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A Brief Overview of Wampler Dual-Channel Overdrive/Distortion Pedals - Which One is right for you?

BoostBoost and OverdriveDistortionDumble Style OverdriveKlone and Transparent OverdriveMarshall Style DistortionODR Style OverdriveOverdriveTubescreamer Style OverdriveWampler+-
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2021GOXWamplerDualDrives700.jpg

I’m a little late with this, as it’s been a while since the most recent of these - the Gearbox first put in an appearance. I’m obviously a significant Brian Wampler fan - where I have 12 of his pedals to-date - while I’ve not succumbed to any of his Dual-Channel pedals yet. I typically prefer the greater placement versatility of the single compact pedals - while I really like the vertical-style BB enclosure pedals too.

 

That said I’ve long been on the lookout for a V1 Vertical Dual Fusion - which I’ve always rated. I include that in this overview as a reference to the older style of vertical BB-size pedals - where the newer releases have never existed in that format.

 

I’m actually pretty keen on the new Gearbox too - which is a smart combination of Deluxe Pinnacle Distortion with Mini Tumnus Boost - plus added Gate so you can really drive the pedal hard!

 

It’s great how each of these combines two incredibly complementary gain pedals which fill out each other’s frequency profiles. For whatever reason I’m somewhat less interested in he Hot Wired and Paisley Deluxe - while I’m sure those will be perfect for those styles of players. Overall Brian has really left the best to last here - as the Gearbox is the most fully-featured of all of these. While I will probably acquire a V1 Dual Fusion ahead of that.

 

Here follow the usual details, with pedals listed in alphabetical order by name :


Dual Fusion V2 Tom Quayle Signature Dual Overdrive (Euphoria + Paisley Modded) - $260

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Controls - CH2 Paisley } Gain, Volume, Tone, Voicing : Throaty / Natural, CH 1 Euphoria } Tone, Volume, Gain, Voicing : Smooth / Fat, Playback Mode : 2>1 | Separate | 1>2, Channel 2 Engage, Channel 1 Engage.

 

I've been a Tom Quayle fan for many a years - he just has the most wonderful touch and elegant way of playing and is supremely versatile in his guitar virtuosity. This combination of Euphoria and Modded Paisley Drive delivers exactly the right tonality for Tom's expansive style. I of course own the stand-alone Euphoria already, but don't own a Paisley Drive (Modded TS808) yet - so a good combination for me really. The newer horizontal format will suit certain players - certainly those with big feet! While for me the Vertical V1 is more practical for easy pedal-chain placement.


Dual Fusion V1 Vertical Tom Quayle Signature Dual Overdrive (Euphoria + Paisley Modded) - discontinued - $260

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Controls - CH2 Paisley } Gain, Volume, Tone, Voicing : Throaty / Natural, CH 1 Euphoria } Tone, Volume, Gain, Voicing : Smooth / Fat, Playback Mode : 2>1 | Separate | 1>2, Channel 2 Engage, Channel 1 Engage.

 

As mentioned - this earlier V1 Vertical Version is my preferred format of Dual Fusion as it's very slightly easier for me to squeeze it into my heavily congested pedal-chain. No doubt there have been a few tweaks along the intervening years - while the V1 still sounds plenty grand enough for me - it's all about happening upon one of these at a price and in a condition that I can't refuse!


Gearbox Andy Wood Signature Overdrive (Pinnacle Deluxe + Tumnus Mini) - $270

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Controls - CH2 Pinnacle } Gain, Level, Gate, Bass, Mids, Treble, CH1 Mini Tumnus } Gain, Level, Tone, Order : 1>2 | 2>1, Channel 2 Engage, Channel 1 Engage.

 

I feel that this newest Dual-Channel box is the star of the show here - cramming in a full Pinnacle Deluxe with a Mini Tumnus essentially on Boost duties. The innovation here is the further inclusion of a single-knob noise gate - which means you can really drive the pedal hard without suffering any overly noisy consequences. To date I only have the regular compact Pinnacle - so it kind of makes sense for me to get one of these as I've always wanted a Pinnacle Deluxe too. While I would still prefer this in a vertical arrangement - like the V1 Dual-Fusion. This is obiously an Andy Wood Signature Pedal - but I feel it has a universally appealing setup - where many signature pedals are rather more specialist.


Hot Wired V2 Brent Mason Signature Distortion/Overdrive (Plexi-Drive + Clarksdale w/ Blend) - $260

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Controls - Plexi-Drive Distortion } Volume, Tone, Gain, Bass Boost : Fat / Normal / Fatter, Clarksdale Overdrive } Volume, Gain, Tone, Blend, Bass Boost : Fat / Normal / Fatter, Distortion Engage, Overdrive Engage.

 

Brent Mason's Signature Pedal adds a Clean-Blend to the Clarksdale (TS808) side and combines that with a standard Plexi-Drive. A Plexi boosted by a Tube Screamer is another classic pairing - which has universal appeal - while I rather prefer the combination of Pinnacle and Tumnus (Gearbox). Lots of players will find this a winning combination - while I personally have never been that excited by this particular pedal - preferring instead say DryBell's The Engine or Empress's Multidrive. I feel I'm pretty well covered in this area - but fully understand how this can appeal to others.


Brad Paisley Deluxe Signature Dual Overdrive (Paisley Drive + Underdog Overdrive) - $260

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Controls - CH 2 Paisley Drive } Level, Tone, Gain, CH 1 Underdog Overdrive } Level, Gain, Bass, Mids, Treble, Playback Mode : 2>1 | Separate | 1>2, Channel 2 Engage, Channel 1 Engage.

 

Brad Paisley has had a long association with Brian Wampler and this is a cool way to get your hands on one of Brian's rarest circuits - the Underdog Overdrive - based on the Nobels ODR-S. This is combined with Brad's classic Modified TS808 style circuit - the Paisley Drive. Do note that this is the standard / stock version of Paisley Drive, while the version on the Dual Fusion is somewhat modified towards Tom Quayle's preferences. Another great Wampler Combo - and will certainly be appealing for certain types of players. I already have numerous TS808 style pedals in my collection - and I'm already looking to snag an actual ODR-S eventually - so in this instance I somewhat prefer the singles.


Final Thoughts

2021GOXWamplerDualDrives700.jpg

While some people seem to play down the fidelity of Brian Wampler's gain pedals I actually really like them and obviously own several of his. Readers will know that I have a very strong preference for Compact Enclosure pedals - which I find much more pedalboard friendly and easier to accommodate and mix up in various configurations. While as mentioned, I've always fancied a V1 Dual-Fusion for some reason.

 

The Dual-Fusion is first on my list, and currently I already have a couple of Plexis on my board in the guise of the Pettyjohn Gold II, and Tsakalis Room #40 - and occasionally have the DryBell The Engine or Empress Multidrive in the chain too - so I really don't need the Gearbox as such - while I still quite want one!

 

The Hot Wired and Paisley Deluxe are pretty much perfect for what they deliver - but those don't appeal to me to the same degree.

 

If I had the choice I would much prefer for all of these to be Vertical Format Editions - but can understand why Brian went horizontal - for top-mounted jacks primarily. With EBS flats though - the V1 is somewhat more practical still than the horizontal varieties - by a smidge!

 

It's not like I have a shortage of gain pedals in my collection - so each of these is somewhat a lower priority / sort of nice-to have - as Compact Enclosure pedals will almost always have precedence.

 

What about you dear readers? Which of these appeal to you?

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Stefan Karlsson
Stefan Karlsson
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