J. Rockett APE Review

Liven up your lame digital delay with the ultimate EP-3-style booster.


Enables creative application of EP-3 preamp color. Echoplex-style 22V power creates headroom and oxygenates space between repeats.

Generates ugly with some digital emulation of analog overdrive.


J. Rockett APE


Ease of Use:



Recorded with Fender Telecaster, blackface Fender Vibrolux, and Boss DD-5 recorded via Shure SM57 and Apogee Duet.

A.P.E. recorded in "loop" mode with record level and repeats manipulated in real time.

On one hand, J.Rockett's APE (Analog Preamp Experiment) is a pedal with a simple mission: make antiseptic digital delay sound enormous and organic with Echoplex EP-3-style preamp color. But with series and send/return configuration options, enhanced EQ and saturation shaping control, and the ability to add variable gain and distortion to repeated notes, the APE is much more (and much more fun) than a simple one-knob boost in front of your delay.

Some extra character in the preamp tone is enabled by the authentically Echoplex 22-volt power. It gives the preamp more color and headroom, which gives the APE's dual-function knobs extra range and sensitivity.

Some extra character in the preamp tone is enabled by the authentically Echoplex 22-volt power.

In series operation, the repeats knob becomes a treble control, while the mix and “rec" knobs become output and gain controls, respectively. In send/return or “loop" mode, the repeats and mix knobs replace your delay's feedback and mix controls, while the gain control adds gain and saturation to the delayed notes.

While APE is an unorthodox approach to adding EP-3 shadings, it does a superlative job of generating authentically Echoplex-like preamp distortion and responsiveness. It also enables many more creative, almost painterly, approaches to coloring not just your delay tones, but also the spaces in between. APE is truly unusual, but awesome.

Test Gear: Fender Telecaster, blackface Fender Vibrolux, Fender VibroChamp, TC Electronic Flashback

Linda Manzer and Pat Metheny’s collaboration on the Pikasso guitar proves that a good creative chemistry between luthier and client can lead to extreme innovation!

Photo by Brian Pickell

The construction of your dream guitar can be a fun journey, but learning the language is essential.

You’ve visited countless websites, played as many guitars as you could lay your hands on, and zeroed in on the luthier that resonates most with you. You’re ready to take the plunge and your next step is to have a conversation with the builder. You’ll both have lots of questions. Be sure to listen and let them guide you through the process. This is when the fun begins.

Read More Show less

Megadeth founder teams up with Gibson for his first acoustic guitar in the Dave Mustaine Collection.

Read More Show less

Gibson 1960 Les Paul 0 8145 is from the final year of the model’s original-production era, and likely from one of the later runs.

The story of 1960 Gibson Les Paul 0 8145—a ’burst with a nameplate and, now, a reputation.

These days it’s difficult to imagine any vintage Gibson Les Paul being a tough sell, but there was a time when 1960 ’bursts were considered less desirable than the ’58s and ’59s of legend—even though Clapton played a ’60 cherry sunburst in his Bluesbreakers days. Such was the case in the mid 1990s, when the family of a local musician who was the original owner of one of these guitars walked into Rumble Seat Music’s original Ithaca, New York, store with this column’s featured instrument.

Read More Show less