Catalinbread SFT (Stones/Stoner Switch Version)

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$189.99

The Catalinbread SFT is an AMPEG voiced foundation overdrive that bridges the “Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out!” (Stones) and the Desert Rock (Stoner) eras.

Catalinbread have always been smitten with AMPEG. Early on Ampeg was actually a Jazz purist company, completely overlooking (possibly looking down on) more popular genres like Country & Western and Rock that FENDER and MARSHALL openly embraced. From a design standpoint they took more queues from the hifi world than they did from guitarists as evidenced by their tube compliments, gain stages without cathode capacitors, and implementation of the Baxandall tone controls. And they were no slouches to innovation either, “Flip-top” combos is a great example. Not to mention there is at least one model of amplifier that had a torsion bar to adjust the tightness of the speaker baffle!

The most important AMPEG innovation was their 180 degree turn in regard to musical genre that took place in 1969 after the Rolling Stones had their entire HIWATT backline confiscated at the Canadian/US border on their American Tour in 1969. AMPEG stepped up to the plate providing an entire backline of 8 (and one as a backup) prototype SVT amplifiers and a tech to support them on the tour. Anybody who has listened to “Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out!” knows that BIG, bouncy, full sound of the guitars and basses. A sound that defined the Stones sound until the mid to late 70s when they were using VT40s and VT22s.

The AMPEG SVT continued to be the standard bass amp for rock an roll, while their guitar amps fell into relative obscurity. That was until some dude in California named Josh Homme started using them playing shows out in the Palm Desert to a bunch of stoners. His tone and bands, Kyuss and Queens of the Stone Age arguably defined the sound of rock guitar throughout the aughts.

Overview

The SFT was a painstaking undertaking to accomplish. That elusive not-clean yet not-dirty sound. A great tube amp does it. You turn it up halfway or so and there it is – not totally clean but not really crunching either. It breathes. It bounces. It responds. Getting a pedal to do that is not easy. Getting a pedal to do that while also making the pedal able to become a pummeling JFET fuzz pedal is even harder. Catalinbread persisted until they nailed it! It was all about gain staging. Finding the right bias points. Tuning the tone stack. Making the circuit resonate just right so the pick attack is right. So the thump of the low E string is right.

Experience

The SFT is one of Catalinbread's Foundation Overdrives – pedals can give you big, cranked up amp response at non-cranked volumes. To use it as intended, you’ll want your amp set to a relatively clean, flat response. In fact, the new SFT is their widest ranging Foundation pedal yet and responds particularly well to fuzzes, boosts, and overdrivers.

To get acquainted with your new SFT, plug it in by itself, without your other pedals. Start off with a clean sound from your amp.

STONES/STONER MODES:  First, let’s talk a bit more about the STONES/STONER MODE switch. This switch completely reconfigures the SFT and makes it become a completely new beast. Think Jekyll and Hyde! Two pedals in one! STONES MODE is super-refined and STONER MODE is raw and unleashed! If you want the most authentic big Ampeg tube amp response, use STONES MODE. If you want a rippin’ high gain distortion sound that can achieve huge fuzz tones, use STONER MODE.

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