Internet and social media rules, 2016...

As 2015 disappears into the distant memory of broken strings and replaced tubes, I've decided that my final post of the year should be a  tongue in cheek look at how to use the internet, and mainly social media, in 2016. As always, this is just me talking nonsense and doesn't represent the feelings of Wampler Pedals etc ;)

  1. A friend buys a new toy (guitar, amp, pickups, pedals, house, car, planet, underwear, tevz): Instantly post in the thread about how "XYZ" is better because you own it (as you probably don't like them getting new stuff and you, obviously, are the world expert on this item and other associated with it);
  2. Someone posts a clip of their playing or whatever they are working on musically at that time. It's your duty to undermine it and point out what they do wrong. After all, they aren't that good anyway because they couldn't play that tapping bit you could at the age you first played it at!;
  3. You must take 5 selfies a day and post so we can share in your constant need to see your own face (let's face it - when man first went to the moon in 1969 they took 5 pictures which is approximately 1/100th of the amount taken in the restroom mirror of by virtually every girl in every nightclub in every country on every night);    
  4. You once met *insert famous person here* and had your photo taken with them. Make sure you use this as your profile pic whilst calling them "your good friend" at all times (guilty as charged on this one ;) );
  5. You microwave a meal: Sprinkle a tasteless herb over the top, put it on your best plate on a nice wooden table and then Instagram it. You must then share the post on FB making out you are Gordon freaking Ramsey;    
  6. You have a "fan page" on Facebook: Repeatedly invite all your friend list into submission (so they eventually like it just to shut you up) and then you make a gushing post about how humble you are that people have liked your work; After all, you're just a humble musician and it's amazing how many people "get" you musically;
  7. There is slight adverse weather forecast/upon you: Educate the world on the situation as you obviously have a degree in Meteorology and after all, you've been outside and got jolly wet and there is no knowledge like the knowledge gained from having boots on the ground;    
  8. You are bored and lonely: Post pictures of cats, or maybe "comedy" memes involving cats, all the time;   
  9. Attention seeking posts. You must, infrequently, post things like "WTF...." or "I've had enough!" as your Facebook status. This way, all your lovely friends can fill up the thread with "s'up hun", "txt me babez", "u OKz?" or other various deviations from the language that only apply to attention seeking Facebook status updates that will make you feel better, or self important, or something I don't quite understand;
  10. You are lucky enough to see a popular TV first compared to the rest of the world. You openly talk about the most important part of the plot and don't give a crap how much it ruins the enjoyment for others, because you've seen it, so who cares!;
  11. The R.I.P. race. You must be the first person to post R.I.P. about someone who has just died, that way you be the person to tell everyone the news. You then have approximately 1 hour to research that person on the internet so you can give the impression of being a lifelong fan of them and regail all your favourite memories of them on other peoples threads; 
  12. You are the member of a gym: Tell everyone all the time you are going and post repeated pictures of your weight/loss gain to improve your self esteem safe in the knowledge you are probably intimidating others at the same time. Total win/win. But please, don't forget, there is nothing better than posting pictures of your veiny arms with the word GAINZ written under it;   
  13. Remember, you own You Tube so have the right to destroy anyone who posts on it. And yes, writing "First" is still hilarious and makes you immensely important and a valuable part of humanity;
  14. Speed is everything. You must upload a video 'proving' to the world you can play at 3200bpm. Speed is all that matters despite every other guitar player on the planet knowing that playing at this speed is both impossible and the concept is utterly nonsense. Speed is great, at the right time, speed competitions are... well.... I better move on before I say something I shouldn't;
  15. You are the world expert on politics or theology. Your view is the only one that counts so you must make sure you tell everyone you can what is right and wrong and should they have a differing opinion, they are wrong and you must destroy them intellectually; and
  16. You spot a spelling mistake in someone's post: Mark their work like some FB teacher and delight in pointing out their errors. After all, you are the Oxford English freaking Dictionary and invented the language in the first place.

