Caitlinbread Formula No.5 Vs. Wampler Euphoria

Bristol Posse

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While out and about today, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Sam Ash in L.A. had some nice boutiquey type pedals in store to try out. I had the chance to play a Caitlinbread Formula no.5 side by side with a Wampler Euphoria. I’m not in the marker for any pedals right now (self enforced no gear buying period) but figured I'd do a quick review if anyone is interested in these pedals and it’s always fun to play with gear.
I played them through a current production blues Jr, not because it is any kind of dream amp but because I gig one and have done a good amount of work and time on this type of amp. So I don’t have to spend a lot of time figuring out where the sweet spot is, I know it takes pedals well and I’m not just being awed by the amp itself

I used a LP with p90s as that is what I have been playing recently

Both are really nice pedals attempting to give some vintage, tubey overdriven crunch to a clean signal or could be used as a boost I guess

Here are my observations

Caitlinbread No 5
Simple and easy to use, three knobs to control gain, tone and volume, the gain control gets you into crunch fairly quickly and once you get to about 2/3 of the way up there is a good amount of hiss.

On the bridge pickup, Good thump to the low end but retaining string clarity and presence.
On the neck pickup, got into the mud with more gain and needed a lot of the tone boost as the crucnch go heavier. Still reasonable clarity and up above the 10th fret gave a nice creamy over driven sound

The pedal was somewhat responsive to pick attack and the volume control on the guitar meaning you could clean it up pretty well with a quick twist of the guitar volume control
Plenty of cleaner gain on tap through the volume control if you wanted to use as a boost although with not much in the way of an EQ it was not easy to leave the sound uncolored

Priced at $149.99 this is not much more than a lot of MXR type pedals. I’m pretty familiar with the Badass modified O.D. and I’d say this Formula no. 5 pedal gave a more tube type of crunch sound and had a more airy quality that would cut through in a mix a little more so long as you watch out for the mud as you push it

Wampler Euphoria

A little more complex in controls and a little more pricey at $199.99. Volume, gain tone and bass give you tone shaping options. There is also a three way switch called "voicing" that has smooth, open and crunch settings. This seems to control the level at which the input signal begins to get clipped. So at open setting you get a less driven sound than you would with the same settings with the switch set to smooth and it’s more driven still at crunch. Because you seem to be altering the clipping threshold, there is a volume drop as you go from open to smooth to crunch.

This gives a very good amount of flexibility but does make it one of those pedals that are hard to adjust on the fly at a gig

It does the various levels of tube crunch very well. From just a touch of hair to the edge of break up all the way to a tube crunching well beyond specified limits

The sound on both pickups was really nice and clear. The smooth setting with mid gain gave a nice edge of breakup but retained individual note distinction very well
Once you got to crunch you did have to watch out for mud but with the combination of tone and bass control it was fairly easy to manage
The pedal was extremely responsive to pick attack and volume adjustments on the guitar and really behaved like an amp in that respect
Set to open, there was a lot of volume on tap for a clean boost that could be fairly uncolored

Of the two, If I were currently looking to replace my MXR Badass Modified OD I’d most likely go with the Wampler.
Of course a lot depends on Amp, guitar style and taste and I don’t think either pedal would leave you disappointed
But for me, there was just a little more substance to the Wampler pedal. Slightly less mud, a little more air and clarity and the sound of the O.D was just more tweakable and it just sounded nicer

YMMV
Matt
 

Ginger Beer

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Weird thing is that I'm sitting at the computer with my Formula 5 in the box. I was on my way to Guitar center to trade it in for a little handheld digital recorder (I have too many dirt pedals).

The bad thing is that I played with it for about 30 minutes before and it sounded so good, so full, that I just can't make it to the door.

Your assessment is pretty spot on. I'll just add that if you max the gain, you can get some really overblown - brown out type sounds as well.
 

CheopisIV

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I have a F#5 and it's replaced the shitty channel 2 on my Blues DeVille 4x10. This pedal is what channel 2 SHOULD sound like. Love it!
 

Bordeaux

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I have the Catalinbread 5F6 Formula and it is very nice. Definitely does a really good, cranked Bassman impression.
 

Frogfur

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I have the Catlinbread 5 and love the thing for certain tones. Double drop D makes Great Neil Young kinds of stuff. I don't know anything about the other pedal here.
I only have about 6 pedals and I'm a picky SOB when it comes to that sort of thing because for me, volume still equates that real brown sound.
 

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