Premier Guitar features affiliate links to help support our content. We may earn a commission on any affiliated purchases.

Quick Hit: Electro-Harmonix Nano Battalion Review

Quick Hit: Electro-Harmonix Nano Battalion Review

A slimmed-down version of EHX’s tone toolbox for bassists didn’t lose any weight in the functionality department.


Recorded with Epiphone Scroll bass into Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 interface into GarageBand.
Clip 1: Input mode, mid switch flat, drive at 2 o’clock, treble at 2 o’clock, blend at 9 o’clock, tone at noon, bass at 2 o’clock.
Clip 2: Distortion mode, mid switch flat, drive at 3 o’clock, treble at 4 o’clock, blend at 3 o’clock, tone at noon, bass at 1 o’clock.
Clip 3: Input mode, mid switch cut, drive at 9 o’clock, treble at 5 o’clock, blend at noon, tone dimed, bass at 2 o’clock.
 

Ratings

Pros:
Nice price, small footprint, impressive drive, EQ placement switch.

Cons:
No XLR out.

Street:
$117

Electro-Harmonix Nano Battalion
ehx.com


Tones:


Ease of Use:


Build/Design:


Value:
 

EHX’s Nano Battalion manages to get much of the company’s original Battalion preamp/DI into a standard-sized pedal enclosure. It packs in a busy control panel, yet it’s user-friendly and can make easy work of dialing up a noticeable breath of fresh air for bass tone in need. One standout feature is the mini 3-way toggle that determines the signal path where the EQ is applied—whether it’s the distorted signal only, the clean signal only, or both. Teaming this functionality with the pedal’s 3-band EQ and blend control is what really expands the Nano Battalion’s sound-sculpting prowess and flavor of the drive.

To my ears, the overdrive leans on the warmer side throughout its wide pallet.

To my ears, the overdrive leans on the warmer side throughout its wide palette. Whether mimicking a mild break-up or pushing a more grind-y distortion, I appreciated its smooth, natural-sounding character, clarity, and intuitive interplay with the EQ. Although I tried, I wasn’t really able to dial in a bad sound throughout my exploration of control combinations. An XLR out would have been a welcome feature, but the pedal’s output can still send a balanced signal for going direct to a board or interface if a TRS cable is used. When you consider the Nano Battalion’s price of just a little north of $100, I’d say it’s a pedal worthy of a good look and listen.

Test gear: Fender Precision, late-’70s Epiphone Scroll prototype, Gallien-Krueger 800RB, Orange OBC212, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4


The Return of Johnny Cash—John Carter Cash Interview
The Return of Johnny Cash—John Carter Cash Interview on Johnny’s New Songwriter Album

The Man in Black returns with the unreleased Songwriter album. John Carter Cash tells us the story.

Read MoreShow less

This 1968 Epiphone Al Caiola Standard came stocked with P-90s and a 5-switch Tone Expressor system.

Photo courtesy of Guitar Point (guitarpoint.de)

Photo courtesy of Guitar Point (guitarpoint.de)

The session ace’s signature model offers a wide range of tones at the flip of a switch … or five.

Hello and welcome back to Mod Garage. Not long ago, I came home late from a band rehearsal, still overly excited about the new songs we played. I got myself a coffee (I know, it's a crazy procedure to calm down) and turned on the TV. I ended up with an old Bonanza episode from the ’60s, the mother of all Western TV series. Hearing the theme after a long time instantly reminded me of the great Al Caiola, who is the prolific session guitarist who plays on the song. With him in mind, I looked up the ’60s Epiphone “Al Caiola” model and decided I want to talk about the Epiphone/Gibson Tone Expressor system that was used in this guitar.

Read MoreShow less

Slinky playability, snappy sounds, and elegant, comfortable proportions distinguish an affordable 0-bodied flattop.

Satisfying, slinky playability. Nice string-to-string balance. Beautiful, comfortable proportions.

Cocobolo-patterned HPL back looks plasticky.

$699

Martin 0-X2E
martinguitar.com

4
4
4.5
4

Embracing the idea of an acoustic flattop made with anything other than wood can, understandably, be tricky stuff. There’s a lot of precedent for excellent-sounding acoustics built with alternative materials, though. Carbon-fiber flattops can sound amazing and I’ve been hooked by the sound and playability of Ovation and Adamas instruments many times.

Read MoreShow less

The GibsonES Supreme Collection (L-R) in Seafoam Green, Bourbon Burst, and Blueberry Burst.

The new Gibson ES Supreme offers AAA-grade figured maple tops, Super Split Block inlays, push/pull volume controls, and Burstbucker pickups.

Read MoreShow less