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Old 11-24-2014, 04:14 PM   #1
V8Jewelly
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Wampler Sovereign: Suggestions of similar or better?

As title, see below for more detail.

For reasons it's probably not worth explaining, I prefer/need to use drive pedals rather than a driven amp and a channel footswitch. So, typically I like to get the fattest, cleanest tone I can from whatever amp I'm using and then set the pedal to suit, which works pretty well for me.

Quick bit of equipment info here; I don't currently possess a full tube amp but I aspire to purchasing a decent stack setup in the near future. Also, both the guitars I use for the more metally have EMGs in so whatever I end up getting needs to work with active pickups.

Anyway, so I'm looking to replace my current metal-type drive with something else to give me the metal-ish type drive in my range (the others I'm looking at at a later date). A friend suggested Wampler were highly regarded, and after a bit of research I managed to get to a music shop and tried out the Triple Wreck, Plextortion, SLOstortion, and Sovereign. Upon reccomendation from the sales assistant, I also tried the MXR 'Full-bore Metal'.

Out of all those the sovereign was the one that best my replaced my current metal-type pedal in terms of fulfilling the same role (SLOstortion had amazing tone and sustain but sounded a bit to overdrivey to work as a metal sound). Incidentally, when I say metal, I'm not talking balls out thrash, think more later Metallica/Iron Maiden Etc...

I don't really know where to start with other brands, there's so many (and I can't try all of them!).

So, any suggestions of ones that I should investigate?
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Old 11-24-2014, 04:48 PM   #2
CL/\SH
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http://earthquakerdevices.com/cart_.../bk/1/cat/13099

as far as I know, Kirk has always preferred tubescreamers, and that thing encompasses each and every sound a tubescreamer has ever attempted to execute

You can't go wrong with Wampler though. If you're looking for something a bit less face melting than the SLOstortion, you might want to look at the Euphoria or the Pinnacle instead. There's always a Timmy or a Tim as well. Earthquaker makes other drive pedals really worth looking at, and Mojo Hand FX/Catalinbread have good options as well. Good luck.
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Old 11-24-2014, 05:11 PM   #3
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^ Earthquaker is an overdrive pedal, he's looking for a distortion pedal for plugging into a clean amp.
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Old 11-24-2014, 05:31 PM   #4
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That's why it was only one of my suggestions when I think metallica I think tubescreamer through a clean amp since that is what Kirk does, or just straight up amp distortion like in Hetfields case.

Earthquaker makes some gnarly fuzz/dirt pedals too, the HoofReaper will get him into some pretty mean sounding territory. But then he says he doesn't want "balls out" thrash sounds, so I'm hesitant to recommend something that heavy
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Old 11-24-2014, 05:44 PM   #5
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^^^ Thanks peeps

I did like the SLO but the hint of overdrive to it just didn't quite sound right as a metal tone.

Also, this is basically solely a rhythm tone ( hardly play any lead and I'll have something different for that when I do), so basically fat, heavy chords is pretty much what it's gotta do, but all the notes in the chord need to come through. None of this only being able to handle power chords.

And yes, the pinnacle is one that I was gonna look at potentially, though I reckon it won't be quite enough
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Old 11-24-2014, 06:11 PM   #6
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Right. Does sound like the Pinnacle won't quite stack up. (Euphoria most likely wouldn't either)

To be honest the Sovereign is great for what you're after. Though like I said, Earthquaker has a few fuzzes that you may want to look at some demos for. They're all very characteristically fuzz/distortion; you won't hear any inkling of overdrive in the Cloven Hoof, for example. Each of them are very capable but will execute slightly different styles of fuzz. They're all known for being great at retaining the sound of each note too, even when you've dime'd the gain.

Another company I think worth mentioning are Blackout effectors, they have a few dirt pedals that are really popular like the musket or the blunderbuss (musket is probably more of what you're after).

All this is to say when you're dropping ~200 bucks on a dirt pedal from any of these companies, you can't go wrong
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Last edited by CL/\SH : 11-24-2014 at 06:13 PM.
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Old 11-24-2014, 07:00 PM   #7
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Thanks, much youtubing to be done....

Though I probably should mention at this point I'm in the UK......hoping that's not gonna rule out any of your suggestions :-/
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Old 11-24-2014, 08:30 PM   #8
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The big problem being in europe is that you can get a jet city 50 watt head for less than a slostortion. I've never tried a wampler but I've tried plenty of pedals...
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Old 11-24-2014, 09:57 PM   #9
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Prymaxe has a good international shipping policy, all orders over $50 ship overseas for free. They carry Mojo Hand FX, Earthquaker, as well as Wampler. I got my Zap Machine from them, and it may have come in a day ahead of time iirc
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Old 11-25-2014, 08:58 AM   #10
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Some interesting gear there^^^^ but first impressions are that they're a bit too 'fuzz' really, and the Magistrate doesn't sound as good as the Sovereign from the videos I found (and they don't stock it at the shop I went to :-( ).

