Catalinbread Formula 55

  • By Phillip Dodge @tonereport
  • March 11, 2017


I’m here today to talk about the new Formula 55 “foundation overdrive” from Catalinbread. This new take on a Fender Tweed Deluxe-voiced overdrive pedal came about when Howard Gee, Catalinbread’s chief pedal designer, learned that some of the parts in the Formula 5 were no longer available. Rather than spending time testing and specifying new parts, Howard broke out the bread board and started anew.

Increased Headroom and Low Frequencies
While the Formula 55 shares some family resemblance to the Formula 5, it has its own thing going on. The Formula 5 has been one of my favorite overdrives for home playing for years. I love the feel, the responsiveness, the flubby bass, and the way it compresses just like a real Tweed Deluxe. Of course, every time I try to use it with a band, those attributes that make it a blast at home become impediments. It’s just too spongy and too compressed. Luckily, for the Formula 55 Catalinbread designed a Tweed-flavored pedal that imagines the 5E3 preamp mated to a much more powerful output stage. It’s sort of like that trick where someone takes a Tweed Deluxe and modifies the power amp to take 6L6s or even EL34s. You still get the all the touch and feel of a Tweed Deluxe, but with a HUGE bump in low end and head room.

Wider Gain Range
You also get a much wider range of grit in the Formula 55. On the Formula 5, things were dirty with the Gain turned all of the way down and they only got crazier from there. The Formula 55 sports a Volume control rather than Gain control. And it also offers a push button control for selecting between Hi and Lo Gain settings. With Volume all of the way down, you get no output. Between 8:00 and 10:00, you get sparkly cleans. The range from 10:00 to 3:00 are where you find the edge of breakup tones and had me alternating between Black Crowes riffs and classic Tom Petty. From 3:00 to 5:00 you get a big crunchy tone that works well for AC/DC riffs (certainly not a sound you’d expect from a Tweed Deluxe). You have the grit and the grease of the Tweed sound, but with plenty of low end and punch—it’s a best-of-both-worlds tone.

Switching to the Hi Gain settings, you move into the heavier Tweed tones. Once again, with the volume all of the way down, you get no signal. As you turn it up, you start to get more sag, more compression, but still more low end than you might expect. It’s worth noting that the tone gets a little thicker in low-mids when you switch to the Hi Gain setting. The tones between 3:00 and 9:00 are wonderfully dirty, but they still clean up with lighter playing. As you turn the dial beyond 10:00, you enter the land of Neil Young and Crazy Horse—instant feedback. and it sounds like your amp is going to explode. There’s gobs of compression, but the bass never falls apart the way it would with a real Tweed Deluxe.

The new design is set up like a Master Volume amp but behaves more like an attenuator. The Volume control adjusts both volume and distortion and then the Master controls the amount of sound hitting your amp. With either of these turned all of the way down, you get no output.

Interaction between Tone and Volume
Just like a real Tweed Deluxe, there is a lot of interaction between the Tone Control and the Volume control. As you increase the Volume control, the Tone control makes less of an impact (especially in Hi Gain mode). But with the Volume lower, turning up the Tone adds extra harmonic complexity, grit, and compression. And of course, the Presence control is there to attenuate some highs (when needed) and to tune the Formula 55 to a mixture of guitars and amps.

Like all of the Catalinbread Foundation Overdrives, the Formula 55 was born to stack and it behaves like an amp when doing so. If it’s set relatively clean, hit it with a big boost and get a big jump in volume. When it’s compressed and distorted, hitting it with that same boost just adds to the compression and sustain. I had fun pairing it with a Catalinbread Naga Viper, a Way Huge Green Rhino, and a Catalinbread Belle Epoch—heck yeah it sounds good with delay running into it!

What We Like
The Formula 55 offers a wide range of Tweed-flavored tones in a simple, rock solid, and affordable package. It feels like a real amp and excels and grafting vintage Fender Tweed flavor onto any amp.

For straight up Tweed Deluxe emulation (warts and all), the Formula 55 doesn’t quite equal its predecessor. But given the option, I’ll take the added features and functionality of the 55.




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. nyrsfqMax

    topil76n4e buy viagra online legally - online pharmacy viagra - buy viagra online - <a href=""> viagra online</a> - viagra for sale online

  2. RalphMip

    cialis one day foglietto illustrativo

    can i take cozaar and cialis

    buy generic cialis

  3. nmuwztMax

    payday loans az payday loans direct lenders only <a href=""> best payday loans</a> legitimate payday loans online no credit check  ace payday loans

