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Review: Wampler Pedals Tumnus Overdrive

(Image credit: Wampler Pedals)

PLATINUM AWARD

If you’re familiar with C.S. Lewis’s fictional series, The Chronicles of Narnia, then you’ll know that Tumnus is the diminutive, faun-like character that’s a clever adaptation of the mighty centaur.

It also seems that the folks at Wampler Pedals are bookish enough to make that connection for their Tumnus, which is a wonderfully inspired overdrive and welcome mini-pedal variation of the legendary and larger-than-life Klon Centaur.

The Wampler Tumnus features a worn gold finish, three controls for level, gain and treble, and operates solely on a 9V DC power supply because of its micro-pedal housing. The Tumnus uses a buffered signal, and like all Wampler pedals, construction is bulletproof and reliable.

Original Klon Centaurs are rare and expensive, and having played a few of them as well as some very good clones, I can attest that the Wampler Tumnus sounds very convincing to my ears. Obviously, there’s no high-gain to be found here, but discriminating players who favor a sweeter low-to-medium gain overdrive and transparent boost, then the Tumnus may be one of the very best.

Playing a Tele and a Les Paul, it was clear it didn’t matter what amplifier I used, because the Tumnus delivered all the hallmarks of magical overdrive: with touch responsiveness that accentuated my pick attack, subtle hints of compression, rich midrange and warm overdrive. Used as a boost, the Tumnus sounded smooth and allowed just the right amount of sustain to hold single notes indefinitely.

STREET PRICE: $179.97
MANUFACTURER: Wampler Pedals, wamplerpedals.com

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Paul Riario has been the tech/gear editor and online video presence for Guitar World for over 25 years. Paul is one of the few gear editors who has actually played and owned nearly all the original gear that most guitarists wax poetically about, and has survived this long by knowing every useless musical tidbit of classic rock, new wave, hair metal, grunge, and alternative genres. When Paul is not riding his road bike at any given moment, he remains a working musician, playing in two bands called SuperTrans Am and Radio Nashville.