Category Archives: Effects Reviews

The Keeley Dark Side Workstation: Fuzz, Phaser, Univibe, Rotary, Flanger Multi-head tape delay

dark-side-workstation-fuzz-delay-face-keeley-no-trs-1000x1000The new addition to the Keeley line is an homage to the mid-70s David Gilmour sound, resting comfortably in the classic Dark Side to Animals (even The Wall) period of the Pink Floyd guitarist’s work. As with Keeley’s recent Jimi Hendrix-inspired Monterey pedal, the Dark Side sports beautiful workmanship, low noise, a great layout and a cornucopia of features. There’s a lot to cover, so I’ll plug in a stock early 70s Strat (I had to for this pedal!) to a clean Fender-style amp and put the Dark Side into play.
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Boss DM-2w Waza Craft Delay vs. Vintage Boss DM-2 and DM-3 Delays

delay-group2The Boss DM-2w Delay from the Waza Craft series is an all-analog and re-imagined pedal that is inspired from the original and highly-coveted Boss DM-2 Delay released in 1981. Unlike the vintage DM-2, the DM-2w Delay adds stereo output and has a custom switch which extends the delay time from the previous limit of 300 ms. to 800 ms.
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Boss CE-2w Review: A Legend Reborn

vintnewIn the 1980’s, Boss pedals were regarded as best-in-class when looked at from any number of perspectives.  From the company’s well-deserved reputation for innovation and creativity, to it also having the most robust and virtually bullet proof effects available for touring musicians. Indeed, I was a loyal player of Boss pedals during my teens and proudly used an all-Boss pedal board for years. Let’s not forget that many great professional musicians also used those brightly-colored Boss boxes as well.

Throughout the late 1970s and 1980s, Boss developed a number of classic designs, and the CE-2 Chorus is arguably among the best and most famous of pedals Boss had ever produced. It was also the industry’s very first compact chorus unit (the earlier CE-1 was a larger AC-powered effect). The CE-2 was then upgraded in the mid-80s with a new cousin, the CE-3 Chorus, a model which added stereo output capability along with a fancy sparkling blue paint job. But for some reason, the CE-3 just didn’t have the same warmth in its chorus effect that the CE-2 had. In fact, for many years, both the CE-2 and CE-3 were available and sold at the same time and many players still preferred and purchased the CE-2.
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Keeley Monterey Rotary Fuzz Vibe Pedal Review

MontereyAlternate1Arriving in a suave black velvet bag, the latest offering from effects Guru Robert Keeley, the Keeley Monterey Rotary Fuzz Vibe pedal strikes with immediate eye appeal adorned with its groovy painted enclosure, very reminiscent of the painted guitar Hendrix sacrificed at the pedal’s namesake festival in 1967. It’s a very appealing aesthetic, very ’67 and still contemporary enough to look great on a modern pedalboard.
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Klon Centaur vs. Klon KTR

KlonCentaurKTR2When the original Klon Centaur professional overdrive was released in 1994, it was one of the very first boutique overdrive pedals on the market created for the player interested in fine-tuning their tone. Boutique in every sense of the word and hand built by its creator Bill Finnegan, each Klon Centaur was carefully crafted with premium and carefully selected parts. As other boutique pedal makers developed products throughout the decade and focused on expansion with other models, Finnegan stuck with the Klon Centaur as his sole focus.
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Last Boutique Builder Standing: Richard Coibion of Monsterpiece Fuzz

Richard Coibion was hit by the effects building bug back in 2001. With a background Monstervariousand education in electronics engineering and having a steady career in IT, Coibion dabbled in modifying fuzz circuits and tuned them to his liking. He hadn’t ever considered making a career out of building effects however.
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Analogman Mods Our Favorite Reissue Tube Screamer: The 35th Anniversary TS-808

In 2014, Ibanez introduced its 35th anniversary TS-808 Tube Screamer overdrive pedal, based on the original it created in 1979. What’s now known as the “narrow box 35th1model” by collectors, has returned in its original smaller footprint, with the rare “flying fingers” graphics along with side-mounted 1/8-inch 9v DC adapter jack just like the original. The lightweight aluminum 35th anniversary TS-808 was also changed under the hood to be closer to the original, and is outfitted with a pair of op amp chips. This is a variation that is the main difference between it and the single op amp version of the 1980 TS-808 Tube Screamer and others including the TS-9 that followed. These later TS-808 and TS-9 models deployed input and output transistor buffers rather than the additional chip used in the original and now reissued narrow box model.
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Maxon OD808X Extreme…Just Another Modded Tube Screamer?

The Tube Screamer is arguably the most copied and modified overdrive circuit ever. With good reason, this classic effect delivers a soft compression that truly is amp-like OD808Xin response, feel, and tone. Maxon, the original manufacturer of the Tube Screamer, has now released its own response with a modified design and dubbed it the Maxon OD808X Extreme. But will the OD808X Extreme just provide more gain and the “same old” sound, or will it provide something truly unique?
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Sonus Pedals Fuzz Face 1966 Replica Reviewed

It has been some time since we wrote our Fuzz Feast series about both vintage and FuzzFaceSonus1recent fuzz options on the market. After seeing the prices of original fuzz units climb, I wondered what the boutique market now had available in 2015 as far as the most accurate of Fuzz Face clones. During my search, I stumbled across Sonus Pedals based in the Netherlands and its Fuzz Face 1966 replica.
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Keeley Electronics GC-2 Limiting Amplifier Review

Among musicians, Robert Keeley has become a virtual household name in quality GC2FaceWhite2-1000x1000compression for well over a decade. With humble beginnings building early units based on the famed grey Ross compressor from out of his home, to now having sold over 40,000 compressors and growing his business with a complete lineup of original designs, Robert Keeley and the team at Keeley Electronics have achieved great success since the early days.

The latest designs in the company’s compression family are original and based on new circuits that Robert and his engineering team spent years perfecting. Today we’ll look review the more compact model, the Keeley GC-2 Limiting Amplifier.

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