Cut'n'paste from my thread on Basschat but thought I'd post this here as it will be useful information for anyone who's a fan of this pedal, or has tried one and didn't like it, or is thinking of getting one!
I've just received delivery of a Catalinbread SFT, the latest model, from the classifieds. I already have the original and it's my favourite light overdrive, but heard the last two releases had small 'improvements' without any information as to what they were, so I thought I'd grab it to check out the differences. I wasn't expecting much, but it was like two comparing two different pedals!
The reason I liked the original so much was that it had a big bump in the low mids, and when you dug in hard it seemed like it was this frequency range distorting, giving a big throaty roar. Kind of like a muscle car or fat Harley! Along with that the highs are rather muted like there's a blanket over your cab; you can boost the highs but the sheen is still missing. This didn't bother me, as it was accentuating just the right frequencies to make it really stand out in a mix when played fingerstyle.
Onto the new one. It's like the blanket has been lifted; there's much more sparkle up top. Also dialling in more bass results in less mud than the old one. I used to set the old one with both eq knobs at noon, but with the new one I find myself reducing the treble and bumping up the bass. It doesn't have as much as a low-mid roar; it's still there but more subdued, this time there's a lot more grind going on in the upper mids, which sounds great playing with a pick or aggressive fingerstyle. It sounds a little more scooped too.
At first I preferred the original, now I think I prefer the new one. Basically the old one is more James Jamerson and the new one is more Geezer Butler! I may hang onto both for now!
So, if you tried the original and thought it was too dark, check out the new version. And vice versa. Old: New: