The Dirty Little Secret is something we at Catalinbread have been harboring for quite a long time now and we're finally ready after months of testing and refining to spill the beans...
In essence, the DLS is a ‘foundation' pedal - a sonic platform to build the rest of your sound upon. It reacts to your playing dynamics and respects the character of your guitar's pickups just like the classic British amplifiers it emulates. Use it to set your base crunch rhythm sound into a clean amp, roll your guitar's volume back for cleans. Notice how treble boosters sound like shards of brittle glass or how fuzzes sound cheesy & thin into clean amps? The DLS seamlessly integrates treble boosters and fuzzes with clean low volume amps, delivering a thick cranked sound at reasonable volume levels.
What is surprising to people experiencing the DLS for the first time is that we've managed to capture the same dynamic interaction felt between a player and an amp but in a pedal. The DLS cleans up with light picking attack and volume knob changes - it reacts in the same way as those amplifiers do. It crunches when you hit it hard, cleans up when you play softly, and has that punchy cabinet ‘air movement' thing happening even at low volume levels. By the same token the DLS respects your guitar's characteristics. The result doesn't sound like a typical ‘amp in a box' pedal because it doesn't feel like you're playing a pedal - it feels like an amp.
The controls are simple and effective - Loudness governs output, Tone morphs from smooth and fat to crunchy and cutting, Gain goes from clean and clear to full crunch with harmonics, and the Rock/Rawk switch selects 60s - 70s JTM/JMP sounds (Rock) or ‘80s JCM tones (Rawk).
Catalinbread (press release, February 6, 2013)
Catalinbread presents the newly redesigned Dirty Little Secret.
Introducing the new Dirty Little Secret from Catalinbread. The Dirty Little Secret has earned itself a well-deserved reputation for replicating the sound and feel of a classic era Marshall amplifier, supplying one of the most iconic guitar sounds in music. Able to clean up with a flick of your guitar's volume control, or go from mild crunch to full kerrang with your pick attack, the Dirty Little Secret has seen the inside of arenas and bedrooms alike, providing great overdriven sounds to clean backlines, low-wattage amps, and even direct applications. When the JFETs used as the base for the Dirty Little Secret were discontinued, and as our stock of them began to dwindle we knew we had to find ones still being manufactured. However, rather than simply re-voicing around these new JFETs, we decided to push the envelope and provide an amazingly robust feature-set, from ever evolving listening and circuit skills, and pure power of intention. This isn't just 'a' Marshall in a box, it's the most versatile and dynamic Marshall-style overdrive out there!
What's new in the Dirty Little Secret:
- The DLS now offers two distinct voicings, "Super Lead" and "Super Bass" switchable via an internal slider switch.
- Completely redesigned full three-knob treble-middle-bass tone control complement that reconfigures for each mode setting.
- We've also added an internal presence trimmer that allows you to fine-tune the presence of the pedal precisely to your guitar and amp combination.
- The gain range is much wider and even more responsive to pickup types, playing dynamics and instrument volume knob!
The "Super Lead" mode expands the range of the DLS MkII with more gain available and more control over your tone sculpting with the addition of the midrange control without losing any of the touch-sensitive dynamic qualities that made the MkII so great to play - in fact, those qualities have been enhanced. The gain range now goes from classic plexi all the way to modified JCM800 levels and can get even more raw and open than any previous DLS. This mode was voiced specifically to make humbucker-equipped guitars really rock with clean to scream all from the twist of your guitar's volume knob.
The "Super Bass" mode is a new voicing that gives you the tone and gain structure of a Marshall Super Bass (which is very similar to a JTM45 or JTM50/100). This mode was voiced to really hone in on that elusive in-between "not quite clean, not quite dirty" response that old tube amps were so good at getting. And it was specifically voiced to make fuzz pedals sound great (especially two-transistor based fuzzes like the fuzz face). Plug a Strat into a Fuzz Face into the new DLS in SB mode and you'll see what we mean!
The SL/SB mode switch:
The voicing mode switch doesn't just add a bit more bass to make it a "super BASS" or something simple like that. It completely reconfigures the tone stack and key first gain stage parameters to give authentic Super Lead or Super Bass type response. The new treble-middle-bass tone control complement exactly reproduce the tone stack circuits of the Super Lead and the Super Bass amps. So when you switch from SL to SB mode, the tone circuit gets reconfigured to the Super Bass circuit. Compared to the SL tone circuit, the SB tone circuit shifts the bass response lower and gives a somewhat more "scooped" sound than the SL mode. It's actually not really much more scooped as it is the SL mode that adds a lot of upper midrange to give that classic mix-cutting Super Lead kerrang response.
A Super Lead's circuit cuts out a lot of low end in the first gain stage, while the Super Bass or older Super Leads passed a lot of bass through. The reason the Super Lead cuts so much bass is to keep things tight when the amp is turned up. And that's exactly what the SL mode of the new DLS does - it tightens the bass response at the classic Marshall frequency point and turns up the gain potential to give a hot, fast responding, gainier sound. It sounds absolutely fantastic with humbuckers but with Fender style guitars a player may prefer a fuller response.