DISCLAIMER: *of course, my constant mocking of people and winding them up on FB is excluded from all of the above.

Happy New Year tone chasers I hope that 2016 lives up to expectation, may it be full of great tone, love, light and laughter. Remember, you are beautiful, talented and most importantly you are wonderfully unique. Take what you have been born with and make the most of it. Work hard and play harder.

Tomorrow is the first blank page of a brand new 365 page book, make it your best story yet.

Most importantly, if you love someone, tell them - there is no feeling better than being loved. :)

(apologies for sounding like Jerry Springer at the end there)

2015, The End. I'm off to get drunk, see you in 2016... :)

 

What does the label boutique effects mean in 2016?

 

 A couple of months ago I asked the question to many people in our industry what does the word boutique mean to them and how does it relate to their company/business and the industry we work in…

The reason I did this is because I have an issue with the word - as long as I've worked for Wampler (over 5 years) I've never really understood it as I've never been able to relate to it properly. When I first met Brian he was describing the company to me and he kept using the phrase 'a lot of people would class us as boutique'. I’m not sure he related to it either thinking about it, so, I looked in to this ‘concept’ and discovered that it appeared to be everything Wampler Pedals shouldn’t be - so it's safe to say everything I've done in this time has to move us away from that label, usually against Brian's wishes I’d say, but sometimes you have to take a step out of the marketing hype and take a reality check.

What many people don't understand about Wampler Pedals is that Brian's absolutely loves marketing – I’d say it’s his passion, as much as he loves to breadboard and get new releases out there, the most excited I've seen him get is over a marketing direction or a plan that has worked out how we wanted it to. This is why when the rest of our peers were hiring builders in 2010, he was hiring me to take ownership of the internet marketing and social networking. Is boutique about marketing? Is it just a marketing phrase? Anyway, as usual, I digress...

So, what is boutique? Let’s look at what it was in 2010. Boutique then meant a small company, handmade by a guy in his basement making unique designs (tubescreamer variants usually ;) ) and presenting them in a fancy painted box. So, from what I could see – that was not Wampler Pedals! We had maybe 1 pedal that could be associated with a TS, our boxes looked awful and we were being built in a factory. But, everyone called us boutique… I think the label came from us because of the price point, the level of care that Brian insisted on with each stage of the process and after sales service. After bringing them to them to life on the breadboard he then worked extremely close with Justin in the PCB layout to ensure the signal path remained as pure as possible (this is why our pedals are usually so quiet in terms of floor noise compared to others), the parts used are to his spec (and not to price, for example – 2/3 of the PT2239 delay chips were binned upon first inspection because they weren’t good enough and at least 60% of the jfets were also thrown out), the 7 part quality control process during manufacturing include a play test for each pedal... so, from that respect I can understand it why people called us that, there is a huge element of care and love put into each one.

Let’s fast forward to 2015. What is boutique now? Well, those of you connected to me on social media will know how much I like to poke Hipsters with a stick – need to get this out the way, I don’t mean any of it, some of my favourite people are hipsters, one of the hippest people I know taught my kids for years and I love the man dearly, but you know – sometimes they ask for it! A classic example of what boutique means these days can be found in here. Really fancy packaging, unashamed beard growing (I do hope that ‘tache comb is organic and made in Portland sir) and moody photographs (I’m trying really hard not to insert a barrage of jokes here) and what can only be classed as a mediocre product. It would appear that boutique has flipped on it’s most fundamental principle. A quality hand built product.

2015 NAMM board

Let’s look at Wampler Pedals now. We are much much bigger than you probably expect, because we’ve somehow managed to retain the ‘boutique’ image. I think also we have retained it because of our communication channels, we run a massively successful group on Facebook dedicated to Tone Chasers – it’s the only group I know that isn’t just full of idiots arguing about who the best is and what flavor picks they like etc., it’s just people talking about gear. We are actively open on other social network feeds as well. Myself and my good friend Alex Clay do all the social media and we try to demonstrate a sense of humour in what we do, we’ve both been playing for ever so we understand the customers well so I think they relate to us so the posts we make strike home in one way or another. The legend that is Max Jeffery (one of the unintentionally funniest people on the planet) and Brian do the Chasing Tone podcast every week, Brian personally does a lot of stuff on the Periscope app… so we are approachable, does that make us more boutique that others (although, I must admit to noticing that many other companies now have Podcasts going as well these days)? It probably does.

