Black Cat Custom – MK1 Britannia

MK1 Britannia

The Black Cat Custom MKI Britannia is a more traditional take on the classic MKI circuit than its predecessor, the MKI Americano. Although we discontinued the MKI Americano a couple of years ago, we still get requests for it. So we decided it was time to revisit the MKI design, only this time we wanted to go for something closer to the original. From its replica enclosure to the choice of components, the MKI Britannia captures the essence of the original 1965 Tone Bender MKI.

The Black Cat Custom MKI Britannia is housed in a replica enclosure with the same gold top/black bottom color scheme as the original MKI. The top part of the enclosure features the same gold sparkle finish we use on the Mini Trem. The bottom half of the enclosure has an elegant satin black finish.

Our selection of components reflects the spirit of the original MKI without having the undue burden of being an exact part for part copy. Period correct parts are used throughout – vintage Mullard OC77 and OC75 germanium transistors, genuine NOS mustard caps, blue Philips electrolytic cap, and carbon comp resistors. Like the Americano, the MKI Britannia is point-to-point wired on split-top double turrets, and is built by our Master Technician, Greg Radawich.

Those of you familiar with various MKI replicas know that in this unwieldy circuit, there is often a tradeoff between the raw aggressive fuzz sound and the amount of unwanted noise(hiss) the pedal produces. It is possible to tune the circuit to dial out all the noise, but it’s at the cost of giving up some of that edgy raw MKI tone. We tune the pedals the way we like them, which will probably work for most people. But everyone has their own preference. For that reason, we’ve included two internal trimpots on the board, for anyone who feels inclined to dial in their own perfect ratio of noise vs. raw edgy tone.

This 1st Edition of the MKI Britannia is comprised of seven (7) pedals. While we do hope to release subsequent editions of the MKI Britannia, they will likely not have this same exact selection of transistors. The Mullard OC77s were culled (rather reluctantly, lol) from Tom’s own personal private stash. So it’s best to assume that these five pedals will be the only ones of their kind, and certainly this is all we have for the 1st Edition of the Black Cat Custom MKI Britannia.

Made in the U.S.A.Made in the U.S.A.