First Impressions: Catalinbread Formula 5F6 Drive Pedal

This photo shows Catalinbread's Formula 5F6 pedal on my pedalboard.

There are 5 knobs visible, but their labels are hidden from view by those knobs.

As regular readers will know, tweed-tone pedals are kind of my thing. Good, bad, or indifferent, I’m always on the lookout for an opportunity to try as many of these pedals as I possibly can. The Catalinbread Formula 5F6 is one of the few that’s in regular production.

The day this was delivered, I was pretty down on it over on my Twitter account. Has anything changed now that I’ve had a bit more time with it? That all depends on what kind of guitar you play …

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New Arrivals: December 2020

I had a plan for December: keep an eye out for outright bargains or ultra-rare pedals on the second-hand market, and spend more time enjoying what arrived last month.

Then, when writing up my Annual Review blog posts, that all changed. Looking back over the last 12 months made me realise that there was an obvious problem, and I needed to sort it out. So, I have.

I hope you had a great Christmas and a Happy New Year. We filled our house with music, and it’s what gets us through these historic times.

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Side By Side: NABLA Custom Black Tweed and Mythos Lark

In my first impressions of the NABLA Custom Black Tweed, I said that one of the things I didn’t like about it was that I found the tone to sound very dull. This morning, I was going back through my New Arrivals posts, and I was reminded of another tweed-tone pedal with a top-end that I didn’t like at first: the Mythos Lark.

I thought it’d be interesting to throw them both on the board together, and explore them side by side. This isn’t a ‘best’ kind of review: it’s about understanding the options that each pedal offers … and yes, about exploring the top-end of them both.

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New Arrivals: November 2020

November 2020 is mostly about what didn’t arrive this month, alas.

I ordered a couple of cool pedals from Italy at the end of October, and they only just didn’t make the cut (they arrived 1st December 2020). They’ve both awesome pedals, and I’ll have a lot more to say about them soon.

Another shipping target for the Neural DSP Quad Cortex has been and gone. Both the first and second batch were expected to be in backers’ hands this month, but once again that didn’t happen. With Christmas right around the corner, this is surely going to slip into 2021 now.

The other thing that didn’t arrive? This post. It disappeared without trace from WordPress. Twice. That’s happened a few times in recent weeks. Not yet sure whether it’s WordPress or my new hosting arrangements.

So what did arrive? I got a couple of cool things. Oh, and the world got several COVID19 vaccines too 🙂

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New Arrivals: October 2020

This month is mostly defined by constraints.

I had to replace the car last month. Unfortunately, with everything that’s going on in the world right now, there’s a lot of unusual shortages, and I just couldn’t get replacement parts to keep my car on the road. That puts a significant limit on how much I can spare to spend on hobbies for a bit.

Secondly, we’re back in lockdown. We can travel, we’re just very limited on where we’re legally allowed to travel to. [By the end of the month, the local lockdown had become a full lockdown once again – Ed] Normally, this time of year, we’d be visiting far-flung guitar shops to hunt for unusual items and surprises. That’s just not an option right now.

Finally, there just isn’t that much interesting (to me) gear hitting the second hand market right now. All too often, the items that do catch my eye are priced optimistically, and I’m not yet sure if this is a temporary thing, or whether prices are going to remain this high in the long term.

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