[review] Catalinbread SFT (by LordRiffenstein)

LordRiffenstein, all-around tone freak and purveyor of great tone.


I’m new to this company.  Had heard the name before and seen the SuperCharged OD and Dirty Little Secret on some boards but I never tried them myself. Catalinbread is based in Portland, Oregon in the good ole US of A and they build a good range of pedals from ODs and fuzzes to some modulation stuff.


Originally developed as a bass overdrive, the guys at Catalinbread decided to take it several steps further and made this a pedal that works for guitar and bass. This time, they were going for the tone of the old Ampeg tube amps. Again, the build of this pedal is top notch. Similar to the WIIO you get 4 controls, Gain and Vol are obvious. Like on the WIIO, the Treble and Bass controls do more than EQ. The bass control has a big impact on the feeling of the pedal, it can even get you a flubby low end if you want to.

The pedal in use

I got 3 Catalinbread pedals to test (see my review of the WIIO and Formula No5) and by the time I had tried the other 2, I knew I should look at this as an OD or boost pedal. These 3 pedals are meant to get you a different amp tone, a different base tone to work with.

I am not really familiar with the old Ampeg tube amps, I have heard them but never played them. So I can't really say if this pedal is able to nail those tones.  Furthermore, I must be honest and say that although this pedal is able of delivering a number of tones, they are not my favorite tones.  It doesn't sound bad at all, but the tones are probably too far out of my comfort-zone.

That being said, the SFT again does what it's intended for, give you an amp-tone that is different than your own amp-tone. As the 2 other Catalinbread pedals I tried, the SFT makes your amp sound, feel and react different.  At least it did with the 3 different amps I tried it with.  There's plenty of range on the Volume to kick your amp in the nuts and the gain control goes from clean to medium amounts of gain.  Again, not a high gain tone unless you hit it with an OD or distortion. The treble and bass controls have sufficient range to work with single coils and humbuckers.

Comparing the SFT to the WIIO and Formula No5, I would say it has a deeper and bigger low end than either and sounds darker overall.  The WIIO has a certain sparkle that you can dial in while the SFT mids seem to be voiced a little deeper in the frequencies.

Even though this is not my favorite pedal of the 3 Catalinbreads I tried, I must say that it does what it is meant for.  It doesn't sound bad AT ALL but out of the 3 I think it's more an ‘acquired taste’ than the 2 others.

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