Looking around at our peers, our friends in our industry I find it hard to see any of them being 2015 boutique. Look at Robert Keeley. He made a video for me when I asked the question originally (also check out Pt 2) to show what he thinks about the whole boutique thing. And, being Rob, he also cross referenced the literal meaning of the word boutique from the dictionary! If you look at Rob’s set up, it’s all in-house. From the moment he decides on the pedal to the when it get’s sent to a customer/dealer – it never leaves the building. Everything is done in house, right there under his watchful eye. Then look at Josh Scott from JHS (he despises the label boutique as for him the whole hipster substandard product and customer service infuriates him), every part of his product is cool and is intentionally made that way. Nick from CatalinBread, he and Howard lock themselves away and make products that they think are cool and they think their customers would dig, it’s almost an artform to them – they paint their tones with a fine brush and hope people hear them properly. Philippe from Caroline Guitar Company – the coolest and most intelligent guy I have ever met, a lot of thought goes into the entire design process, a sense of humour and personality is present in everything he does... is that boutique?

The best box label ever made

My thought process in 2015, going into 2016 is this – boutique companies are dead, but the boutique industry is alive. I"m pretty sure that of all the companies that work at their product full time are not boutique, but, the collective of companies are. We, and they, are determined to bring you the best toys we can, the best tones we can, but in the way we do it. We aren’t truly  handmade any more, they aren’t either  – most companies employ SMT to populate their boards, most companies effectively mass produce their products (to order),  most of the companies are dedicated to provide excellent customer service, most of the owners/builders/marketers are friends who regularly chat, compare notes, help each other and support each other in times of need. I guess you could say we are boutique family, from the small to the large. And yes, I do include companies like Strymon and TC Electronic in that…

What about you, what does boutique mean to you as a customer? What makes a company boutique? Are we, Wampler Pedals, boutique on our own as a brand or are we part of the wider boutique as the collective?

 

 

Enter Sandman at a wedding gig?

Most of you guys out there who have like me played one too many wedding gigs for all the right reasons (basically, money) you'll appreciate this. I often used to play the game of inserting lines/licks/chops in to the most inapprorioate places, actually I've done this in every band I've been in. Satriani into Pink Floyd songs, Vai into Sting, Iron Maiden into Steve Earle and even managed to get a hook from Dimebag into a major blues jam last year. It's never boring when you get bored!

I've never quite taken it this far though, I've never tried to insert basically the entire song into something with differing rhythms. I'm quite in awe of putting Metallica into a Bossanova number...

Star Wars recreated for guitar!

If, like me, you are a massive Star Wars fan (I've been told I've seen each of them on the day they were released, I can vouch for Ep. 1,2,3,5 and 6 because I wasn't quite 4 when Ep 4 came out) you'll love this.

Guitarist Cooper Carter has taken the orchestral score of Star Wars, originally written and conducted by John Williams and the performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and arranged and performed it for guitar. Using a Fractal Audio AX8 and a ton of lovely guitars (mainly Ernie Ball Music Man) he's taken every part and played them flawlessly.... My only thought is that I wish he went on to record the Asteroid Field from The Empire Stirkes Back, which would be nothing short of awesome!

Then, of course, there is this. A truly amazing recreation of the Throne Room end credits from Ep, 4: A New Hope by Magnus Lervik - Unfortunately I cannot find any reliable source to determine his signal chain...

I do hope you are as excited about seeing the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens as I am, although as I am laid up awaiting surgery for chronic Sciatica, it has to be now I miss the first day of a new Star Wars movie... I'm hoping that the world doesn't give it all away on social media, but you know, I'm not holding my breath!

