On the subject of the Wampler Triple Recstortion…

I realize my last update was about this pedal, and while I generally try to make sure I’ve got something new to talk about I actually have some more thoughts on this that I wanted to share. I’ve been playing it along with my Zoom Tri-Metal for the last couple of days, and it continues to impress me. I’m hoping he makes it part of his regular line-up – please drop him a line on the comment box on the product page if you liked the clips. Pretty please with a topping of your choice; I have alternate toppings available for those who suffer from a peanut or tree nut allergy.

It turns out that I can get it to sound pretty much EXACTLY like my Zoom Tri-Metal on the Tri-Metal’s best settings. The Zoom Tri-Metal is a well-regarded pedal, one of the first pedals to actually achieve the goal of sounding a hell of a lot like a cranked high-gain Recto, coming along after the Boss MetalZone which borrowed from the basic idea of Mesa-Boogie’s high-gain amplifiers (cascaded gain stages) but didn’t really pull off the sound as their marketing implied. The Tri-Metal gets much higher marks in that category, wowing a lot of people with its brutal, extremely tight high-gain distortion. Of course it doesn’t really do anything else; even with its gain knob dialed all the way back, it’s still got more crunch than a JCM800, but it used to be that if you were after a really nice high-gain distortion pedal, you should keep an eye out for the Tri-Metal to try to catch one in the rare chance someone sold theirs.

The fact that the Wampler Triple Recstortion can match the Tri-Metal’s sweet-spot tone at certain settings could be really good news for a lot of high gain lovers. The Tri-Metal was made in very limited quantities and the price keeps going up and up for a complex, largely SMD constructed pedal that you don’t have any sort of warranty for if you buy it now. I was going to sell mine recently but the sound made me keep it despite my financial need with the move and everything. Now I’m almost wondering if I could go ahead and sell it after all, since the Triple Recstortion can do its best sounds and more? Certainly something I’m considering every time I check my balance, haha.

The Tri-Metal’s biggest weakness is that it has a few sweet spots on the controls where it sounds like high-gain brutality and then a lot of places where it’s too boomy, too piercing, too scooped or too boxy. The Wampler Triple Recstortion can eerily nail the Tri-Metal’s sweet spot sound, while giving you a lot more usable range of gain and tonal adjustment (and a lot of sounds that aren’t like the Tri-Metal at all but which sound great). The Tri-Metal doesn’t have jack for anything but the highest of high gain sounds, while the Triple Recstortion has very usable low-medium gain thick crunch all the way up to the really heavy stuff, with great tone adjustments. This is my third Wampler amp-like pedal, the other two being the Plextortion and Super Plextortion, and it’s clear to me that he is careful to design his pedals so that they are anything but one trick ponies. That kind of versatility is what will help his products find their way into peoples’ collections permanently, alongside the other greats of the industry. Shout-out to builders, y’all reading this know who you are!

But I digress.

Assuming Wampler does make it part of his regular line-up… and frankly, I don’t see how he wouldn’t want to since the 100 he made sold in three days, provided people leave him some messages letting him know they want one… this could be a way for people to get their hands on a highly regarded sound, in addition to a lot of other great low-medium to high gain tones, for a reasonable price.

Tomorrow I’ll make sure to record a pair of clips demonstrating what I’m talking about: the Tri-Metal and the Triple Recstortion side-by-side, into the same recording setup. It should be fun, and it’ll continue to demonstrate how a virtual rig can be a gracious host to physical pedals.


13 Responses to On the subject of the Wampler Triple Recstortion…

  1. Dave Thomas says:

    I think distortion is a tricky thing to get right, I have owned quite a few pedal and never found one to give me the sound I desire, boosters have always come to the rescue for me, will be interesting to here more though…

  2. Jason says:

    I have to agree with Dave re: boosters doing it for me vs. distortion pedals. I’ll be curious to hear the clips though.
    Off topic…….I just picked up a Mesa Mark III Purple Stripe head and will be experimenting with that quite a bit over the next few weeks with the Dyna Drive you sold me,the BBE Green Screamer, and a few other pedals (dist and/or boost). Should be fun.

  3. geareview says:

    Very cool, man, you’ll have to post about how it turns out.

  4. Jason says:

    Eagerly awaiting your pedal update!

    By the way, so far I’m liking the Green Screamer alone into the amp as a boost and the Dyna better into the software.

  5. Dave Thomas says:

    I was thinking of building a couple of amp in a pedal type fx’s might document it if you were interested, thinking of a JCM800 and 100w superlead to start with. With your interest in building pedals I though you may be interested…

  6. geareview says:

    That would be great, Dave! What were you thinking for the concept behind the builds? Miniaturize the circuits and replace the tubes with clippers, or try to design pedals which achieve the signature sound of them without tying yourself to the original circuits?

  7. Dave Thomas says:

    Well a lot of work has already been done along the lines of replacing the tubes with jfets, check out these:

    http://www.runoffgroove.com/thor.html (

    I was going to start with something like that and start to fiddle with the circuits to come up with something that fits my style of playing and sound.

    After that I was going to build a stereo poweramp using either ultra low watt tubes or solid state, cant decide whether to do that or look into powered monitors for the stealth pedal…

  8. geareview says:

    Hey, Dave, sorry that your post wasn’t around ’til now – my spam filter knocks out anything with several links in it, and I hadn’t checked the spam queue since there are so rarely false positives (and a depressingly large number of actual spam posts).

    I would consider solid-state, maybe a smallish MOSFET power amp? That would give you some tube-like characteristics but without reliability, durability and parts sourcing concerns in the longer run. Plus it would likely be substantially less noisy.

  9. Dave Thomas says:

    Solid state is a massivly cheaper than tube equivelents, a 100w MOSFET stereo power amp would cost less then a medium priced pedal to build.

    At the moment Im sourcing parts for a Electro Harmonic small stone chorus clone, thats the one thing I have yet to replicate in my virtual pedal board. Ill see if I can get something set up here to document it and future projects…


  10. geareview says:

    Let me know how it goes. You ought to start a WordPress blog about building pedals, they’re free and I’m sure people would be interested in documentary of the process of building. I know I’d check out whatever you felt like posting šŸ™‚

  11. blaknoize says:

    I set up my blog check it when you get a chance…

  12. blaknoize says:

    My blog is at blacknoize . wordpress . com
    I originally missed out the c in black because I thought it looked cool but then changed my mind šŸ™‚

  13. geareview says:

    I will definitely be watching it. Thanks for the heads-up!

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