Wampler has made a new version of its wonderful Tumnus overdrive pedal – so is this Germanium version better or just different?

Wampler Tumnus
(Image credit: Wampler)

It's no secret that we love the Tumnus – an excellent mini klone at a decent price, what's not to like? I've already explained why it's never coming off my pedalboard. We already have the larger Deluxe version with more options out there, but what's this? A whole new mini version, the Germanium Tumnus!

It's only right that Andertons give it the video treatment, seeing as it was Danish Pete who chose the original Tumnus over a real Klon Centaur in a blind test a couple of years ago. But in an A/B with Klons (they have two) and the gold Tumnus, what's special about this new silver model of the much-loved overdrive pedal?

The original Tumnus uses silicon diodes, and this new limited edition uses the germanium kind that were reportedly used in the Klon. There's a limited supply of them – hence the limited run. And higher price where it's currently in stock at Thomann and Sweetwater (the first batch has already sold out at Andertons but they're taking preorders for the next). 

So is it worth the extra, and is it an upgrade from the gold standard? Germanium traditionally offers softer clipping compared to the silicon, and Danish Pete seems to hear this as more treble in the gold Tumnus, noting the Germanium version sounds more like the Klons to his ears. But bring in the tolerances of pots and it's close – so just knock the treble down on the gold one?

"Germanium is always a warmer feeling," says Pete. 

"I think there is a bit more gain in the gold," adds Lee. 

Wampler Tumnus Germanium

(Image credit: Wampler)

The comparisons could drive you insane and regardless of the fact he owns two, Lee Anderton is not afraid to say how absurd the prices for Klons are these days, considering how close the available klones out there can get. The Tumnus really does judging by this, in both iterations. 

The Andertons duo concludes that the Tumnus Germanium is the closer of the Wampler pedals to the real thing, but perhaps you'll prefer the perceived added bite of the gold. So there is no 'better'… they both sound great. And for me, the Tumnus has one 'big' advantage over the competition – it's really small.  But surely I don't need a second one. 

Ok, the Germanium does have metal knobs… maybe I should get another one after all. Two is better than one, right?

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.