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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.
Street $199 - Fryette Amplification - sfdamp.com
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.