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MF MD HG01 Memorial Day Deals 05-20-18

Tech 21 California SansAmp Character Series CS-CA Distortion Guitar Effects Pedal

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Product 151137
Product Price $0.00
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We welcome you to enjoy the diverse state of California. Come for the chiming, woody cleans, the gnarly overdrive of a Mark II, and the supernatural ...Click To Read More About This Product

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California rock tones in a versatile, easily-controlled pedal.

We welcome you to enjoy the diverse state of California. Come for the chiming, woody cleans, the gnarly overdrive of a Mark II, and the supernatural silky sustain of the lead tones. Stay for the devastating chunk of a high gain rectifier. With the focused punch of an EV-style speaker emulation, you have everything you need to create your own California dream tone. Have a great stay.

Each pedal in the Character Series is loaded with the tonal DNA for a specific style of guitar amplifier. By simply twisting a few knobs, you can build those sought-after tones or hot rod your own. From rare vintage classics to roaring modern icons, every variation is delivered in the distinctive voicing of that amp style. The intuitive amp-like controls let you get your hands dirty from the get-go to explore decades of blistering tones.

Being a genuine SansAmp, each Character Series pedal is way more than a stompbox. Each can be used as a stand-alone pre-amp to drive a power amp, a studio mixer, or a PA system, with the rich SansAmp cabinet emulation that sounds huge ” even straight into a computer soundcard. Or plug them into your guitar amp to take your tone somewhere special.

  • Knobs: Level, Mid, Character, Drive, Low, High
  • Cabinet emulation
  • Uses:
  • Stand-alone pre-amp can drive a power amp, studio mixer, or PA system
  • Plug into guitar amp
  • Plug into computer soundcard

Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews

(based on 5 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

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Reviewed by 5 customers

Displaying reviews 1-5

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(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


good, but I went elsewhere

The primary use for this product is direct recording. If you use it before an amp it sounds muddy, because you can't turn off the speaker simulation. Going in the effect return (bypassing the preamp)works well, but most people buy it for direct recording. For this purpose it is very good. It sounds a lot like a mesa-boogie. On high gain and character settings it sounds to me like a boogie with a torn speaker. I liked it, but I went with a blackstar dual instead.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


not swiss army

I had one for a few months and it is pretty cool. It beats any digital product I have heard for direct recording. Low to mid gain/character settings sound very mesa like, but high settings sound just a bit too fuzzy for me. These are great for getting a consistantly good tone for direct recording, and are good as a substitute preamp connected directly to the FX return jack on a solid state amp. I sold mine because I found I was mostly using my Blackstar dual for recording, but I think the California has a better mesa sound at moderate gain settings.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


Do not be fooled!

By motherlover101

from Dothan , Alabama

See all my reviews

I wanted a good distortion box, and it was between this or the Vox Satchurator. Do not be fooled by the Mesa Boogie line here. I have played many a Boogie, and this was nowhere near the play, and feel of a Boogie. Turning the Character knob, and Gain all the way up brag a rectified gain sound, but I felt it was too fuzzy. It's a shame too, the pedal is very well built, and looks really cool w/ vintage looking knobs, and the front look of an old MKII. This is really more of an overdrive pedal. It was also very noisy, and began to make my Marshall head act really wierd. I've been playin a long time now, and I will know in the first 5 minutes if I will like an amp, or pedal, etc.. Too Bad...Mucho potential..I had really high hopes. I will be exchanging it for the Satchurator.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


send me the other 3 for review,

By Anonymous

from Undisclosed

I got it in this nice tin box with graphics, good looking pedal that looks very tough, hooked it up through an old musicman with 6L6s set for clean, it comes with a paper showing a few basic settings, the distortion settings have an unreal type sustain but its kinda hard to get some of the bassiness under control & the distortion itself is almost a vintage type fuzz /overdrive. This thing really sounds like you bought a new amp once you get it under control, the clean setting is very good for clean leads that come alive with better tone & presence, I dont have to fight my guitar anymore for just good clean lead tones, I get the best clean lead tone I have ever got from any amp. I put my guyatone metal monster in front of my california with the latter set to clean it comes alive with a super killer crunchy distortion thats great for lead & rythym both. I have a couple gibsons with humbuckers so i dont know how single coils might sound through it but I am sold & would like to get all 4 although a bit pricey to own all 4.


Nothin' but love for this baby.

By Ghetto Byrd

from Chapel Hill, NC

See all my reviews

Ask me a question


  • Direct Recording
  • Distortion
  • fuzz
  • glassy
  • Raunchy
  • Sansamp
  • Tone


    Best Uses

    • Direct recording

    It's a shame this baby was discontinued, as I adore it. Highly adjustable, it delivers a wide range of lovely tones, though I rarely try it clean, so I can't attest much to those. Crank it up, and it's a fat, thick and juicy tone steak.

    I have never tried it through an amp, as I bought it for direct recording, and it is absolutely great for that, especially with a decent tube-pre in front of it.

    Absolutely no complaints whatsoever!

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

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