Overview of the Triple Wreck Distortion

The Triple Wreck is intended to be a meeting ground of the famous 5150 amps and those great Mesa-Boogie amps known for their high gain aggressive crunch and tight distortion sound. The goal was to have it versatile enough to cover a lot of tonal ground, but still stay true to the characteristics of what makes those amps special and combine the elements into the ultimate high gain distortion. It had to have a flexible EQ structure, and in typically Brian fashion there had to be a switch to give more options to shaping the tone. Last but not least he added a contained boost that could go from a slight standard gain boost to full on fuzz destruction. The result was the Triple Wreck distortion.

Our favorite part of the Triple Wreck is how the bass reacts to the gain level. Many distortion pedals “flub” out as the gain goes up and lose definition, where the Triple Wreck retains that tight bottom end even with the gain maxed. It sounds fantastic no matter what type of pickups you’re using, but it really comes alive with humbuckers on a detuned guitar especially. It’s just a full on hard rock and metal pedal that will melt faces, and at the current time has the most gain of all of our pedals on tap.

 

Controls:Triple Wreck Distortion

Volume: This knob controls the overall output of the distortion. With the volume fully counter-clockwise, there will be no output whatsoever, no matter how high your gain knob is set. Being a distortion, there’s a lot of volume on tap, but it’s designed more for using it as a distortion and not necessarily a boost. Just like most Wampler pedals, unity on the volume knob is dependent on where the gain is set. Lower gain will require the volume to be set higher, and on the flip side with the gain up you could reduce the volume to reach unity. A good place to start is putting the volume at 11am, and adjust the amount of gain you want and your EQ, then set the volume to a bit above unity.

Treble: The knob controls the amount of high end frequencies that are heard on the distortion signal. The amps that this pedal tries to emulate were known for a biting high end presence and aggressive feel, so that’s what Brian wanted to capture in the range of the knob. Counter-clockwise will reduce the amount of high end content, smoothing out the drive and fattening it up a bit. Clockwise will add in some high end content and give your notes some extra clarity and biting sustain that’s great for lead work. Starting at Noon on this knob and adjusting from there to match your guitar and amp is the best advice. Don’t be afraid to add a bit of highs in there to cut through the mix.

Mids: This knob dictates the amount of midrange that’s present in the distortion signal. There’s a wide range to increase versatility for aggressive scooped metal to more mid-heavy classic metal and rock. Counter-clockwise on the knob will scoop the mids, giving a much more modern and djenty sound that works really well for modern aggressive metal and thrash as well as harder rock. Clockwise on the knob will give you more midrange presence, giving more body and filling out the sound of your distortion tone. Adding mids will help cut through the mix in a live setting. Where you set this will be dependent on where you have the Hard/Brutal switch set. Start at Noon and adjust to match your amp from there.

Bass: This knob controls the overall low-end frequencies that are present in the distortion signal. The bass on the Triple Wreck is what sets it apart from other high gain distortions out there. No matter where the gain is set, the bass retains it’s tightness and doesn’t flub out. Counter-clockwise on the knob will remove some of the bass frequencies, which works really well for bass-heavy amps or to not make the speaker cabinet rumble too hard and add some clarity. Clockwise  on the knob will add more bass frequencies to the distortion signal, adding a depth and a girth to the tone that is a staple of those great amps that it’s trying to emulate. Start the knob off at Noon and adjust from there to achieve the desired amount of thump in your signal.

Gain: This knob controls the amount of clipping and distortion on your signal. Being a high gain distortion, you’ve got a boat load of gain on tap through the entire gain range. It can be run for a slight distortion with some added girth and grit, but we feel that it shines as you crank the gain past Noon. Once you rotate the knob clockwise, the clipping and sustain and overall ballsy crunch will become much more saturated and in your face. The gain range runs from light distortion that lets your guitars natural tone shine through, to full-on saturated shred, punk, modern rock, and djenty. The gain structure changes based on where the Voicing switch is set, so on Hard mode it’ll be more neutral and Brutal will be much more aggressive and cutting. This thing is a behemoth of METAL!

