Fender's Champ combo tube amp dates all the way back to the 1940s, when it was called the Champion 800. It eventually evolved into the 5F1 'Tweed Champ' – a single knob dark workhorse that would become a studio go-to for iconic players like Neil Young for decades. Now Catalinbread are squeezing that history into another stompbox overdrive pedal in its Formula series.
There's four knobs now and somehow they've fitted a preamp, power amp sim and n output transformer in there to give this the edge over the amp-in-a-box competition.
Catalinbread highlights the Tone control as the key to unlocking the versatility here; it incorporates the mid scoop control of the Framus Cobra amp to create a mod that can scoop the Tweed mids to Blackface territory of latter era Champs.
Players have the option to run it at 9V or 18V for increased headroom too.
The existing Formula 55 Tweed Deluxe and Formula 5F6 Tweed Bassman pedals have also been given a new look to celebrate the arrival of their new sibling.
The Catalinbread Formula 51 is $179.99 / £151.55. More info at catalinbread.com