[review] Wampler Pedals cataPulp - British Distortion (by JJ Tanis)

JJ Tanis is a demo artist and guitar instructor from The Netherlands.
He also operates the YouTube channel.

Wampler Pedals are based in Martinsville, Indiana in the United States. They offer beautifully handcrafted pedals that are used by artists such as Brad Paisley, Brent Mason and many more… and not just country pickers! The cataPulp is aimed at the player who’s looking for saturated British distortion but who could also use milder overdrive tones.

Amp-in-a-box pedal

Wampler offer several pedals that are designed to be amp-in-a-box effects, meant to “give your amp an identity crisis” You can use them to change the tonal character of your basic amp sound into something completely different. Examples are the Black ’65, the Tweed ’57 and – my favourite – the Plexi Drive. The cataPulp is also part of that series and it is designed to sound like the Orange Rockerverb, an amp that has a very distinct British distortion tone.

Wampler cataPulp - British DistortionTest gear

I tested the cataPulp using three guitars, all either built or modded by Vox Humana Guitars in The Netherlands: a Tele with Kinman Broadcaster pickups, my Strat with Kinman Traditionals and my Tele Thinline with Seymour Duncan P-Rails installed. The amp I used was a Vox AC15C1 with a Celestion Greenback speaker.


Right out of the box, with all controls set to 12.00 and the gain rolled back fully counter-clockwise, the cataPulp instantly gave me a British vibe. Rolling up the gain to about 9.00 resulted in a pleasing crunchy rhythm tone. Tweaking the midrange is especially satisfying; it can totally change the character of the pedal’s sound. Left, for more of a scooped sound and right for more midrange emphasis. Rolling up the gain to 12.00 gets you into soaring lead guitar territory and there’s even more filth on tap… With gain settings past 15.00 and the mids cut, bass and treble boosted, gives you an aggressive hard rock, almost metal tone. The pedal really but a big smile on my face while playing.

Favorite tone

My favourite sound from the pedal is boosting the mids to 15.00 and gain at about 10.00. With single coils, this gets you a singing blues rock tone that is very sensitive to picking dynamics and cleans up nicely with the guitar’s volume knob. Even at lower volumes, it can create beautiful overtones on long sustaining notes. It’s also a LOT of fun to play the cataPulp with really gain settings and rolling back some of the bass.


So any downsides? When playing single coils, the pedal can get a little bit noisy. In my personal opinion, the artwork suggests that it’s quite a heavy player’s pedal – but the cataPulp really is a box that can provide the right tone for many genres.


Whether it’s classic rock, blues rock, modern rock or indie… this bad boy will get you the right dirt and it has tone for days!

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