THE SAN DIEGO PEDAL CO.
San Diego, California
Builder/Designer: David Loo
Years in the Game: 5
Influence: The Dark Side of Man
I'd like to introduce you to the new kid on the block. New on the scene this company may be but that means nothing, this little outfit is producing some of the most innovative and awesome sounding pedals we've seen all year. David Loo the creator and man in charge of SD Pedal Company has one mission to accomplish... to bring the pedal world a refreshing and exciting collection of stompboxes. The first run of pedals from this company is based around the 7 Deadly Sins, a collection of unforgivably freakish, stunningly different stompboxes with some sounds only God could forgive. What better theme for a line of pedals, with today's world I say it's a perfect source of inspiration. David has already taken care of Wrath, Lust, and Envy, and will be knocking out the rest of the Sins in due time, just be patient and commit one sin at a time. With everything that came out of left field this year this is by far some of the best gear to hit our studio. I can only imagine what David will come up with next, and what will come once he's done with his 7 Deadly Sins collection. Like my man Lou Reed says, "Take a walk on the wild side."
* Mosfet Overdrive
* Tight switch = creamy OD
* Loose switch for growling dist
* Bass Boost switch for single coil stack compensation
* Handmade w/quality components
* Individually biased and tesed
Wrath, the most brutal of all the sins. A rush of anger is an emotion that can drive any man to go from zero to 60 in a matter of seconds. Now it may not be the smartest of emotions to jump in to if you want to keep yourself out of trouble, but when it comes to your guitar's tone there's nothing better than being able to quickly go from subtle to all-out mayhem. The San Diego Pedal Co. Wrath overdrive/distortion is the perfect tool for driving your amp from Jekyll to Hyde, Ying to Yang, or Day to Night. The reason for the Wrath's wide range of tonal option is it's slick layout of controls. The knobs consist of a Volume-Mids-Treble-Drive, and toggle switches are Tight/Loose, and Bass Boost. The Wrath can be powered by 9V battery or 9VDC adapter. Finally the pedal is topped off with high quality parts/components, a bright red LED, an army ready enclosure, and sick art graphics. This combined with the pedal's tonal abilities makes this a very desirable stompbox.
We ran the Wrath through a few different guitars but the pickup setup the pedal absolutely dug the most were a duel humbucker combination. Through single coils the pedal worked fantastically and sounded great, but it was the character of a great set of buckers that were able to really pull the most out of this pedal. We set up the low wattage 15/7 watt head through a 2x12 cab, dialed it in for a semi-clean tone, and flipped it in the 15 watt option. The Wrath was set up straight up the middle except for the Drive knob which we set at a quarter of the way up, the Bass Boost off, and set in the Tight setting. This setting produced a sparkling, gritty, 50/50 tone, with lots of clarity and spank. This setting didn't take much to clean it up either, all I did was roll the volume knob back about 25%. When rolled down to a clean tone the pedal maintained all of the amp's warmth and brightness. I kicked the Drive knob up to 50% and this is where the pedal started showing me the beginning of it's attitude. This point in the Drive knob is where the pedal really starts to saturate, and where the tone starts going from overdrive to distortion. The way I always test tube-like characteristic in a pedal is by lightly palm muting whole chords, harmonics, bends, and double stops. These are always the little tricks that produce the most undertones and overtones. The Wrath sounded great through all these applications and definitely passed with flying colors. By snapping in the Loose and Bass Boost settings I was able to get an entire new sound out of the same knob settings. The two mini toggle switches are the real genius of this pedal, they have the ability to give the pedal a bunch of different pedal characters. With the Drive knob from 75-100% you get nothing but an all-out Rock to the Roll tone. I was able to dial in a perfect Angus Young distortion with the Treble rolled back to 9'o'clock, the Mids at 3'o'clock, Bass boost on, and Loose switch engaged. With the Drive all the way up you get a perfect combo of distortion rhythm and lead tones. With the Drive maxed you can also get a pretty mean classic heavy metal tone, just roll the Mids almost to zero and Treble almost 100%. The Wrath will dish out everything from Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, and Motorhead metal sounds, very cool stuff. To drive the pedal into a more modern metal tone I threw a booster in front of it, this drove all of the pedals frequencies into a slammin' distortion of anger and fury. Last I brought the Drive knob back down to a minimum, set the EQ and volume to noon, and set the amp to 7 watts. Now this got us some wickedly compressed tones. Being able to crank the amp all the way into a healthy overdrive and pushing the Wrath through it really created some off-the-wall overdrive and distortion sounds. With a flip of my guitar's volume I was able to go from overdrive, to semi-clean, and all the way back into a sickening distortion. Overall the Wrath sounded great through a low watt amp.
