The following article is a Wampler Sovereign review discussing the features and performance of a very popular distortion pedal.
Available On Amazon – Check Current Price
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<<<
If you found this Wampler Sovereign review both enjoyable and informative. Comment below your own review or any questions you may have regarding this product.
Time to improve your guitar playing skills? Check out our GuitarTricks Review for 14-day free trial offer.
FAQ – Wampler Sovereign Distortion
What type of pedal is the Wampler Sovereign?
The Wampler Sovereign is a high-gain distortion pedal designed for electric guitars. It belongs to the distortion/fuzz pedal category and is known for delivering powerful, saturated tones suitable for various genres, especially rock and metal.
What are the key features of the Wampler Sovereign?
The Wampler Sovereign boasts several notable features, including:
- Versatile Tone Control: The pedal offers a 3-band EQ (bass, mid, and treble) allowing users to shape their desired sound accurately.
- Gain and Volume Control: It has separate gain and volume knobs, providing control over the amount of distortion and overall output level.
- Bass Boost Switch: The Sovereign includes a bass boost toggle switch that enhances low-end frequencies for added depth and heaviness.
- Built-in Noise Gate: Wampler integrated a noise gate feature to minimize unwanted noise and feedback, ensuring a cleaner signal.
- True Bypass: The pedal features true bypass switching, ensuring that when it’s turned off, it won’t interfere with the original guitar signal.
How does the Wampler Sovereign compare to other high-gain distortion pedals on the market?
In comparison to other high-gain distortion pedals, the Wampler Sovereign stands out for its exceptional clarity, dynamic response, and tonal versatility. The carefully designed EQ controls allow players to sculpt their ideal sound, while the added bass boost and noise gate functionalities offer enhanced flexibility and performance reliability.
What types of music styles is the Wampler Sovereign best suited for?
The Wampler Sovereign’s powerful, high-gain distortion makes it an excellent choice for guitarists who enjoy playing rock, hard rock, metal, and any genre that requires aggressive and saturated tones. Whether you need tight rhythm chugs, soaring solos, or a punchy, distorted lead sound, the Sovereign delivers with excellence.
Can the Wampler Sovereign be used with both single-coil and humbucker pickups?
Yes, the Wampler Sovereign is designed to work well with both single-coil and humbucker pickups. Its versatile tone controls and gain settings ensure that it can adapt to different pickup types, providing a satisfactory and responsive tone regardless of the guitar setup.
What power supply options are compatible with the Wampler Sovereign?
The Wampler Sovereign can be powered by a 9V DC power supply, center-negative polarity. It is crucial to use a reliable power source to ensure optimal performance and avoid potential damage to the pedal.
Is the Wampler Sovereign pedal suitable for live performances and recording?
Absolutely! The Wampler Sovereign is a popular choice among musicians for both live performances and studio recording. Its high-quality sound, noise gate feature, and rugged construction make it a reliable companion on stage, while its versatile tones make it a valuable tool in the recording studio.
Does the Wampler Sovereign have a built-in boost function?
No, the Wampler Sovereign does not have a built-in boost function. However, its high-gain nature can push your amplifier into overdrive, effectively acting as a boost when needed.
Are there any alternative versions or models of the Wampler Sovereign available?
As of my last knowledge update in September 2021, the Wampler Sovereign had one main version without major alternative variations. However, it’s possible that newer versions or related models may have been released since then, so it’s recommended to check Wampler’s official website or authorized dealers for the most up-to-date information.