Two of the most misunderstood pedals in the Wampler Line? In a word, Yes…
As gigging guitar players, a lot of us have been in scenarios where the backline amp is not what we normally use or are familiar with. That can present a problem because we become inspired by the tone our ears have become trained to. It is safe to say that with great initial tone we play better and more like ourselves. To give us guitar players a fighting chance, Brian Wampler created two pedals that became legendary amongst Wampler fans and were based on two classic Amp designs: a black panel Fender amp tone (the “Black ’65” pedal) and the classic Tweed sound (the “Tweed ’57” pedal).
These pedals can be used in a multitude of ways. The most common is probably to treat them like “overdrive” pedals and stick them in front of your amp – just like a traditional drive or distortion pedal – and this sounds glorious. When you adjust the EQ on the pedal, you have to approach it completely differently then you would a standard pedal however. The three band tone section shapes the gain stages instead of the overall EQ of the sound – and the standard of “set them at noon to start” doesn’t apply. As you EQ the pedals in, both can give you that coveted amp being pushed into breakup sound. They do this while remaining organic and faithful to those classic vintage amplifier tones. With the Black ’65, the clean Fender settings give a classic tone that can be shaped both pre and post gain. When the boost is engaged, you get smooth yet growling overdrive sounds that stack with your pedals to create new tonal possibilities.
The Tweed ’57 gives you that “chewiness” (to quote Brian) that is a signature feature of the Tweed Bassman or Deluxe. It may not turn a Vox AC30 into a Bassman but it will get you that “Tweediness” that we’ve come to know and love! It also has the added feature of a “Normal”, “Bright” and “Link” switch to further sculpt your tone. “Normal” is an “as-is” approach to the front of the amp. “Bright” is for those gigs where you are using a darker amp that needs a little brightening up. “Link” gives you the “jumpered” input sound that the Tweed Deluxe has to push it in to more gain. These are Brian’s interpretations of this unique feature and are one of the reasons they have attained legendary status amongst Wampler pedals users and collectors.
Another application for these pedals is as preamp stages. They can act as a preamp to a tonally different amp and give it either a Black ’65 or Tweed ’57 sound as the basis of your tone. Simply run these into the effects loop’s “Return” – it will bypass the Amp’s preamp and use these pedals. Then we run our desired pedals into the front of the amp and get a solid approximation of our desired tone. This is a very cool and often missed application that these pedals have.
A lot of us have been on a gig and our greatest fear becomes a reality: the amp goes out and no amount of kicking, hammering or tinkering will bring it back to life. Both pedals have the ability to plug into cabinet emulators then go straight to the board. This feature covers so many bases and gives the player peace of mind when it comes to executing classic tones without fear of any amp failure or the sacrifice of stacking our other pedals to try and get to those key tones that we need! Because let’s face it: anything can happen on a gig!
The other sometimes overlooked feature is the ability to run these pedals direct in the studio and get those vintage tones without running a cabinet or into an amp. Digital amp modelers are great but a lot of us still want to maintain the analog sound and approach. The Tweed ’57 and the Black ’65 offer a perfect solution. They can be run into IR Loaders and into the DAW or directly into the DAW. The unique EQ structure of these pedals means it is incredibly simple to dial up a great tone within whichever DAW you are tracking with.
Hopefully this has given you a little flavor of some of the capabilities of this Limited Edition of the Wampler Tweed ’57 and Black ’65 pedals. If you haven’t already seen Brian’s video over on Youtube, he goes into a little bit more detail and you should definitely go over there and check ot out! Approximately 350 units are being made of Black ’65 pedals and 500 units of the Tweed ’57 – when they’re gone they’re gone, we won’t be rebuilding them. Brian has also included two exclusive videos for anyone purchasing either pedal to help them get even more from them too, so go and check out the Tweed ’57 and the Black ’65 in our online store before they go!