#1
Alright all… got some opinions of the Catalinbread… finally got to test it last night…



Dirty Little Secret running on 9 volts

On 9v mode... the DLS was pretty good. Nice crunch, good dynamics and pretty soaring gain. Its very responsive to play styles... but what I noticed is that its a pretty high gain pedal. It might be marketed as responsive, dyanmic and moderate gain, what they didn't tell me was that even with the gain turned down complete, you can hear a pretty good front end push. It doesn't just tighten up the amp... it punches the front end pretty well.


Dirty Little Secret running on 18 volts

With 18v coursing through the DLS... it gets hairer, grittier, nastier and crunchier... as you turn the gain up in 18v with the Rock swtich, it gets grittier and punchier. Constrast this to the OCD in 18v mode which sounds more open than the 9v mode, you won't get this sense of open-ness on the DLS. With the switch on Rwak... the DLS seems to get more punch to its drive which has more space to open up on... it doesn't get chimey like the OCD... but the gain has more room to move around... so the high gain sounds sound more alive and have more room to distort.

Ok... think of it this way... the OCD gets added head room and chime in 18v mode. In contrast the DLS in 18V mode has more gain dyanmic and sounds more alive than it does in 9v mode.

It seemed to me that on 18v, the DLS is not as awesome as the OCD... I didn't notice that airy-ness that you'd hear on an 18v OCD. At least that was what I thought until I ran the DLS into the OCD... but more on that later. The 18v mode of the DLS is very different from the 18v mode of the OCD, it doesn't chime like the OCD. Its like a boxer... it normally hits hard, but with more power... that punch becomes a sledgehammer.


Dirty Little Secret - Rock and Rwak modes

In Rock mode, you can get blue-sy responses to ACDC-esque gain to early Metallica-gain-levels. Its a little fatter and looser than I had expected, but the sound was fairly tight before the gain knob goes past 2. Beyond 2 o'clock... the gain was looser, but still useable.In Rwak... it goes from moderate gain to down right thrash, again it is quite tight, but beyond 3o'clock on the gain knob it started to flub a little. What hit me is the fact that it really does response dyanmically to your playing such that as you play lighter, the smoother the gain... the hard you play... the harsher the gain. Its a lot more responsive to playing dynamics than the OCD is.

What is also nice about the DLS… is that it is possible to go into distortion territory with the DLS. Sure its not as high gain as the a proper distortion pedal… but the high gain is really gritty on the DLS.


Stacking the DLS and OCD

Next how does the DLS stack with the OCD?

Running the DLS after the OCD got pretty meh results… I felt that the signature 18v chime of the OCD was lost when the signal hit the DLS.

What really impressed me was running my signal in this format:
Guitar -> DLS (9v) -> OCD (18v) -> clean channel of amp

When this two pedals were stacked with the guitar signal hitting the DLS then the OCD... it could go right into death metal gain territory and I could get COB, Arch Enemy, inFlames-esque style distortion easily. While I couldn't get a chugga chugga stlye distortion on my clean channel (although that could be due to my tone and EQ settings on my MkV's clean channel), it really stood out as a awesome lead tone. The tone was thick, screaming and tight without getting muddy or flubby. Best part of all was that the highs really chimed like it would with the OCD... but still had that punchy gain sounds of the DLS.

With both the DLS and OCD running together in the high gain, the tone was still tight and responsive, there was no flub to the bass, while the highs were prominent. There was no muddiness, while note definition was prominent. Best part was that the pedals were still very responsive (altho there's only so much response you can expect at high gain levels).

When I switched the MkV to channel 2, and used the Fat mode... the combined sounds of the DLS and OCD went from a searing lead tone to heavy chugga chugga with respectable highs to complement the tone (only tested this for 5 minutes, but I was properly impressed with the sound I got for a rhythmn tone, the change in the high sounds were probably also due to the voicing of the Fat mode).


Meeting my Expectations

All in all, the DLS didn't really meet my expectations as a low - moderate gain pedal (which I thought it would be, essentially a light OD), but it surprised and even exceed my expectations for high gain lead sounds.

I was initially disappointed by the 18v mode of the DLS. I was expecting it to be something like the OCD's 18v mode... but I found out it was very different. Different pedals... different sounds.

However, as I bought it for its response dynamics and touch sensitivity... it definitely lived up to the marketing talk on Catalinbread's site.

What I really liked was how well it played with teh OCD. By themselves... these pedals are pretty sweet... each capable of unique sounds by themselves... but when stacked... the sound the created was downright amazing, you get the chime and drive of the OCD with the grit and punch of the DLS, which is a sound that few amps or pedals are capable of by themselves.


