Sometimes amps need a little help. Those vintage million watt heads don’t always have a master volume. And sometimes a distortion or fuzz pedal isn’t quite loud enough for a lead. Here’s where the Lily boost comes into play. Lily has two variable controls—the pre gain and the post gain. The addition of a pre gain transforms this pedal into a pre-gain stage in your effects loop. Post gain sets the overall output volume. What this allows you to do is use Lily one of two ways: you can keep her pre low and post high to give your signal an increase in volume, or you can push the pre parameters into overdrive territory to give a natural break up feel.
Using the low gain channel on the 10-watt CEC Express, Lily kicked the little amp into a sweet and robust overdrive zone with a cranked pre and post set around 1 o’clock. Once the Express’s gain was set high enough, Lily’s juiced pre almost makes the pedal work like a fuzz.
Rolling down the pre and increasing the post will act more like a volume boost for leads and color your tone less dramatically. The extra headroom of the Bassman showcases this aspect of Lily’s performance really well. And you’ll appreciate the work done on Red Witch’s part to retain a guitar’s natural voice. It’s not stifled in the least and the Lily adds a pleasant articulation to the notes.
a versatile transparent boost with a tiny footprint suits your pedalboard situation.
you prefer a more basic boost pedal.
Grace, the aquamarine compressor of the Seven Sisters can deliver a subtle squish to clean up a wandering passage or carry a soaring lead. Much like Lily, Grace is more versatile than she looks. Many players employ a compressor to equal out their clean tone when switching from an overdrive or distortion. And with her volume control set around 2 o’clock and comp at 1 o’clock, Grace gave my Stratocaster a beautiful sustained and clean chiming quality that was a perfect match for the Bassman. Increasing the volume past this setting makes Grace effectively act as a boost. In fact, pushing this parameter into further extremes can works just as well to overdrive an amp if you back off the comp setting.
Grace’s compression is brighter than say, an MXR DynaComp. At her most compressed Grace retains the guitar’s subtle nuances while squeezing at a pronounced level, though it won’t choke a signal quite as aggressively as a DynaComp—a limitation that probably won’t estrange too many players. Grace worked especially well with single-coil pickups and added body to other effects like the Eve Tremolo when placed first in the effects chain.
you tend to use compression subtly and could use a little extra space on your board for pedals you use more.
you really need to squish your signal hard.
The Seven Sisters pedals are a pioneering innovation, and Fulton probably deserves a Boy Scout medal for the work he’s done here. The Sisters’ small size means they’ll find homes on cluttered boards, and they’re great for players who need an extra flavor without taking up too much space. Any gear freak can always find another 1 1/2" spot to jam in one of these gems, especially if they’ll last two weeks on the road before a recharge. Getting these pedals through the airport for a fly-in gig will be a breeze—no more bulky ATA flight cases for those one-off shows. And a retail price of $129 per unit isn’t all that bad for an analog effect with true-bypass and notably solid construction. With normal upkeep and attention, it’s a fair bet these Sisters will age well and remain active on the pedalboards of gigging musicians for many years to come.
Click here to read our reviews of the Ruby Fuzz, Violet Delay, Scarlett Overdrive, and Eve Tremolo Reviews