||Download Example 3
S.A.S.: ES-335, overdrive
||Download Example 4
S.A.S.: ES-335,metal distortion
|Clips recorded with Fender Pro Junior amp, Planet Waves Custom Pro cables, and Apogee Duet into GarageBand.
A bit more versatile than the Boostassio,
the S.A.S. is built to serve up everything
from the mildest grit to the ugliest distortion.
It is refreshingly simple to use, with
just three controls—Volume, Gain, and
Bias. As on the Boostassio, Bias ranges
from the sparkling clarity of the Bliss setting
to Pissed, which sounds like a low-watt
amp cranked way up. This makes it
very handy for practice and/or recording at
more reasonable volumes.
I initially tried the S.A.S. with my
ES-335 and Fender Pro Junior. With
Gain, Volume, and Bias set low, I got a
clean boost with just a hint of dirt. With
each knob set around 9 o’clock, the pedal
produced a full-bodied, lightly overdriven
sound that—in conjunction with the
335’s ’57 Classic neck pickup—sounded
just right for both blues-rock stylings and
modern jazz lines in the style of John
Scofield or Mike Stern.
Using a Gibson ES-330TDC hollowbody
with P-90s and the S.A.S. still on the
previous settings, I got a gritty-but-woody
sound with a considerable amount of
definition—a nice, all-purpose timbre for
anything from classic blues to indie rock.
Next, I plugged in a Fender Custom
Shop ’63 Stratocaster and edged up each
knob on the S.A.S. to get a thick, sustaining
Hendrix-like sound that could be
downright feral and unhinged—yet not
beyond control. What was most impressive
was that, with that much distortion, I
could still easily make out the individual
notes in a 7#9 chord.
For something at the other end of the
tonal spectrum, I switched back to the
ES-335, tuned to dropped-D, and maxed-out
the S.A.S.’s controls. The result was a
super-fried and jagged sound that made
the compact Pro Junior sound almost like
a cranked half-stack!
you need a broad palette of dirty
tones with minimal fuss.
you prefer that your broad-toned
palette can also be
programmed with multiple presets,
or you don’t want to mess with
another tube in your signal chain.
With the Boostassio and S.A.S., Fryette
beings the same high-quality build and
top-shelf tones found in its amps, racks,
and combos to the pedal realm. As the
Boostassio’s name suggests, it adds everything
from clean boost perfect for soloing
to complex grit suitable for a variety of
idioms. The S.A.S., on the other hand, has
a broader voice that ranges from a subtly
dirty boost to scorching, anarchic distortion.
Either pedal can enlivewn a dull
amp, bring out the best in a top-shelf valve
amp, and offer incredible responsiveness
to the player. Given Fryette’s status as a
bona fide amp authority, we expect performances
like these from pedals bearing his
name, and the S.A.S. and Boostassio live
up to those expectations.