;;;; ;;;;; ;;;;;;;; ;;;;;; ;;;;; BY STEVE OUIMETTE Catlinbread Stompboxes BY JAMES EGOLF After sourcing some small Hammond cases at the local Fry’s, Catalinbread’s own Nicholas Harris decided to see how much tone he could finagle out of the diminutive boxen, and in the process, freed up some precious pedalboard real estate for pedal toting minions. Nicholas was generous enough to send over the results for our perusal: the HyperPak Dirty Channel, the Serrano Picoso, the Ottava Magus Octave Ring Multiplier and the V8 Fuzz Tone Generator. MSRP $129 Catalinbread catalinbread.com Buy If... Skip If... Rating... 4.0 you always end up falling for the crazy ones. you play rhythm guitar exclusively in a Carpenters cover band V8 Fuzz Tone Generator This V8 pedal is more fun than my first “real” girlfriend. Its unique CMOS inverter chip design allows for smooth, nearly respectable fuzz when the Fuzz control is below noon, but once it goes past its invisible Maginot Line, all kinds of cool, random noises are produced – with or without any input signal. Before this point is reached, the V8 behaves much like a nice old Colorsound Supa Tonebender. Nicholas told us this about his sonic objective for the V8: “You know that Commodores song, ‘Easy’ right? That solo tone is just so cool – I wanted to get that.” For me, the most fun was right on the edge, keeping the Fuzz knob at noon or a touch past, rewarding the picker with some rasp and sputter on the low notes while retaining the smooth, legato fuzz tones on the mids and highs. But the difference between this and toy-robot sounds is about a half-millimeter tweak of the Fuzz knob. This pedal could easily go from a convincing cover of “Beck’s Bolero” to a Nels Cline-inspired noise fest with little more than a deft big toe. It also has the ability to clean up like it was going to a parole hearing with a simple twist of your guitar’s volume knob. Good times.
Serrano Picoso Catalinbread’s original Super Chili Picoso, based on Jack Orman’s Mosfet boost design, has already attained legendary status among clean boost aficionados, and the Serrano Picoso is well on its way to garnering the same accolades. Featuring the same single-knob layout as its bigger sibling, the Serrano Picoso gives up the Fat/ Clean switch as a concession to size and features 5dB less boost han the Super Chili. But with 30dB of boost remaining, it should still handily take care of most boosting needs.
168 PREMIER GUITAR DECEMBER 2008 148 PREMIER GUITAR GREATEST HITS VOL. 1
MSRP $119 Catalinbread catalinbread.com Rating... 4. 5
you like your tone, but crave more.
you go straight from your guitar to
I haven’t played through a Super Chili Picoso, so I’m unable to
compare the two, but it’s a safe bet they are similar, since the Serrano is based on the same circuit as the Super Chili. I have used
other other boutique boosts, and really like the way this thing
sounds. Where others sound like a Class A mic pre – very slightly
coloring the signal in a beautiful, warm, pleasing way while adding
a hint of top-end sparkle – the Serrano Picoso sounds like the
mythical “More” pedal guitarists have been clamoring for, adding enough boost to be noticed, all while staying off of your rig’s
inherent tonal fingerprint. The lesser Picoso would excel as a line
amp for larger pedalboards, a proper boost pedal or as a willing
participant in a stackable gain affair. The Serrano is aptly named,
working perfectly as an extra spice in a recipe you already love.