Boost Contour: This knob controls a footswitchable boost. The boost knob only works when the Triple Wreck’s distortion is engaged, and it provides a few extra options for adding gain to you signal. Counter-clockwise will add more standard gain, which can be great for sustaining leads or for all out raw saturation. Rotating the knob clockwise will actually make the gain fuzzier, to the point at fully clockwise it sounds like you’re playing a fuzz. This can add some versatility to solos by introducing something different in the mix with loads of fat sustain that will remind you of a great Big Muff.

Hard/Brutal Voicing Switch: This switch governs the overall tonal character the distortion has. On the Hard selection, it’s much more neutral and even with all frequencies standing together on a unified front of harmonic glory (this side is perfect for classic rock and metal, and even like EVH’s tone on the Live in Tokyo Dome album). The Brutal side puts more emphasis on the high end frequency and makes it much more aggressive and heavy sounding with stinging gain that’s perfect for brutal modern metal and shred. Set this control first then tweak the gain and EQ to match your rig to find your perfect sound.

 

Technical Stuff:

  • 5.0″ x 4.50″ x 1.5″ (88.9mm x 114.3mm x 38.1mm) – height excludes knobs and switches
  • Soft relay switching and top-mounted jacks.
  • Power draw: 23mA – Runs off of 9v negative center barrel tip plug (Boss style) or an internal connector for a 9v battery. We don’t suggest running the Triple Wreck at 18v because the way the circuit is designed it will sound better at 9v.
  • There have been a few iterations of the Triple Wreck; most notable change is the switch from a massive enclosure to a more manageable sized enclosure, and the latest version has been converted to top jacks and soft switches.

You can check out the Triple Wreck more and purchase direct HERE.

 

 

 

 

My Dream Rig - Alex

Jason and I were discussing rigs, and the topic of dream rigs came up in the conversation. We figured it would be an interesting look at what each one of us would consider our own personal “dream rig.” The idea was if money weren't an issue, what would your ultimate rig look like. This has been a tough one for me, because I'm completely addicted with GAS so my tastes will change by tomorrow. Alas, this is my checkpoint for this day in time.

Guitar:

DISCLAIMER: I’m a telecaster man at heart, have been for about 12 years. I’m very fortunate to have found my favorite teles that fit me perfectly in 2005 that were built by Bill Crook, and they are always my go-to’s for every situation. Looking at what would be great to accompany it though, would be a really nice Strat. I’m completely ashamed to say that I don’t actually own a strat that is in playable condition (I have a 2000 MIM, but it needs serious work that I got for dirt cheap). So, I’ve taken to imagining my perfect strat, because what rig is complete without one?

I would have my strat built by Bill Crook at Crook Custom Guitars, because I’ve had the greatest success in the world with Bill’s work, and I swear he knows what I’m thinking in terms of manifesting my dream into reality. It helps that he’s the coolest and nicest guy in the world too. The neck is easy, I mean super easy. My specs would be the following:

  • Radius: 7 1/4 - 9 1/2 compound
  • Fretwire: 6105
  • Shape: .830 C
  • Nut Width: 1.650
  • Maple neck (unfinished)
  • Indian Rosewood fretboard with pearloid dot inlays
  • Vintage style Gotoh tuners.

The body would be light Ash and would look basically just like this with the sienna sunburst (disregard the tele neck):

Alex's Dream Rig

 It would have a Callaham bridge locked to the body like a hardtail (I never use trem, but like to have the option should I change my mind).

Bareckuckle Irish Tour pickups in cream with a matching pickguard, Bill's custom wiring and full setup. My cousin has nearly identical this setup (with Emerson custom wiring, which I can't recommend enough), and it's by far one of the best sounding strats I've ever played in my life (it actually gave me strat GAS for the first time in many years). The one thing that I would do to the change up the wiring would be to make the bottom tone control a master tone control for all of the pickups (like a tele), then move the volume down to the middle position and not have a 3rd knob near the strings. That's one reason I've never bonded with strats is because every time I get into playing hard my hand ends up bumping the volume down or up. That would completely eliminate that issue.

