Amptweaker’s James Brown – whose self-described specialty is not necessarily in the wild ideas but rather in the tweaking of ideas – is becoming one of the most nuanced pedal manufacturers for high gain distortion and we are proud to have him at our Summer NAMM booth next week. Built on thirty years of experience, his company has dialed in to the needs of the various subsets within various rock genres, metal in particular. At SNAMM James will be presenting the FatMetal Pro Distortion, aimed specifically at Black Metal players with tremolo affected leads, but by the looks of it the pedal has enough functionality to provide commanding undead crunch for any discerning metal player.
The FatMetal Pro Distortion comes as a follow-up on the 2015 success of the FatMetal, which was a single button version of the stompbox that earned both a Guitar Player Editors Pick selection and a Guitar World Gold Tone Award. The original FatMetal aimed to provide a tighter distortion akin to the Amptweaker TightMetal, but with a warmer quality for a full sounding lead tone. Now, the FatMetal Pro Distortion adds a second switch to allow a boost after the distortion to ensure a perfect cut through the mix, which is obviously a challenge in the context of a frenetic metal band.
The FatMetal Pro comes with a three band EQ with controls for low, mid and high, in addition to a volume knob, gain knob, and tight knob. The switches are where it gets interesting. There is a “black” switch for heavy tones, a “thrash” setting for scooped mids, and a noise gate with a “chomp” setting which gives the notes that hard stop feeling. As with most Amptweaker pedals, the effects loop capabilities are top notch. The FatMetal Pro has three loops: a universal loop, an active loop for the boost, and Amptweaker’s SideTrak loop which activates when the pedal is off to automatically shut off clean effects or activate other effects when the pedal is not engaged.
This baby retails at $320 with free shipping from Amptweaker, which is a bit steep given the original FatMetal ran at $199, but if you are a pro, you may want to make the effort! If pedal board real estate is an issue, the FatMetal Pro saves space and prevents the need for an additional boost pedal.
Check out the demo below or try it in person at Summer NAMM next week – booth #1342! – Ryan Dembinski