Following my wamplerization process, I needed a pedal that can cover Bluesy tones with ease and, from Wampler's line, the Paisley is the one. I have now a clen overdrive, a bluesy overdrive and a british overdrive so, I am done on overdrive's department.
Same as every Wampler's pedal. The pedal comes inside a fabric bag, wrapped in bubble plastic and inside a discrete white carton box, with an appealing sticker on its face. Inside, as always, the single sheet that wants to be the "user manual" and, a promotional sticker with Wampler's logo.
As any other Wampler's pedal, this one seems to be built like a tank but, with the appeal of a deluxe car. This is by far, their pedal with more artistic design and, really it looks really sexy.
This one sets the overall output volume of the unit. Easy to dial the unitary volume level.
This adds or removes a lot trebles.
This sets the distortion level of the amplifying section of this pedal.
Presence Toggle Switch
This one adds a lot of high end (high-frequencies), when up and, removes that extra content when down.
Mids Contour Triple Throw Toggle Switch
This switch selects three different shapes for Mids Equalization.
Well, it's so good and versatile that I could easily stack three Paisleys in a row, each one set up differently to cover all my overdriven sounds. It shares this characteristic with the Euphoria, also one of the most versatile overdrives I ever tested but, it differs from the Euphoria in its foundamental tone.
Euphoria is Wampler's take of Dumble-like overdrvies, smooth, very transparent, clean and with a bit of compression similar to the SAG of a vintage amp with a tube rectifier. But, it also does a perfect transparent overdrive, more in the league of a booster and, it also delivers a nice British overdrive mode.
I prefer the Euphoria to be used as a tranparent overdrive or, just with a Dumble touch but, without too much compression or drive and, I've got the Plexi Drive to perfectly cover the british overdrived sound.
Paisley is more voiced in the way as Tube Screamers are voiced, with prominent middles but, way more versatile than any regular TS. The three modes of its Mids Contour control are the key control in this unit. Selecting the right contour is the first step to build your sound.
Middle position of the switch delivers a barely plain mids EQ, in some way transparent but, with an added color different from Euphoria's one. This is usually used for rythmic work.
Low position is where mid-highs are bumped and, they are perfect for soloing and to distinguish the guitar from the rest of the mix.
Up position is some kind of mix between those two extremes and, maybe more versatile to cover everything together.
I find the Tone control a bit overdone in both extremes. The unit can go really dark (and this affects also to gain and volume, that drop noticiablely) or really bright (and this increases gain and volume, also), with piercing highs.
The foundational tone under every Mids Contour selection is common, a warm and silky sound that can go up to medium gain when Gain control is pushed hard. Extreme gain settings can sound a bit too much compressed to my taste but, maintaining the gain below the 2:00h, the sound is perfectly dynamic and bluesy.
With the gain around 9:00h, you can get just the color of the overdrive, without distorting the signal too much, just a "clean colored" type of sound, with that bump in middles.
Presence swith can help to give some bright to darker settings of the Tone control but, used with extreme bright tones, can be too much, generating piercing highs. It all depends on your rig and your needs but, it's there if you wanted to use it.
While in the same league as TS, it its more versatile and with a best presence of the low and high end frequencies, as in the case of the Mad Professor's Little Green Wonder (another awesome take of a TS pedal). In any case, is in the same league but has its own personality, as the Little Green Wonder has its own.
Stacks well with rest of pedals and doesn't seem to present any impedance issue.
When the tone is fully roll off, gain and volume drop excesively and can be more difficult to find the unitary volume level. As in other Wampler's pedals, I find a more confortable tone range between 10:00 and 2:00h but, you know, this will always depend on your rig.
Well, I did an unstructured video this time, more in the league of testing extremes than to achieve nice sounds. I start checking the four sample settings that came with the manual and that, certainly help to have an overall idea of the territory that this unit can cover.
I follow the rest of video checking some random settings and, checking different things without any particular order: dynamics, tone range, pinch harmonics, blues sound, darkness, mudiness, brightness, etc.
I finally play a bit with two settings I've found interesting during the tests.
Well this pedal is a direct replacment of the Little Green Wonder. In the same league as TubeScreamers but, with less compression level and a better representation of high and low end frequencies and, way more versatile, from clean-colored tones to mid ranged distortion.
Perfectly stacks with rest of pedals, has a very low noise level and presents no impedance issues.
Delivers that bluesy mids that I love and, can project guitar' sound to stand over the mix with attitude.
One more keeper!.