 

Pedals:

This is a tough one. My board would essentially be filled with Wampler gear (like it already is), and loads of delays like the Faux Tape Echo, Wheelhouse Lo-Fi delay, a special prototype Brian sent for us to see, a Gurus Echosex 2 and some other expensive boutique delays. There would be loads of dirt....overdrive, fuzz, distortion, alll of it. I would definitely have my modded tall font green russian big muff, and a few prototypes from Brian that I have cooking up in my head. By the time it was said and done I'd likely need two huge boards and someone to carry my rig around for me because of the sheer amount of pedals that I love. I'm a bit obsessed with pedals and switch up often, so it would be cool to have a huge board or multiple boards to have access to my entire pedal collection.

Dream Rig

 

Amps:

I run a stereo rig now and absolutely love it, so I would probably keep with that idea. My dream setup? A Dr. Z Z-Wreck head with matching 2x12 cab loaded with Celestion blue and gold, and the second I’m torn between a Marshall Bluesbreaker and a Marshall 2203 JCM800 Reissue with a 4x12 filled with greenbacks....so I suppose all 3 would work in addition to my Wampler Coyote 20 for the brownface stuff. I’d have an amp switcher to run each independently or together in stereo (eat your heart out Joe Bonamassa, haha). There’s a considerable amount of volume difference between the two, but that’s what makes it exciting is trying to get them to work together into a cohesive sounding rig.

Dr_Z_ZWreck-Black MARSHA0977_1962BB_1926Friedman_Dirty_Shirley

 

Klon v. Klone - the shootout!

So, the Dan and Mick at That Pedal Show have been at it again, this time taking a couple of original Klon Centaur (Silver and Gold) and putting them side by side next to "The Klone Pedal" the "Archer", "Archer Ikon", the "Soul Food" and our very own Tumnus. They both played through each of the pedals extensively and seemed to appreciate the minimal floor noise of the Tumnus as well as the full and balanced low end.

Once again, not only is the pedal show a great place to listen to pedals, but the guitars and amps on display are always worth looking out for, the usual Mitchell rehoused JTM-45 is here but this time we have some Two Rock Action and one of the most gorgeous Nik Huber guitars you'll hear! Also a lovely '57 reissue Les Paul, USA Vintage '62 Strat and Collings SoCo.

You can check out the shootout and see for yourself, which one do you think sounds best? Can a klone ever sound as good as a Klon?

Overview of the cataPulp Distortion

The concept and eventual creation of the cataPulp was something that Brian had wanted to do for a long time. The conversation came up between Brian and a friend of his that wanted the tones and feel of one of their favorite 50 watt tangerine-colored amps, but in stompbox form. This lead to Brian digging into the characteristics of that amp and how the gain and EQ react to each other and the guitar,  and  eventually created a pedal that can achieve those tones at a much friendlier size and budget. Typically Brian is the master of switches and extra knobs, but the cataPulp doesn’t need them at all. The tone of what it is trying to emulate is there in full force, simply laid out with ready to rock.

Some of our favorite parts of the cataPulp are how well the distortion reacts to adjustments on the guitars volume knob. A slight movement on the volume knob can go from searing crunchy leads to a smoother overdrive tone, and all things in between. The tone and feel of the distortion can go from country rock rhythms to full on metal , and the cataPulp sounds great with any style of guitar, whether it’s single coils, humbuckers, P90’s, etc.

