Wampler heats up the budget stompbox market with the $99 Triumph Overdrive and Phenom Distortion

Wampler Collective Series
(Image credit: Wampler)

Good news for those looking to curate a serious pedalboard on a tight budget, Wampler has unveiled a new line of guitar effects pedals that retail at the magic $/£99 mark and want for nothing in the features department.

The Collective series comprises the Triumph Overdrive and Phenom Distortion, with each sharing a five-knob enclosure design, with a toggle switch for added versatility. Both pedals share a very similar control set, not unlike a guitar amp, with dials for Bass, Middle, Treble, Volume and Gain.

“Wampler’s Collective Series pedals are packed with features for players of all levels,” says Wampler. “Designed for affordability without compromising on the qualities that epitomise Wampler, every Collective Series pedal allows you to easily dial in rich, fat tones ideal for beginners and professionals alike.”

The Triumph Overdrive was inspired by two of Brian Wampler’s favourite overdrive pedals, the Boss SD-1 and the cult classic and now out of production DigiTech Bad Monkey Tube Drive. 

Adding a more comprehensive EQ section, and some jiggery-pokery with the circuit, Wampler expands upon the tones you might get from either drive pedal, including “polished glassy overtones” no less. 

Wampler offers two voicings at the flick of the switch for Punch and Smooth, so you could credibly think of this as a twofer drive pedal with an amp-in-a-box interface. 

The Phenom Distortion is similar in that respect, and is a JFET-based distortion pedal with an inspiration that assumes numerical form, 5150, which, when you hear that magic number, the mind immediately conjures warm, fuzzy feelings and thinks warm, crunchy-hot Eddie Van Halen electric guitar tones – which, to many a player, is the acme of hard rock tone, the holiest of grails.

Once more you have that amp-like control setup, with the mode switch on the Phenom selecting between Classic and Bright voicings, the latter giving you a bit more bight, the former a smoother sound.

The JFET circuit is designed to give the pedal a similar response and feel to a tube amp, and should give your rhythm playing plenty of depth and power, while applying that harmonically rich hot sauce to your solos.

Both the Phenom and Triumph can be run at 9V or 18V DC from your pedalboard power supply and have top-mounted jacks because Brian Wampler has thought of everything.

At 99 bucks a throw, what’s not to like? For more details, head over to Wampler.

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.