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The Catalinbread SFT is an AMPEG® voiced foundation overdrive that bridges the “Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out!” (Stones) and the Desert Sound (Stoner) eras.
The SFT was a painstaking undertaking to accomplish. That elusive not-clean yet not-dirty sound. A great tube amp does it. You turn it up halfway or so and there it is – not totally clean but not really crunching either. It breathes. It bounces. It responds. Getting a pedal to do that is not easy. Getting a pedal to do that while also making the pedal able to become a pummeling JFET fuzz pedal is even harder.
Catalinbread persisted until they got there! It was all about gain staging. Finding the right bias points. Tuning the tone stack. Making the circuit resonate just right so the pick attack is right. So the thump of the low E string is right. When you’re finally done it seems obvious. Getting to obvious is not so obvious though!