Wampler's new mini overdrives are packing big features into small pedals

(Image credit: Wampler)

Wampler has unveiled two mini overdrive pedals to vie for the prime real estate on your pedalboard.

The USA-made Wampler Belle Mini overdrive finds designer Brian Wampler getting more from a classic low gain overdrive circuit [we're assuming the session player fave Nobels ODR-1]. 

"This circuit has been around for a long time in various forms but most versions of it have too much of a 'hi-fi' sound about them," says Wampler, "they fail to get the right mix of clarity and bass that is needed to make this overdrive sing."

A bass control on the Belle Mini controls harmonics – "from smooth and creamy to tight and crunchy". 

Wampler adds that when you set that bass down and the gain up, you'll enter crunch city  with an "awesome transparent overdrive / medium distortion sound". 

The Color control here sounds interesting – and the decision not to call it a 'Tone' dial isn't accidental. Dialling it right or left will either boost or cut the high and low end a little, but the midrange frequencies remain untouched.  

A push switch on the side which will control the amount of compression and change the clipping structure in the circuit for extra punch as required.


(Image credit: Wampler)
A guide to overdrive

The Plexi-Drive Mini takes the popular original Plexi-Drive circuit into a mini form and actually adds features

As the name suggests, Marshall is the muse here and this pedal's gain structure can cover "everything from Vintage ’68 style Plexi tones to the all-out massive rock tones of a JTM-45® cranked to ten, or even eleven…"

The Mid Boost circuit switch here is new for Wampler's Plexi range. It boosts by tweaking several gain stages of the circuit at once. for added versatility. 

Brian Wampler has also implemented gain stage and EQ adjustments within the mid boost circuit to allow access to the kind of gain you'd usually have to stack pedals to achieve.

The Plexi Drive Mini also features Wampler's Bass Boost switch to emulates the tonal difference between 4x12 and 2x12 speaker cabs. 

(Image credit: Wampler)

The Plexi Drive Mini is available from 20 November 2 exclusively from Thomann and Sweeterwater for $149.97 but the Wampler Belle Mini Overdrive is available now for $149.99 from Sweetwater and £148 / €159 from Thomann

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.