pedal review

A deep, intuitive, time-mangling, modulating powerhouse that spans whole galaxies of sound color.

Intuitive interface. Several very excellent “organic” presets. Deep tweakability within each preset voice. Fun.

Some more overtly digital tones could benefit from a little more depth.

$599

Meris LVX Modular Delay System
meris.us

4.5
4.5
4.5
4

Because I am a music fan first and foremost, I think it’s cool to see how many artists are using stompboxes beyond the guitar sphere. A lot of musical cross-pollination and happy accidents come from these less-constrained methods. And it’s a good way to make cool sounds on the cheap.

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So many varied ways to phase for days.

Sweet, distinct phase voice. Resonance, mix, range, and volume controls expand tone-shaping possibilities significantly. High quality.

Expensive.

$279

Spaceman Explorer
spacemaneffects.com

4.5
4.5
4.5
4

Spaceman effects tend to be cherished, treasured, and, in some cases, driven to insane resale market prices because they reliably sound fantastic. But Spaceman pedals are also rare creatures. And even its most popular pedals tend to come and go—often disappearing before real players can beat collectors to the punch. The analog, 6-stage optical Explorer phaser, however, is the unusual Spaceman pedal that is reappearing in the wild after a hiatus. It returns in a more compact enclosure. But this time out the Explorer offers access to six additional waveforms that build on an already expansive modulation vocabulary.

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A smart, potent boost that’s much more than meets the eye.

A well-built and truly great-sounding boost/line-driver pedal boasting a handful of clever bonus functions.

Some buyers might find it a little pricey.

$199

Source Audio ZIO
sourceaudio.net

5
5
4.5
4.5

Source Audio nicknamed the new ZIO pedal “the Better Box,” which is a fair summation of what this thing will do for your tone. Purists may rant endlessly about the virtues of plugging straight into an amp. But many legendary players understood that a little extra “hot” between guitar and amp can add up to magic. From Jimmy Page’s Echoplex preamp to Brian May’s Rangemaster to Angus Young’s Schaffer-Vega wireless system, a lot of signature sounds have been shaped with a little extra kick—and often from unexpected sources that are something other than simple boosts. Source Audio’s first all-analog pedal is more than a conventional booster, too. And, to some degree, it celebrates these alternate paths to boosting tone.

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