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Incoming: awesome piece of kit!
Post by tekbow on Feb 23rd, 2013, 09:02am

Now, these things seem to divide peeps..

there's bad rep for them on TGP, HC and RT. Mostly from people who're repeating what they've been told and never played one.. I have on multiple occasions, just never got round to buying one.

The bad rep is this, they sound warbley and processed, there's high latency etc etc.

This is true, but and this is a big but, it only occurs AFTER a drop of more than 2 tones, most of the people bitching are prog and metal heads who want to have standard tuning and drop down to A.

Here's the important part, for someone who likes to keep their guitars in standard (me, like the feel, drop tunings haven't worked for me in a long time) and are only looking to drop a 1/2 or full step for the odd song, they are perfect. they sound awesome. they do not sound processed, there is no latency, none of the above problems at this level.

works good for chords as well as single notes

Unfortunately the dude who owns the company died and they seem to be out of production, the website is dark if you try to access from google, i believe the link is a cached page or summat. I had to phone 8 different shops today to get one of these, and those 8 where the ones showing stock. there were a multitude of other google hits for shops saying no longer available..

not everyones cup of tea, but i think its a great pedal and i'm 100% chuffed to have nabbed one of the last new ones. and the shop i got it from was doing it 15 cheaper than everywhere else
Re: Incoming: awesome piece of kit!
Post by tekbow on Feb 27th, 2013, 9:27pm

Got here! A day late, but thats couriers for you..

Quick review for those interested.

So it came preinstalled with the firmware update, and no USB cable, which is fine, had a bunch of them anyway and i don't think we'll be seeing anymore updates in the near future..

Basically it's as i said it was before, down to a full step, no latency issues and no artificiality. It does become progressively "synthier" the further down you drop after this, but as i recently found out, the further you move away from the guitars tuning, the harder the DSP chip has to work, so fair enough. like i said, im not looking to go anyfurther than a 1 step. and to my mind, even at the largest drop, it doesn't sound anymore processed than a lot of metal produced with DI and re-amping..

No losses in volume, although with single coils on a strat i basically had to dime the input sensitivity knob on the back (in the instructions, it says turn this up until the LED guage on the front barely flashes yellow). obviously there was a bit more power with buckers.

The only minor minor little tiny thing i would say is this. When you activate it, there is just the most barely perceptible loss of presence, not treble as such, but like somebody dialled down the presence knob on an amp a tiny amount. It deadens ever so slightly, and i figure if you're telling people about these, you need to tell them about the (barely) bad. Its more to do with dynamics more than treble content.

In real terms, it doesn't do this anymore than a compressor might (never used one) or anymore than switching between one guitar and another might. It certainly doesn't prevent pinch harmonics in the neck or bridge positions of a strat with texas specials (yes i like em), you can hear the difference when you dig on notes and get more grit, it may soften the attack only just perceptibly, but it doesn't destroy it like a lot of people would have you believe. And it certainly doesn't affect any of this anymore than any other addition to the chain between you guitar and amp would.

One other thing to mention, and its not the pedals fault. play with a half decent amount of volume, because if you can still hear your electric strings played acoustically in standard tuning in combination with the drop tuning from the pedal thru the amp, it sounds weird. some people in the early days of the pedal thought it was the pedal producing this and duly rubbished it.

I'm starting to think the negative hype on these, as i said, was generated by a) those who read the comments of some who saw a prototype at NAMM before they were released and badmouthed it on line, b) some of the REAL bad tone obssessives (a proportion of TGP) for example, who go nuts for true bypass (when buffers are a good thing) and can hear all sorts of things affecting their "tone" when they can hear a difference that doesn't exist between joyo and freekish blues pedals and c) people who jump on bandwagons and try to sound knowledgeable by regurgitating terms like "over compressed" and "loss of picking dynamics", when they run the gain dimed on their amps anyway.

In the real world? this is a fine tool, absolutely perfect and basically without fault in the event that you want to drop to Eb or D for a couple of songs in a gig, but dont want to bring 2 guitars. or play along to something in the house with a floating trem guitar. It allows you to play most common drop tunings with any config of guitar you want, without the need for a setup. what it doesnt do well is work at the extremes of its ability, but if you want to play the equivalent of drop tuning a low B on a 7 string to A on your 6 string, then buy a 7 string guitar and drop it a whole step, don't buy this and say it doesn't do what it's supposed to. Lets face it, if they had have released the pedal and only had it function to drop a tone and a half because they knew anything past this deteriorated, people would have complained they didn't go expand it's functionality. They did expand it's functionality and people complain because it sounds more artificial the further you go. meh..

It also does an octaver effect, again people complained it sounds artificial. not anymore so than a boss octaver or octavio.. and theyre still good enough for people like Iommi and many others.

Hope this all is informative