Pigtronix Echolution2 Ultra Pro Review
An ultra-powerful digital delay with modulation, pitch shifting, distortion, and real-time control.
Echolution2 Ultra Pro is an update of Pigtronix’s previous flagship delay, Echolution2 Deluxe. Ultra Pro offers true stereo processing and an impressive 12 seconds of digital delay time. The sound quality is superb—unless you mangle it with the onboard bit-crushing function, in which case it’s superbly trashy.
Ultra Pro has a soft-touch, relay-style tap-tempo switch, with taps divisible by various time ratios. Furthermore, you can lock the delay to a particular subdivision and activate a second delay tap, also with selectable subdivisions. If you run your sound in stereo, you can choose ping-pong mode for echoes that ricochet back and forth between left and right channels. We’re talking Bolshoi-grade delay choreography.
You have extensive control over the delay color via eight filter options, including full-frequency echoes, warm low-pass filtering, a tape simulator with realistic-sounding distortion, and crush mode for those blown-out, bit-crushed tones. The pedal stores 60 presets and comes with an 18V power supply. (There’s no battery option.) I auditioned Ultra Pro with Pigtronix’s $49 Echolution2 Remote Switch, which can select presets, toggle pitch shifting on and off, and trigger a freeze function, wherein the pedal loops whatever audio is currently in the delay buffer.
Extensive LFO options further expand the palette. You can modulate echoes, generating everything from subtle simulated tape wobble to seasick swoops. Delay times shorter than 50 ms or so yield solid chorus and flange sounds. There’s even a one-track, single-shot looper. Don’t be shocked if Ultra Pro replaces several stompboxes on your pedalboard.
Pigtronix’s free editing app lets you refine patches on your Mac or PC.
You can combine LFO modulation with filtering for tempo-synched comb-filter effects, all controlled via tap-tempo. (There are eight modulation waveforms to choose from.) Want something wilder? Try reverse delay, or explore the halo and jump options, where delays spiral upward in octaves. Venturing into deep-editing mode lets you specify intervals, levels, and filter types for these transposed delays. Surreal soundscapes and gossamer fairy tones are second nature for Ultra Pro.
Powerful and versatile. Stellar sound quality. Extensive real-time control. Solid modulation effects. Cool bit-crushed distortion. Includes Mac/PC editing app.
Complex interface won’t suit some players. No mobile editing app.
Ease of Use:
$449 street (reviewed with optional $49 Echolution2 Remote Switch)
Pigtronix Echolution Ultra Pro
Control freaks, take note: If you connect an expression pedal (not included) you can control delay time, echo regeneration, wet/dry mix, or LFO speed/depth—all with your foot. Alternately, you can pilot those parameters via your playing dynamics. You might, for example, play harder to increase the modulation depth and speed, or generate delays that blossom in the quiet moments between phrases. Rear-panel MIDI in and out jacks let you alter sounds from other controllers, sync Ultra Pro’s delay and LFO times to external clocks, or use the pedal’s clock to wrangle other time-based effects.
Ultra Pro is almost absurdly powerful for a compact stompbox. But with great power comes … well, a buttload of knobs and switches. Ultra Pro has one of the most complex stompbox interfaces you’ll find. There are 16 knobs and switches, with six ladder-style LEDs plus a two-digit preset readout. Many knobs have different functions when tapped or pressed for a few seconds. There are nearly a dozen boot options, with numerous functions available only when you restart the pedal while pressing particular control combinations. Unless you have an extraordinary memory, expect to keep the manual handy and consult it often when designing, editing, and sequencing sounds. You may find it easier to sculpt tones via Pigtronix’s free Mac and PC editing apps. (The requisite USB cable is included.) There are no mobile apps—or at least not yet.
Mind you, these aren’t necessarily criticisms—just a heads-up about the relative intensity of the Echolution2 editing experience. If you enjoy tweaking parameters or plan to do only light editing, you’ll encounter few problems. But if the preceding paragraph made you break out in a cold sweat, you may prefer a delay pedal with a simpler interface. (Actually, one option may be Pigtronix’s $329 Echolution2 Filter Pro. We didn’t test it, but according to the manufacturer, it has the processing power of Ultra Pro, with a simpler set of controls.)
Echolution2 Ultra Pro is one of the most powerful delay stompboxes ever. Its extensive filter, LFO, and distortion controls are equally adept at mimicking analog delays and concocting wild new colors. The complex interface may alienate technophobes, but tweak-happy tone-chasers will conjure countless cool tones from this singularly ambitious stompbox.
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