|We also brought the pedals to Satriani tribute artist, Gary Lenn. Click here to read his thoughts.
Just because I'm a Satch fan doesn’t mean I want to sound like him. Well maybe I do a little bit, but there’s already a Joe Satriani and I prefer to make up my own stuff. I’m a bad copycat when it comes to nailing signature guitar styles and tones. For me, testing these pedals was about ease of use, finding sounds I could use to make my own music and the joy of shameless guitar wanking. When I received the Vox Time Machine, Saturator and Big Bad Wah in the mail, I was filled with Christmas morning glee. I couldn’t wait to put on my bald skin cap, dark sunglasses and plug them into my Peavey JSX Joe Satriani signature head.
First off, these pedals have a hip-but-solid look to them. The vibrant red and green colors are eye-catching, and they sit handsomely on your pedalboard, taking up a bit more space than similar effects. I'm of the opinion that it’s important to have a good-looking pedalboard. How your pedalboard looks is a direct reflection of the guitarist within. A good looking, clean, well laid out pedal board says, “I’m a virile, confident stud who’s got it goin’ on!” There’s no doubt in my mind that Joe Satriani has put a lot of thought into these pedals to help you look as cool as possible.
The Time Machine is a dual-mode delay pedal, the Satchurator is a distortion pedal with a boost option and the Big Bad Wah is a dual-mode Wah. I tested these bad boys with various Strat-style guitars with both humbuckers and single coils, as well as with a very happening Fender Richie Kotzen signature Telecaster. For amps I used a vintage spec ’65 Fender Deluxe Reverb Reissue, a ’66 Fender Pro Reverb, a Marshall JCM800 and a Peavey JSX Joe Satriani signature head.
Time Machine Delay
|Watch Joe talk about the Time Machine:
Click here to see full-size video
Although I didn’t find this pedal as transparent as some other digital delays I own, that wasn’t a bad thing. I could hear a little coloring but it was for the better. The Modern Delay setting sounded very smooth and far from sterile, while the Vintage setting had a subtle-but-warm old school vibe. I’ve never been one to get into wacky one-man-band delay settings, but I could dial in anything from long Brian May-style repeats to tight Brian Setzer-style rockabilly slap back.
The Hi-Fi/Lo-Fi switch is supposed to allow you to roll off the high frequencies so it sits better in the mix, but it was a little too faint sounding to my ears. It’s set to Satriani’s exact specifications so you know it’s a real guitar player’s delay pedal. It blends very well with your guitar signal and doesn’t sound like added junk in your chain. The Tap Delay was the easiest I’ve ever used. I was easily able to set the delay to do triplets, eighth notes, dotted eighth notes, or quarter notes depending on the range setting. I love a good warm arena rock slap back and this pedal truly delivers.
The Final Mojo
This is my favorite pedal of the three and the most versatile for a variety of different types of players and musical styles. It’s a great sounding pedal. There are cheaper pedals out there with more features, but not everyone needs the ability to play backwards guitar or looping capabilities. Few others can match the onstage functionality of the Time Machine, and most don't sound as warm as even the Modern Delay mode.
The Time Machine is easy on the eyes, easy to use and basically performs the duties of a great delay pedal with wide adjustable parameters. The Hi-Fi/Lo-Fi switch might be better suited for players with persnickety studio ears, but the quality of the overall sound through various rigs is impressive. The warmth, delay options and ability to adjust the effect volume to your needs, makes this a keeper.
you're a fan of warm delay.
you hate the idea of signature guitar effect.
MSRP $300 - VOX - voxamps.com