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Author Topic: Gear Reviews  (Read 4764 times)

Melodic

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Gear Reviews
« on: 21 Apr 2012, 19:38 »

Hey guys! I want to stop cramming up the guitar thread with my pedal nerdery, so I thought it might be a good idea to make a thread dedicated to gear reviews. Guitars, pedals, amps, whatever. If it's musical and it's something you think someone else on the forum is interested in hearing about, this should be the place to check if that thing you're planning on buying is a piece of shit or not!



I just recently acquired a TC Electronic Hall Of Fame Reverb. I wanted a digital reverb with a tonne of decay options in a smaller and cheaper unit, so this pedal fit the bill. It was a toss-up between this and the slightly-cheaper Boss RV-5, but there were actually a lot of reasons I paid the extra dollar for this one.

The HOF has a smaller footprint than the RV-5 (it's housed in a "narrow" case), longer maximum decay, and is true bypass. But it also has a couple of really cool features that I didn't even know about! For one, you can open it up and get access to two switches: one that toggles between buffered and true bypass (for feeding into long lengths of cable or tone-sucking stompboxes) and one that kills the dry signal (for effects loops). It also has a fucking cool mode called TonePrint. TonePrint is software for guitar pedals, it allows you to download additional modes online and feed them into your pedal, so it expands the number of "modes" that the HOF is capable of significantly. While the TonePrints themselves aren't open source, there are enough artists contributing new ones via TC Electronic that it's a major plus. Since the way it interprets the download data is via MIDI, you can actually "beam" new TonePrints into your pedal by sending the MIDI sound through a guitar pickup. It sounds kind of space-age, but what it means is wireless new modes for my pedal whenever I want.

Now for the bad. There is an incredibly annoying click whenever you engage/disengage the pedal. It's unnoticeable if you're playing something when you activate it, but on its own it is really distinctive. It basically rules out the ability to snap it on or off in preparation for a particular part of a song when you aren't doing anything else. It also doesn't have the ability to spillover reverb once you disengage the pedal, so you have to be careful about transitioning out of really big reverb washes because it'll cut out suddenly.

At the end of the day, I'm really glad I picked it up. I've been using it for swells and washes, and it has an awesome "Church" mode that just slays. Well worth the $160 I paid for it!
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And if you played too hard it'd flop out and dangle around by the wire and that is just super ugly

Kwaping

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Re: Gear Reviews
« Reply #1 on: 23 Apr 2012, 11:17 »

Congrats on your purchase! I think you made a good choice.
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No amount of gear will make up for a lack of skill - but I keep trying!

Kwaping

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Re: Gear Reviews
« Reply #2 on: 22 Jun 2012, 12:08 »

So I just got a Barber Launch Pad to go with my Deluxe Reverb reissue... Holy crap. I had heard good things about this pedal and figured I could always try it and return it (Prymaxe). Well, forget about returning it, this thing is amazing!

If you haven't heard of it yet, here's the run-down: http://www.barberelectronics.com/LaunchPad.htm

They sell it as a clean boost, but it can do so much more than that (see link for details). What I bought it for was to jumper the two channels of my DRRI, which needs the phase correction that the Launch Pad provides. I followed the simple instructions and got the pedal dialed in to my amp.

I was fully expecting the result to be very minor - typical TGP bullshit where they crap themselves over things that nobody else can hear. Well, let me tell you that the difference in the clean tones was DRAMATICALLY BETTER. It was like a whole new amp, I kid you not. It's hard to accurately describe the change, but one easy description is definitely "fuller". I never thought the amp sounded weak at all until I did this, and now there is no going back for me.

I wish I could post a demo for you but I can't for a number of reasons - no mic, sucky playing, and I'm not sure the recorded and compressed sound would fully convey the difference.

I'm not sure anyone reading this has a DRRI, but if you do I highly recommend this pedal. You can find them used for less than $100.
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No amount of gear will make up for a lack of skill - but I keep trying!

Melodic

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Re: Gear Reviews
« Reply #3 on: 22 Jun 2012, 12:52 »

You've almost sold me, I have a DRRI. What's your reasoning for jumping the normal/vibrato channels?
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And if you played too hard it'd flop out and dangle around by the wire and that is just super ugly

Kwaping

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Re: Gear Reviews
« Reply #4 on: 22 Jun 2012, 13:56 »

I had been hearing about "cooking the tubes" using this pedal for a while now, so I did some research and stumbled upon its other capabilities. Even if you didn't use it as a boost or to do the jumper trick, it's still a good A/B/Y pedal. It's a pretty amazing little box.

Here's a relevant post:
http://www.acousticguitarforum.com/forums/showpost.php?s=a61a7da8d0e6f596aa50551461265bac&p=2998301&postcount=11
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No amount of gear will make up for a lack of skill - but I keep trying!

Melodic

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Re: Gear Reviews
« Reply #5 on: 22 Jun 2012, 15:53 »

Yeah, I've heard about guys pushing the pre-amps in DRRIs to get a more saturated tone at lower volumes. I gotta admit, I really like the idea of boosting the shit out of both pre-amp channels at once. Might actually produce a good tone at apartment-level volumes. COLOR ME INTRIGUED.

EDIT: How does this technique handle other boost pedals in the signal chain? I've got several different ODs I use in my signal chain, kinda curious if they'd be totally defeated by having a clean boost at the end like that.
« Last Edit: 22 Jun 2012, 16:05 by Melodic »
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And if you played too hard it'd flop out and dangle around by the wire and that is just super ugly

Kwaping

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Re: Gear Reviews
« Reply #6 on: 22 Jun 2012, 16:13 »

I have no idea but I can test - I have a treble booster that I can kick in and see what happens. I'll try it and report back.

If you have the cash, I highly recommend getting a Launch Pad and trying it out. You can always return it for a few bucks in shipping. Let me know if you get one and I'll give you my settings.
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Melodic

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Re: Gear Reviews
« Reply #7 on: 22 Jun 2012, 16:20 »

Eh, I live in Vancouver and the only way to get a Barber pedal would be via PGS, so that's $30 shipping one-way. I'm going to scrounge around for reviews of dudes playing with it and an OD, that'll convince me.
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And if you played too hard it'd flop out and dangle around by the wire and that is just super ugly

Kwaping

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Re: Gear Reviews
« Reply #8 on: 22 Jun 2012, 20:17 »

It made this guy's tele sound like this:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VYYLeUFwiBg

I assume his amp is nothing special or he would have listed it. (Assumption, you know how that goes.)
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No amount of gear will make up for a lack of skill - but I keep trying!
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