New York-based manufacturer Tech 21 has announced a new expansion of its enduring SansAmp range, with the Character Plus Series – a range of four pedals that attempt to bottle iconic amp and effect combinations.
Among the all-analog range is the Screaming Blonde, which tackles a tonal combo of Fender and Tube Screamer-style sounds; the English Muffy, which pairs a vintage HiWatt style sound with a Big Muff-like fuzz; the Fuzzy Brit, which is takes its cues from a Marshall and Fuzzface blend; and, finally, the Mop Top Liverpool, which as you might guess, is distinctly Beatles-flavored – melding a Vox AC30-esque tone and Rangemaster-style Boost.
All of the pedals in the new range build on the amp emulations from the original Character series. However, they now each offer two channel amp emulations and the accompanying pedal side can be engaged separately, or alongside, the amp side. They also have a three-band EQ, plus separate Volume, Drive and Character controls for each amp channel.
The latter is an interesting feature that essentially travels through time, tonally, taking the player through a range that Tech 21 says spans “decades of sounds” across the respective amp styles.
For instance, the Marshall-inspired Fuzzy Brit’s amp Character controls start at Bluesbreaker/JTM45-style sounds, hit Plexi characteristics at the 12 o’clock point and then progress into ‘70s-era Metalface-style tones as you head further clockwise.
As there are independent Character controls for both A and B channels, you should also be able to dial in different eras on each setting, making for some interesting variations across the two sides.
The EQ control and speaker emulation in each unit is also specifically voiced to respond like the gear that formed its initial inspiration. Connections-wise, Tech 21 keeps things simple with a 1/4” in and out and a balanced XLR output.
The SansAmp Character Plus Series are set to retail around $279. Head to Tech 21 for more information.