Caline is another Asian brand, much like Joyo, NuX, Biyang, Mooer, Donner, ENO, DrJ and the likes, making mostly clones of classic pedals and sometimes try something different as well. Whereas the Asian competition at least try to offer something special and seek to establish some kind of indentity in the market, Caline sort of takes a no nonsense approach. The Caline pedals have no flashy paint jobs. Caline sticks to making basic effects, nothing fanciful.
So I got a Crazy Cacti pedal from Bart to try and review, I was a bit reluctant to give it a try, just from looking at it, I did not expect much.
Fairly large and light weight pedal, metal housing, green paintjob.
- 4 knobs for Volume, Tone, Drive and Boost.
- A first mini toggle to select between Vintage, Flat Mids or Comp Cut voicings and a second mini toggle to switch between Mosfet and Standard clipping.
- 2 footswitches, left one is to engage the Overdrive and the right one to add Boost, each has a status LED.
- 9V DC on top, in- and output on the side panels.
Looks conspicuous, it does not hide that it is a clone of the Fulltone Fulldrive.
That being said, you know what to expect, a versatile overdrive targeted towards the blues, rock, classic rock genre. A medium gain, transparent and useful overdrive combo, perfect companion for a single channel amp. And that’s exactly what you get with this pedal. I actually was pleasantly surprised by the overall sound and features of the Crazy Cacti. Nothing spectacular, but a really decent overdrive pedal.
So, more than 20 years ago, Mike Fuller released the Fulldrive FD2, a pedal that kind of paved the way for the boutique pedal manufacturers. The Fulldrive itself was inspired after the Tubescreamer, and over the years, it turned out to become one of the most popular boutique overdrives, with sales numbers exceeding 150.000 units.
And now, Caline offers a cheap and cheerful clone of the Fulldrive 2 Mosfet pedal.
Nothing more, nothing less, that’s what you get. The Compcut, FM and Vintage voicings all offer usable overdrive sounds. Compcut retains the character of your guitar and amp and adds a clean boost, FM adds a bit of gain and crunch and gets rid of that typical mid hump, whereas Vintage is the classic FD2 sound, slightly more mids and a bit darker and muddier sounding overdrive.
The Boost mode is also exactly the same function as the Fulldrive, it only works in Overdrive mode and adds even more gain and produces more raunchy saturated overdrive sounds. Great for leads.
The Mosfet setting adds a lot of punch and volume to the overdrive and boosts the low end. Great for power chords. The standard setting will give a smoother overdrive, fairly transparent, it does not color your sound too much. Great rock tone.
The controls have a nice range, the knobs feeling a bit light and unresponsive but there is plenty of volume, tone and overdrive on tap, whereas the boost control adds more gain.
Pretty straightforward once you get acquainted with all the settings, it offers a myriad of overdrive sounds. Easy to get a good sound out of the Crazy Cacti.
- More info: Caline CP-20 Crazy Cacti