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Flats Distortion

The Flats Distortion has a tight, distinctive character that oozes 1981, but it is much more than a one-trick rodent. It can go from low- to high-gain with the flick of a switch, and offers extended EQ and clipping options, building on one of the most iconic dirt pedals of the era.


Download the Flats Quick Start Guide

Go ahead and party like it’s 1981. But bring along more gain, EQ, and clipping options.

What if a Rat and a Mudhoney had a baby, and that baby learned new gain structure options, grew a tilt style Voice control, and dabbled in its teen years with germanium clipping? That rebellious kid would be the Cleveland Music Co. Flats Distortion.


  • VOLUME: Sets the overall output level of the pedal. Clockwise for more output; counter-clockwise for less.
  • FILTER: Think of it as a cut control. Clockwise to reduce treble; counter-clockwise to let more treble pass through.
  • GAIN: Adjusts the gain of the pedal. The gain range is greatly affected by the setting of the BOOST | VINTAGE switch.
  • VOICE: Alters the bass content in the gain stage, allowing more low end to pass through as it is adjusted clockwise. This thickens the tone and has the effect of changing the intensity and character of the distortion. To completely remove the VOICE control from the circuit, leave it fully counter-clockwise. This is the recommended starting point as you explore.
  • BOOST | VINTAGE: Toggles between the BOOST and VINTAGE gain structure settings.
    • BOOST is the high-gain, characteristically tight distortion we all know and love.
    • VINTAGE drastically reduces the gain of the pedal and produces more classic rock overdrive tones. With the Ge mode, it almost sounds low-gain muff-like.
  • Si | Ge: Selects between silicon and germanium clipping diodes.
    • Si is the so-called traditional clipping diode in this style pedal. It produces a bright and tight sound.
    • Ge replaces one of the silicon diodes with a germanium diode. This results in a subtle asymmetrical clipping and imparts a warmer, more round tone. It excels in the VINTAGE gain mode, but sounds great any way you use the Flats!

True-bypass or buffered switching. Top-mounted audio and DC power jacks. No battery snap provided. The pedal is industry-standard 125B in size.

Flats Distortion Nerd Notes

  • NEW! Switchable between True bypass and a unity gain, Class A input buffer
  • Can operate at any voltage between 9V and 18V for added headroom
  • Rugged powder-coated and UV-printed enclosure
  • Awesome solid aluminum knobs
  • TI OP07DP op-amp
  • 1% Royal Ohm metal film resistors
  • Alpha potentiometers
  • Neutrik audio jacks
  • Kobiconn power connector
  • GØRVA Mechano 3PDT soft-touch latching footswitch
  • WIMA film capacitors
  • MLCC C0G capacitors in the audio path (for the hardcore tone nerds out there)

The Cleveland Music Co. Flats Distortion is handmade in limited runs in Cleveland, Ohio.