You could WIN a Set of James Hetfield Pickups from EMG! Enter here before October 7, 2022.
The JH Set consists of the JH-N (neck) and the JH-B (bridge). Both were patterned after the pickups James had used for 30 years, but the end result was a completely different animal. The JH-N has individual ceramic poles and bobbins that feature a larger core and are taller than the 60. This produces more attack, higher output, and fuller low end in the neck position. The JH-B uses the same type of core but has steel pole pieces, unlike the 81 that uses bar magnets. This produces the familiar tight attack with less inductance for a cleaner low end.
A lush, lively stereo chorus with tasteful, varied presets and controls that range from the classic to the crazed.
Excellent presets and reactive controls produce a lush variety of lovely classic and crazed sounds. Solid construction.
Pricey. Black divot dial marking are hard to read.
VS Alchemy MkIII
Love it or hate it, the chorus pedal became an important part of rock’s soundscape in the ’80s. Happily, there’s a lot to love about VS Audio’s new Alchemy MkII, an analog stereo chorus with a half-dozen useful presets and a 4-dial setup that opens up plenty of modulation-shaping range.
With graphics that conjure a medium with her hands surrounding a crystal ball (which doubles as the bypass LED), the updated Alchemy pedal is handsome and sturdy. It’s got two smooth switches. The leftmost, labeled bypass, is on/off; the rightmost activates and shuttles between the device’s six presets and works as a tap tempo for the low frequency oscillator (LFO) that governs the pedal’s sweep. Tap tempo is a new feature in the MkII, along with smoother and more natural sounding modulation and an expanded delay range. Also, VS says the effect’s output is brighter, smoother, and warmer than in the first iteration. The input and stereo outs are solid, and a barrel adaptor feeds the Alchemy 9-volt power. Under the hood, there’s a tidy circuit board with a reissue 3207 BBD delay chip that helps produce everything from warm modulation to queasy detuned noise. Together it’s a rugged, appealing package.
The Alchemy MkII comes with six factory presets that sound so good and varied that players who aren’t interested in exploring outer reaches might be satisfied with them alone. By holding the bypass and preset switches down simultaneously, it’s also easy to edit those presets.
Six factory presets sound so good and varied that players who aren’t interested in exploring outer reaches might be satisfied with them alone.
I explored the Alchemy MkII with a two-amp setup featuring a Carr Vincent and Carr Telstar so I could enjoy the stereo spectrum. And exploring the presets in this configuration was a joy. The box’s lower LED changes color according to preset. Here’s what I heard for each color-coded setting. I also describe some of the virtual knob settings as they are described in the manual:
- Blue: Subtle speed with medium depth and zero delay, and an even split between the effect and guitar tone. Great for funky, crisp chords and licks, à la Jimmy Nolen and Al McKay.
- Green: Still subtle and funky, but with more depth and less speed.
- Red: Full-on speed with depth past the midpoint, zero delay, and the mix at 3 o’clock. It seems to thin the midrange when I play chords. But single notes take on a cool oscillating effect between amps and adding an overdrive generates compelling lead tones.
- Yellow: Entering Leslie territory, with fast oscillations just shy of SRV’s Vibratone sounds. The delay is cranked, the speed and mix are at about 3 o’clock, and the depth is off.
- White: Full-on Leslie-style tones. Lush with vibrato. My favorite. The mix is up all the way, delay half-way, speed at 3 o’clock, and depth at 1 o’clock. Playing chords and bending notes is a blast. Gorgeous oscillations!
In live mode, sans presets, the chorus options feel pretty endless. I explored a few go-to settings, like setting speed and depth at 3 o’clock for Nirvana or “Enter Sandman” tones, and slowly increasing the delay until it produced a sick, detuned quality. Elsewhere, with the speed at 11 o’clock, depth at noonish, and delay at 9 to 11 o’clock, I could approximate 12-string sounds.
At 300 bucks the Alchemy Mk II is pricey. But it is a well-built, rangeful stereo chorus with varied and thoughtful preset options that might be enough for many players. Controllability on the fly can be tricky. Dial positions are indicated by divots, rather than a contrasting white line, so it’s hard to see them in low light. Apart from that design oversight, the Alchemy is feast of rich, analog modulation sounds.
Week #4 is here! You could WIN pedals from one of SIX great brands... including a whole new pedal lineup from Pigtronix!
The Dept. 10 pedals combine modern versatility with real tube-driven tones, using an ECC83 triode preamp tube running at 250V at the heart of each pedal. The Dual Drive and Dual Distortion are powerful tube effects, preamps, and audio interfaces, and the Dept 10 Boost is a flexible tube boost, eq, and overdrive.
A JAM pedals favorite for a lot of guitar, bass and keyboard players, the WaterFall is serving as a mainstay on boards of such greats as John Scofield, Nels Cline, Steve Lukather, Anthony Jackson and John Mesdeski for many years now, and has established itself as one of the best analog chorus/vibrato pedals in the market.
It features BBD chips faithful reproductions of the Panasonic MN3207, 2 toggle-switches, the first to select between chorus and vibrato modes, and the other to switch to a “wetter” effect resulting in a deeper, more contemporary sounding chorus, or a more intense, deranged vibrato sound! Max out the Depth and Speed controls to get Leslie-speaker type effects!
Pedaltrain Classic 2 Pedalboard w/ Tour Case installed with BTPA interface panel for input, output, send, return, and power. Power cable included + BTPA High Definition Straight to right angle instrument cable.
One Control Honeybee Overdrive 4K Mini and Mini Custom Versions.
For the 20th anniversary of the original BJFe Honeybee Overdrive, Björn Juhl has now brought the sound of his classic low-gain overdrive to the One Control Mini pedal platform, featuring both the classic Honeybee warm syrupy texture with Modern/Vintage Switch and a special new Custom version, with enhanced gain and a hot crimson finish. Gold finish is classic, Crimson finish is the high gain variant.
One of the most popular customer requests from the original Honeybee OD was for enhanced treble response. While many guitarists love the original “Nature” knob, Björn has equipped the new HBOD4k Mini with both Bass and Treble controls. This new design will enable players to dial the pedal in more easily with a wider range of amplifiers.
After the original run of 200 BJFe Honeybees, Björn started to change the original circuit in response to requests from guitarists worldwide. You can have both flavors of the Honeybee OD with the 4K Mini – simply flip the switch on the side between Vintage/Modern and experience the original sound of both Honeybee circuits in our Mini size enclosure to allow the HBOD4K Mini to fit on any pedalboard setup.
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