Turning their attention to your pedalboard
Many people reading this will be more than familiar with Warm Audio. Their accessible, functional, and affordable studio gear features on more records than we probably know about, from budding bedroom producers to top-tier and tech-savvy engineers working on big budget records. They’ve taken some of the most famous equipment in history and replicated it with shocking accuracy – the shocking part being the price tag when compared to the real deal.
While Warm Audio has risen in popularity thanks to their own Tone Beast preamps, their 1176 and LA-2A-style compressors, as well as Neve and API-style preamp clones, they’ve now turned their attention to pedals, again to pay homage to some of the most famous bits of kit while also putting their own spin on them, making products for the modern musician.
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The Centavo takes its cues from arguably the most famous guitar pedal of all time. Made famous by its epoxy-covered circuitry, limited availability, but ultimately fantastically usable and great-sounding effect, the Centavo is Warm Audio’s Professional Overdrive Pedal in an enclosure that’ll have most audience members doing a double take when you’re stomping it on a stage. The Centavo is a transparent overdrive, controlled with gain, treble, and output dials.
Designed to augment a great-sounding amp and guitar combo, the Centavo provides clean gain that reminds us of an amp on the edge of breakup, before falling into full on overdrive. The gain is loud and rich, while the output is clean to clip your signal as it hits another pedal or your amp. The tone control in the middle is a high roll off, albeit with a mild push and pull of the bottom end as you roll it on and off, allowing you to shape your tone with a single knob. The mod switch on the top of the pedal allows for a low-end boost that’s clear and concise, without feeling blown out or fuzzy.
The Centavo is powered by 9V, allowing for either battery or an adapter, and you connect via the ¼” input and output on the top of the pedal. Warm markets this pedal as “unapologetically vintage”, but don’t let this limit you. The Centavo can improve any and every signal it’s a part of.
If it’s overdrive more specifically that you’re after, the Warmdrive might be the option. Tones like this are legendary, and used by some of the best in the game. The Warmdrive is an overdrive pedal with volume, gain, tone, and voice controls, with the voice control shaping tone before the clipping stage, while the tone control shapes it afterwards for total drive control.
Fluctuating between modern sounds with articulate pick attack and fat, vintage tones is simple, both ends of the spectrum being freely available within the Warmdrive, and everything in between being just a few adjustments away. The Warmdrive is a bit more pedalboard friendly than the Centavo, however because of how great they both sound, you’ll surely be binning a bunch of other pedals anyway, right?
If you’re not ready to bin the rest of your sounds – Warm has a few more tricks up their sleeve. The Jet Phaser is another vintage-styled pedal, both sonically and aesthetically, the two switches controlling on/off of the effect, and the second toggling between fast and slow phaser modes.
The Jet Phaser has simple controls to help you access a famous “jet” phase circuit, with a few different modes available and level, rate, and resonance controls to shape it.
Foxy Tone Box
For more extreme sounding gain, the Foxy Tone Box, and with a little research you’ll know to whom and what Warm are tipping their hats to. The Foxy Tone Box is 100 per cent analog, has a fully discrete signal path and NOS 2N3565 Fairchild transistors that were found in the original circuit designs.
The Foxy Tone Box is easy to control, with volume, sustain, and fuzz controls making you fuzz aficionados feel right at home. It also has a stomp switch and a quick octave up switch for that super satisfying lead tone.
Warm’s range of pedals leaves many others in their wake. They’ve made their name in pro audio, concocting both their own designs and making increasingly affordable clones of some super famous pieces. This is no different in their range of pedals, taking equipment that’s shaped and moulded some of the most iconic tones, used by some of the most legendary musicians in history, all bundled up into affordable boxes that look the part among their vintage counterparts.
Aesthetics and vintage accuracy aside, the Warm pedals sound great, offering a wide pallet, even among pretty specific sounds and intentions. The Centavo and Warmdrive help you achieve really inspiring tones, giving you the feelings you felt when you first heard great guitar tones, whether you knew what gear was being used or not. They help you shape and colour your sound, while making sure you’ve got the control you need over the parameters you need most.
Warm Audio is clearly making products for the player and makers, for those of us looking for great sounds that won’t break the bank. While vintage gear is great and all, Warm is placing these sounds into the hands of the workers who’ll be using this stuff day in, day out, gig after gig, without fear of ruining or wearing out an old, fragile, unpredictable, or unreliable piece of gear.