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Boost and Overdrive

Matt Kauffman's Flower Pedals are a super appealing Compact and Bijou Range of Smart, mostly Dual-Footswitch Extended-Range Analog Modulation and Drive Pedals

BoostBoost and OverdriveEffects Pedal MakersEnvelope Filter and Auto WahFlower PedalsFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionModulationOverdrivePhaserTremoloWah and Fixed Wah+-
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I’ve featured a number of Matt’s pedals on this site before - and have his two most recent ones in my collection - the Castilleja Phaser / Uni-Vibe and Hosta Wah-Filter. Where the latter is currently the mainstay Dynamic Filter / Auto-Wah pedal on slot #4 of my pedal-chain.


Funnily his Dandelion Harmonic Tremolo was one of his first - and has been on my wishlist for the longest time - in fact since I first featured it in April of 2018. Other priorities have arisen which have gotten in the way of my getting a Dandelion Tremolo - like the JAM Pedals Harmonious Monk and Spaceman Delta II most recently - but it will for sure happen some day soon enough.


Another pedal I really like the look of is the Geranium Germanium Drive - which has a really great sounding breakup texture - so that will be added too eventually - as a great fuzzy-drive option. Readers will know that I’m less in favour of the horizontal compact format - which means that the admittedly formidable Poppy Dual Boost is unlikely to be acquired in that particular layout type.


I think most players will find much to like here - and judging from the two I have - these are most exactingly calibrated and engineered pedals with very significant dynamic range. The Hosta is pretty much permanent in my chain these days - and the Castilleja gets a fairly regular rotation with the other 3 new phasers - ThorpyFX Pulse Doppler, Sitek Phasia and Magnetic Effects Eye-to-Eye - where I also intend to get a Mu-Tron Phasor III this year - and then do a ’2021 Year of Phaser’ roundup. In fact since I first wrote this article I’ve added yet another Phaser - the Strymon Zelzah!


I really look forward to seeing what Matt does next as each of his genre takes really appeal to my sensibilities. Here follow further details on each of his current range of pedals :

Castilleja 2-Voice 4-Stage Phaser with Uni-Vibe Mode - $249


Controls - Intensity, Voice : Phaser / Vibe // Chorus / Vibrato, Wave Shape / Ramp-up Time / Drift Depth : Ramp / Triangle / Sine / Square, Ramp : Momentary / Latch / Drift, Level, Feedback / Resonance : High / Medium / None, Speed / Speed Expression / Ramp Speed / Drift Speed , Tap/Ramp Footswitch, On/Hold Footswitch.


This is actually a much more formidable and somewhat complex phaser than immediately evident, as each control here pretty much has a secondary and third function / parameter even. So that in effect you get an even greater feature set than the already formidable 7 controls indicate. You access secondary modes / parameters - by holding down the right-hand footswitch - which will give you for instance additional Chorus and Vibrato voicings, and a variety of Drift and Ramping controls too.


The Phase timbre here sound amazing as you would expect with an Analog Optical Phaser - and that you get a killer Uni-Vibe voicing here too it just another major benefit. I knew I wanted one of these pretty much as soon as I laid eyes on it - while it's been kept our of rotation a touch by the ThorpyFX Pulse Doppler and Sitek Phasia so far - it sill gets a decent run every now and again and really is one of my favourite all-time compact format phasers.

Hosta Wah-Filter Dynamic Filter and Auto-Wah - $279


Controls - Level, Mode : Auto, Fixed, Envelope Filter, Parameter B / Wave Shape : Ramp / Triangle / Pulse / Square, Frequency : Treble / Mids / Bass, Gain, Q Bandwidth : High / Medium / Low, Parameter A, Tap/Ramp Footswitch, On/Hold Footswitch.


Again featuring Matt's formidable 7-controls Topology, this is an exceptionally dynamic and great sounding Filter / Auto-Wah. I get a bit lazy with manual Wah pedals - even though I own a number of those - and prefer to mostly deploy some sort of Auto-Wah instead - where the Hosta is my current favourite - just ahead of the Dr Scientist Dusk - while head of those has its advantages and strengths in certain areas.


Overall though the Hosta really is my favourite auto-wah pedal to-date - it just works and sounds exactly as I need it to. And has some really smart controls which don't take long getting used to.


The main complexity here is those Parameter A / B knobs - which each have different function for the 3 filer modes - so for Auto Wah they are Ramp Transition Speed and Ramp Rate, for Fixed Wah they are Secondary Fixed Wah Setting and Tap Footswitch to be Non/Latching, and for Envelope Filter Mode they are Threshold of Envelope Detection, and Envelope Sensitivity.