Enter the Super Bass mode. This mode has full frequency response up front so everything gets through. What we end up with is a slightly slower response but a nice thick tone that's perfect for those in-between levels of gain. And this is precisely why it works so great with fuzzes such as the fuzz face. Super Leads cut too much bass right up front and are too gained up, so a fuzz face ends up sounding farty and pinched sounding instead of a huge, full sound. Fuzz Face and Marshall fans will know what we're talking about. Using amp-geek language, the difference between the SL and SB mode on the new DLS is akin to split-cathode vs. shared-cathode configuration on an old Marshall. Split-cathode has a high-pass response starting around 700hz while shared-cathode lets everything through. But the SB mode is not just for single-coils. This is the mode you want if you're trying to get that classic AC/DC sound - big, open crunch that's not too gained out sounding. Hendrix fans will love this mode. It was voiced with that sound in mind! Without a fuzz in front of it, think The Wind Cries Mary. With a fuzz in front of it? Pull out your live Hendrix recordings!
We're really excited about the new Dirty Little Secret. We were able to take everything we loved about the MkII and expand on it. Full tone controls, two distinct classic modes, and a variable presence control will allow you to dial in the exact sound you're looking for, regardless of the guitar and amp you're using. The Dirty Little Secret's dynamic response and superb sound will be so realistic, you'll never want to turn it off.
AVAILABLE: Tuesday, February 12th, 2013
- (2009-03-10) Dirty Little Secret In a Mix by Catalinbread
- (2009-03-11) Dirty Little Secret does as shoegaze by Catalinbread
- (2009-03-12) Catalinbread Dirty Little Secret Likes to Stack by Catalinbread
- (2009-03-15) Catalinbread Dirty Little Secret RAWKS! by Catalinbread
- (2009-03-22) Catalinbread Dirty Little Secret Telecaster Demo with Sadie and Burgs by Burgerman666
- (2009-04-03) Marshall in a Box Showdown ? Catalinbread Dirty Little Secret vs. Zvex Distortron by Crxshdxmmy
- (2009-04-18) Catalinbread DLS Second Demo - Stacking by Burgerman666
- (2009-04-27) Catalinbread Dirty Little Secret Demo DLS Overdrive Pedal by Bobby DeVito by Bobby DeVito
- (2009-05-02) Catalinbread Varioboost and Dirty Little Secret by Burgerman666
- (2009-05-08) Catalinbread DLS stacking abilities demo by gaedp86
- (2009-05-19) Quickie Jam ? Feat. Catalinbread Dirty Little Secret (v1) by Crxshdxmmy
- (2009-06-23) Bobby DeVito demo Catalinbread Dirty Little Secret with George Scholz GS 100 amplifier by Bobby DeVito
- (2009-06-23) Bobby DeVito demo Scholz GS 100 high gain amp Catalinbread Dirty Little Secret by Bobby DeVito
- (2009-06-23) Bobby DeVito Demo Scholz GS 100 BJF SWF MP LGW SHOD Catalinbread DLS 1981 Schecter Strat by Bobby DeVito
- (2009-07-01) Catalinbread Dirty Little Secret Revision 2 PCB switch demo by Catalinbread
- (2009-07-22) Catalinbread and Friends - Dirty Little Secret , Super Charged Overdrive , + Others! by Tone Factor
- (2009-08-01) Catalinbread DLS V1 v V2 by Burgerman666
- (2009-11-04) Pedal Stacking w/ The Catalinbread Dirty Little Secret by Tone Factor
- (2009-12-15) Malekko Chicklet Reverb w/ Distortion ( Catalinbread Dirty Little Secret v2 ) by Tone Factor
- (2010-01-31) Catalinbread Dirty Little Secret Overdrive guitar effects pedal demo w Humbucker pickups by Gearmanndude
- (2010-01-31) Catalinbread Dirty Little Secret overdrive guitar effects pedal demo with Single Coil pickups by Gearmanndude
- (2010-02-09) Catalinbread Dirty Little Secret (Reviews By Pedals' Park) by Pedals Park
- (2010-07-26) AMT Electronics: V1. Direct to computer (with Catalinbread DLS) by Burgerman666
- (2010-07-26) AMT Electronics: V1 to Laney VC50 (power amp input). With Catalinbread DLS and Telecaster. by Burgerman666
- (2010-09-16) Catalinbread: Dirty Little Secret (no talk edit) by Burgerman666
- (2010-10-19) Dirty Little Secret Pedal Demo by MusicGearFast.com by MusicGearFast
- (2010-11-03) Catalinbread Dirty Little Secret by Txirula Tube
