Overview of the cataPulp Distortion

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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:

 

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