PALMER Mutterstolz Tube Distortion Pedal – Test report by

Guitar pedals often have the most fantastic, extreme and exotic names. Think of classics such as the Big Muff and Electric Mistress through to the Fuzz War and Green Rhino from contemporary pedal builders. The German company Palmer has taken an entirely new direction and named its newest overdrive pedal Mutterstolz (mother’s pride).

Palmer is a small German amplifier and effect pedal builder in Neu-Anspach. Ever since Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys declared himself to be a fan of the brand, the ten-man strong business has been kept very busy. A rather impressive list of endorsees has now appeared on the website, ranging from Deftones, The Black Dahlia Murder and Def Leppard to Joe Bonamassa and Gary Clark Jr. Palmer’s small tube amplifiers are especially popular for use in the studio, but Dan Auerbach for example uses a tube-DI by Palmer, a boost pedal and a speaker simulator live.

The first impression is the most important one and with the Mutterstolz this is extremely good. The pedal feels solid and heavy; this is quite clearly an extremely solid and sturdily built pedal. An extra metal chassis serves as protection for the appliance and the recessed guitar plugs and adapter plug. Upon connecting the supplied(!) 12V-adaptor we see the heart of the machine light up: an ECC83 pre-amp tube. With its required power of 12V and 370 mA the Mutterstolz is a hungry beast and a 9V battery is simply not up to the job. The pedal is also fitted with a true bypass-switch, all very good so far.
You operate the Mutterstolz with four controls with the very unusual names: destruction, dirt, color and mother. In itself, I always find this slightly irritating when brands use these kinds of over-imaginative names, because it only leads to confusion.. In this case the destruction dial controls the level of distortion, the color regulates tone and you use the mother control to set the overall volume. Nothing new so far. A unique addition however is the dirt control, which makes the sound nastier and dirtier the more you open it up. It doesn’t provide more distortion as such, but it changes the character of it.

It’s no surprise that Dan Auerbach is a fan of Palmer, as with the Mutterstolz you can easily conjure up that typical saturated, growling distortion sound. The combination of the destruction and dirt controls also gives you a whole range of other possibilities. The Mutterstolz goes from a light, crunchy overdrive to a more fuzzy and rather nasty sound when you have both controls fully open. Yet the Mutterstolz never goes completely over the top. Olaf Veenstra is a guitarist with a perverse predilection for Reverend guitars and fuzz pedals, who happily mixes his own and other bands’ clips in his continually-expanding home studio. Although Palmer calls it a distortion, it remains an overdrive pedal. But the Mutterstolz is very much an overdrive which, due to the combination of the destruction and dirt controls, offers more possibilities than most. In addition to these possibilities, the Mutterstolz scores very highly for its sound. This pedal has a transparent sound and a good dynamic response. You can feel the pedal working whilst playing the guitar; the tube does its work superbly. With an MRSP of € 128.00 and a store price of around € 100.00 the Mutterstolz is nothing less than highly recommended!
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Source: , Netherlands

Author: Olaf Veenstra

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