Catalinbread Dirty Little Secret MKIII Black

by Amp Shop Bass Exchange


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Two Classic Marshall Amp Overdrives in One Pedal

For an always-on, “foundation” pedal that delivers the impact of a Marshall backline, the Catalinbread Dirty Little Secret Overdrive Pedal is hard to beat. It’s actually two pedals in one, with an internal switch that lets you reproduce the tone circuits of either the Marshall Super Bass (SB) or Super Lead (SL) stack. The SB mode is specially voiced to enhance your fuzz pedal’s output, and the higher-gain SL mode is perfect for use with humbuckers, producing vibrant harmonics and the classic Marshall roar that ruled the airwaves for decades. And when you’re ready for melodious cleans, just roll back your volume, and your sound cleans right up with vintage-style dynamics. The Dirty Little Secret has a three-band EQ, Master, and Pre-amp gain controls, and as with many Catalinbread pedals, the face displays stunning artwork with plenty of space around the rugged footswitch, so you won’t need to fear accidentally changing your settings when you stomp on it.

Switch it up for tone stack options

The secret this pedal loves to tell is found in its internal SL/SB mode switch. Your DLS ships in Super Lead mode, and you’ll want to spend some time getting to know the parameters and variety of tones the SL setting produces before putting the DLS into your pedalboard setup. But if you’ve become familiar with the SL mode, unplug your power supply (not included), open the back of the pedal, and switch over to SB mode to experiment with in-between gain levels. Don’t forget to try your fuzz pedal in front of it and enjoy a big, open crunch that harkens back to the iconic guitar wizards of yesteryear. The SL/SB mode switch lets the DLS achieve total reconfiguration of the tone stack and first gain stage parameters; you are truly getting two overdrive pedals in one.

Tone circuits — not EQ!

You might expect the Bass, Middle, and Treble knobs to function as EQ controls, but pedal designer Howard Gee points out that these are crucial tone controls that are electronically reconfigured when you switch between SL an SB mode. Part-for-part, Catalinbread has reconstructed the tone circuits of the original Super Lead and Super Bass amps, giving you vintage amp tone in pedal form. The controls are also extremely interactive; when you change one knob’s position, the others’ dynamics are impacted. The DLS Bass, Middle, and Treble all have their own individual behaviors, inspiring creativity and letting you achieve even greater musical control.

Straightforward but powerful Pre-amp and Master controls

The Dirty Little Secret’s Pre-amp knob setting determines how much gain, or overdrive, is put onto your guitar signal. You can produce myriad different shades of power, with surprising subtleties, just by slightly rotating the Pre-amp knob. And the SB/SL mode switch will change the Pre-amp’s response, as well as the optimal setting for your Master volume knob. Set the SL/SB mode switch, followed by the Pre-amp, and adjust the Master to generate the sound you’re after. Don’t forget, either, that your guitar volume knob is a key component in the chain; the DLS is designed to clean right up when you roll off the volume and snarl mightily when you max it out.

Gear that makes you want to play

The self-avowed gearheads at Catalinbread focus on making musical devices that they themselves want to use — “gear that gets us excited and inspires us to play.” The result of that authentic focus and unwavering integrity is the type of innovation that isn’t market-driven; Catalinbread creates its own market for products players love, whether overdrive, delay/reverb, fuzz/distortion, or tremolo/modulation pedals (many of which are available at Sweetwater). The Dirty Little Secret is a great example of Catalinbread’s exciting, inspiring innovation.

Catalinbread Dirty Little Secret Overdrive Pedal Features:

  • Classic Marshall Super Lead and Super Bass sound in one tour-tough, beautifully designed pedal
  • Always-on functionality tightens up your guitar tone for improved sound
  • SB mode is designed to bring out the best in your fuzz pedal
  • SL mode pumps out the cab thump of a Marshal Super Lead amp with full, rich harmonics
  • Rolling back your guitar volume knob clears up the output for savory clean sounds
  • 3-band EQ for dialing in just the right tonal balance
  • Master and Pre-amp gain contols open up creative gain-staging possibilities


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