  4. valeraaxolf

    cialis headaches

        buy cialis

      buy cialis

      wow)) cialis legal

  5. Moisesaxolf

    cialis viagra salud

        viagra coupons

      viagra coupons

      viagra spray dooz 99000

  6. Moisesaxolf

    viagra generic yet


      buy viagra online

      levitra cialis cost viagra

  7. valeraaxolf

    compre cialis en mastercard

        cialis coupon

      cialis for sale

      free samples canada cialis

  8. Moisesaxolf

    does viagra help you get

        viagra online

      buy viagra online

      preco generico viagra

  9. Moisesaxolf

    viagra music

        viagra online

      buy viagra

      viagra kaufen europa

  10. nimxtgMax

    payday loans online same day payday loans direct lender <a href=""> payday loans direct lenders only</a> what is a payday loan  payday loan no credit check

  11. Moisesaxolf

    viagra and alternatives to



      viagra price canadian,

  12. Moisesaxolf

    we choice buy viagra low price

        buy viagra

      viagra coupons

      no prescription order viagra

  13. Soloaxolf

    real fast loans bad credit

        pay day loans

      pay day loans

      cash advance robertsdale al

  14. Ylosaxolf

    viagra vra

        buy viagra


      cheap viagra soft tabs uk

  15. Ylosaxolf

    buy herbal viagra canada

        viagra online

      viagra online

      only today official viagra

  16. Ylosaxolf

    cheap viagra 150 mg

        cheap viagra

      buy viagra

      generic viagra for sale usa

  17. Ylosaxolf

    viagra 100mg england


      viagra coupons

      100 mg viagra or 50 mg

  18. Ylosaxolf

    cheap viagra capsuls



      no prescription generic viagra

  19. Ylosaxolf

    preisnachlass viagra pfizer

        buy viagra

      buy viagra online

      kopa viagra utomlands

  20. Cesaraxolf

    wie viel cialis

        online cialis

      buy cialis

      cialis generico in farmacia

  21. Cesaraxolf

    when generic cialis

        cheap cialis

      buy cialis online

      cialis y levitra en venta

  22. Geraldhap

    pharmacy prices
    canadian pharmacy
    overseas pharmacy forum
    prednisone for dogs side effects
    the canadian pharmacy
    herbal viagra

  23. Jkosaxolf

    cialis daily use canada


      cialis canada

      cialis soft tabs 10 pills usa

  24. FelipeGript

    canada pharmacies online pharmacy
    candrugstore com
    generic cialis 2017
    visit poster’s website
    cialis on line but in the united states

  25. Fedyaaxolf

    viagra lapse of

        canadian viagra

      buy viagra online

      viagra mallorca kaufen

  26. FelipeGript

    online pharmacy without a prescription
    canadian online pharmacies
    no prescription pharmacies
    buy prescription drugs from canada
    canadian pharmacy 365
    cialis coupons printable

  27. FelipeGript

    best online pharmacies no prescription
    canadian pharmacies shipping to usa
    legitimate online pharmacies
    side effects of xanax
    prescription prices comparison
    viagra preço

  28. FelipeGript

    canadian online pharmacies prescription drugs
    canadian pharmacies shipping to usa
    canada pharmacies prescription drugs
    discount cialis
    generic tadalafil

  29. Alenaaxolf

    safe website buy cialis

        buy cialis

      buy cialis

      cialis per ordine

  30. sverigapotek

    billigt Danmark, , köpa pa natet billigt göteborg.

  31. Alenaaxolf

        price check cialis  


      generic cialis online

      venta de cialis en la plata

  32. Alenaaxolf

    offerta cialis online.

        generic cialis


      cialis price per tablet

  33. Alenaaxolf


        cialis coupon

      buy cialis online

      cialis stroke

  34. Moisesaxolf

    where to get viagra singapore

        order viagra


      viagra ingredients list

  35. apoteksverige

    apotek billigt, , generic USA.

  36. Alenaaxolf

    cheap cialis online us

        generic cialis online

      generic cialis online

      venta cialis argentina

  37. Fantasy Football

    koster, - køb i danmark sverige.

  38. Birchover Stone

    Drogist nederland, , kopen online belgie.

  39. Goloaaxolf

    price per pill cialis

        generic cialis online

      cialis online

      cialis average dose

  40. tattershallkartingcentre

    Kopen in nederland belgie, , kopen nederland amsterdam.


    Kopen marktplaats belgie, , prijs apotheek belgie den haag.

  42. EnjoyTheViewsUK

    Generiek kopen, , prijs apotheek belgie.

  43. SJAH

    billig danmark apoteket, - sikker køb af recept.


    Den haag den haag, , niet voorschrift online.

  45. Gelesaxolf

    free cialis on nhs

        generic cialis

      cialis coupon

      average cialis price.


    europe, - købe generiske recept.

  47. eales and baker

    Apotheek belgie prijs, , nederland kopen rotterdam.

  48. Nordahl

    apotek Norge København, , tabletter bergen.

  49. Natalie Pierotti

    tabletter köpa priser, , sälja säljes.

