The Roto Choir is both an amp simulator and a rotary-speaker effect that excels at both.
One of the more overlooked aspects of the Leslie’s sound is that it has its own onboard tube amplifier. So when Andrew Barta of Tech 21 had a go at a rotary-speaker- in-a-stompbox, he felt it was natural to include his SansAmp tube-amp simulation—technology that has been an industry mainstay for years. And with such effective amp simulation onboard, the Roto Choir represents a unique departure from standard modulation fare. It is both an amp simulator and a rotary-speaker effect that excels at both.
The Roto Choir’s tweaking options are very intuitive, given how much ground the pedal covers. Amplifier controls include Level, High and Low EQ knobs, and a Drive control. Bass rotor and horn rotation speed settings are adjustable via the Top Speed knob and Fast/Slow switch. The Biamped button spins (in the figurative sense) both the bass speaker rotor and treble horn when engaged, and bass speaker rotor alone when switched off. This latter setting greatly enhances the effect of the Position control, which simulates microphone proximity.
Round We Go
Plugging into a Fender Champ, I started my test of the Roto Choir with the Biamped button in the off position, getting rid of the horn component to get a more Fender Vibratone-like sound. I engaged the Slow setting and set the Position knob to 9 o’clock, which produced a lush, chorus-like sound peppered with a phasey, trebley color. Kicking the footswitch into Fast mode was like changing from chorus to an intense vibrato.
The pedal really comes into its own when switched into Biamped mode. With Position and Speed at noon, the sound coming out of my Les Paul’s bridge humbucker bloomed and swirled throughout the room with impressive clarity and warmth. The sound was almost completely free of digital edginess, and I found myself delightfully lost in David Gilmour-like ambient swirl in both Slow and Fast modes. Just like a good old Leslie, the pedal is not exactly noise free, and the noise is more noticeable with the Drive control turned up. At no time, though, did the noise compete with or distract from the rich, musical sounds coming out of the amplifier.
Turning up the Position and Speed knobs put me into the Roto Choir’s organ simulation range, which was probably my favorite tone. Those looking to get some of Jimmy Smith’s funk and swing from a guitar should take note. Cutting back a bit on the Drive and Top Speed controls produced an even more subtle flavor that sounded quite like Charlie Hunter’s organ-like sound on “Right Now Move.”
If you’re at all curious about the captivating sonorities and celestial potential of vintage rotating speakers, you should spend some time with the Tech 21 Roto Choir. On the Biamped setting especially, it’s incredibly easy to conjure huge, smile-inducing sounds you never thought would come from a guitar. At times, the illusion is so strong it’s hard to believe you’re actually listening to a little metal box. The extra oomph and flavor you can coax from the pedal by toying with the amp section controls can help you tailor the effect even more precisely for your rig and performance situations. Good rotary simulators tend to be pretty expensive, and at $219, the Tech 21 isn’t small change. But given the control and quality of the sounds within, it represents a value for anyone bent on exploring rotary speaker swirl.
you’re after a convincing and highly tweakable Leslie simulation.
a more antiseptic and completely noise-free rotary sound is essential to your sound.
Street $219 - Tech 21 - tech21nyc.com
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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.
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.
The new finish, according to Lava Music, is “inspired by the beauty of the golden hour,” a shining time just before sunset and after sunrise when photographers covet to capture stunning pictures.
With bright and warm golden hues, the new finish adds a brilliant metallic glow to the surface of Lava ME 3, complementing its AirSonic 2 carbon fiber unibody which features L3 Preamp with FreeBoost 2.0, delivers industry-leading sounds by breakthrough acoustic technologies, and houses a multi-touch display powered by Lava-developed HILAVA system.
Speaking of the HILAVA system, Lava Music also added four new effects: Nebula, Desert Rose, Cassette, and Edge of Breakup. As unique as their names sound, they are very much different from what we normally know about effects. Programmed into the HILAVA system, each of the four is powered by the company’s latest ArctanDrive algorithm and incorporates effects like Pitch Shift, Delay, and Reverb. And every one of those incorporated sub-effects comes with various parameters that players can adjust to design unique, overdriven sounds by just tapping on the multi-touch display. That said, those effects enable users to play with overdriven tone on an acoustic-electric guitar without even plugging in any external gear.
LAVA ME 3 | Now in Golden Hour | LAVA MUSIC
Lava Me 3 in Golden Hour is now available starting from $999 on LAVA MUSIC, Amazon, and local guitar dealerships near you.
For more information, please visit store.lavamusic.com.