Prominent British fusion guitarist, teacher, and
clinician Tom Quayle was using Wampler’s Euphoria and Paisley Drive
together to give him the level and variety of grit he required. To assist
with this sonic quest, Brian Wampler tweaked the tones of both boxes to
Quayle’s specs and combined them in a new pedal he calls the Dual
Fusion ($259 street).
Each side of the Dual Fusion features Volume, Tone, and Drive/Gain
controls. Side 1(Vintage) has a toggle with Smooth and Fat settings, while
the toggle on Side 2 (Modern) selects Normal or Throaty. Dual input and
output jacks let you drive Side 2 with Side 1, or vice versa. Fancier rigs can
also run each side separately in individual loops for MIDI switching systems.
Side 1 served up incredibly transparent, amp-like tones with both singlecoils
and humbuckers. Side 2 did likewise, but with a slightly more aggressive
voicing. Side 1 was perfect for adding just a little hair and dynamic push
on up to mild crunch through my super-clean Little Walter 50-watt amp,
while Side 2 got me into indie-rock territory with a nice spread of chiming
to chunky distortion tones. Running Side 1 into 2 let me easily delve into
hard rock and even searing metal tones through an already distorted amp.
With the option of mixing up the toggle settings, and/or driving one side
with varying degrees of the other, I was able to create an amazing variety
of distortion textures. And throughout, the Dual
Fusion let the character of each guitar, pickup,
and amp shine through.
Though Quayle favors fusion, don’t let the
pedal’s moniker fool you; with its ability to go
from clean, transparent boost to high-gain distortion,
the Dual fusion is one of the most versatile
pedals you will ever play.
Kudos Two great overdrive flavors in one box.
Vintage fuzz sounds are all the rage these days, but
vintage germanium transistors can be erratic, and
the sounds they produce when driven into clipping
can often be thin and raspy. Wampler’s solution
is the Velvet Fuzz ($199 street), which uses more
stable modern transistors to achieve a classic
fuzz tone, and then couples it with circuitry that
replicates the sound of a slightly overdriven amp.
With the Velvet Fuzz’s voicing switch set to Big,
the pedal offered much of what you get with a germanium
fuzz into a mildly distorted amp: warm,
bottom-heavy fuzz (and this was with my test
amps set clean). With the Fuzz knob no higher
than three o’clock, the Velvet cleaned up nicely
when I backed off the guitar volume, providing its
most dynamic response. While its sound is massive,
the Velvet’s is a bit more controlled overall
when compared to the wild wooliness of some
older-style fuzz repros. This is most apparent with
the switch in the Tight position, which provides
the firmer lows associated with a distortion pedal,
but still retains plenty of fuzz character.
The Velvet Fuzz doesn’t aim to emulate any
vintage pedal, per se, but instead offers similar
harmonic richness and raw energy, without the
“vintage” quirks that can be as trying as they are
endearing. Factor in conveniences like true bypass,
a power adapter jack, and a status LED, and it
adds up to a great new fuzz with a tone of its own.
Kudos Ideal for players who don’t like the
chaos of hardcore vintage fuzz.