REVIEW: CopperSound Strategy Analog Preamp Pedal

OK, yes the new CopperSound Strategy pedal looks like a Jeff Goldbloom/fly merger/accident happened with a stompbox and a Strat. The input is the same jack that’s been around since 1954, along with the knobs and part of a pickguard. A very large, and very bright LED indicates when it’s engaged. The tone control works as a high and low pass filter; at 1, the highs are rolled off, and the bass response is enhanced. Likewise, when it’s on 10, the highs are accentuated, and the bass frequencies are rolled off a bit. The volume control controls the overall level.

We plugged this into our trusty Fender Blues Jr. amp, and it was quite nice. It’s touted as one of those “always on” pedals, in many cases this statement is to be taken with a grain of salt, but not here. On its own, at lower volume settings on the Strategy added in an extra level of clarity, especially with humbuckers. The tone control really didn’t get shrill or spiky, even at more extreme settings. Bringing in the volume, it got really nice and gritty, hitting the front end of the amp harder, and making it sound… well even more “Fender-ish.”  Switching it up to single coils, and pushing the tone closer to the low digits, it didn’t get dark or muddy — just enhancing the lower spectrum with more depth and richness. Ever think you’d want to re-wire a Strat to have a tone control on the bridge pickup? Well, this box gives that same result.

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Our Blues Jr, even with a Celestion speaker, has limitations, but this pedal certainly narrowed them in a big way. It’s “more,” but without a ton of over-coloring that boosts and preamps usually bring to the party, while maintaining the character of the guitar and amp. Even better was with just two controls it was super easy to adapt to a desired tone, and along the way, we made mental notes as to ones we’d like to re-visit for other sonic applications.

Overall, our reviewer loved having the volume at about half way, with the tone favoring the treble side slightly. It paired nicely with some other drive pedals as well, such as the Earthquaker Plumes, and a Fuzzrocious Moth. But on its own it earned the “always on” tag, with a bigger sound and dynamic response than when turned off, where we certainly missed its presence. Even plugging it into our Strymon Iridium set to a Fender tone brought a nice, reactive drive that still had a shimmer that we couldn’t dial in on just the pedal alone.

Coppersound does offer up a ton of choices in the pedal’s appearance. Name a color combo, and they either offer it up already, or if you want one that matches a Strat you already have? No problem, they can do that.

So the Strat styling may get your attention, but the tones and possibilities that it brings aren’t a gimmick, and for players who want a bigger F-style tone, this is the deal that is real.

PROS:

Excellent sound quality, simple to dial in flexible tone shaping

CONS:

None

STREET PRICE:

$249

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