Palmer Mutterstolz – Mother’s Pride and Joy Does the Business! – Test report by amazona.de
Palmer Mutterstolz? OK, first let’s ask ourselves this: how many distortion pedal manufacturers are there worldwide? There must be thousands! How many distortion pedal manufacturers are there in Germany? There must be around a hundred! How many German manufacturers are there who make everything in Germany? Just a few! And how many of those manufacturers produce products with funny and sometimes even hilarious names? Probably just one!
The initiated have long known which manufacturer we’re talking about here. Based near Frankfurt am Main, Palmer should cross every guitarist’s path at least once in his or her life. The Hessian company’s products are largely handmade and continue to ensure that the expression ‘Made in Germany’ loses none of its meaning. In addition to the many useful little helpers in Palmer’s product range, the company also offers amplifiers and numerous detailed solutions, as well as a respectable selection of effects pedals. The latest of these is a combination of a distortion and booster pedal called the Palmer Mutterstolz (Mother’s Pride). Whatever you end up thinking of the product in terms of music, I can guarantee you that you’ll never forget its name!
Sound samples at:
Even before I connected the pedal, my eyes were sparkling at the sight of the device. In producing the Mutterstolz effects pedal, the aforementioned standards have once again been met down to the very last detail. As a result, the pedal is ultra-solid, extremely well built and gives the impression that all of its parts will still work perfectly in decades to come. Even when it comes to the details, those boys are once again way ahead of the game. For example, the pedal’s outer frame protrudes at the front and can be easily attached to an effects board using the two small holes. The design principle involves two separate U-shaped metal sheets being placed over each other, with the bottom one pulled forward until it protrudes by a couple of centimetres. A minor detail to great effect! Anyone who’s spent time on their knees messing around with Velcro and cable ties knows what I’m talking about. The device also sports a thick, soft rubber base which prevents it from it sliding about on smooth surfaces.
In contrast to the nine volts used by 99% of its competitors, the Palmer Mutterstolz’s circuitry uses a genuine ECC 83 tube, which makes a lasting impression on the device’s tonal qualities. It is controlled and managed using the device’s four pleasantly stiff potentiometers, as well as an extremely solid true-bypass switch.
The idiosyncratic names of the knobs are as follows:
Destruction: distortion level
Dirt: sustain, overtone density
Color: tone control
Mother: output volume.
The Mutterstolz is powered by a 12-volt AC mains adapter that comes with the device. As this is somewhat unusual, you should keep in mind that if you want to use the Palmer Mutterstolz on its effects board and power it via a multi-power distributor, you need to have an appropriate socket. Delivering a visual treat is the red glass built into the casing, behind which you can observe the tube glimmering. A status LED lets you know when the bypass is on (green) or the device is in use (red).
From the first time you use the pedal, the Mutterstolz’s subtle but very effective way of working carries weight. The device stands out through its highly distinctive tonal qualities, which I will try to describe more closely. First we’ll take a close look at the booster function. With a marginal portion of Destruction at around 9 o’clock, you can use the Mother knob like an amp and smoothly turn up the volume while optionally adjusting the Dirt and Color knobs to your taste – done. The tone remains incredibly soft without drifting into that notoriously sluggish “American gain”. You truly hear the quality of the parts. According to experience, this setting can only be used at its full power on a clean/crunch-set full tube amp, which unfortunately makes this effect largely unavailable to transistor fans. Resplendent overtone density and a crisp crunch are the reward for the effort. With increasing distortion we reach the blues range – including all the dynamic clichés which the métier has to offer. At the same time, the Palmer Mutterstolz wonderfully sustains the tone without too much compression at the maximum setting.
The attack remains dynamic, the clout high. It’s also great that the tone control doesn’t pursue any extreme decibel ranges regarding efficiency, as its competitors are prone to do. The parameters remain practice-oriented. There is no chainsaw massacre but also no woolly muffling. The distorted tone also retains its own unique character, which is a little harder than a classic overdrive, but doesn’t moulder into the sometimes overloaded compression of a classic distortion pedal. Even with the Dirt knob turned up full, the pedal just about reaches the range of classic seventies hard rock. And even at maximum distortion, the pedal remains very dynamic in terms of attack and compression. American-influenced, softly construed gain orgies are sought in vain with this effects pedal. The device accurately reproduces individual playing styles and highlights artists’ unique traits, including all of their strengths and weaknesses. Something which is particularly pleasing about the Palmer Mutterstolz is its unobtrusiveness, which the ear very quickly gets used to. The improved sound suddenly seems normal and, in direct comparison, leaves your playing feeling markedly ineffectual once the pedal is switched off. This pedal has the potential to become extremely addictive – watch out! Alongside the excellent tonal quality, the device also scores points with a quite exceptional price offensive. Personally, I find it incomprehensible how a pedal of such quality and made completely in Germany can be sold for a profit at the high-street price of just under €100.
The Hessian firm has managed something quite wonderful in terms of improving sounds with the Palmer Mutterstolz. I can only recommend that anyone who finds his or her sound OK but unspectacular should test the Palmer Mutterstolz as part of the effects chain before the amp. Classic guitar/amplifier combinations from the blues/rock range liven up with the aid of this pedal and take the whole set-up to a new level of sound. Anyone expecting a “crash-boom-crack” effect has come to the wrong place. Anyone who values great sound quality from Germany will be welcomed with open arms.
Test set-up: Fame The Paul Ironfinger Signature, Palmer Eins, Koch 1×12“ Cabinet, Shure SM 57
High-street price: €98
More information at:
Source: www.amazon.de, Germany, February 2013
Author: Axel Ritt