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May 2014
more... GearReviewsPickups & AccessoriesOctober 2013Decibel ElevenEC Custom ShopOne ControlMusicom

Pedal Switcher Shootout

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EC Pedals Custom Shop, Super Switcher

Though the Super Switcher doesn’t do much that other units in the shootout can’t, it combines many desirable features into a rugged and affordable system. It’s also the largest unit covered.

Like the EFX MKiii+, the Super Switcher has a switchable buffer to keep your signal intact across long effect chains. Unlike the OC10, though, the Super Switcher’s buffering is switchable on the fly. It’s one of many Super Switcher design decisions geared toward the standing player. Another example: Only on the Super Switcher are the labels for the back-panel connections visible while standing, and its larger format allows more legible labeling.

The Super Switcher has three banks of seven presets each for a relatively modest total of 21 presets. There are eight effects loops (one with stereo return), a single input, stereo output, tuner output, and five relay switches for changing amp channels and enabling amp effects.

Ratings

Pros:
Good price. Uncomplicated design. Amp channel switching. Link two units for offstage pedal storage.

Cons:
Big. No MIDI input/output. Only 21 preset slots. Manual mode requires powering down.

Tones:

Playability/Ease of Use:

Build/Design:

Value:

Street:
$499

Company
ecpedals.com

Light Show
In live mode you switch between presets via a single stomp. A light above each footswitch indicates its on/off status. Along the other side of the unit is another row of LEDs indicating the currently active loops. (One complaint: The preset footswitch numbering runs left to right, while the loop indicator lights run in the opposite direction. It’s disorienting in edit mode, where enabling a loop on the right side of the unit engages an indicator light on the opposite side.)

Also in live mode are five LEDs labeled S1-S5. These display the status of the programmable relay switch outputs. As on the EFX MKiii+, these let you integrate amplifier settings into your presets. (There’s a DIN/MIDI connector on the back of the Super Switcher, but it’s not an actual MIDI out. Some amplifiers, such as recent Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifiers, use a DIN connector for channel switching.)

Edit mode is as simple as on the OC10. In fact, the Super Switcher is the only unit here with no LED readout, and it really doesn’t need one. Specifying which loops appear in your preset is as easy as engaging edit mode, selecting loop edit, and highlighting the loops you want to include. To activate a relay switch, enter switch edit and toggle on the relays you want. Another great feature: You can switch individual effects on and off within a preset. Feel you need speak those riffs rather than just play them? Put your wah pedal in a manual loop and engage it as needed. (On-the-fly changes aren’t automatically saved, so don’t worry about altering your precious presets if you decide to go off the rails.)

Like the OC10, the Super Switcher has an Ethernet jack for linking two units. There’s also a fully manual mode for preset-free operation, but accessing this mode leaves something to be desired: You must power down and restart the unit, holding down two footswitches that are alarmingly similar to the pair you hold down to wipe the Super Switcher’s preset memory. So be careful!

The Verdict
Players who prefer a hands-on programming approach to a menu-driven system will appreciate the Super Switcher’s simplicity. If you don’t need to integrate MIDI program changes into your presets (and have the space to accommodate this large unit), you’ll like the Super Switcher’s killer price/performance ratio.

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