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Product J06447

Catalinbread Formula No. 5 (Low-Watt Tweed Amp Emulation) Guitar Effects Pedal

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The Formula No. 5 was inspired by old tweed amps, most notably the 5E3 circuit. The character of the 5E3 is very unique. It has very minimal power fi...Click To Read More About This Product

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OVERVIEW

A compact pedal that harnesses the power of the 5E3.

The Formula No. 5 was inspired by old tweed amps, most notably the 5E3 circuit. The character of the 5E3 is very unique. It has very minimal power filtering, low plate voltages, elemental tone stack, and does next to nothing to control the low end between gain stages, not to mention the under-rated output transformer and speaker. The entire system runs inefficiently resulting in a loose bass, greasy mids, cutting treble, and incredible grit - none of these qualities were ideal or intentional back in the day. In spite of this, over the past five decades the amp inspired some of the coolest, most sought after guitar tones ever recorded.

Catalinbread has captured the unique qualities of these amps in the Formula No. 5. For this circuit they felt cascaded JFET gainstages yielded the best result. They have a softer sound than MOSFETs. JFETs also have much more natural attack/decay than diode clipped rigs which are pingy on the attack and fizzy on the decay. They chose capacitor types that enhanced the midrange and burnished the treble.

Volume controls overall output volume and is capable of overdriving the input of your amplifier for additional saturation. Having this much output on tap to boost your amp can effectively give you the same type of "channel volume interaction" found on the amps when you balance it with the Gain control.

Tone is a simple high pass filter arrangement like on the amps that decreases in its effect near maximum Gain settings. Goes from smooth and buttery to extra crispy at full up. Who wants fried chicken? I do!

The Gain control begins where a 5E3-style amp would be with its Volume on about 3 or so and goes beyond what a typical 5E3 circuit would deliver gain-wise. If you've ever played a real 5E3 you know that it doesn't really come alive until you open it up some - clean tones are in there, but you have to get to them via the guitar's volume controls. The Formula No.5 is no different. Humbuckers and higher output single coil pickups will overdrive the Formula No.5 fairly easily, so if you are playing a guitar with these type pickups go easy on the Gain control at first unless you want to channel Neil Young out of the gate.

FEATURES
The famous Tweed amp sound in pedal form
Goes from sweet and singing to ragged and raging
Tone circuit functions as a bright cap or treble rolloff depending on Gain
Great foundation for fuzzes and boosts

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by PowerReviews
CatalinbreadFormula No. 5 (Low-Watt Tweed Amp Emulation) Guitar Effects Pedal
 
5.0

(based on 2 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

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    (2)

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Reviewed by 2 customers

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(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great sound

By Eddie_Gtrman

from Nashville, TN

About Me Professional Musician

See all my reviews

Pros

  • Compact Design
  • Excellent Sound Quality
  • Responsive

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Amateur Recording
    • Events
    • Home Studio
    • Performances
    • Professional Recording

    Comments about Catalinbread Formula No. 5 (Low-Watt Tweed Amp Emulation) Guitar Effects Pedal:

    When I first heard the Formula No. 5 on a friend's pedalboard, I thought it sounded great. My past setup was based more around Marshall/Tube Screamer type overdrive, but my current tour needed straight up American Tweed/Brownface style OD. And this pedal absolutely nails the Tweed vibe so well!
    In all honesty, I actually use this pedal more like a smooth fuzz, with the Gain turned up (3:00 or higher) and the Tone around 9-10:00. It's so rich sounding.
    Then I found out one of the songs I use it on (what I thought was a fuzz) was actually Waddy Wachtel playing through a vintage Tweed turned all the way up! Exactly what I was going for, and exactly what this pedal sounds like!
    Plus, I really like the Catalinbread line of pedals and the staff are great folks.

     
    5.0

    Neil in a box (almost)

    By Rb

    from Norman OK

    About Me Experienced

    See all my reviews

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Compact Design
    • Excellent Sound Quality
    • Responsive
    • Versatile

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Amateur Recording
      • Home Studio
      • Performances
      • Professional Recording

      Comments about Catalinbread Formula No. 5 (Low-Watt Tweed Amp Emulation) Guitar Effects Pedal:

      This pedal captures that grungy, dirty, high gain Neil Young type of sound I have been looking for. One note, don't waste you time with the 9 volt set up, just buy the 18 volt adapter and be done. I played it 9v and was a bit disappointed. Slapped the 18v on it and WOW! It came to life. You'll be "rock'n in the free world" with this one. A little pricey but you'll know where the extra money went.

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