  50. sutrargo
    viagra price cvs
    viagra online
    viagra femenino
    viagra online

  51. erurbbug
    one main financial personal loan
    cash advance
    loans for bad credit no guarantor no fees
    payday loans

  52. Fletre Bygg AS

    uten resept Norge pris, , kjøpe online Danmark.

  53. aqs group

    sweden, , Sverige USA.

  54. old varieties

    håndkøb apotek københavn, - uden recept uden.

  55. bob quatrello

    Apotheek rotterdam, , online bestellen nederland recept.

  56. sleeli
    loan amount
    payday loans online
    ways to get quick cash
    personal loans

  57. Payoda
    viagra vision loss
    buy viagra online
    why viagra doesnt work
    buy viagra online

  58. unfamp
    lisinopril and viagra
    buy viagra
    viagra u srbiji cena
    generic viagra

  59. Meawliz
    need a personal loan
    payday loans online
    payday one loans
    payday loans online

  60. Uthaug Marineservice

    bestill billig pris uten resept netto, , selge til salgs.


    billiga i Sverige, , receptfritt köpa.

  62. Online Marketing Programme

    priser europe, - on-line recept.

  63. jamie marsland

    Bestellen paypal belgie, , veilig internet.

  64. Merrill

    beste sted å kjøpe bergen, , kjøp online i Norge Norge.

  65. Sound Thief

    Danmark Stockholm, , köp USA.

  66. Beverley Fencing UK

    eu online, - pris uden.

  67. HANAN PK

    Goedkoop betrouwbaar online, , pillen kopen nederland.


    bestill Engelsk, , kjøpe i Norge Danmark.

  69. SexGycle
    who will give me a loan with bad credit
    payday express
    cash advance michigan
    personal loans

  70. Braing
    poppers and viagra
    viagra online
    what works like viagra
    generic viagra

  71. flusly
    bad credit payday loan lenders
    payday loans online
    no teletrack direct lenders
    payday loans online

  72. Thai Cuisine

    billigare alternativ till piller, , receptfritt göteborg.

  73. Boyhow
    viagra tips
    viagra generic
    viagra pill
    viagra online

  74. TyncSymn
    short term loans online
    cash advance
    bad credit loans texas
    personal loans


    bedste sted at købe recept, - køb uden recept apotek.

  76. Burgess Scout

    Bestellen paypal belgie, , kopen winkel kopen.

  77. Ferret Care UK

    beste sted å kjøpe til salg, , Oslo Engelsk.

  78. Web Design

    säkert Sverige, , kostnad apoteket priser.

  79. renew your look UK

    Norge apoteket, , kjøp lovlig Danmark.

  80. Plumber

    apoteket receptfritt pris, , pris pa Sverige.

  81. Draife
    viagra 007 fiyat?
    cheap viagra online
    viagra how long
    buy viagra

  82. Poupshow
    price 20mg buy cialis online
    cheap generic cialis
    and cialis pharmacy paxil
    buy cialis generic

  83. Mubcanny
    viagra off patent
    buy viagra
    kamagra or viagra
    generic viagra online

  84. frarkiny
    ordering viagra online
    cheap viagra
    how viagra works animation
    cheap viagra online

  85. dierarp
    is viagra really needed cialis pills cialis
    cialis order canada buy
    cheap generic cialis

  86. rahitbridalmakeupandhair

    beställa säkert recept, , säljes Stockholm.

  87. Reignee
    cialis online overnight delivery
    generic cialis online
    buy tadalafil pharmacy

  88. i Espresso

    uten resept Sverige Danmark, , tabletter Norge.

  89. Poupshow
    viagra where to get
    buy viagra
    herb viagra side effects
    generic viagra

  90. Poupshow
    get cialis presСЃriСЂtion and order cialis online
    generic cialis online
    phentermine civr cialis 20mg
    buy cialis generic

  91. hiresounds uk

    priser i Danmark, , köpa i Sverige online.

  92. MokBlolf
    buy cialis online in united states
    generic cialis
    cialis pharmacy cheap viagra
    generic cialis online

  93. betExpap
    viagra professional
    cheap viagra
    how does viagra work?
    viagra online

  94. Nordmaling Og Belegg AS

    pris apotek Sverige, , kjøpe uten resept Spania.

  95. Meawliz
    over the counter viagra alternative
    generic viagra
    when viagra and cialis dont work
    buy viagra online

  96. Drain Clearance Crawley

    kapslar till salu, , köp europe.

  97. tigarne
    over the counter viagra walgreens
    buy viagra online
    viagra medicaid
    generic viagra

  98. TubWoono
    viagra 25mg price
    buy viagra online
    viagra young man
    buy viagra online

  99. iminity
    does viagra work on women
    viagra online
    viagra gag gift
    generic viagra

  100. Clydekap

    l <a >viagra reliable quality</a> heart viagra viagra reliable quality