An Introduction to Wampler: Their Pedals and Their Story

There's a saying that goes, "There's more than corn in Indiana," and it must be true, because that's where Brian Wampler set up his namesake company, Wampler Pedals.

But as is the case for many passion projects that turn into careers, Brian's pedal building beginnings were humble.

"I didn't start out to build a pedal company," he says. "Rather, it was something that just kind of happened as I was doing what I loved—helping others in the DIY world and building pedals for those who did not want to be a DIYer."

Years before, Brian discovered a personal fascination with electronics, but was frustrated at his inability to find any resources that laid out the basics in terms he could understand. So he went to work, put in the time to study and eventually released a series of e-books that explained the fundamental principles of guitar pedal modification in easy-to-understand terms.

"Some of today's most popular builders were customers of mine," he says. "That's not to say that I am solely responsible for the popularity of the industry at all, however, I do believe they did help build it up a bit."

With the growing popularity of the e-books came notoriety, increased requests for pedals of his own design, and the stunning realization that he could sell pedals with his name on them. So now, more than a decade later, you can find nearly 30 different Wampler designs to choose from.

But his passion has always been gain.

Brian Wampler

"I've always been a huge fan of dirt," Brian says. "Even before building pedals, I was just a huge fan of those tones in general. As a young child I was completely obsessed with obtaining specific overdrive and distortion tones. And as I got older, I was always trying to find the sounds I heard from my favorite bands."

And therein lies the Wampler niche—basically two-thirds of his lineup is made up of overdrive, fuzz, distortion, or amp-in-a-box style platforms.

"After designing circuits and building pedals for ten years or so now, I've gotten very good at knowing how to get a specific sound and how to get something to feel a certain way. That's something a person only gets through years of experimenting."

Find all of Brian's experiments at wamplerpedals.com.

Wampler Pedals You Need to Know

Plexi Drive Deluxe

A step up from the standalone Plexi Drive, the deluxe delivers delicious Marshall tones and more ways to tweak them, along the Tubescreamer-style boost that's been added to the front end. So not only do you get a three-band active EQ and toggles for added bass and/or brightness, but a kickin' boost, too.

Shop Now on Reverb

Thirty Something Overdrive

The Thirty Something takes a nod from the PDD and serves up all the Vox chime you could want. It's loaded with the familiar AC-style controls you know—such as bass, treble and cut—and adds a Class A treble boost to make those Queen solos ring out. And don't forget the headroom toggle for optimal gain staging.

Shop Now on Reverb

Ego Compressor

For a pedal Brian never thought would be a big seller, the Ego is one of the most ubiquitous Wamplers out there. In fact, the original was so popular, the Ego has been repackaged as a mini pedal, complete with many of the controls you'll find on the full-size version. If you love compressors with clean blend, look no further.

Shop Now on Reverb

Tumnus Overdrive

Over the past few years, it seems like everybody's out to capture the magic of the Klon. Wampler got in on this trend too, but has now upped the ante with the Tumnus Deluxe. All the Klon you can handle—and a three-band EQ, too. But for those wanting to keep it simple, well, check out the stipped-down Tumnus Mini.

Shop Now on Reverb

Faux Tape Echo

Now in its second iteration, the Faux Tape Echo offers some of the best tape delay tones in the game. It features a hybrid design for greater clarity, improved control, and, you guessed it, tap tempo with subdivisions. Add to that controls for modulation rate and depth and you have yourself a pedalboard-friendly winner.

Shop Now on Reverb


comments powered by Disqus