- (2010-12-09) Catalinbread Dirty LIttle Secret - Demo by Just Nick for Rock n Roll Vintage by JustNickMusic
- (2011-03-11) Catalinbread DLS vs Zvex Box of Rock guitar effects pedal demo comparison by Gearmanndude
- (2011-03-27) Catalinbread Dirty Little Secret internal switch Version 2 V2 guitar pedal demo by Gearmanndude
- (2011-07-04) Catalinbread Dirty Little Secret (rev2) by thePedalLab
- (2011-10-14) Catalinbread Dirty Little Secret MK II Overdrive - Demo by Just Nick for Rock n Roll Vintage by JustNickMusic
- (2011-10-21) Catalinbread Dirty Little Secret MKII Pedal Demo by Tone Factor
- (2011-10-28) Catalinbread Dirty Little Secret MKII by Lindsay Ell by Tone Factor
- (2012-04-10) Catalinbread Dirty Little Secret by Sam Vilo
- (2012-05-07) Perfect Pedal Pairing - Naga Viper and DLS MkII - Demo by Just Nick for Rock n Roll Vintage by JustNickMusic
- (2012-10-01) Catalinbread DLS Dirty Little Secret by Curtis Kent Toneworks
- (2013-01-19) A Dirty Little Secret A Case of Dual Identities by Catalinbread by Catalinbread
- (2013-02-07) Dirty Little Secret Part 2 by Catalinbread by Catalinbread
- (2013-02-07) Dirty Little Secret Part 1 by Catalinbread by Catalinbread
- (2013-02-12) Catalinbread Dirty Little Secret MKIII by ProGuitarShopDemos
- (2013-02-14) Catalinbread Dirty Little Secret Demo for the Guitar Store Seattle WA by David Curtis
- (2013-02-14) Catalinbread Dirty Little Secret with SUPERBASS & SUPERLEAD Modes Pedal Demo by seattleguitarstore
- (2013-03-06) Catalinbread Dirty Little Secret MKIII by JustNickMusic
- (2013-03-20) Catalinbread Dirty Little Secret MK III Demo by ProGuitarShopDemos
- (2013-03-29) Catalinbread Dirty Little Secret MKIII - EFEITOLOGIA by Lucas B.
- (2013-04-04) The Catalinbread Dirty Little Secret: into a solid-state amp by Catalinbread
- (2013-04-14) Catalinbread Dirty Little Secret Mk III Overdrive Guitar Pedal by MusicToyz
- (2013-04-30) Catalinbread Dirty Little Secret - into JMP50 by Catalinbread
- (2013-07-09) Catalinbread DLS MKIII + Dynacomp by Pedal Projects
- (2014-03-27) Catalinbread Dirty Little Secret Demo by reverbmarket
- (2014-03-30) A quick demo of a Catalinbread Dirty Little Secret distortion pedal (and the story behind it). by Alchemy Audio
- (2014-06-27) Catalinbread Dirty Little Secret | N Stuff Music Product Review by NstuffMusic
- (2014-09-20) CATALINBREAD DIRTY LITTLE SECRET w/ FUZZ FACE by Kevin Bryant
- (2014-09-26) EXPERIENCE PEDAL INTO DIRTY LITTLE SECRET by Kevin Bryant
- (2014-09-26) FIX'D FUZZ INTO DIRTY LITTLE SECRET by Kevin Bryant
- (2014-10-04) This clip features the Naga Viper into the Dirty Little Secret. One of the British bands to use treble boosters into cranked stacks was Judas Priest. Our Naga Viper into the DLS gives you that recipe so you can rock forever! by Catalinbread
- (2014-10-08) Well, here's a Dirty Little Secret into a Marshall 100watt plexi type amp set clean (vol 2:00, normal channel). Little bit of assist from a Belle Epoch as well. Oh, there's also a Hotplate attenuator on the Marshall. It's a loud amp. by Catalinbread
- (2014-11-01) Catalinbread DLS MKIII In Depth Review by Outlaw Supply
- (2015-05-23) Catalinbread Dirty Little Secret Overdrive by PedalOfTheDay
- (2015-07-22) Unlock Dirty Little Secrets with Catalinbread by Catalinbread
- (2015-07-28) Xotic SL Drive vs Catalinbread Dirty Little Secret vs 70s Marshall JMP by JayLeonardJuatco
- (2015-08-19) Catalinbread Dirty Little Secret Review - BestGuitarEffects.com by bestguitarfx
- (2016-01-25) Catalinbread Dirty Little Secret by GuitaristMag
- (2016-02-01) Catalinbread Dirty Little Secret by The SuperFunAwesomeHappyTime Pedal Show!
- (2016-02-09) Catalinbread ??? Dirty Little Secret MKIII by BuzzbeeTV
- (2016-03-09) Catalinbread Dirty Little Secret MKII by reverbmarket
- (2016-08-12) Catalinbread Dirty Little Secret MKIII - Preamp/Drive-Gitarrenpedal - Review von session by SessionMusicTV
- (2016-10-26) Diego Jimenez - Performance . Catalinbread Dirty Little Secret by Diego Jimenez
- (2016-12-28) Catalinbread Dirty Little Secret MkIII - How does it sound? by Audiofanzine
- (2017-01-03) TPS AB Comparisons ? Fulltone OCD & Catalinbread Dirty Little Secret by That Pedal Show