One common question that arises is whether the cataPulp is a v2 of the Crush or Crush the Button. NO, it' a completely different circuit. The Crush was a very limited edition pedal that is a modified version of the old SuperPlex with the EQ and gain clipping to make it more in the realm of that amp line. The cataPulp is a brand new circuit that's different from all of the others, and the gain and EQ are completely different altogether from the Crush :-)

 

Controls:cataPulp Distortion

Volume: This knob controls the overall output of the distortion. When the knob is fully counter-clockwise there will be no output, even with the gain maxed. Unity on this knob is completely dependent on where the gain knob is set, so with a lower gain the volume will have to be raised to match, or with higher gain it can be lowered. Unlike a lot of distortions which are just great at high gain, the cataPulp works really well to boost an amp in the front with just a bit of grit for solos.

Bass: This controls the amount of low-end frequencies that are present in the distortion. This is an active control, which means it is capable of adding or subtracting bass from your tone. At Noon, the bass is unaffected and the distortion signal will be closest to your original tone. Counter-clockwise will remove bass frequencies from your original tone. This can be really helpful for very dark amps to keep from flubbing out on the bottom end. Clockwise on the knob will add low-end frequencies into your signal. This can be very helpful for inherently bright amps, as well as adding a bit of thump when playing at low volumes to give your tone the feel of really pushing a speaker cabinet at high volumes. You would typically want to start with the bass at Noon (neutral) and adjust from there depending on the amp and guitar. You might not even need to move it at all.

Mids: This controls the midrange behavior on your distortion signal. Being an active control, Noon is neutral and has no real difference on your tone. Counter-clockwise will scoop the mids out of your signal and give it a more modern, edgier and heavier sound, which works great for newer rock tones as well as metal. Clockwise on the knob will add mid-range to the distortion signal, allowing you to standout in a band mix more. Regardless of where the knob is set, your original tone shines through. Again, start a Noon with your bass tone and adjust from there. As the gain goes up you may want to adjust the mids to get the proper cut in your distortion tone to sit just right where you want in a live mix.

Treble: This knob controls how much high-end frequency is in your distortion signal. Being an active control as well, Noon is neutral with no high-end frequencies being added or removed from your signal. Counter-clockwise will remove some of your high end, which can be really helpful with inherently bright amps (I’m looking at you, AC30). Clockwise on the knob will yield more high end into your distortion tone, which works really well for cutting through the mix or brightening up darker guitars and amps. Just like the other active controls, I suggest starting it at Noon and adjusting from there. If you add more mid-range, you may want to adjust the highs to find the proper balance for your distortion tone.

Gain: This knob controls how much distortion is occurring on the signal. There is a tremendous amount of gain on tap on the cataPulp, but it’s quite different than a lot of distortions because it sounds equally as good with the gain set extremely low. Counter-clockwise will have less distortion on the signal, and rotating it clockwise will add more gain to your signal, but still allowing your guitars natural voicing to shine through (like running straight into a cranked amp). Counter-clockwise there will be only a slight breakup on your tone, just some added grit and drive that works really well to boost your amp. At around Noon there’s loads of distortion occurring and your tone gets fat and crunchy with great sustain. At 3pm, it’s becoming fully saturated with boat loads of fat sustain and a fuzzy crunch indicative of the tones those tangerine-ish amps are known for. The cataPulp is very responsive to rolling back the volume on your guitar, so you can go from searing leads with distortion to crunchy rhythm overdrive with the turn of your guitars knob. The main thing Brian wanted to do was preserve the guitars natural voicing and allowing it to shine through (like running straight into a cranked amp).

 

Technical Stuff:

  • Great for tones spanning from Weezer to Black Sabbath, Blackberry Smoke, and even Prince.
  • 5″ x 4.5″ x 1.5″ in size (63.5mm x 114.3mm x 38.1mm) – height excludes knobs and switches
  • Top-Mounted input and power jacks, soft relay switching. Active 3-band EQ
  • Power draw: 21mA at 9v, 22mA at 18v – Can be powered via negative center tip barrel plug (Boss style) internal 9v battery jack which can be accessed via removing the bottom plate.
  • Only one version of the cataPulp has been released to date.

 

You can read more about the cataPulp Distortion and purchase direct HERE,

Demos:

 

My dream rig - Jason...

