All wrapped up in an elegant blue metallic box, this once-exclusive pedal has graduated from Brad Paisley’s pedal board and into the world for the rest of us to get our hands on. And one quick glance at the Wampler website and you can see what Paisley had in mind for the pedal he’d put his name to.
Brad wanted to keep things simple: a predominantly clean sound with a healthy dose of crunch to “give it some beef”, according to the country-rocker. He wanted something that could sound fluid for solos, but maintain the ability to belt some “ball-busting gain” without ruining the tone. It needed to have everything at the tap of a toe, but without sounding like a pedal.
The available control options are Volume, Gain, and Tone. The toggle switches control presence on the left and mids on the right. When in the 'up' position, the left toggle cranks up the presence, or brightness, if you prefer. The right toggle adds full mids when switched down, while leaving it up will sacrifice for more clarity. We found the middle position grants a nice balance of mids and a bright, present tone. The mid contour switch works very well for tailoring the pedal to your amp or speaker cabinet. Gain will increase the amount of drive, while the Tone control will add mid-highs and higher frequencies as you turn it up.
Feeding the pedal into our Vox AC30 we were immediately impressed with the tone as the pedal belted notably thick and with a punching mid-range. While it may have been designed specifically for Paisley’s country sound, Wampler has really created a pedal for any situation that calls for overdrive with a warm thick sound perfect for blues, funk, and rock.
The two mini switches leave room for a lot of discovery, allowing for considerable control over presence and mid contour for a very versatile and complete mid to high response and no shortage for sound variety. You’ll also get excellent dynamic and transparency. We have to admit, we got caught up in its versatility and lost track of time for a little while.
We’re not at all surprised that Paisley has turned to Wampler to meet his pedal needs, as this pedal came in well beyond our expectations. In a market completely saturated with overdrive and other effect pedals, the Paisley Drive finds a way to stand out both in quality and quantity.
When we sat down to give the pedal a whirl, we expected our review would be something along the lines of: “Want some twangy, Tele tones? Here you go!” but we’re very happy to recommend the Paisley Drive as much more. Wampler has created the perfect all-around overdrive pedal that can easily walk off stage and into the studio and back again. This one’s worth your money.
Fender american standard telecaster, Vox Ac30 with celestion Greenback.
Video recorded at Piave 34 studio www.piave34.it, without any type of equalization and compression, little reverb added.
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