The following article is a Wampler Sovereign review discussing the features and performance of a very popular distortion pedal.
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These days, when there are tons of amazing distortion pedals on the market, it seems almost impossible to stand out with a signature tone. However, Wampler has managed to find the way and created a pedal called Sovereign, a pedal that delivers a signature tone in such a stylish way.
This pedal ranks very, very high in a hierarchy of distortion pedals and that is for many reasons. Not only that you can count on distinctive tones, but you can count on many of them. This pedal offers an incredibly wide range of colors, which cover pretty much everything, from vintage crunch to a modern hi-gain distortion. Moreover, there are some pretty interesting knobs that will help you find your signature tone with ease, without losing the natural tone of your amp.
All these sound characteristics sound amazing, but the thing that will also impress you is that they have been packed in a very compact stompbox, so you definitely won’t have any trouble to find space for it on your pedalboard. The pedal features Wampler’s typical styling and we can say it also looks very attractive.
The price may seem a little bit high, but keep in mind that the pedal delivers an impressive range of tones. Simply, it seems a little bit unfair to call it just a distortion pedal, as it covers a variety of crunch and overdrive sounds. There aren’t many pedals on the market that offer such versatility.
Features and controls
Despite being an extremely versatile distortion pedal, the Wampler Sovereign keeps things simple, when it comes to controls and features. First of all, it comes in a pretty compact package. Second, controls are quite simple, considering the impressive tone diversity. The pedal comes in Wampler’s typical layout, so you can count of four knobs and two switches.
You will probably notice a row of three large and well-designed knobs in the middle section. There, you can find typical pedal controls, such as Volume from the left and Tone from the right side. There is no need to talk about these two too much, as those are pretty common knobs for distortion pedals, which help you integrate the pedal with your amp in the best possible way.
The most interesting knob is the one in the middle, which is called Mid Behavior. As you may presume, this knob lets you dial in the amount mid-range tones. This is what makes the pedal so versatile, as you can go from fluid to pretty aggressive sounds. The best thing is that this knob doesn’t affect clarity and dynamic response at all.
In the upper section, you can notice a gain knob, another typical feature of distortion pedals. The knob is quite sensitive and offers a wide range of distortion levels, from vintage crunchy tones to hi-gain metal sound.
Two more switches can be found in this section. The first one is called Bright/Even switch, which provides you with additional options for finding your tonal preferences. It changes the color of distortion significantly and can be useful if you want to combine this pedal with your amp’s overdrive.
Finally, there is a typical boost switch, another common feature among distortion pedals, which provides you with even more gain. Another thing I should mention is that the pedal features a true bypass when disengaged.
Of course, there are typical ¼” inputs and outputs. Unfortunately, the power supply is sold separately. It is a 9V-18V DC power supply, but you can also run this pedal on a single 9V battery, though I’m not sure how long it will last.
Tone and Performance
The first thing I have to say about this pedal is that you shouldn’t be fooled by the name. This is far more than a distortion pedal. It offers an extremely wide range of tones that go from a clean boost to vintage crunch to warm overdrive to hi-gain metal sound. I’ve tried many pedals of this type, but a small number of them can offer such diversity.
More importantly, this pedal doesn’t emulate the sound of any other pedal or amp distortion, which is, unfortunately, the case with most other versatile pedals on the market. The Wampler Sovereign delivers familiar tones but they somehow sound very distinctive at the same time. No matter the setting, this pedal delivers a rich tone, full of harmonics.
As I’ve already mentioned in the features and controls section, this pedal comes with a variety of knobs and switches. Bright/Even and Boost switches can significantly change the color of the pedal. Still, the Tone and Mid Behavior knobs are the biggest power of this pedal.
These two knobs are so sensitive that you can get pretty much anything you want, no matter the level of gain or other settings. These two knobs are the main reason for the pedal’s diversity, which in practice also means you can use it in front of any amp.
No matter if you have a class A or class AB tube amp, or just a simple solid-state unit, this pedal will work in perfect cohesion. If you want to use the front of a clean amp, you can count on a wide range of natural, harmonics-rich sounds with an impressive dynamic response.
In my humble opinion, the Wampler Sovereign works best when combined with the amp’s crunchy sounds. This is where everything becomes really nasty. Once again, I’m coming back to Tone and Mid Behavior knobs, which will provide you with a range of tonal options. The best part is that not only that the amp color will remain untouched, but will get emphasized. That’s the real beauty and strength of this pedal.
Furthermore, it works great in a combination with other pedals as well, particularly with a boost and compressor, though combination with another overdrive pedal can sound decent as well. The pedal is very quiet and will work great for recording as well.
Wampler Sovereign Conclusion
All in all, the Wampler Sovereign is a spectacular unit. Simply, it is one of the most versatile pedals around, which will supply you with a wide range of crunch, overdrive and distortion sounds. No matter the settings, the pedal sounds incredibly organic and delivers an impressive amount of harmonics. So, if you need a super-versatile pedal with loads of colors in a single stompbox, which will work amazing in front of any amp, search no more. This is the right distortion pedal for you.
Customer Review Rating
The Wampler Sovereign distortion has a rating of 4.5* out of 5* on Amazon – >>>Check out the Latest Amazon Customer Reviews of the Wampler Sovereign<<<
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