The Frequency control allows you to centre the Wah on a particular frequency cluster - and the two footswtiches trigger smart secondary functions too.


I though use it 99% in Auto-Wah Mode!

Dandelion Amplitude / Harmonic Tremolo V2 - $249


Controls - Boost, Type : Standard (Amplitude) / Harmonic, Wave Shape : Ramp, Triangle, Sine, Square, Voice : Treble / Balanced / Bass, Depth, Double : On/Off (Double Speed), Speed, Tap/Ramp Footswitch, On/Hold Footswitch.


It really is something of a mystery why I don't have this one yet - it's certainly been riding high on my Tremolo Pedals wishlist for quite a while - and Harmonic Tremolo is my favourite genre of Tremolo for sure. My next addition is really between the Dandelion, Swindler Effects Red Mountain Stereo Harmonic Tremolo, and Walrus Audio Monuments Harmonic Tremolo - actually Spaceman Delta II also! While I would also quite like a Mr Black Mini Harmonic Tremolo - where I believe those are in somewhat short supply nowadays. For many of these it's also a question of availability on this side of the pond - as there is no official UK or European Dealer even currently as far as I'm aware - you typically need to go direct and pay the additional import fees - which isn't always ideal. I will have one of these eventually for sure though - I've long since made my mind up, and am so enjoying the Castilleja and Hosta nowadays that I would really quite like to complete that set!


Will be good to see if the Dandelion can go as thick and richly textured as the JAM Pedals Harmonious Monk - which has by far and away the thickest and juiciest Harmonic mode to-date - pretty much nearly at Uni-Vibe levels! There's certainly a lot of competition out there, and I'm aware of a few more tremolos coming though the ranks in the next 6 months - from a number of my existing allies. Most of those have a Harmonic Tremolo mode - so it will be interesting to see how all of those stack up and how that will affect my preferences and priorities.

Geranium Germanium Drive - $199


Controls - Level, Bright : Boost/Cut, Drive, Germanium Bias : High / Low, Scoop (Mids).


A cool unique overdrive whose tone generation comes from the combination of single NOS Germanium Transistor and OpAmp - with a Mids Scoop control in place of a typical Tone control, and then Bright and Bias toggle-switches - the former of which Boosts / Cuts High Frequencies, while the latter gives you two different Germanium Transistor Bias settings for different Germanium Transistor Textures - for more or less pronounced gain structure.


A glorious vintage sounding overdrive with gorgeous warm and slightly gritty breakup textures which can though get into Fuzz territory at peak Drive / Gain and High Bias. I will certainly be picking up one of these before too long. I very much classify this as a Fuzzy-Drive gain pedal - which is of course one of my favourite categories!

Poppy Dual Boost - $199


Controls - WHITE } Boost, Bass, Treble, RED} Bump (Frequency Boost Sweep), Tone, Boost.


This takes Flower Pedals' original Mini Red Poppy Boost and adds a new complementary White Boost circuit into a horizontal compact enclosure. Where each side can be engaged via separate Footswitch and therefore obviously stacked too as such. The Right-hand Red Poppy side has a smart Bump control which allows you to Sweep a range of frequencies to accentuate / bump / boost a certain cluster, while the White Poppy left-hand side employs rather more conventional passive James 2-Band EQ.


This is for sure a cool Boost pedal with smart and impactful controls - while readers will know that I really don't like this form-factor - I would much rather see this as a vertical compact enclosure which is much more pedal-board friendly and easier to fit into the chain. Were it in that format - this could surely go in on the rotation with my beloved ThorpyFX Heavy Water on slot #8. I am very unlikely to acquire this Boost in its current format - but would certainly consider it if it ever moved to vertical orientation!

Final Thoughts


These are all pretty distinct and smart analog circuits, some with digital control layers for tap-tempo and ramping functions. There are 4 here that particularly appeal to me - which means I will be adding the Dandelion Tremolo and Geranium Drive soon enough to my well-loved Castilleja Phaser and Hosta Wah-Filter.


Matt is surely a really smart circuit engineer and has developed some exceptional circuits here - where all of these are of a really high quality construction and sound great - with the Poppy Dual Boost just not being in quite the right format for me.


Do you have any of these or are considering acquiring one? I can see Matt producing excellent Chorus and Flanger pedals too in similar forma - which would certainly find their way onto my wishlist / acquisition list too!

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Stefan Karlsson
Stefan Karlsson
Guitar Pedal X
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