Monday, October 26, 2015

Wampler Triple Wreck Review

The mighty Mesa Boogie Triple Rectifier! A favorite in the metal scene Mesa Boogie's Triple Rectifier is known for brutal scooped tones and boatloads of gain. I've spent time with both the Dual and Triple Rectifiers and they are extremely versatile amps. Clean sounds, crunch sounds, classic rock sounds and of course copious amounts of gain on tap. For a while I got tired of them, every local hard rock and metal band seemed to have a PRS guitar and a Rectifier on stage and they all scooped out their mids till you couldn't hear their solos?!?! But I like Mesa gear and have found that it takes a little getting used to and that you have to spend some time to tweak it till you get the absolute best sound out of it.

There are some people who are blessed and will own 7 different amps for various occasions but most of us will only have one or two. So what happens when you like that sound but it's not ever going to be your main sound? What do you do? Enter amp in a box pedals like the Wampler Triple Wreck. Brian Wampler has built a business around getting the feel and sounds of some of the more monumental amps, everything from blackface to Plexi's to Soldano's. To make it even better they are designed to sound great through less expensive amps. I picked up the Triple Wreck almost a year ago, and while it will never be my main sound I've found it to be a very versatile and useful tone tool.

The first thing you notice about the Triple Wreck is that it has a lot of knobs and switches. There is an active EQ section, volume and gain settings as well as a foot switchable boost contour knob. One of my favorite switches is the Voicing switch at the top that changes the gain from a hard tight sound to a looser "brutal" sound. One thing to note is that most of these knobs are very interactive so don't be surprised once you've dialed in the right amount of gain if you need to change it if you move the bass knob or vice versa. Like all Wampler products I've checked out these things are built like a tank, so no worries about them breaking down at a gig.

The first thing most people are going to try and dial in is a heavy shred-tastic sound that rectifiers are known for. I found the leaving the voicing switch on Hard and pulling back on the bass while bring up the mids is perfect for this. Interestingly I never had the bass above 1 o'clock. In fact I start all of the EQ knobs at noon and tweak from there. As I stated earlier this is a very versatile pedal. Roll back the gain for just a bit of breakup and set it up for a brighter in your face sound and you can nail Foo Fighter tones, now push it with a TS9 or a RAT type pedal for leads. I really love this sound

Of course one of the things I use pedal for is brutal downtuned modern rock sounds a la Slipknot. I talked about using this pedal for Jim Root type sounds here. Even though Jim is associated with Orange amps for the last few years he used a Dual Rectifier on the first couple of albums. Set the voicing to Brutal, put the gain around 2 o'clock pull back the treble and mids and bump up the bottom end a bit. Boom, now grab a guitar with EMG's or any hot pickups and play Before I Forget. (hint, it helps if your tuned down to drop B but you don't have to.)

While not useless I haven't found a lot of love for the boost switch on this pedal. Yes it gets a bit fuzzy, and it overdrives the bottom end of the sound. But it's not what I would call a great fuzz sound. I would love to see a version of this with an adjustable mid boost but we'll have to wait and see what Mr. Wampler has up his sleeve. So if your looking for a versatile modern amp sound check out the Wampler Triple Wreck.

This review was completely unsolicited, I received no compensation for it and all views and opinions are my own.

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