Indiana’s Wampler has an impressive record in the pedal overdrive niche, having released several best-selling units with various voicing flavors, from classic Plexi-style drives to authentic emulations of highly valued circuits like the Centaur Klon and the Dumble Amps. Their release of a new overdrive is therefore a quite eventful occurrence.
The Belle Overdrive, their second mini-drive, is a low-gain overdrive in all likelihood based on the Nobels ODR-1, but improved with a series of corrections to tame a character that some guitarists find “too Hi Fi.” Hence the addition of a Bass control that shapes the harmonics producing tones that range from smooth and creamy to tight and crunchy. The gain section has also been reorganized to allow more flexibility.
The Color knob will either boost or cut the high and low end a little without affecting the midrange. A Push switch on the side controls the amount of compression, altering the clipping structure in the circuit for extra punch.
You can hear the Wampler Belle Overdrive in the video below.
WAMPLER BELLE OVERDRIVE, BUILDER’S NOTES
The pedal that inspired this circuit has been around for a long time in various forms but most versions of it have too much of a “Hi Fi” sound about them, they fail to get the right mix of clarity and bass that is needed to make this overdrive sing. Brian has added further gain capabilities to this circuit, and added a bass control that controls all the harmonics from smooth and creamy to tight and crunchy.
The sound this circuit delivers is a firm favorite in Nashville and Brian Wampler’s take is everything you would expect it to be – high quality components, a beautiful enclosure, and a glorious tone. If you set the gain low and the bass control up high, you get a wonderful clean boost sound that can rival any Klone circuit, but when you spin the bass down and the gain all the way up, you suddenly find yourself with an awesome transparent overdrive / medium distortion sound with all the crunch you need.
The Color control is more than just a standard tone control and it’s pretty unique to this circuit. Dialling it right or left will either boost or cut the high and low end a little, but the midrange frequencies are left well alone. Combine this with the Bass control and you have a very versatile tone shaping palette with Wampler’s legendary ease of use. Brian has also added a push switch on the side which will control the amount of compression and alter the clipping structure in the circuit for some extra punch.
This pedal can add some serious muscle to your country, some extra grit to your blues, and some soaring boosts to rock – it’s such a flexible drive we know you are going to love stacking it with your favorite pedals as much as playing it straight through a clean amp.