The Catalinbread Dirty Little Secret has been one of their most popular pedals for quite a while now and this MkIII version only improves on the circuit that made Catalinbread such a big name. Based on British rock amplifiers that have a gold front panel the Dirty Little Secret MkIII will transform your amplifier to a rock machine.
Classics In A Box
This new version of the Dirty Little Secret is not just the same old super lead style pedal that everyone is else making. This pedal has two modes of operation Super Lead and Super Bass which you can switch using a small internal switch. Each of these modes changes the voicing of the pedal to suit different eras of British rock.
The Super Lead mode offers up high gain rock tones that will take you past the amount of gain available on most of the 'Super Lead' style amplifiers on the market. That is not to say that you can't get some nice light crunch when needed however, just lower the volume on your guitar and this pedals starts to clean up wonderfully.
If you only want this lower gain crunch like sound do not worry as there is a mode just for you called 'Super Bass'. This mode takes you back a generation when amp distortion was fresh and new with light low to medium gain overdrive sounds.
Controlling The Gain
Keeping this pedal under your control you have a selection of amplifier like controls on the outside with an internal presence control to help match your amplifier. Your normal pre-amp gain, treble, middle and bass controls as well as master volume are always accessible on the front of this pedal so you can dial this in just like your favourite amplifier.
Here's what Catalinbread say about the Dirty Little Secret
Marshall amps helped supercharge the performance, and shape the sound of rock and roll. When the house lights dimmed, all you could see through the hazy darkness was the array of red pilot lights shining from a backline wall of Marshall stacks. It was the ultimate prelude to the impending rock. In the absence of your own personal wall of Marshalls and the necessary road crew required to lug them around, the Dirty Little Secret (DLS) is the perfect secret weapon in your tone arsenal. This is your "always on" pedal, designed to be the "foundation" of your pedalboard, transforming any amplifier into those raging British stacks. It forms the core of your guitar sound which you can enhance and embellish by adding boosters, fuzzes, filters, and other overdrives in front of it - just like you would in front of a real amp. And the reason you can leave it always on is that you can get a great clean sound just by rolling back your guitar's volume knob! That's the way the old school Marshall players did things!
Super Lead- The "Super Lead" mode gives you the great rock sound of a Marshall Super Lead amp with awesome harmonics, touch sensitivity, cab thumb, and kerrang. Higher gain than the Super Bass mode, Super Lead mode is perfect for use with humbucker-equipped guitars. It's gain range goes from classic plexi all the way to modified JCM800 levels. And, just like a great plexi, you can go from clean to scream with just a twist of your guitar's volume knob. Like a Super Lead, it's voice is all about thump and upper-midrange kerrang. This is THE rock sound!
Super Bass- The "Super Bass" mode gives you the tone and gain structure of a Marshall Super Bass (which is very similar to a JTM45, JTM50/100, or very early plexi). This mode was voiced to really hone in on that elusive in-between "not quite clean, not quite dirty" response that old tube amps were so good at getting. And it was specifically voiced to make fuzz pedals sound great (especially two-transistor based fuzzes like the fuzz face). Plug a Strat into a Fuzz Face with the DLS in SB mode and you'll see what we mean! It's voice is deeper bass, and an emphasis on the lower midrange band (in contrast to the Super Lead mode's upper midrange emphasis) and sounds especially great with Fender style guitars.
Tone stack -The DLS is two pedals in one. When you switch from SL to SB mode it completely reconfigures the tone stack and key first gain stage parameters to give authentic Super Lead or Super Bass type response. The SL/SB mode switch doesn't just add a bit more bass to make it a "super BASS". The treble-middle-bass tone control complement exactly reproduce the tone stack circuits of the Super Lead and the Super Bass amps. So when you switch from SL to SB mode, the tone circuit gets reconfigured to the Super Bass circuit.
Mode Switch - The Super Lead and Super Bass are two remarkably different amps, and so the DLS is essentially two pedals in one….not a two channel pedal. When you switch between the two modes and explore the differences in the way the pedal reacts, you'll see what we mean. You will hear the difference in the way the tone controls work, the way the gain character feels, and the way the overall frequency response sounds.