogspot.com/
#29
actually, i am NOT a fan of the OCD. i really dont get the hype. but many of the times i have seen then sound good, it was on a vox or vox style amp. but i agree. i would buy something else. a bit to harsh and throaty for my ears. i just think the pedal gives such an easy CRUNCH tone, people just turn it on and go "yep, crunch." and buy it, end of search.

...and it certainlt is quality made and is NOT THIN. thats for darn sure. so yeah as a whole i can see why people buy it.

but as for my mission - why settle? hundreds of better options out there.
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#30
Quote by ikey_
actually, i am NOT a fan of the OCD. i really dont get the hype. but many of the times i have seen then sound good, it was on a vox or vox style amp. but i agree. i would buy something else. a bit to harsh and throaty for my ears. i just think the pedal gives such an easy CRUNCH tone, people just turn it on and go "yep, crunch." and buy it, end of search.

...and it certainlt is quality made and is NOT THIN. thats for darn sure. so yeah as a whole i can see why people buy it.

but as for my mission - why settle? hundreds of better options out there.


i really don't care for my OCD either keep it for the backups backup.
WTLT 2014 GG&A

Quote by andersondb7
alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



****** NEW NEW NEW!
2017-07-07 2017-07-07 Update and a Chat On Noise Constraints *** NEW FRIDAY 7/7
2017-04-13 RUN AWAY from COMPUTERS!!! TCE? RANT ALERT!!!
2017-03-02 - Guitar Philosophy 1001- Be Prepared For the Situation (Thursday 2017-03-02)
2017-02-21 How to Hot-Rod the Hell of your Stratocaster for $50! (Tuesday 2017-2-21)
Resentments and Rambling from a Guitar Junkie
---> http://trashedengineering.blogspot.com/
#31
Quote by ikey_
nah man i disagree. im not sure what internally its changing, but the EQ is drastically different.


i'm pretty sure it only changes the clippers. it was reversed on one of the diy websites

that being said you have one in front of you and i don't, and sometimes theory and practise don't always mesh. so

i'd still be wary of getting something which is so obviously a ts derivative when he knows a ts doesn't work with his amp
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#32
oh i fully admit its a TS clone. i just think it is modded to have 3 modes. i mean, 90% of OD pedals out are TS designs in some form.

some are clearly "clones" a VFE darkhorse is an example. same kinda concept as a signa, take a screamer change the tone a little and add some feature. viola! boutique.
Carvin CT624
Walden G630ce Acoustic
Carvin V3M, Avatar 2x12 WGS Reaper, vet 30
(crybaby, Fairfield circuitry Comp, GFS tuner, Vick Audio 73 Ram's Head, Xotic AC booster, lovepedal trem, TC Flashback, PGS Trinity Reverb, Walrus Audio Aetos power)
#33
Well I got the opportunity to play a Timmy last night with my AC30 (I found a guy who has one and let me borrow it so I could use it with my rig) and it was awesome. Definitely what I was looking for. So I went ahead and ordered one online.

I appreciate all the suggestions and I got introduced to a lot of cool pedals I really didn't know much about so in the future when I decide to nab an additional one (nothing wrong with a lot of different ODs right) I'm definitely using this thread again as a reference.

Cheers!
#34
AC30s LOVE treble boosters.

some famous dudes who put this combo to good use are Ritchie Blackmoore and Brian May.
Last edited by cheesefries at Feb 2, 2014,
#35
e the new EH Soul food seems like just what you want. it's a Klon style pedal that is supposed to come real close sound wise and excels at low overdrive settings.
#36
Quote by Clarkinator
Well I got the opportunity to play a Timmy last night with my AC30 (I found a guy who has one and let me borrow it so I could use it with my rig) and it was awesome. Definitely what I was looking for. So I went ahead and ordered one online.

I appreciate all the suggestions and I got introduced to a lot of cool pedals I really didn't know much about so in the future when I decide to nab an additional one (nothing wrong with a lot of different ODs right) I'm definitely using this thread again as a reference.

Cheers!


nice
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#37
well ive never heard a timmy sound bad.... so good job!
Carvin CT624
Walden G630ce Acoustic
Carvin V3M, Avatar 2x12 WGS Reaper, vet 30
(crybaby, Fairfield circuitry Comp, GFS tuner, Vick Audio 73 Ram's Head, Xotic AC booster, lovepedal trem, TC Flashback, PGS Trinity Reverb, Walrus Audio Aetos power)