DSM Humboldt Black Clouds – The Ultimate Distortion?

DSM Humboldt's Black Clouds is billed as the "ultimate distortion" and it might just be perfect for some guitarists.

The DSM Humboldt Black Clouds offers guitarists tight, modern heavy gain tones in one compact pedal. Featuring a boost and distortion with a very comprehensive EQ section.

DSM Humboldt Black Clouds

This DSM Humboldt Black Clouds offers high gain and a nice low-noise floor courtesy of the built-in X-Gate passive gate.

Potentially making it perfect for tight, chugging gain tones and modern guitar styles.

DSM Humboldt also states that the X-Gate can also add a crossover distortion that can be used for added texture. This is all controlled via a three-way mini-toggle switch.

Black Clouds
The Ultimate Distortion?

Comprehensive EQ

As a preamp pedal, it offers loads of  EQ options, The Bass dial offers +/- 10dB of boost or cut to frequencies below 300Hz. The Mids dial controls frequencies between 300 and 2khz and adds 12dB of boost or cut. Finally, the Treble knob offers 15dB to frequencies above 2khz.

DSM Humboldt Black Clouds
Preamp EQ


Pre Boost adds up to 30dB of input boost with a slight bump in the mids, which is perfect for adding both some extra gain and compression. Then the Master Boost adjusts the output clean boost from zero to 20dB. Then the Gain and Level knobs set the output gain and output volume.

DSM Humboldt Black Clouds Pre-Tone
Adjust for single-coil or humbucking pickups


Pre Tone fine-tunes the EQ of your instrument’s signal as it heads into the drive stage. Perfect for rolling off some of the high-end on single-coils, or adding a bit more treble to dull humbuckers.

A three-way mini-toggle selects between Normal, Preamp and Mid Boost modes.

Ultimate Distortion?

It certainly looks feature packed and the official demo video shows off exactly what it can do. Is it the “ultimate distortion” though? Well, the marketing hype would lead us to believe so and I would guess that it could be perfect for guitarists that need a tight low-end and want to chug.

MSRP – £239


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