How would any of the boss Distortion Pedals (Namely DS-1, DS-2, DA-2, MD-2, and DS-1X) compare to the likes of the sovereign etc that have been suggested. I took my current boss units along when I tried out the wampler units, and against the MT-2 (yes I know, shame be upon me) they were leagues ahead, but my good ol' OS-2 faired up better against them than I thought it would. Unfortunately I didn't have time to compare the boss drives against the sovereign, it might be a no-brainer too but what do others think?
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Old 11-25-2014, 11:00 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CL/\SH
when I think metallica I think tubescreamer through a clean amp since that is what Kirk does, or just straight up amp distortion like in Hetfields case.


What? Kirk doesn't do that. He is using (or he has used) tubescreamer to boost amp's distortion. Tubescreamer into a clean amp can't give you metal tone. It doesn't have enough gain.
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Old 11-25-2014, 02:37 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by V8Jewelly
Some interesting gear there^^^^ but first impressions are that they're a bit too 'fuzz' really, and the Magistrate doesn't sound as good as the Sovereign from the videos I found (and they don't stock it at the shop I went to :-( ).

How would any of the boss Distortion Pedals (Namely DS-1, DS-2, DA-2, MD-2, and DS-1X) compare to the likes of the sovereign etc that have been suggested. I took my current boss units along when I tried out the wampler units, and against the MT-2 (yes I know, shame be upon me) they were leagues ahead, but my good ol' OS-2 faired up better against them than I thought it would. Unfortunately I didn't have time to compare the boss drives against the sovereign, it might be a no-brainer too but what do others think?
Most people here would tell you to avoid any Boss pedal that isn't modded like the plague. Except maybe the SD-1, iirc. But the SD-1 won't accomplish what you're trying to do. Is there something about the Sovereign that leaves you wanting? It sounds like you really prefer it, but is there something about the way it sounds that makes you think there's something better?
Quote:
Originally Posted by JackovSlayer
What? Kirk doesn't do that. He is using (or he has used) tubescreamer to boost amp's distortion. Tubescreamer into a clean amp can't give you metal tone. It doesn't have enough gain.

http://www.amptone.com/g153.htm

You're right, not sure what I was thinking. Not that it's relevant anymore since TS has ruled out any tubescreamer clone. Feel free to make your own suggestions and actually contribute at some point though
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Old 11-25-2014, 02:51 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave_Mc
The big problem being in europe is that you can get a jet city 50 watt head for less than a slostortion.



just get the head.... will solve all of your problems.

Whats your budget for the pedals?

And your current gear.
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Old 11-25-2014, 03:11 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CL/\SH
Most people here would tell you to avoid any Boss pedal that isn't modded like the plague. Except maybe the SD-1, iirc. But the SD-1 won't accomplish what you're trying to do. Is there something about the Sovereign that leaves you wanting? It sounds like you really prefer it, but is there something about the way it sounds that makes you think there's something better?


You're right, I do like the sovereign, and if it turned out to be the best option for it I would be happy with it. The only thing that I find slightly frustrating and why I didn't just jump to a decision is that comparing it with the SLO, although the SLO wasn't quite as metally sounding, and the tone itself wasn't quite right, it did have a bit more fullness to it...this sounds contradictory. So I'm just trying to find out if there's anything that will give the meat like the slo but with the right sounding drive tone like the sovereign....I feel I'm being Picky now lol. One thought that I had was that maybe the sovereign with an EQ pedal one side or the other might go some way towards this....?

It may be that the amp I was trying them on (Marshal DSL15 Combo I think), didn't bring out the low end brilliantly in the sovereign, though it may just be wishful thinking......

My gear is largely irrelevant as both my pedals will be replaced, as will my amp setup (getting a stack at some point). CLean single channel with pedals is how I roll so amp drive is not what I'm looking at...
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Old 11-25-2014, 03:53 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by V8Jewelly
You're right, I do like the sovereign, and if it turned out to be the best option for it I would be happy with it. The only thing that I find slightly frustrating and why I didn't just jump to a decision is that comparing it with the SLO, although the SLO wasn't quite as metally sounding, and the tone itself wasn't quite right, it did have a bit more fullness to it...this sounds contradictory. So I'm just trying to find out if there's anything that will give the meat like the slo but with the right sounding drive tone like the sovereign....I feel I'm being Picky now lol. One thought that I had was that maybe the sovereign with an EQ pedal one side or the other might go some way towards this....?

It may be that the amp I was trying them on (Marshal DSL15 Combo I think), didn't bring out the low end brilliantly in the sovereign, though it may just be wishful thinking......

My gear is largely irrelevant as both my pedals will be replaced, as will my amp setup (getting a stack at some point). CLean single channel with pedals is how I roll so amp drive is not what I'm looking at...
I see. Out of curiosity, what stack are you looking to get?

