The Cornerstone Gladio SC is the Single Channel version of the "Dual" Gladio. A typical "amp like" effect pedal inspired by the amps created by Howard Dumble. A term widely overused by 99% of amp and pedal manufacturers around the world, the "Dumble" sound is generally associated with a very fluid, warm drive sound with lots of sustain. This one having the originality to have a very particular articulation which allows it to remain perfectly audible through the mix. There are as many different sounds as Dumble made, but that's generally the current widely held consensus.
Widely used by guitarists like John Mayer, Robben Ford, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Joe Bonamassa and more...the Dumble sound has become a benchmark for all tasteful guitarists.
Externally, the pedal adopts a "brushed" case of the most beautiful effect (yes!). It is 100% machined "in house", from cutting to drilling. We are in the usual "boutique", with very good quality PCBs, selected components and a pedal that will take the worst treatment. On the program: 1 Gain, 1 Volume, 1 Tone, 1 clean with 1 toggle switch.
Here, the aim is to recreate a circuit capable of reproducing the sounds of Robben Ford and Stevie Ray Vaughan within the same pedal. Let's not cut corners, if you want to get the best out of the Gladio, you need an excellent Two-Rock channel, just like its competitors Free The Tone or KarDiaN . Reference configuration, the circuit of the Gladio hides a modified TS with some small well-felt adjustments.
Once plugged in with a Tom Anderson Icon Classic in hand, you activate the pedal which delivers a smooth, soft, fairly high medium drive. This one offers a very nice dynamic and avoids the medium "corner corner" of most pedals of its kind. The attack is frank, the drive bends when you go inside. It can also serve as an excellent boost and the EQ couldn't be more responsive. Big highlight, the Comp switch which allows you to really modify the dynamics of the pedal. The position will be chosen mainly according to the level of gain. We prefer to add compression when it is high, and remove it when using the pedal as a Boost. Personally, we used the active position a lot, which brings a very pleasant "squashy" side. Overall: Low gain comp off = SRV. High Gain comp on = Robben Ford.
The fatal weapon of the Gladio SC is its clean knob which does not exist on the Dual version. The SC version being oriented more "low gain", it is also more in the vein of the Dumble Steel String Singer, where the Dual version is closer to an ODS. The Clean knob allows you to "blender" the dry signal with the processed signal while keeping the two in parallel. Concretely, this allows you to keep the articulation of your clean sound, by adding the drive like a superimposed "layer".
With the Gladio SC, the Italian brand poses as a serious competitor to many "boutique" references. If you're looking for an extremely dynamic overdrive with great compression and perfect articulation to cut through the mix, the Cornerstone Gladio SC is a go-to choice.