Catalinbread SFT Overdrive Metallic Sapphire
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Manufacturer's ID: SFT
The newly redesigned Catalinbread SFT is an Ampeg voiced foundation overdrive that bridges the “Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out!” (Stones) and the Desert Sound (Stoner) eras. Fans of those classic amps will recognize the signature Ampeg tonal character and playing feel that made them famous.
First, let’s talk a bit more about the Stones/Stoner mode switch. This switch completely reconfigures the SFT and makes it become a completely new beast. Think Jekyll and Hyde! Two pedals in one! If you want the most authentic big Ampeg tube amp response, use Stones mode. If you want a rippin’ high gain distortion sound that can achieve huge fuzz tones, use Stoner mode.
Set to noon for a relatively flat response. Below noon to cut and above noon to boost. These are treble and bass shelving controls and have been carefully voiced for the SFT.
Range of Bass Control
Turning the Bass control down from noon gives a high-pass shelving response around 200hz. This allows you to tighten up the response and attenuate those woolly and woofy frequencies. Turning up the Bass control boosts all those frequencies.
Range of Treble Control
Turning the Treble control down from noon gives a low-pass shelving response at around 1000hz. Typically you’d turn the Treble down below noon in the following situations: you’ve got the Gain set low for clean response, you’re in Stoner mode dialing in a woolly fuzz tone, or you’re playing bass. Turning up the Treble control first gives you a nice kick in the upper mids from noon to 2:00 and then beyond that the sound will get increasingly more trebly.
In Stones mode, the range of the Gain knob has been tuned to be very similar to that of the volume control on a big non-master volume tube amp. So, from minimum Gain to about 10:00, the response will be clean and bright. From 10:00 to noon, you’ll get edgeof-breakup response that is very sensitive to pick attack. From noon to 2:00, you’ll hit the overdrive sweet spot, just like that of most tube amps. And from 2:00 on, you’ll get increasing crunch and saturation.
The SFT was designed to give a huge amount of output even with clean low gain settings. So, if you’re running the Gain control really low, you’ll find that there is plenty of output on the Volume knob to boost that clean sound quite loud! But if you’re running higher gain sounds, especially in Stoner mode, you’ll find that you won’t have to turn the Volume control up much at all.
When you’re in Stoner mode, the controls still work basically the same way but you’ll find that you will run the Treble, Bass, and Gain controls lower than you would in Stones mode due to all the extra gain and frequency content.