Quick Hit: TC Electronic AEON

A more affordable ticket to infinite sustain.

 

Ratings

Pros:
Fair price. Easy to operate. Compact size.

Cons:
Ergonomics could be improved.

Street:
$69

TC Electronic AEON
tcelectronic.com


Ease of Use:


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The EBow string sustainer is a great tool for lending mystery to a song and extracting yourself form a same-old-solo rut. TC Electronic’s AEON is the first real hand-held rival to the EBow. And its relatively accessible price makes it a cool option for casual users on the fence about an effect they’ll use sparingly.

Like the EBow, the AEON uses an 9V battery-driven electromagnetic field to vibrate a guitar string. It’s intuitive and easy to use, though a few techniques are critical to making it work and sound best. Two contoured channels serve as string guides to assure that the string stays in the center of the electromagnetic field. Situating the AEON at the vibrational sweet spot along a string’s length is also critical, though shifting that placement generates expressive variations in intensity. AEON is a cool study in design economy. There’s a clip to hold the battery rather than a compartment and a single push button activates the effect. But while the brushed aluminum enclosure prevents slippage in sweaty hands, a few simple ergonomic improvements like thumb and finger divots could make it more comfortable. Those minor gripes aside, AEON is a blast, and an easy way to expand your guitar’s expressive potential.


Flexible filtering options and a vicious fuzz distinguish the Tool bass master’s signature fuzz-wah.

Great quality filters that sound good independently or combined. Retains low end through the filter spectrum. Ability to control wah and switch on fuzz simultaneously. Very solid construction.

Fairly heavy. A bit expensive.

$299

Dunlop JCT95 Justin Chancellor Cry Baby Wah
jimdunlop.com

4.5
4
4
4

Options for self-expression through pedals are almost endless these days. It’s almost hard to imagine a sonic void that can’t be filled by a single pedal or some combination of them. But when I told bass-playing colleagues about the new Dunlop Justin Chancellor Cry Baby—which combines wah and fuzz tuned specifically for bass—the reaction was universal curiosity and marvel. It seems Dunlop is scratching an itch bass players have been feeling for quite some time.

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Intermediate

Beginner

  • Develop a better sense of subdivisions.
  • Understand how to play "over the bar line."
  • Learn to target chord tones in a 12-bar blues.
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Playing in the pocket is the most important thing in music. Just think about how we talk about great music: It's "grooving" or "swinging" or "rocking." Nobody ever says, "I really enjoyed their use of inverted suspended triads," or "their application of large-interval pentatonic sequences was fascinating." So, whether you're playing live or recording, time is everyone's responsibility, and you must develop your ability to play in the pocket.

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