Crowther Audio Hotcake

Crowther Audio Hotcake

Regular price £162.28

Only -43 items in stock!

A true boutique classic - more than 40 years old, and still one of the best!


Some major artists that used the Hotcake over the last 4 decades:

  • Split Enz
  • Crowded House
  • Neil Finn
  • Mark Knopfler
  • Radiohead
  • Stevie Ray Vaughan
  • Noel Gallagher (Oasis)
  • Rolling Stones
  • Blur
  • Violent Femmes
  • Sonic Youth
  • INXS

It is designed to leave the un-distorted component of the guitar sound unchanged, while providing a nice fat distortion sound without resorting to a treble cut circuit which will also affect the guitar tonality. 

With the Drive and Presence controls set to minimum, and the Level at around 2 o’clock, you should be hard pressed to hear any change in the sound at all when you switch the Hotcake in and out.
You can get a clean volume boost by increasing the Level control. Increasing the Drive will give you a thick distortion sound with a little bit of edge to it, and the Presence control adds some mid-range punch to the sounds.

The Hotcake also handles chords superbly, just like an over driven amp.

The Hotcake is perfectly sonically tuner to EL84 tube amps like the Vox AC series.

Note: Since 2008, The Hotcake has included a jumper switch system. This system allows the user to change the setting to The Hotcake Bluesberry specification. Using the same jumper switch system you have a Bass Accentuation facility. We advise the user that the settings should not be altered on a regular basis – the jumper switch system is in place to allow the user to fix a setting and is not intended as a constant switching option.
It is recommended that the Hotcake is patched between the guitar and amplifier, rather than into an amplifier’s effect loop.
Generally speaking, if you are happy with your guitar and amplifier combination, the Hotcake will work well as a primary distortion.


  • Internal switch to choose Bluesberry or standard options
  • Internal switch to opt for bass voicing
  • Input impedance: 1M ohm (equivalent to a typical valve amplifier)
  • Output impedance: less than 13K ohm
  • Recommended minimum output load impedance: 100K ohm
  • Bypass type: circuit converts into a high quality buffer with simple, quiet, seamless switching, using gold plated contacts
  • Phase polarity: non inverting
  • Continuous current consumption approx 3.5 mA (LED on)
  • External power supply socket 9-12VDC, 2.1mm, pin negative. Compatible with most popular AC adapters
  • If more than one pedal is powered from the same adapter, a regulated type should be used to minimise “hum” (100/120hz) which can be caused by circulating ripple currents


Crowther Audio was established over thirty years ago by Paul Crowther from New Zealand with his first and a seminal product the Crowther Hotcake, the initial one was made in 1976, while he was in the UK touring with Split Enz with the Finn brothers from Crowded house fame. The Hotcake was designed to leave the undistorted component of the guitar sound unchanged, while providing a nice fat distortion sound without resorting to a treble cut circuit which will also affect the guitar tonality.

The products are still made today in New Zealand by Paul, and since the Hotcake inception some thirty years ago, Crowther Audio has released two other products: the Prunes & Custard, a Harmonic generator, and the double Hotcake.
Crowther Audio is committed to making high quality analogue guitar products, that ethos has inspired many famous users from Mark Knopfler to Noel Gallagher to use Crowther products on their material and its distinctive tone can clearly be heard on many of their most famous hits.


+ View more