Posted by
Apr 3, 2019

6 Degrees FX, a Vancouver builder specializing in high-end gain pedals, just unveiled a new JFET Preamp Overdrive called Hyper Catalyst, a flexible stompbox that can be used either as a regular overdrive or as a versatile “stacking device.”

When feeding other drives, the Hyper Catalyst can add saturation, harmonics, tighter bass, and more clarity to the final tone, while on its own it’s a…

…low gain dirt box that focuses on producing smooth clipping texture.

The bottom toggle switch lets you choose between three Headroom levels (High, Medium Low), producing different types of clipping and compression. The High mode will deliver a very dynamic and tube-amp-breaking-up-like response; Medium will deliver a crunchier tone similar to a cranked tube amp, while Low mode, as expected, will generate more clipping and saturation.

The top toggle switch, called Edge, removes the fizziness of the very high end when set to Low.

Besides the self-explanatory “Output,” the knobs require some explaining: Focus controls the high end (“treble clarity”), Tight the low mids (“body fatness”) and Bias is the gain. All these controls can help sculpt your tone further when the pedal is stacked on another drive or overdriven amp.

Here are some videos of the Hyper Catalyst!

It is designed to stack on other drives or overdriven amps and add saturation, harmonics, tighter bass, and more clarity to your tone. Hyper Catalyst will also sound good on its own as an overdrive pedal. 

When used as a regular overdrive pedal, Hyper Catalyst is a low gain dirt box that focuses on producing smooth clipping texture. The 3-way headroom switch offers 3 levels of clipping/compression. 

Controls:

High headroom – Clean with some bite, similar to slightly breaking up tube amp and the most dynamic mode of the 3. Single notes stay clean and chords can be clean or clipped depending on strumming velocity. 

Medium headroom – Crunchy tone. Similar to a cranked up tube amp. Turning up the “Bias” knob gives you more saturation and sustain. 

Low headroom – More clipping, more saturated with a little compression. This mode makes HC work just like any regular overdrive pedal.

  • “Focus” controls the treble clarity. Turn counterclockwise to get cleaner tone.
  • “Tight” controls the body / fatness,
  • “Edge” attenuates the high frequency range and removes fizziness.
  • “Bias” controls the overall gain. The more gain the more trebly – use “Focus” to compensate.
  • “Output” controls the output volume level

When stacking on another drive or an overdriven amp, “Focus” adjusts  the high mid emphasis and the amount of grit, “Tight” tightens up the bass for palm mute chugga-chugga type of tone. “Edge” removes  fizziness and makes single notes lead tone smoother. “Headroom” controls the punchiness / compression, “Bias” adjust overall saturation, “Output” pushes the drive/amp after Hyper Catalyst into further saturation.