The Wampler Phenom Distortion is one of two releases from a new affordable line of pedals called “Collective” by a US-based boutique company with a record of best-selling dirt boxes.
Joining a trend developed in recent years by US boutique builders to manufacture quality, compact gain pedals with a price tag of just under $100 USD, company owner and circuit designer Brian Wampler has come up with a distortion pedal based on JFET-based clipping with two separate voices and inspired by the sound of the popular MXR EVH 5150 pedals, which sell for around twice as much.
Notwithstanding the affordable price tag, the Phenom is a Wampler pedal through and through, delivering what the company has built its reputation on: tone and flexibility.
The 3-way EQ section is a feature rarely found in boutique pedals in this price range, and the 2-Voice toggle offers extra tonal options through a darker Classic mode and an airier Bright mode.
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Wampler Phenom Distortion, Builder’s Notes
Wampler’s Collective Series pedals are packed with features for players of all levels. Designed for affordability without compromising on the qualities that epitomize Wampler, every Collective Series pedal allows you to easily dial in rich, fat tones ideal for beginners and professionals alike. Welcome to the Collective.
The Phenom Distortion is a dynamic distortion pedal which uses JFET based clipping instead of Op-amp and Diode based clipping and is loosely based on the legendary “5150” style tones. The fets are driven much in the same way that tubes can be cranked to overdrive an Amplifier into a distorted sound courtesy of a unique Brian Wampler circuit design. The Phenom offers a range of tones from a deep, punchy rhythm sound to an ultra-responsive lead tone perfect for soaring solos and crisp harmonics. It has a flexible voicing switch that selects either bright or classic modes, independent gain and volume controls, and a powerful 3-band EQ.