Rating the DLS

Overall I'd put the DLS as a 8.5/10...

Likes:
1. Dynamic, touch responsive, good gritty punch to the gain, capable of smooth moderate gains to high gain sound, tight bass.
2. Great pedal to stack with the OCD. Rock & Rwak mode have very different gain structures and sounds (the way it reacts is different from flicking the HP/LP switch on the OCD).
3. Awesome pedal as a first pedal after your guitar for its dynamic response.

Dislikes:
1. I thought it would be a soley bluers' pedal or low gain... I suppose it might be due to my amp settings or the tone settings on the DLS... but it seemed like it was capable of mdoerate - high gain pedal to me.
2. The graphics on the DLS are not painted on, its a decal stuck on the pedal itself, granted it does not affect the tone, but my DLS is purple, and with the matt finish of the sticker I had difficulity confirming that the DLS' DC power source was a centre negative plug.
3. The tone knob of the DLS was neither as powerful, nor did it have as wide a range as the tone knob on the OCD.


Annnnnd theeeeeeen

Closing chord: Best part of the DLS is its dynamics, responsivenes and touch sensitivity when it is run as the first pedal in the chain. Running it after your guitar and stacking the OCD (18v) after that opens up a enormous range of tonal possibilities. I urge people who have an OCD to try stacking it after the DLS. For those with the DLS, I urge you to get the OCD as well. These 2 pedals are amazing together, as they say the total is greater than the sum of its parts (remember to get an 18v power source), They worked together so much better than I had expected. I bought it for its touch response but it ended up being a precursor to a high gain preamp pedal.

Catalinbread was right when they called this a sonic foundation pedal.

Expected pedalboard lifespan

Like my OCD, Pitchblack and Red Witch Empress, the DLS looks like its here to stay on my pedal board.
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Last edited by ragingkitty at Nov 20, 2009,
#3
Follow up to a NPD where a review was requested for.
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#5
Quote by The_Bosstone
Awesome man. This really helped me a lot.


Are you considering getting one?

The DLS.. comes across as both an OD and a dist pedal at the same time.

However, its easier to think of it as a foundation pedal more than just being an OD or Dist.

Its a sweet pedal.
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#7
Quote by loudog93
there is a review section of this website.


Yeah, but it sucks. The review section is full of people who simply played for 5 minutes and gave a review while they were still in love with it or are noobs with no ear for tone.

I'd trust the opinions of ragingkitty and other guys in GG&A way more than anyone in the Reviews section.
Chelsea FC



Quote by Blues Hippie
As for the swim team member that drowned, it just means the swim team just got a lot better. Same with him too, it's time to move on, the weakest link is gone...
#8
Quote by AxSilentxLine
Nice review I was looking at the Dirty Little Secret but it was all silver with engraved graphics instead of purple is there a difference?


Thankx

Just a difference in colour.

They have the DLS in purple, white, orange and grey (or rather unpainted metal).
Quote by Blompcube
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#9
Quote by TOMMYB22

I'd trust the opinions of ragingkitty and other guys in GG&A way more than anyone in the Reviews section.


This.


Man i want a DLS so baad!

Dammii!
focus....reverb first reverb first.
#10
Yeah, I've been in the market for a really nice overdrive that I can just sorta keep on my board and have as my staple pedal for my needed overdrive tones.
#11
Quote by unet
This.


Man i want a DLS so baad!

Dammii!
focus....reverb first reverb first.


Damn... if I had clips now... I'm sure I can turn you to the DLS immediately.

Quote by The_Bosstone
Yeah, I've been in the market for a really nice overdrive that I can just sorta keep on my board and have as my staple pedal for my needed overdrive tones.


I think you can look at the DLS, or the OCD.

I now think of the DLS more as "foundation to my sound for picking dynamics" and less of it as an OD. Though it'd definitely still work well as an OD, however, at higher gain levels above (1:30 on the gain) ... I find that it sorta becomes more of a dist pedal than an OD.
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#12
How are the Catalinabread pedals in general? I haven't really heard them much.

It's stuff like this that makes me need a job, it's quite astonishing to think how much extra money i would have if i had no interest in music or guitar.

Slightly off topic but i finally got around to listening to the Wampler dirt pedals i was hearing so much about, i was amazed. Even with the crappy youtube quality it sounded so authentic. It's like if the Wampler Plextortion raped me and i had to pick it out of a line up with an actual Marshall, i would probably lose. The Triple Wreck also sounded quite awesome.