The sovereign paired with an EQ or a boost might solve that problem, it's tough to say for sure though

I personally haven't played through the DSL to comment on how that impacts what tone you're getting with the sovereign/SLOstortion; I think that amp is equal parts liked and disliked on this forum.
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Old 11-25-2014, 04:15 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CL/\SH
I see. Out of curiosity, what stack are you looking to get?

The sovereign paired with an EQ or a boost might solve that problem, it's tough to say for sure though

I personally haven't played through the DSL to comment on how that impacts what tone you're getting with the sovereign/SLOstortion; I think that amp is equal parts liked and disliked on this forum.


Errr, tbh, I don't know yet!! Also in hindsight, I may have been not strictly correct....when I said stack, I really mean an amp head and cab.

Unfortunately, for practicality's sake, I think to start with it'll have to be just a head and a 2x12 until I can justify the hassle of lugging round a 4x12...but if the sound isn't as good (I've been told it shouldn't be too different other than headroom....?) then I might just have to be irresponsible and go for the 4x12! What I do know is that the one time I had the pleasure of using a 4x12 Orange cab at the studio we rehearse at, I much preferred it to using the marshalls on previous occasions, so I'll be looking into them. Heads I REALLY don't know, looked at orange, Marshall (a bit) and H&K, but haven't got near enough the purchasing stage to go and seriously try some.....for another thread perhaps!

If the EQ or boost idea was something worth trying, I'd be happy enough to go for the Sovereign as is and try that at a later date.

And thanks, that's useful to know about the DSL15...I may be going back sometime to have another play so I'll see if I can try with a different amp.
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Old 11-25-2014, 04:19 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by CL/\SH
Prymaxe has a good international shipping policy, all orders over $50 ship overseas for free.


really? last time I tried (and failed ) to put in an order they were trying to charge me for shipping.
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Old 11-25-2014, 05:10 PM   #18
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Qq

Quote:
Originally Posted by V8Jewelly
Errr, tbh, I don't know yet!! Also in hindsight, I may have been not strictly correct....when I said stack, I really mean an amp head and cab.

Unfortunately, for practicality's sake, I think to start with it'll have to be just a head and a 2x12 until I can justify the hassle of lugging round a 4x12...but if the sound isn't as good (I've been told it shouldn't be too different other than headroom....?) then I might just have to be irresponsible and go for the 4x12! What I do know is that the one time I had the pleasure of using a 4x12 Orange cab at the studio we rehearse at, I much preferred it to using the marshalls on previous occasions, so I'll be looking into them. Heads I REALLY don't know, looked at orange, Marshall (a bit) and H&K, but haven't got near enough the purchasing stage to go and seriously try some.....for another thread perhaps!

If the EQ or boost idea was something worth trying, I'd be happy enough to go for the Sovereign as is and try that at a later date.

And thanks, that's useful to know about the DSL15...I may be going back sometime to have another play so I'll see if I can try with a different amp.

Yeah, a lot of people refer to 2x12 cabs with a head as quarter stacks. Not a bad way to roll at all, hauling a 4x12 everywhere is a huge pain. To be frank, you may want to focus on the amp first. That's sort of where the majority of your tone starts. Pedals are more for contouring and shaping that tone into what you consider to be your sound, or for texturing that sound. You don't want to buy the Sovereign, then get your new quarter or half stack, and find out they don't mesh well at all. Would make what should be an enjoyable experience into an unnecessary headache.

edit: also yes, using an EQ or a boost to fine tune your sound is very much worth considering. Many guitarists stack boosts with the amps distortion or with a dirt pedal, as well as use EQs to really tighten/sculpt whatever sound they're after. It all comes down to taste though, not everyone is going to need a boost or an EQ, some are happy with just what their amp brings to the table.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave_Mc
really? last time I tried (and failed ) to put in an order they were trying to charge me for shipping.

My bad, I'm a dummy. It says their US shipping for orders over 50 bucks is free, not internationally



http://www.prymaxevintage.com/shipping
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Last edited by CL/\SH : 11-25-2014 at 05:13 PM.
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Old Yesterday, 06:23 AM   #19
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^^^^ Re getting the amp sorted first, this is an interesting point, but at present, replacing the tinnyness of the metal zone is somewhat of a higher priority! Also, the way I see it, 90% of the time it's some sort of drive tone that I'm using, and as I'm getting my drive from pedals not the amp, I'd rather start with the pedals and find the amp to suit. I know this sounds a little bit backward, but as long as I try any possible amp purchases with the pedals, I'd think I should find something.....particularly if I'm not gonna get much better than the sovereign anyway!
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Old Yesterday, 09:36 AM   #20
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I will say if you are going to only be using pedal drives then I don't know if I'd be looking to Marshall or Orange amp-wise. I'd go with something to use as a clean base, perhaps a Fender or Vox or what have you. It would seem a waste to me to have a great amp drive and never even use it
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