A Little More Better

CopperSound’s Foxcatcher Boost/Overdrive and Polaris Chorus/Vibrato
420
Price: $199 (each, list)
Info: www.coppersoundpedals.com

Offering hand-built pedals from their shop in Easton, Massachusetts, CopperSound seems to be finding a niche among small-batch builders, namely by rethinking some well-loved tones and technologies.

One recent offering is the Foxcatcher. True to its Swiss-Army-knife livery, it combines utility and versatility. Its soft-clipping overdrive circuit is based on the Marshall Bluesbreaker and can be operated independently or with the clean, gutsy boost. When stacking boost and overdrive, choose their order with the “First” toggle: the bomb setting places boost before OD for more gain; flip to the foxtail icon to put the boost after the OD for markedly more volume. The hero, however, is the Foxcatcher’s Nature knob. Operated in conjunction with the Drive and Boost controls, it is essentially a presence sweep, enabling a range of tones from the glassy tube drive of a Fender to a boxy Vox sound or Marshall growl. Accepting up to 18 volts, the Foxcatcher can maintain plenty of headroom while pushing an amp.

CopperSound’s Polaris is built on the chip in the Electro-Harmonix Small Clone chorus and, sure enough, it nails the rich and curling tone of Cobain’s “Come As You Are.” Whereas the Small Clone offers just a knob for rate and a two-position switch for modulation depth, the Polaris has Volume, Tone, and Rate, and a full sweep of the depth via the Focus knob. The Focus II knob covers the same sweep and accesses a second depth setting by clicking the right bypass – like a favorite button dedicated to one parameter. Switch from chorus to vibrato mode by flipping the toggle from the moon to the crescent icon. – Rich Maloof


This article originally appeared in VG’s June 2018 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.