Although i wouldn't really get another OD right now. First i need a reverb pedal, then i was thinking that since i don't have enough money to get a really nice upgrade amp from my Blackstar i could look for a used Mesa Studio preamp and run it though my Blackstar power amp until i could sell it and buy a dedicated power amp later on. Well i could go on for ages talking about all the gear i want so i should probably stop here. Not having money sucks.
Chelsea FC



Quote by Blues Hippie
As for the swim team member that drowned, it just means the swim team just got a lot better. Same with him too, it's time to move on, the weakest link is gone...
#13
Quote by TOMMYB22
How are the Catalinabread pedals in general? I haven't really heard them much.

It's stuff like this that makes me need a job, it's quite astonishing to think how much extra money i would have if i had no interest in music or guitar.

Slightly off topic but i finally got around to listening to the Wampler dirt pedals i was hearing so much about, i was amazed. Even with the crappy youtube quality it sounded so authentic. It's like if the Wampler Plextortion raped me and i had to pick it out of a line up with an actual Marshall, i would probably lose. The Triple Wreck also sounded quite awesome.

Although i wouldn't really get another OD right now. First i need a reverb pedal, then i was thinking that since i don't have enough money to get a really nice upgrade amp from my Blackstar i could look for a used Mesa Studio preamp and run it though my Blackstar power amp until i could sell it and buy a dedicated power amp later on. Well i could go on for ages talking about all the gear i want so i should probably stop here. Not having money sucks.


I think it runs about US$150... I bought it for about S$240.

I don't know about the rest of the pedals... but the DLS is pretty good. However... I felt that the knobs felt... light... whereas the flip-switch for the Rock/Rwak selector felt flimsy (the action is solid... bit the switch itself jsut feels like you can't abuse it).

I am amazed by the Wampler Triple Wreck... it feels so tempting to get one... but I can't... it'd be so expensive. My cousin has one of the prototypes, the Triple Rectortion... and its amazing I'll attest to that.

I agree with the "I'd have so much more money if I did not play guitar" commnet. I can't bring myself to tabulate how much I have spent on my guitars and amps. Though not having money sucks monkey balls in general I'd agree.

haha I had to change my mobile phone (which is dying), but I chose the DLS over having social contacts .
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#14
Quote by AxSilentxLine
Nice review I was looking at the Dirty Little Secret but it was all silver with engraved graphics instead of purple is there a difference?


BTW the graphics are not engraved... its just a thick piece of plastic... approx 300gsm (i forgot what the standard measurement was for plastic or PP sheets) which is matte.

The plastic stick-on was the one thing I did not like about the DLS.
Quote by Blompcube
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( . .) This is Bunny. Copy and paste Bunny into your
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#15
... it's "Rawk" not "Rwak".

anyways, sounds like a dirty pedal. gonna have to try to try it out sometime.
Quote by patriotplayer90
Lolz that guy is a noob.

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#17
Thanks a lot for this, I'm interested myself and this is really helpful.

You say that it's a moderate-high gain OD but can it do low gain? On lower gain settings on the rock mode can it do a bit of breakup for a decent blues tone?
#18
Wow, massive thanks that review is awesome! And you even looked at stacking it with the OCD Just brilliant

I think I may have to get this one. When i haz moar monies.
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#19
Quote by Jhachey22
... it's "Rawk" not "Rwak".

anyways, sounds like a dirty pedal. gonna have to try to try it out sometime.


Haha... I didn't look at it when I wrote the review and its harder to correctly spell incorrect words, than it is so incorrectly spell correct words.

Quote by nightraven
great review! thanks


Quote by stykerwolf
Now that's a review


Thanks, now you just gotta try it out.

I didn't intend to write that much... but then I figured I might as well write about how it sounded to me when I tried it.

Quote by aaronni
Thanks a lot for this, I'm interested myself and this is really helpful.

You say that it's a moderate-high gain OD but can it do low gain? On lower gain settings on the rock mode can it do a bit of breakup for a decent blues tone?


Yes it can do low gain pretty well, but the gain knob is rather sensitive, so its rather easy to get into the high gain territory... and since I play melodeath, you can probably guess how fast the knob went to 12 and beyond.

However, with the gain below 12 on Rock and below 10:30 on Rwak... it does low gain pretty well. Just that for the silly amount of gain this pedal is capable of, I didn't think it was justified calling it a low gain pedal.

Even with the volume on max and gain on 0, it pushed my MarkV's clean channel very well for that light breakup.

When I tested it on a SS amp in the shop, it did low gain pretty well, but as I mentioned, that punchy Marshall feel was also pretty prominent even then. I was pretty surprised it was such a good high gainer.

