I have a few more pedal reviews on the way – 4ms Atoner, Devi Ever OK and LP, possibly the squarewave parade StoshBox ST, Boss PS-5 – but I have to do up some sound clips still. So in the meantime, I thought I’d post up some of the effects I lust after. I’m unlikely to acquire most of these, so they’ve become perennial “I’m going to go look at that on the web” items for me.
I’ve never entirely understood what it is, never heard what it sounds like, don’t know anyone who has one, but man do I want one. I mean, just look at it. I while ago, I went hunting around for analog variations on pitch shifters and harmonizers, and happened across the PLL. I assume it works much like a guitar synth, so I’m sure there are cheaper alternatives that are much easier to come by, but I don’t care because they won’t be as awesome as this. I’ve never been able to ascertain if these are still in production. It appears as though one can email the proprietor and enquire, but as I’ve not yet moved passed my pie-in-the-sky stage of lust for this thing, I haven’t wanted to waste his time. One of these days maybe.
Chaos Pedal and Dual Delay
Rock and Roll Workshop
I originally came across Rock and Roll Workshop’s site by searching for more information on the Chaos Cube, which I had seen mention of on some forum somewhere, I think in reference to alternatives to BugBrand’s Weevils (which, much as I’d like to get one, the cross-Atlantic shipping and currency exchange rates cool that lust pretty quickly for me. I am nothing if not semi-pragmatic in my lusting). The Chaos Pedal is a slight variation on the Chaos Cube and its form factor is much more desirable to me. That said, I’m not sure I have much room for chaotically modulated square waves in my music, so I’ve always held off getting it.
Their Dual Delay, however, is much more interesting to me, especially given that it is now in stock, which it wasn’t back when I first went to the site. I’ve been considering another delay pedal (I currently use my brother’s Ibanez DML10 Modulation Delay II from the 80s), particularly one that had a send on its feedback loop. That I can find, there aren’t that many delay pedals/tabletop units that have an effects loop in the feedback. There’s the Moog Moogerfooger MF-104Z Analog Delay, the Black Box QuickSilver and the Smart People Factory I-5. I may have encountered one or two others, but I can’t recall any names, so if you know of any please post in the comments. The Moog delay is out, since, at $700, it’s a bit steep for me. The Quicksilver is out. I actually tried to buy one from a shop that had it listed at the old price (around $170) but the shop recanted and offered it to me only at the newly inflated price that Ooh-la-la Manufacturing has imposed (around $400). I’m sure Ooh-la-la are good, honest folk, but no thanks. Until recently, I was planning on getting the I-5, but Rock and Roll Workshop’s Dual Delay offers much more utility (two delay lines being the biggest). So it goes on my list. It is only tenuously on the list, because it is realistic that I might buy one soon.
Custom Low-Fi Filter Pedal
J.Everman Custom Analog Effects
Something about the austere, craftsman focus of the J.Everman pedals really appeals to me. This filter sounds pretty good and its topology is both interesting and would be fairly unique in my rig. The custom model puts it over the top and on to the list because I’m a sucker for bespoke gear, especially when it offers lots of parameters for live tweaking.
The Maneco stuff strikes me as ranking among the elite of bespoke effects units. They cost a moderately hefty sum, the manufacturer is from some far away land, and the waiting time post-purchase is crazy long. So I really have no intention of ever getting one, and would more likely opt for a Headrush or a Jamman if I was in need of a looper since they are both capable and actually accessible to me, but all of the Maneco things call to me. If I were to get one, I’d probably get either the Filter Eko 2 or the Microlooper, but really, I’m probably not ever going to get one, I just to like to sit on those rare quiet days and think about them.
That’s my list for the time being, it’ll probably change in six months time. If I have one wish for the product announcement season (NAMM, Messe), it’s that I hope one of the major manufacturers puts out just one thing I really want (because it would likely not be too expensive and would be easier to come by than most boutique gear). Most years, they don’t, which I find sad.
Honourable mention to the ToneCzar EchoCzar, because, I mean, Jesus, it’s shiny, and to the Death by Audio Overdriver Supreme, which didn’t make the lust cut mostly because it isn’t high on the obscurity factor and I’m seriously considering getting one.
And remember kids, guitar players are killing effects (just saying).