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New from Catalinbread Effects is this Formula No. 55 overdrive pedal, a device that turns your amp into a roaring 100 watt tweed Deluxe! If you’re looking to explore amp=like sounds that go from clean Jazz to a Crazy Horse-esque drive that’s on the verge of blowing your tubes up, this pedal will provide it. The old amps from the 50s were primitive beasts and the 5E3 Deluxe was no exception. Its preamp section let a lot of low frequencies through but then it would encounter an output section (power tubes, output transformer, and speaker) that couldn’t handle all that low end, often resulting in a flubby response, especially if you turned the Volume up. In fact, if you look at the manual from an old 50s tweed, it advises you to “turn down the Volume should you experience any distortion”. Of course, a lot of guitarists ignored that advice and cranked it up anyway, much to Leo’s chagrin, and the sound of rock was born. The Formula No. 55 gives you that huge low-end response but was specifically voiced for touch-sensitive dynamics and a fat, but tight and punchy sound. You can play a palm-muted boogie-woogie rhythm pattern, for example, and if you don’t bear down too hard with your picking attack you’ll get a big chunky, woody sound, the kind of sound that you’d think would flub out if you suddenly started strumming harder. But start thrashing away and the response will get tighter instead of flubbing out! You just have to try it for yourself to see!
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