The Wampler Triple Wreck, to some, is considered one of the best distortion effects pedals. Its name alone invokes images of destruction and mayhem, and the idea is only strengthened by looking at Wampler’s description of its gain switch choices: “Hard” or “Brutal.” There is no lesser option. If you want your tone to to have tons of crunch, fuzz, high gain, thump, or anything else you associate with overdriven amp sound, the Triple Wreck will make it happen.
- 3 EQ controls – The Triple Wreck has three separate knobs to EQ the wet signal: Treble, Mids, and Bass. Having separate knobs for each section of the frequency means that you will have a huge range of dynamics to choose from in your distortion here. The Mids alone is worth the money just to help your sound cut through the mix.
- Volume – Does exactly what you think: adjusts the level of sound sent to the amp.
- Gain Structure – The “Hard/Brutal” switch is an odd thing that, in all practicality, you don’t have to mess with; you can most likely get what it does from tweaking all the other options on this pedal. “Hard” gives you more high-end gain, and “Brutal” lets in a little more sparkle into your tone reminiscent of those 80’s hair metal bands. The Gain knob adjusts how much of that overdrive emulation actually saturates your tone.
- Boost Contour – This knob tweaks the Boost setting’s power. When it’s dimed, the pedal essentially becomes a fuzz box. Crank it the opposite way, and the distortion is multiplied.
- Footswitches – The Boost footswitch and Boost Contour knob work in tandem, so when it’s off, the Boost Contour knob won’t do anything. The Bypass switch lets you, well, bypass the pedal.
True Bypass – Unless you’re in a heavy metal band, you probably won’t want this pedal to affect your tone all the time – and even then, unwanted signal affectation is not optimal. This pedal stays out when you want it to stay out.
Power supply options – Uses a 9V battery or 9V power jack
Customization – This reason is by far the biggest reason to own a Triple Wreck. It outshines other distortions with the sheer amount of tweaking options available. Three separate knob controls for EQ alone, volume control, a Gain Structure knob with two separate settings, Boost Contour customization – it may actually be too much for someone who wants a simple, straightforward distortion. For tone buffs, this pedal is a dream come true.
NOT an overdrive – This is not necessarily a negative thing, because this pedal does not tout itself as an overdrive; however, some people do look to distortions for boosters. This is most certainly not a pedal for that job. It distorts your tone, and don’t expect it to do anything else. Use it through a clean amp as a distinct effect.
Price – The ability to shape practically everything in your distortion tone comes at a hefty price – nearly $300 brand-new. If you can find a used model for cheaper and that has been cared for, jump on it. Otherwise, this pedal is priced at boutique range for something that is not exactly boutique.
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