Samick Motherlode

December 2014
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Providence Effects Sonic Drive, Heat Blaster, Stampede Overdrive, Velvet Comp, Final Boost, Phase Force, and Anadime Chorus Pedal Reviews

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Providence Effects Sonic Drive, Heat Blaster, Stampede Overdrive, Velvet Comp, Final Boost, Phase Force, and Anadime Chorus Pedal Reviews

Final Boost

Download Example 1
Level 3 o'clock
Download Example 2
Pedal not engaged, Vitalizer only
Clips recorded with 1988 Ibanez S540 with Seymour Duncan SH5 pickup in humbucker mode into a Blackstar HT Club 40 head on the clean channel. Speaker emulated line out to E-MU USB0404 interface into Cubase 5.
Providence's Final Boost is a one-knob job—Boost. It's one of the few Providence pedals that does not employ a true bypass design. Instead it utilizes what Providence calls a Vitalizer circuit, which, according to the manual, “was developed to counteract the signal degradation that normally occurs in guitar and bass processing systems.” The Vitalizer proved to be a bit confusing—transparency is usually one of the key components of a boost pedal—but the idea is that putting the Final Booster at the end of your effects chain will essentially smooth out any power-related or signal-related issues similar to a finalizer.

Though finalizers generally include some multi-band compressing or other processing, Providence's Final Booster does seem to have some finalizer characteristics. On clean channels, the boost was obvious and somewhat compressed—highs and high mids had more presence. On distorted signals, the boost was felt more than heard, but the tonal changes were not subtle. In both instances, the tonal colorings from this pedal were pleasant overall, just sort of surprising. Normally when using a booster pedal I expect tonal augmentations to come from the amp being juiced by the pedal, and not the pedal itself. That said, the color it added was very usable.
Buy if...
you're looking for a booster that levels and colors
Skip if...
you want a transparent booster pedal.
Rating...


Street $199 - Providence Effects - godlyke.com


Phase Force

Download Example 1
Level 12 o'clock, Speed 10 o'clock with Mid Shift
Download Example 2
Level 12 o'clock, Speed 10 o'clock through amp's distortion channel.
Clips recorded with 1988 Ibanez S540 with Seymour Duncan SH5 pickup in P-90 mode into a Blackstar HT Club 40 head. Speaker emulated line out to E-MU USB0404 interface into Cubase 5.
The Phase Force phase shifter features Level and Speed controls, and a Mid Shift switch that emphasizes the high mids in the phaser signal path. Like the Final Boost, the Phase Force is not true bypass, and instead uses the always-on Vitalizer circuit. This made me wonder if I use more than one pedal with a Vitalizer circuit, can I get my signal get over-vitalized, or suffer from other issues like unwanted phase? I used the Final Boost and the Phase Force together and experienced no unwelcome sounds or noise, just the phase shifting. And it was good—very good if you like a classic, relatively quiet phaser.

As proven with their overdrive and distortion pedals, Providence seems to have a knack for clean circuits with plenty of high caliber tone. The Phase Force excelled in giving me classic phaser tones that inspired innovative playing, as a good effect should. The effect stops just shy of take-your-head-off phase, delivering gobs of classic ‘70s phase, only cleaner.

There is plenty of effect level to work with so you can be subtle and spacey or obvious and psychedelic with the twist of the Level knob. With the Speed knob all the way down, it gave me just enough phase cycle length for long, ethereal sweeps that sounded great on sustained chords and notes. At 9 o'clock, the phaser was classic space rock all the way, and at 12 o'clock, it was underwater or psychedelic, depending on the Level knob setting. Anything to the right of 12 o'clock was really too fast for me, though I'm sure it has its uses. The differences in switching Mid-Shift on and off were subtle but useable. It definitely added balls to the phaser effect when playing through both clean and distorted amp settings, though I preferred this combination on a clean setting.
Buy if...
you want a versatile, pristine phaser that probably won't take anyone's head off.
Skip if...
you need a take-your-head-off mod pedal, and you demand true bypass.
Rating...


Street $275 - Providence Effects - godlyke.com


Anadime Chorus

Download Example 1
Depth 9 o'clock, Speed 9 o'clock
Download Example 2
Depth 12 o'clock, Speed 7 o'clock through amp's distortion channel
Download Example 3
Depth 12 o'clock, Speed 10 o'clock with Deep
Clips recorded with 1988 Ibanez S540 with Seymour Duncan SH5 pickup in P-90 mode into a Blackstar HT Club 40 head. Speaker emulated line out to E-MU USB0404 interface into Cubase 5.
Providence's Anadime Chorus is a simple and clean analog chorus effect utilizing a BBD (Bucket Brigade Device) chip similar to Boss' CE-2, 3, and 5. It is the classic sample-and-hold analog circuit still sought after for its warmth and analog qualities (some would say artifacts). Like most mono chorus pedals, Depth and Speed are all you get for control knobs, and all you really need. Providence also adds a Deep switch, which adds resonance to the effect similar to goosing depth and detune simultaneously. The Anadime Chorus is also one of Providence's true bypass pedals.

Overall, the pedal is a very rich sounding chorus, providing excellent tone across all guitar frequencies without the over-emphasized high end associated with some classic mono choruses. In fact, I noticed a slight high-end reduction when the effect was on that added to the warmth of the pedal since chorus effects can flame out on the high-end. The pedal also noticeably adds width to your tone, which, coming from a mono analog mod stomper, is impressive.

While the pedal certainly avails itself to the somewhat heavy-handed chorus effects of popular music of the '80s and '90s, I can just as easily hear it on the more subtle John Frusciante type of chorus treatments. For lush clean tones that were not dripping with effect, I kept the Depth knob around 11 o'clock, and the Speed at around 9 o'clock. When playing single note parts, turning up Depth and, to a lesser extent, Speed, added a very deep and round chorus effect that remained tuneful without dissonance. I never once encountered tracking issues with the effect, which I can say goes for all the Providence pedals I reviewed.
Buy if...
you need a pristine but vintage sounding mono analog chorus effect.
Skip if...
you need true stereo chorus, or the purity of a digital modulation pedal.
Rating...


Street $299 - Providence Effects - godlyke.com

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