Vintage chorus, echo, and more collide in a board-friendly, über-simple "ambient modulation" multi-effector. The PG Big Ear Pedals Albie review.
Compact, useful means to the '80s at 8. Presets literally can't be messed up.
No parameter controls—wet/dry mix is your sole sphere of customization.
Big Ear Pedals Albie
Built in collaboration with Dr. Scientist's Neil Graham, Big Ear's Albie aims to pack late-'70s/early-'80s-style digital modulation and ambience into a multi-effector no bigger than your average 21st-century stompbox.
There are two knobs—a rotary control for selecting one of eight presets, and a blend control—and the momentary footswitch engages Graham-designed secondary settings (more on that in a sec). Each preset chain can include chorus, reverb, delay, even compression, though Big Ear leaves it to your ears to ascertain exactly what's going on with each. There are no internal trimpots or DIP switches.
Paired with a Tele and a silver-panel Vibrolux Reverb, the Albie definitely delivered on its promise to function as a sort of time machine to MTV's golden age. It's all about shimmering undulation and subtle slapback or echoes that hark to, say, the Cure, Suede, or even My Bloody Valentine. On their own, the presets might strike some as a bit staid, but pairing them with your favorite fuzz, reverb, and/or delay can help them blossom nicely, Meanwhile, Albie's secondary settings add a touch of modern weirdness—mainly in the form of more extreme modulation rates or longer decay times. And while many players, even those with traditional, no-nonsense tone tendencies, might find Albie's lack of parameter control limiting, minimalists who prize board real estate and hate twiddling knobs might deem it a dream machine.
Squier Tele with Curtis Novak Tele-V and JM-V pickups, '76 Fender Vibrolux Reverb, Jordan Fuzztite, SolidGoldFx Electroman MkII, Anasounds Element.
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Vivaldi's otherworldly talent and flamboyant style have earned him a reputation as one of the most celebrated and prolific instrumentalist guitarists in modern times. Known for his love of 7-string guitars, the New Jersey native initially collaborated with Charvel on his DK24-7 Nova models. Now arrives a 6-string variant that possesses all the unique appointments and exquisite style fans have come to expect from Vivaldi.
"Like most guitarists I started out on a 6-string and wound up moving to 7-strings, almost exclusively in 2003, for the main purpose of eliminating the need to tune down or reset up my guitars," explains Vivaldi. "However, as you grow and evolve and change as a musician, it's also really important to maybe change and re-examine the gear you use in order to do so. Enter this devastatingly gorgeous instrument."
Dressed to impress, the Angel Vivaldi Signature Pro-Mod DK24-6 Nova comes in a divine Lucerne Aqua Firemist finish with color matched reverse licensed Fender Stratocaster headstock, unique cascading black dot inlays, gold pickup bobbins and gold hardware. Its modified Dinky basswood body with scalloped lower back bout and sculpted shredder's cut heel is paired with a bolt-on caramelized maple neck and fingerboard.
Angel Vivaldi Introduces his New Pro-Mod Signature DK24-6 NovaCelebrated instrumentalist guitarist Angel Vivaldi introduces his latest collaboration with Charvel — the all-new Pro-Mod Signature DK24-6 Nova in Lucerne A...
"I decided to roast the neck on this model for a number of reasons," says Vivaldi. "First, to minimize the contraction and expansion of the wood so that is a lot more stable, which is very helpful when you have a non-locking system. Secondly, to achieve this smoothness that you really only get after breaking the guitar in after many, many years of playing and lastly, because it's just aesthetically beautiful against this finish." Similar to his previous models, the graphite-reinforced neck with scarf joint has been custom-shaped to Vivaldi's preference; a journey that was not a simple rinse and repeat from his 7-string Novas.
"When it came to the neck profile, I really had to reimagine it from scratch because one thing I learned is that doing a 6-string version of a 7-string profile, it just doesn't translate like you think it would, mostly because the width to the thickness ratio has to be just right," says Vivaldi. "I tried a bunch of different profiles and we created this incredible neck shape, which to me is the apex of what a 6-string really should feel like. It's full, robust and fits seamlessly in the grasp of my hand, making it very comfortable to play and very ideal for alternate tunings."
Vivaldi's DK24-6 Nova also has Luminlay side dots for fretboard guidance while on dark stages, and a heel-mount truss rod adjustment wheel for quick neck relief tweaks. The caramelized maple fingerboard has a 12"-16" compound radius, comfortable rolled edges, 24 jumbo frets and Graph Tech TUSQ XL nut.
The DiMarzio The Tone Zone bridge and DiMarzio Air Norton neck humbucking pickups combine for a perfect blend of power and tone, delivering unbelievably deep, full tones and rich harmonics come. Other premium modern features include a five-way blade pickup switch, dome-style knobs for the volume and tone controls, Gotoh Custom 510 tremolo bridge, locking tuners, and more.
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