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Catalinbread - SFT

Tue Apr 20 2021
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I love the SFT Overdrive by Catalinbread. I'm a huge Josh Homme fan and this amp-in-a-box pedal nails those Ampeg tones.

I had the SFT for a long time as my main overdrive. I sold it and experimented with other drives. But I came back to it now and fell in love yet again. It just does exactly what I need. Its JFET based circuit gives you that amp-like feel. It's very responsive to your picking dynamics and attack. And it stacks wonderfully with other fuzzes or boosts in front of it.

The SFT has a very powerful tone stack. It's a baxandall tone stack, meaning the treble and bass knobs are active controls. At noon, the EQ is flat. Past noon, it is actively boosting treble or bass frequencies. Below noon, the tone controls are cutting high or low end. This makes the SFT a super useful and versatile always-on pedal. You can make this work with any guitar.

Overall, the SFT has a lower mid push with the EQ settings at noon. I think this changes depending on the mode (stones/stoner) together with the amount of gain available.

On the stones setting, I think I was able to get some tweed-like tones – but with tighter attack and more substance (low end).

The stoner mode goes from a nice compressed breakup to a very punchy fuzz sound. It's enough dirt to sound dangerous but with the right EQ settings, it keeps its clarity and attack even for riffs and rhythm parts.

The one thing I would change about the SFT is to replace the push-button with an actual foot switch. Or provide an extra input for something like a remote foot switch like JHS does it. Maybe it's just me, but that's how I always use my gain stages live: One medium gain sound for rhythm guitar in verses and one higher gain sound for leads and chorus rhythm or riff parts.

However, setting the Stoner mode to a lower gain setting with a boost pedal in front like the JPTR FX Jive certainly does the trick for me.

I'm very happy that this baby came home again on the board.

Signal chain:

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