Now it was time for some high gain fun. For this we broke out the Super Lead, of course, and set it pretty damn dirty. I bumped every knob on the amp as far as I could go without it sounding too extreme. I swapped guitars into a triple mini-humbucker guitar and reset the Wrath for a mild overdrive. I set the Volume just a tad above the amp's, Mids at about 2'o'clock, Treble at noon, Drive at 3'o'clock, Bass Boost engaged, and Loose switch on. With the amp already overdriven the pedal got us one of the most insane distortion tones we've ever heard. The sound was so freakin rich'n'creamy it made it hard to stop playing. I got so excited I actually threw the pedal into my gigging board to see how well it work with all my pedals. It worked great! The comp I use is always on and sometimes I get overdrive pedals that don't sound good through a bit of compression, this was not an issue with this pedal. The Wrath with a bit of compression through it gave the sound a more focused and clear sound, this made the overdrive and distortion that came out of it even more fantastic. Everything I fed through it or put after it sounded huge, especially my overdrive and clean boosters. A really awesome combination I discovered was running the compressor, a BB Preamp, and the Wrath all at the same time. Talk about rock and roll heaven. This gave us a tone with lots chug, ooompf, and mucho howl. A perfect tone for laying doen some mean rhythm guitar tracks with. One thing I had to do while I had this tone dialed in was snap the wah in to see how well it work it. The Wrath handled the wah beautifully, and I don't setup my wah in the traditional position in the chain, I actually use my wah last. When you use a wah last in an effects chain everything you put through it comes off extremely powerful. If your sound isn't on point it will show and show loudly. To get more great tones from the Wrath all I had to do was play with it's Drive knob and flip the toggle switches. Through the Super Lead we got everything from blues tones, heavy lead tones, classic rock tones, heavy metal sounds, and even some authentic Eddie Van Halen distortion. If you sit down with this pedal long enough you can get every dirt tone you'd ever need for a gig. In the end this is just a overdrive/distortion beast, there is literally no way to get a bad sound from this pedal. Each knob responds really well and the sweep of the drive is huge. The pedal being able to work great with your guitar's volume alone is enough to make this a keeper. Throw in everything else and a bit of imagination and you have one super hip stompbox. For a cat who's only been at it for about 5 years David is highly talented, but more important he has a great ear and is very imaginative. A good ear and creativity will get you far in this game. It's builders like these that always produce the most memorable gear, the most usable gear, and the gear you see in people's rigs. It's really cool David will be working all 7 Deadly Sins into effects pedals, it makes them a bit of a collectors edition and gives everyone who owns one of his pedals something to look forward to. We will be looking at more of these killer stompboxes and will be keeping track of San Diego Pedal Co's progress. As a matter of fact the Envy envelope fuzz pedal is now available for order and will ship asap. In the next few months David will also give light to the Greed pedal, which is a germanium transistor based fuzz pedal with a voltage starve option. We will welcome all of these bad to the bone pedals with open arms and make sure to report back to you to the fullest. Keep your eyes peeled these next few weeks for another of these amazing creations, and remember to support the artists of our scene. These are the cats giving us the ability to sound original. I proud to have such a killer pedal company here in Southern Cali. Check'em out!
For more info on San Diego Pedal Company go to www.sdpedals.com or click the direct link in our sidebar. We will be looking at another of these pedal in the near future so stay tuned. See ya then kids.