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Cornerstone Imperium Double Preamp - Guitars Rebellion
Cornerstone Imperium Double Preamp - Guitars Rebellion

The Cornerstone Imperium is a typical "amp like" 2-channel pedal. This one is inspired by the amps created by Howard Dumble and the very talented guitarist John Mayer. 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.
The Cornerstone Imperium is actually the Gladio SC (right) and the Antique (left) within the same case.

Externally, the pedal adopts an elegant "Roma red" case. 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. 2 channels, 1 Gain, 1 Volume, 1 Tone per channel with 2 toggle switches (Mids, Comp) for the Antique slice and 1 toggle switch (Comp) for the Gladio slice. A Clean knob controls the blend like on the SC and a Presence knob allows you to adjust the high frequencies like on the Antique. Finally we have the possibility to combine or not the two channels and to choose the associated routing.

The concept of the Imperium being to stick to the pocket of the sound of John Mayer, we will not hesitate to stack the pedal on a Two-Rock amp or an excellent clean channel to obtain the quintessence of this one.

Once plugged in with a good Stratocaster in hand, we start with the Tranche SC which delivers a fluid, 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. The lethal weapon of the SC slice is its clean knob which 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".
The Antique slice is TS-like oriented. The gain range is wide and we appreciate the action of the presence knob which brings back a little extra slamming compared to a "stock" TS808. By associating it with the SC slice we obtain a dense, fluid lead with a very nice attack and an "airy" side that fits perfectly with the sound of the master.

The Cornerstone Imperium is a true Swiss army knife for fans of Mayer, SRV and Robben Ford. An extremely versatile and very well built overdrive. If you are looking for a Dual Channel and you hesitate with the few references of the genre (Duellist, Royal Flush and others) the Imperium is a very serious option.

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Every musician is different. At Guitars Rebellion, we inspect every pedal and amp before shipment and we tune every instrument, according to your wishes. Do you have a specific need relating to the instrument you are buying? Do not hesitate to ask us when ordering.

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What they say


After a few exchanges by email, I ordered a Strymon Iridium pedal (excellent by the way) which I received 20 hours after shipping.

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