Soldano’s Supercharger GTO reissue is freaking big. It practically dares you to make it the only pedal you haul on stage. But if you’re a rock player that likes to run your Marshall or Fender amp right at the verge of breaking up, it might actually be the only pedal you’ll need—it’s just that growlingly perfect for the job.
This new version of Soldano’s much-coveted two-12AX7-driven preamp in a box makes it easy to hear why the original became an object of lust. Players that associate the Soldano name with high-gain tones will be surprised how the GTO excels at mid-gain tones (they are, to my ears, its strength) and just how much headroom there is to play with. Some players might also be a little surprised by the pedal’s relatively tame low-end output. (Is it just the box’s physical dimensions that suggest low-end fatness?) But what the GTO might lack in bottom-end oomph, it makes up for in detail across the harmonic spectrum. Purring midrange has rarely sounded so good, and that emphasis brings the best out of British-inflected amps and transforms 6L6-based circuits into killer, more Marshall-like versions of themselves.
Test gear: Fender Stratocaster, Fender Telecaster Custom, Squier J Mascis Jazzmaster, silverface Fender Bassman and 2 X 12 cabinet with Warehouse G12C/S speakers.Squier J Mascis Jazzmaster, 1968 Fender Bassman with Warehouse G12C/S speakers
Section 1: Gain 10 o’ clock, tone 9:30, output 2 o’clock
Section 2: Al controls at Noon
Section 3: Gain at 2 o’clock, tone at 2 o’clock, output at noon
Section 4: Gain at maximum, tone at 2 o’clock, output at noon