03 June 2012

Pedal Effects: Fulltone Plimsoul

Fulltone is a well know boutique-pedals maker and, has some models that you can easily see in most of pedal boards, like the OCD or the Full Drive.
But, with all that success, some pedals have clear impedancy issues, as the OCD, very sensible to pedals before and after it. Some doesn't deliver the same depending on guitar and amp models.
Being the Plimsoul one more overdrive by Fulltone, I had some fear about exactly this points so, let see how tests went.


As habitual with Fulltone' stuff. Pedal comes in a very anonymous white carton box, but this time a couple of big black labels, with the logo of the pedal, make it a bit more atractive.
Inside, the pedal is protected with a bubble plastic amd. it comes with an A4 sheet like user's manual.
It includes also a sticker with Fulltone's logo.

This time, user's manual is something else than just describe the obvious controls. This time, we have 4 orientative settings to test 4 different flavors on this pedal, what is highly appreciated. Thanks, Fulltone.

As usual, the pedal seems to be enclosed in a strong box but, the look of the box is less rude than in other pedals of the same maker. After paying a big amount of money, we love the sound but, also the look so, thanks again for this, Fulltone.

Pedal comes with a batery inside also, so it is ready to use.


Well, you know it. It controls the overal output level of the signal.

This is the gain level for the first stage of this pedal.

This is a treble filter that rolls off high end content on the signal.

Stage 2.
This ridiculous small control regulates the gain level of the second cascaded gain stage.
Why so small?.

Playing it

I've decided to integrate the pedal in my pedal board. Since OCD was having that kind of issues with impedancy, I wanted to be sure that Plimsoul has not those issues, from the very beginning. Also, I need to check how well it works when stacked with the rest of my pedals; only in that way can I find a good use for that new pedal.


The Plimsoul has two cascaded gain stages, of very different nature.
First stage has an asymmetrical soft clipping, rich in even-order Harmonics and, very similar to harmonics coming from an overdrived tube amp. It's clearly warmer that second stage.
Second stage has a simmetrical hard clipping, more percussive, with tighter low-end, simillar to a highly distortioned tube amp.

To my ears, first stage sounds warmer and more vintage alike but, no so soft and compressed like a Tube Screamer. Second stage sounds thicker, grainer, edgier, way more modern.
I think that the best of this pedals is the possibility to mix both kind of stages in different ways, what offers a very interesting set of different textures.

As soon as the second stage increase its gain, high end increases and then, the use of the Hi-Cut control is practically a must. The good new is that works very well and allows you to control the exact amount of high end content.

What I am not sure if this is a good overdrive for Blues work. I am not convinced of it but, this is a good overdrive, no doubt.

Interaction with other pedals

Fortunatelly, those issues typical in OCDs are over with this pedal. It seems to be immune to whatever pedal is set before or after it. No impedance issues, as far as I can test.
Conpression effect before works fine and gives a bit more sustain to the Plimsoul.
Phaser effect befor works also fine. No issues.
A light overdrive before, like the Sweet Honey Overdrive, work fine, as well.
A medium overdrive, in the line of Tube Screamers, like the Little Green Wonder, works even better.
It seems to reinforce the own sound of Plimsoul and sounds really good to my ears.
Then, using the Plimsoul to push a classic distortion, like the RAT, works absolutelly well. Sound is very exciting.
Even that Fuzz is an effect that likes to be played alone, the Plimsoul stacked to the Fuzz does not make the fuzz to sound worst, just different but, absolutely no issues.

Demo Video

Well, usually it is better to hear than to read, when talking about any audio device so, here you have a demo video (takes about 30 minutes so, wait until you have such a time to start it!).


The Plimsoul is a very good overdrive unit but, a bit in the heavy overdrive side and, sometimes, it is closer to a soft distortion than to an overdrive (depending on gain settings for both stages).
Anyway, the possibility to mix both ways of clipping gives you a broad palette of textures to get exactly the sound you are after and, this is definitively good.
The Plimsoul stacks very well with other pedals and likes to push and to be pushed. I specially love it pushing my RAT unit.

As everything in audio, your taste can be different from mine but, in my opinion, this overdrive worths a try.

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