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Catalinbread Super Charged Overdrive (SCO)Review

Date:March 14, 2005Catalinbread SCO

Catalinbread SCO Specs

The Catalinbread Super Charged Overdrive (SCO) is your basic distortion pedal but with a few twists. The SCO does not contain any diodes to achieve the overdrive effect. Instead multiple moderate gain stages are cascaded (kind of like a Mesa Boogie preamp) to generate distortion. One will also notice there is no tone control on the SCO, instead the Contour control functions more like a presence control on a amp.

Roll the Contour back counter clockwise and the box sounds a like a pushed open back tweed. Full clockwise and you begin to hear sounds reminiscent of a 100W non-master volume through a 4x12 cabinet.

As with all Catalinbread products the SCO is equiped with true bypass.

Catalinbread SCO Sound Clips

Thought I would take a different approach to the sound clips as there are already quite a few Catalinbread SCO sound clips available on the 'Net. Instead I played the same lick using multiple guitars both with and without the Catalinbread SCO engaged.

Signal path is as such: guitar, Catalinbread SCO, Pedal Snake (review coming), Fender Silver Faced Champ cranked (with Weber eMiniMass set on 2), Sennheiser e609S, M-Audio Audio Buddy, Cakewalk Pro Audio 9.

Catalinbread SCO Settings on the Catalinbread SCO are volume = 2 O'clock, Contour = noon, Gain = 9 O'clock. Guitars used in this order:

  • EBMM Axis Super Sport bridge pickup
  • EBMM Axis Super Sport bridge pickup - SCO engaged
  • Tokai Les Paul Reborn bridge pickup
  • Tokai Les Paul Reborn bridge pickup - SCO engaged
  • Fender Strat - neck pickup
  • Fender Strat - neck pickup - SCO engaged

    Catalinbread SCO Sound Clips

    Catalinbread SCO Impressions

    This is a neat distortion unit that responds well to guitar volume changes. After dialing in a AC/DC sound with my Fender Champ and the SCO rolling back the guitar's volume worked well for the rhythm parts and cranking the guitar's volume produced enough umph for the lead section. Think about it like having a 2 channel amp without having to tap dance on the channel select switch.

    Using the Fender Champ and its little 8" speaker the SCO sounded best with the contour past the 12 O'clock position. This could be due to the Champ's open back design and the SCO emulating a open backed tweed at settings lower than noon. Also, I really liked the sound when the gain was rolled back on the SCO and volume turned up. The SCO really pushed the Champ into a really nice overdrive with a completely different tone than a Tubescreamer.

    Overall I was very pleased with the Catalinbread SCO and will keep this unit on my pedal board.

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