Philosopher's Tone 2

Compressor / Sustainer with Grit
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Elevating the groundbreaking optical compression of the original Philosopher’s Tone to a new plane of tonal enlightenment, the Philosopher’s Tone 2 is a world-class compressor/sustainer with footswitchable Grit, allowing for more versatility than ever before. Featuring a refined implementation of the overdrive circuit first heard in the limited-edition Gold version of this iconic compressor pedal, the unique germanium distortion found in the Philosopher's Tone 2 delivers smooth top end and rich midrange response, tailored to perfectly match the characteristics of the optical sustainer driving it. In addition to Volume and Sustain controls, the Philosopher’s Tone 2 features a parallel clean Blend knob that allows musicians to mix their instrument’s original tone with the compressor/sustainer effect when the Grit circuit is bypassed. This mixing technique restores natural pick-attack and allows clean settings with extreme sustain to remain dynamic and musical. When the Grit circuit is engaged, the Blend knob is automatically bypassed, circumventing the compromises of the original unit and imparting a colorful distortion to your sound in both Germanium and Silicon modes. This nonlinear diode-clipping can range from subtle overdrive to overflowing distortion, all without unwanted feedback. A Treble control located just before the master Volume provides 6db of cut or boost at 2kHz for fine-tuning the frequency response of the effect. The Philosopher’s Tone 2 features true-bypass switching and internal 18V power rails for maximum clean headroom that is ideal for use with hot pickups, active bass, synthesizers and other line-level sources. Runs on 9VDC.

Specs & Compare
Tone Maps


Volume: Sets the overall output volume.

Treble: Boosts or cuts treble at 2kHz.

Sustain: Sets the amount of sustain.

Blend: Mixes your compressed effect with your clean signal. Note: This control is only active when the Grit footswitch is turned OFF.

Grit: Controls the gain of the overdrive stage. Note: This control is only active when the Grit footswitch is turned ON.

Rare Design

Generations of guitar players have sought noiseless clean sustain from a compressor, and this was the guiding goal of the research and design behind Philosopher’s Tone, yielding a compressor with an internal 18 volts of headroom and naturally musical tone control.

The Evolution of Philosopher’s Tone

First released in 2009 and igniting a new following for Pigtronix, the Philosopher’s Tone 2 is a “best of” design, incorporating the best elements of previous iterations plus a completely redefined Grit knob for significantly more versatility.

Modern-Day Alchemy

Practitioners of the mystical and ancient art of alchemy long sought an element called the Philosopher’s Stone. They believed, if found, it could turn lead into gold and bestow immortality upon the person who wielded it. Philosopher’s Tone 2 allows players to conjure gleaming sustain, soaring lead tones, and articulation across all six strings.

Philosopher's Tone 2

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Model Name
Philosopher's Tone
Optical Compressor Sustainer
Category 1
Category 2
True Bypass


Current Draw
Input Impedance
Output Impedance


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Width (in)
Height (in)
Weight (lbs)
Tone Name
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