Be forewarned—this big mechanical oddity may forever change your perception of great vibrato/chorus pedal tone.
Based in Champaign, Illinois, Analog Outfitters creates cool-looking, boutique-toned amps out of reclaimed materials—sometimes from funky old street signs, but primarily the guts and wood exteriors of less-popular old Hammond organs. The Scanner, however, is an outboard effect built from salvaged Hammond reverb and vibrato sections, and both its long-spring tank and spinning vibrato motor are visible through an acrylic top bookended by subtly rustic woodwork.
Though operation is pretty straightforward—two knobs for vibrato, one for reverb, and one for the DI out—the Scanner has a host of features that enhance its usefulness in live and studio applications: 1/4" and XLR inputs (with an instrument-/line-level selector), independent XLR-output volume, a two-button footswitch for activating each effect independently, and a continuous-controller input for remote pedal control of vibrato rate.
Organ Harvesters Extraordinaire
The Scanner’s big vibrato circuit is anything but typical—both in terms of operation and sound. The sonic differences between it and stompbox vibrato/chorus is analogous to the ways tremolo pedals rarely match the buttery trem you get from a nice old tube amp.
According to Analog Outfitters, Hammond organs from 1935 to 1975 were equipped with a unique vibrato section that sent the audio signal to a delay circuit that produced nine phase-shifted copies of the original signal. Those signals were routed to capacitor-like plates mounted inside a “scanner” assembly. Then a rotating armature retrieved the phase-shifted signals from the plates. Analog Outfitters modifies the circuit by using a brushless DC motor they say yields more precise control of vibrato rate.
From the very first strum, the Scanner moved me in ways I’ve never experienced from a vibrato effect. Signal-chain-wise, I placed the Scanner at the end of my pedalboard, then routed it back to a Radial A/B/Y box that simultaneously sent the signal to Jaguar and Goodsell amps. I also played it straight into a Dr. Z Z-Lux. In both setups—whether I was wearing a Telecaster, an Eastwood or Reverend baritone, or my Schecter Ultra III—the sound was addictive, with a warm, delectably analog feel, and a dimensionality that simply has to be experienced to be fathomed.
You’d be a certifiable idiot to not invest in a continuous controller to toy with the Scanner’s vibrato speed, because the sheer rush you experience when you do is tantamount to a deity stretching forth a finger (or some toes) to spin the world faster or slower and watch in fascination as it goes from one extreme to another. Only in this case, the bewilderment is twofold: Eyes thrill at the sight of metal innards spinning like some sort of supernatural sewing machine, while ears are boggled by the surreally undulating sheets of sound.
At minimum speed, the Scanner serves up ever-so-subtle, but oh-so-warm and syrupy modulation that would shake the resolve of the most ardent anti-chorus-ite. Push the speed treadle to the floor, and the effect isn’t just dizzying—it’s enveloping. Play Kim Thayil’s famously trippy lead from “Black Hole Sun” or Josh Homme’s riffs from “Another Love Song,” and these already-cool sounds blossom into three-dimensional psychedelia that’s truly trippy. The effect is even more disorienting through two or more speaker cabs, as the collection of phased signals reaches your head at slightly different speeds, weaving a cozy sonic blanket that inspires new songs, enlivens old ones, and is, in all honesty, often difficult to bring yourself to disengage.
Drawbars, Ramps, and Reverb
Maybe it was the ghosts of the Scanner’s past lives at work, but though I’ve never found myself yearning to play anything particularly organ like, when I switched my Eastwood to its neck pickup, slowed the Scanner a bit, and plucked complex chords with my thumb and fingers, I found myself lost in a spate of deliciously swampy faux organ parts I never knew lurked in my subconscious.
And then there’s the ramping sound you hear as the vibrato works its way up to or winds its way down from wherever it was: The Scanner will only get there so fast, but there’s something oddly alluring about this lack of control—like you’re at the whim of physics and nature perfectly in tune.
Meanwhile, the Scanner’s reverb is splashy, sexy, and bright—with usable sounds throughout its range and more than enough slosh to please surf fans.
Analog Outfitters’ Scanner has a few quirks. Unity gain (the volume you’d expect if the effect were bypassed) isn’t achieved till you turn the vibrato gain knob to 3 o’clock. Pushing it past that point, however, imbues the tone with a harmonically juicy, very tube-like saturation. Given the price, it’s a bit disappointing that there aren’t mix, dwell, and tone controls for the reverb.
But this is nitpicking, because words can’t do the Scanner justice. Next to it, even excellent vibrato/chorus stomps sound two-dimensional—there’s a “realness” to the effect that could only be rivaled by a rotating speaker. To that point, both in terms of price and transportability, the Scanner is a very compelling middle ground between the magic of a big, bulky Leslie cab and a pedal that’s a pale imitation. That said, I’d get down on my knees and beg for a more affordable version that nixes studio connectivity—and even the reverb—to put the Scanner’s awe-inducing vibrato sounds within reach of incorrigible tone junkies of humbler means.
Kick off the holiday season by shopping for the guitar player in your life at Guitar Center! Now through December 24th 2022, save on exclusive instruments, accessories, apparel, and more with hundreds of items at their lowest prices of the year.
We’ve compiled this year’s best deals in the 2022 Holiday Gift Guide presented by Guitar Center.
DiMarzio, Inc. announces the Relentless P (DP299), the Relentless J Bridge (DP301), Relentless J Neck (DP300), and the Relentless J Pair (DP302) for 4 string basses.