Quote by OriginOfSymetry
Wow, massive thanks that review is awesome! And you even looked at stacking it with the OCD Just brilliant

I think I may have to get this one. When i haz moar monies.


Haha... the stacking with the OCD was courtesy of a request by another UGer. I don't mind fiddling with my current gear to post opinions and reviews.

I felt that the DLS was a sweet pedal and deserved some recognition on UG since the OCD tends to be mentioned a lot but the DLS is hardly heard of here, but is such a big hit on the Harmony Central forums.

Do add your views when you get the DLS... I'm interested to see what other people think of it. Afterall it was a blind buy for me, and a pretty good one too.
Quote by Blompcube
it's so cool to hate Gibson, even the federal Department of Justice hates them.

( )( )
( . .) This is Bunny. Copy and paste Bunny into your
C('')('') signature to help him gain world domination.
#20
HNPD.

I'm not going to say anything else though. I'm afraid if I say the wrong thing you'll rip my face off like you normally do.
#21
Quote by DIMEBAGLIVEDON
HNPD.

I'm not going to say anything else though. I'm afraid if I say the wrong thing you'll rip my face off like you normally do.


Actually, despite what you think you're not on my to "to dump on list"

With the exception of a few posts (less than 5), I thought you give fairly good advice. So if I did ever come across as being nasty to you its not out of malice or because I've singled you out for ripping.

If it makes you feel better, I've also ripped on many people on my friends list before.

Plus, I've never called you a "f'ing retard" on multiple occassions, so you're still good in my books
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it's so cool to hate Gibson, even the federal Department of Justice hates them.

( )( )
( . .) This is Bunny. Copy and paste Bunny into your
C('')('') signature to help him gain world domination.
Last edited by ragingkitty at Nov 21, 2009,
#22
Awesome review!
You've just got me very interested in the DLS again, if only I didn't need an amp and a reverb

Reckon stacking the DLS with a clean boost would give you a nice lead tone or would it just push it to heavier gain territories?
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#23
wow that is one sexy purple box. i dont really see why it is necessary if you have a decent tube amp to do the job. is there something i am missing?
Last edited by TheFunkyAvocado at Nov 21, 2009,
#24
Quote by TheFunkyAvocado
wow that is one sexy purple box. i dont really see why it is necessary if you have a decent tube amp to do the job. is there something i am missing?


Versatile rig = good rig
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#25
Quote by SimplyBen
Versatile rig = good rig


thats what i thought it was. so its just an alternative sound for you?
#26
Quote by SimplyBen
Awesome review!
You've just got me very interested in the DLS again, if only I didn't need an amp and a reverb

Reckon stacking the DLS with a clean boost would give you a nice lead tone or would it just push it to heavier gain territories?


Its a sweet pedal. Really nice for what it does. For me the main appeal still lies in how well it reacts to playing styles. This way I can bring it to my friend's place and still sound like I actually have tube-y amp responsiveness even though we're just using 15 watt ss practice amps.

At home its cool when I stack it with the OCD hehe... so I like it enough to keep it for a while.

Hmmm depending on the clean boost, it might not work. If your clean boost is really clean (no EQ changes), you'd just push the front end of the amp into heavier gain territories. However, if your clean boost has a high end pust as well (adds some treble), I think it would definitely work well for a lead tone.

Alternatively... use a parametric EQ, then leave the lows to mids untouched, but boost the upper mids and highs and that should give you a pretty good lead tone.

Quote by TheFunkyAvocado
wow that is one sexy purple box. i dont really see why it is necessary if you have a decent tube amp to do the job. is there something i am missing?


Quote by TheFunkyAvocado
thats what i thought it was. so its just an alternative sound for you?


You're right, its not necessary. In fact I prefer a dry signal running into my amp, pedals can be a hassle to set up (I don't have a pedalboard yet), and I prefer the sound of a guitar plugged into an amp.

Just that having some pedals can be good for changing the sound of the Mark V. The Mark V has a very specific sound, to me a MkV will always sound like a MkV, no matter how you dial it in, there's always a bit of a signature MkV sound. Its good in a way that you can always tell what I use. Bad in the sense that there is only so far I can go with the tone.

If I wanted a different chugga chugga tone without that MkV signature sound, having pedals help add a touch of something different, and pedals with different voicings like the OCD and the DLS help in that sense... maybe I'll look at a Stephenson Fix My Duck next... that one is interesting too (especially the name).

Also... can you ignore the call of GAS?

I've been considering that pedal for about 3 months now... and just decide to take the plunge... it was either this pedal or getting a Seymour Duncan Triple Shot.
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