It gets tough to look past a beautiful made-to-order stained wooden enclosure as if there could be more to it. Call it skepticism at it's core. Normally that old world attention to detail would be enough to elevate a pedal above the others in this crowded market where it seems everyone has a new effect to throw at you. No...there is much more to Canaglia that becomes immediately apparent when you turn it on and let that hard hit chord sustain. It's all in the bark. Canaglia from LollygaggerFX is not your average drive pedal.
One of the unique things you notice about Canaglia when first turning it on is the dual switches. ON/OFF does just that. There's no transparency here. When it's on you know it's on. Canaglia is a drive for people who want to know when they kick it on.
The second switch is the bypass for the Gain knob which acts like a variable boost. Switching the Gain section of the circuit on or off also seems to shift the EQ which can then be dialed in with the Pre and Post. It is in this deep interaction between all the controls which causes Canaglia to feel more like a way to switch between amp channels rather than a simple overdrive pedal.
Post - overall volume
Gain - variable boost
Pre - input gain into Post
An important thing to consider when planning to add Canaglia on your pedalboard is the size. The made to order enclosure is big enough to house three knobs and two foot switches which means you will need to reserve slightly more space than a single pedal on your board. This compromise is outweighed by the amount of times I rely on Canaglia for my drive and boost needs ultimately saving pedalboard space with a single pedal capable of functioning like two channels.
So at the end of the day where does Canaglia sit in the crowded drive pedal landscape? There is this inherent bark and growl Canaglia imparts on your tone at higher settings. This unique tonal characteristic alongside the custom enclosure options and functionality has helped carve a place for Canaglia as one of the most exciting and usable drive pedals to come in recent years.