Catalinbread Naga Viper
The Catalinbread Naga Viper is our take on the classic Dallas Rangemaster Treble Booster with added features allowing users to dial it in with any amplifier.
The Naga Viper is a booster that lives in the grand old tradition of the Dallas Rangemaster “Treble-Booster”.
The original Rangemaster is used by many influential British guitarists including Tony Iommi, Brian May, Marc Bolan, and KK Downing and Glen Tipton of Judas Priest.
These guitarists, while completely unique in their styles, share the Rangemaster as the secret of boosting their cranked British tube amps into a juicy, harmonic-laden rock tone that always cuts through the mix and is ultimately proto-metal.
The Naga Viper is hommage to this famous circuit.
Why a “treble-booster”?
Well, it is not like merely turning up the treble control on an EQ pedal.
Besides enhancing treble response, it adds its own subtle harmonic distortion and gives you a lot of “push” to really saturate the front-end of your tube amp.
But remember, the Naga Viper has a Range control that allows you to dial in exactly what frequencies get boosted.
The traditional way to use a treble-booster is to plug it straight into an already cranked and overdriven tube amp like the Marshalls, Laneys, and Voxes the British guitarists used.
Since the amps were already cranked up, a full- range boost results in a muddy sound with no definition. That is why we want to boost “treble”!
But in this modern era of electric guitar, many guitarists use overdrive pedals that emulate the sounds of cranked big amps into their smaller combos.
The Naga Viper is carefully voiced to allow you to boost your “amp-in-the-box” pedals.
Get those famous juicy, saturated sounds at “reasonable” volume levels! In particular, the Naga Viper was made to go with our Dirty Little Secret and CB30 overdrives.
This control sets the output level of the Naga Viper. For overdriving amps or overdrive pedals, you’ll normally want to set this control fairly high.
You’ll notice that as you turn this control you’ll hear a slight whooshing or crackle type sound. This is normal and is due to the traditional Rangemaster circuit used for the Boost control.
This control sets the gain level of the Naga Viper. At full CCW, you will get a clean boost.
At full CW, you will get the traditional Rangemaster response. This is a slightly dirty boosted sound that doesn’t sound that great into a clean amp but into an overdriven amp it is like magic!
For dirty boost, start with the Heat control turned all the way up and then back it off slightly and that will get the overdrive sound you are looking for. At full CCW, you will get a clean boost which works great as a “MORE” pedal, making your sound louder with a nice presence into either a clean or dirty amp.
This control sets the frequency response of the Naga Viper. For the classic treble-booster response, turn this control full CW.
If you are playing into a cranked British style tube amp, you’ll get those famous sounds! If you find you could use some more fullness, turn the Range knob back until you get what you’re after.
This knob is particularly useful for dialing in a thinner sounding single coil guitar or if you are boosting a Fender style amp, or an overdrive pedal such as the DLS MkII or CB30.
With the Range set around noon, you’ll find that the frequency response is fairly “flat” with a slight enhancement to the treble frequencies.
As you turn the Range control CCW from noon, bass frequencies will start to get boosted as well.
The way the Range control works is it sets the lowest bass frequency that gets through. The “treble” frequencies are always being boosted.
This is just your basic true-bypass switch. It might pop a bit especially the first time you press it after plugging in.
There is circuitry that will make the pop completely go away but it compromises the sound of this circuit. This is because it relies on the interaction between it and your guitar and amp to do its magic.
YOUR GUITARS CONTROLS
You’ll find that your guitar’s volume control works to clean up the sound when plugged into the Naga Viper.
If you are using the Naga Viper into a DLS or CB30, you’ll find that even with high gain settings, you can still get a clean tone just by backing down your guitar’s volume control!
You could leave them both on all night and go from clean, sparkly sounds all the way to full juicy overdrive!
Requires battery or 9 – 18 V DC centre negative supply. Draws approx 1ma