||Download Example 1
LA Mode, Super Lead Tone, Godin Icon Type 2
||Download Example 2
Austin Mode, Stack, Epiphone Sheraton
||Download Example 3
Austin Mode, Combo - Texas Rhythm Tone, Gibson Les Paul
|Clips recorded through a Blackheart Little Giant 5 and 65 Amps London Pro 1x12 cab (Celestion G12H-30). Mic'd with a Shure SM57, dry into a Chandler LTD-1 mic pre with no EQ into an Apogee Symphony I/O to Pro Tools. No added reverb or FX.
The Double Shaman is two very different
pedals in one. Its two channels—L.A. and
Austin—range from the ’80s hair-metal
feel of a modified Marshall on one to hot,
Gibbons-/SRV-style Texas tube tone on the
other. Both channels have simple layouts,
with Level, Tone, and Drive knobs, and a
Stack/Combo toggle. There are also two
stomp switches for Destination (channel
selection) and On/True-Bypass.
Given that I came up during the hairband
era and actually owned several modded
Marshalls back in the day, it was a
fun trip down memory lane to jump into
the L.A. channel. Plugged into the same
Blackheart/65Amps half-stack I used with the
Blues Shaman, I fired up a Godin Redline
HB and cranked up the Drive control. Lo
and behold—hair metal on demand!
Much like the amps we modded back
in the Reagan years, the L.A. channel has a
ridiculous amount of gain on tap, and the
mids sounded focused for maximum cut
and wailing tone. In Stack mode, there was
plenty of attack and clarity, though it comes
with the same trade-offs you experience in a
modded amp: With the ridiculous amount
of sustain you get from so much gain, you
also lose some of the dimensionality that
comes with less-extreme voicings with lower
gain settings. It’s not a super-versatile tone,
but if you’re nostalgic for Warren DiMartini’s
solo tone on “Round and Round” or you
want to lay into some Dokken-era Lynch
sounds, this pedal was made for you.
The Tone control was quite flexible
and handy when changing from guitar
to guitar and matching just the right
amount of attack and presence. It even
made my low-gain Strat kick like it was
loaded with humbuckers. In Combo
mode, the L.A. section’s tone became
brighter and a little looser on the bottom.
But my preference—especially in the L.A.
channel—was to stay in Stack mode: It
achieved maximum punch and bottom-end
On the Austin channel, the same three
controls and Stack/Combo toggle seemed
to offer up a wider range of tones. With a
Les Paul R8, it was easy to dial in a killer
Billy Gibbons Texas tone. Individual notes
rang rich with harmonics, and with the
Gain set fairly high (around 3 o’clock)
there was a raunchy vibe that just stank of
coolness. I really enjoyed the compressed,
spongy feel of the attack, as well as the flexibility
of the Tone control.
With the Les Paul in hand, I assumed I’d
prefer Stack mode, but it was Combo mode
that availed my favorite Texas-boogie tones.
And with a Strat and a roll-off of the Gain,
it was easy to conjure round, muscular SRV
sweetness. Switching into Stack mode with
this combination made the sound even bolder
and more powerful, and the pedal really
responded to digging in harder.
At times, I wished there was a third stomp
switch that added a boost capability for each
channel. Absent this feature, you can still
easily set up one channel to be hotter as a
boost for your solos, but because their tonal
differences are so substantial this approach
will be ineffective in certain musical contexts.
The Double Shaman accomplishes a
lot for a single pedal—it can transport
you from the Sunset Strip circa ’87 to the
South with the click of a switch. Both
channels are highly specialized and offer up
very different sounds for those who work
across a wider tone field. In my experience,
I’ve never come across a pedal that moved
between two extremes and made them
work so well together.
your playing incorporates ’80s hair-metal
sounds and ’70s Texas grit.
you don’t need such radical variance
in your lead tones.
Paul Rivera’s decades of experience
show in the Blues Shaman and Double
Shaman. Both pedals are dynamic, sensitive,
and responsive to different guitar
voices and playing approaches—just
like a great tube amplifier. And if you’re
looking to expand the range of your
own amp without sacrificing its essential
tube character, the Blues Shaman
and Double Shaman have the goods.