Since 1996, guitar effects from Denmark's T-Rex Engineering have populated the pedalboards of a diverse range of guitarists. Fortunately for us bassists, their catalog includes several effects suitable for our subterranean sounds. The latest addition to the company’s bass effects line is the Sweeper 2 Bass Chorus, a new incarnation of their popular Sweeper.
Rex in Effect According to T-Rex, the main Sweeper upgrade is internal—they’ve adjusted the digital core’s algorithm to produce warmer, more vintage-sounding modulation. Beyond that, the Sweeper 2 has the same features as the previous version. The depth, rate, and volume knobs appear in their original configuration. The jacks are mounted at the top of the purple enclosure, including dual outputs for stereo operation.
Living After Midnight My first impression was that the Sweeper 2 is one well-built pedal. From its rugged hardware to its expertly installed circuit board, all components appear rock-solid and ready for the road.
I started out placing the pedal between a ’64 Jazz bass and an Epifani AL112 combo amp. First, I set my level using the side-mounted input control. This includes a helpful LED clipping indicator for dialing in your optimal level. Once that’s done, you can press the knob into the enclosure. It’s a nice feature for preventing accidental changes and minimizing the pedal’s footprint.
While digging into the strings, I set the input level knob just below clipping level. Due to my heavy touch, I found that I had to turn the master volume way up and leave it there so that the engaged pedal would preserve my initial volume. Later I had a fellow bassist (with a lighter touch) try the pedal. He was able to achieve unity gain with a lower volume knob setting. So depending on the touch of the player, the Sweeper 2’s volume and level interactivity may vary. The pedal could provide a slight boost for the light of touch, while heavy-handed players might see a volume cut with quieter modulation settings.
One concern has to do with the interactivity and sensitivity of the depth and rate controls. These appear to work best when one or both are centered at 12 o’clock. Above that, they’re almost too sensitive for making fine adjustments—small changes go a long way here. That said, this sensitivity might work very well for players fond of tweaking on the fly. After some experimentation, I became comfortable with the Sweeper 2's range and was able to create clean chorusing and deeper throbbing waves. The tones worked beautifully for sustained double and triple stops and bell-like bridge-pickup harmonics.
I also tested the Sweeper 2 with a Nash P-style and the Epifani in a live setting. During soundcheck I found that activating the Sweeper 2 in a larger room can noticeably decrease low-end frequencies, though I managed to resurrect some lows with a boost of the depth knob. After a little tweaking I obtained chorus sounds that enhanced the Nash’s tone and suited a set of ballads and ’80s New Wave tunes.
The Sweeper 2’s qualities stood out in the studio. Adding just a slight low-mid boost kept deep fundamentals intact. The pedal's controlled modulations sat nicely in the mix, delivering a spacey shine to jazz tracks.
The Verdict The T-Rex Sweeper 2 is a well-built pedal that provides shimmering bass chorus sounds via a simple interface. It may not be the best choice for those seeking heavy, Tool-esque tones, but the Sweeper 2’s sheen and delicacy will suit quieter musical passages and lighter styles.