DiMarzio, Inc. announces the release of the Relentless P (DP299), the Relentless J Bridge (DP301), Relentless J Neck (DP300), and the Relentless J Pair (DP302) for 4 string basses. The new Relentless P and Relentless J series pickups feature the Relentless cover designed in collaboration with Billy Sheehan.
As with the Relentless pickups, we removed all the hard edges from the standard P Bass and standard J Basspickups, and added an arch to the top of the pickups to bring the sensing coils and pole pieces closer to the strings. These improvements increase the dynamic range and make active circuitry unnecessary.
The Relentless P and Relentless J pickups incorporate Neodymium magnets and produce 70 percent more output than traditional passive pickups, and they’re dead quiet due to the incorporation of metal covers and foil-shielded cables. To dial in (or fine-tune) the individual string output, the Relentless P and Relentless J include eight adjustable pole pieces. These pickups also have a broad magnetic field so you can even bend notes without volume dropout.
DiMarzio’s extra shielding makes the Relentless P and Relentless J better for both recording and stage performances. We’ve mounted them onto robust .09375” thick circuit board base plates to eliminate the annoying protruding mounting screws — ultimately creating a more comfortable and consistent foundation to rest your fingers on.
The new Relentless P steps beyond the traditional P-Bass sound and can only be described as massive. It has more of everything: more volume, beefier lows, a growling midrange, and crispy highs with better individual string definition.
The Relentless J incorporates a new invention, (patent pending) parallelogram-shaped coils, offering an expanded mid-range punch, snappy highs, precise lows, and a new dimension to the sound of the Relentless series pickups.
Relentless P and Relentless J pickups will breathe new life into any bass, increase playability, and work well for any style of music from Motown to metal.
DiMarzio’s Relentless P, Relentless J Bridge, Relentless J Neck, and Relentless J pair are made in the U.S.A. and may now be ordered for immediate delivery.
Suggested List Price for the Relentless P is $169.00 (MAP $119.99).
Suggested List Price for the Relentless J Bridge and Relentless J neck is $155.00 (MAP $109.99).
Suggested List Price for the Relentless J Pair is $296.00 (MAP 209.99).
For more information, please visit our website at dimarzio.com.
Mystery Stocking is coming soon! Sign up for PG Perks below so you don't miss it.
Sign up for PG Perks on the form below to make sure you don't miss the launch announcement!
About Mystery Stocking
Each year, Premier Guitar likes to put out these mystery boxes as a part of bringing some fun to the holiday season. Remember, this is supposed to be a fun holiday treat! If the contents of this box will ruin your holiday, deplete the last of your bank account, or end your ability to see the good in humanity, it may not be for you.
- This year's Mystery Stocking will cost $44.95. ($39.95 + $5 Flat shipping)
- Each box will be guaranteed to contain $40 or more in value.
- US only. (Sorry World.)
- Make sure your shipping address is correct.
- Have your credit card ready to go before you refresh the page. Paypal is not available. Autofill may not fill in your information.
- There will be NO REFUNDS given.
- There has been a huge demand for these in the past. We really did sell out in less than 4 minutes last year. When they are gone, they are gone.
- One per household, one per person.
Q: What's in the Mystery Stocking?
A: It wouldn't be much of a surprise if we told you, now would it?
Q: Will I definitely get my money worth?
Q: Can I return it if I don't like it?
A: Nope. All sales final.
Q: What if I live outside the US?
A: Sorry, US only.
Q. How much is it?
A. $39.95 Plus $5 shipping
Q. When will it ship?
A. On or before December 10, 2022.
Q. What form of payment do you accept?
A. Credit cards only. Sorry, no Paypal for this.
Q. Can I ship to a different location than my billing address?
Q. I tried last year and didn't get one. Will I get one this year?
A. There is an overwhelming demand for Mystery Stocking. Be sure you have a fast internet connection and be ready when they go on sale. Last year we sold out in 3 min 33 seconds.
Q. I want to buy 5. How can I buy 5?
A. You can't. This year, we're limiting to one per household, so more people can get in on the fun!
Featuring the Adaptive Circuitry recently introduced on their Halcyon Green Overdrive, Origin Effects have brought us a pedal with a character all of its own and a new flavor of drive.
Origin Effects introduce the new M-EQ DRIVER mid booster & drive pedal. Based on a vintage Pultec studio EQ, this unique pedal offers a range of mid-focused tones, from a subtle mid boost to thick, resonant overdrive. Featuring the Adaptive Circuitry recently introduced on their Halcyon Green Overdrive, Origin Effects have brought us a pedal with a character all of its own and a new flavor of drive.
A choice of three mid-range frequencies ensures that you can boost just the right part of your guitar signal and, when pushed harder, can elicit a range of saturation from a classic “mid-hump” overdrive to fierce “cocked wah” distortion. Thanks to the Adaptive Circuitry, the high-end roll-off of the Cut control is reduced as the pedal cleans up. This allows for a smooth transition from warm overdrive to bright clean tones in response to playing dynamics or guitar volume knob changes.
Introducing... M-EQ DRIVER || Mid Booster & Drive
Built-in the UK to the highest standards, the M-EQ DRIVER continues the Origin Effects tradition of vintage, studio-inspired tones in modern guitar pedals. The Origin Effects M-EQ DRIVER is available now from Origin Effects dealers worldwide.
RRP: 259 GBP (Inc VAT) / 319 USD (Ex TAX)
For more information, please visit origineffects.com.