Wampler Sovereign Distortion review

A stompbox fit for a king?

  • £199
  • €215
  • $299
The Bright/Even switch and the two knobs offers massive flexibility that will let you focus your tone perfectly

MusicRadar Verdict

If you like to tailor the top end of your distortion, this is for you.


  • +

    Strong build. Lots of tonal options. Rich harmonics.


  • -

    Not much.

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The Wampler Sovereign is a total distortion pedal that's not designed to emulate a particular amp, but to dish the dirt in a variety of flavours.

"It's the tonal options that set the Sovereign apart"

The Advanced Gain Structure section changes the character of the distortion via a gain knob, a boost switch is present for even more gain, and a Bright/Even switch lets you set your tonal preference.

On top of that you have the tone and Mid Behaviour knobs, respectively dialling in the highs and focusing on the area of the midrange that you want to emphasise, so you can, for example, dial in a real in-your-face upper midrange presence that cuts right through.

It's the tonal options that set the Sovereign apart: with the Bright/Even switch and the two knobs, there's massive flexibility that will let you focus your tone perfectly - it's especially good if you like to squeeze out harmonics as you play lead.

With more versatility than most, this is a superb harmonic-rich distortion pedal with a myriad of voices. Excellent.

Trevor Curwen has played guitar for several decades – he's also mimed it on the UK's Top of the Pops. Much of his working life, though, has been spent behind the mixing desk, during which time he has built up a solid collection of the guitars, amps and pedals needed to cover just about any studio session. He writes pedal reviews for Guitarist and has contributed to Total Guitar, MusicRadar and Future Music among others.