So, Alex asked the question on the Wampler Pedals Tone Group page this week about your dream rig. I didn't answer there as I'm not sure I could articulate it that quickly, so I've thought about it, slept on it, drifted off when my wife has been speaking to me about BLAAHHHH and generally thrown it backwards and forwards in my mind and I think I've got it, so - here it is, my dream rig (please note, this expires roughly 5 minutes after I've written it).

Guitar.

 

I am the master of no genre but thoroughly enjoy attempting to hack my way through rock, metal, blues, country and if I'm being totally honest here, I really really want to be Steve Vai when I grow up (yes, I know, I'm 42 - age is just a number!). So, I need a guitar that can be versatile. I currently am the proud owner of a PRS Brent Mason signature, it's a great guitar and an excellent start to where I want my perfect guitar to be. My guitar needs to be powerful, both in pickups in and construction. I would probably go with something that has a fast, bright yet ballsy attack, it would be a 7 string with a whammy bar (I'd like to go up about a minor 3rd at the minimum so might need to be dug out), so the wood would be swamp ash. I'd need 24 frets, big stainless steel ones, probably with a Gibson scale sitting (smallish hands) on a thru neck (sustain baby!) or maybe a glued in because I am stupidly attracted to Birdseye maple. I don't know, not sure on that yet. I would get either Seth Baccus or Fibenare to build it - purely because I know them and trust them and they both produce guitars of such beauty and quality you'd be hard not to salivate when looking at them. Most of you already know about Fibenare because of Tom Quayle, but may have not heard about Seth. He's from my hometown, has now moved to Portugal and builds his guitars alongside his mentor, Andy Manson. The quality of work coming out their workshop is enough to make the hardest tone chaser weep! The pickups would from the brain of Tim Mills at BKP, the man is a tonal genius and I am certain he could take the concept of my current guitar and improve it radically. H/S/H config (independently tapable like the Brent PRS) with no signal level loss between HB and SC - I'd need it to sound like a Strat, a Les Paul, a Telecaster, a PRS... it'll need to sound awesome in all positions, maybe Brian would have to put an EQ and gain circuit in there some where to make it do this, now there is an idea. Can Brian make a circuit to go in a strat to make it sound like a telecaster and vice versa? Oh yeah, it'll need a JEM monkey grip, just because!

Effects board.

Quite simple, I want a Wampler and TC Electronics board for my rig. In it would be an Ego Compressor, the Plexi Drive Deluxe (I'd want this mod'd so that the pre gain boost can be separately switchable from a looper), a Tumnus for boosting, a Pinnacle and a Velvet Fuzz. Then there would be a Faux Tape Echo and a Flashback for delay, a Faux Spring ReverbHall of Fame, oh yeah, there'd be a PolyTune 2 in the front and a Ditto at the back. I'd also like a slimmed down Sonuus Wahoo pedal (I have some awesome ideas for that thing) in there somewhere as well... I'd like it all to be controlled by the sublime GigRig G2 - quite simply, there is no better looper on the market than that thing. Dan and team knocked it so far out the park with that the competition has been left stranded ever since. With this rig I can now be Vai, Gilmour, Edge, Brent, Brad, Dave and Adrian, Satch and every 70's, 80's and 90's rock player that I was bought up listening too and loving!

Amps.

This part of the rig is quite easy, loud and clean. Probably the Port City Pearl because it just eats pedals and sounds beautiful. But... I'd also love one of those Friedman BE100 that sound what a Marshall should sound like. I had the pleasure of playing through Dave's a couple of years back and it's stuck with me ever since, best rock sounding amp I've ever heard!

 

So, that's my dream rig. Most of it is easy, so if you want to donate y'all can send it to me. This is the first time I've thought about "my perfect guitar" so I'm kinda clouded by the concept but the more I think about it the more stupidly excited I get so who knows, maybe one day. So, if you could all buy 500 pedals each and tell Brian that you did after reading this pointless blog piece so he'll buy it for me :D