12/12/2014

Custom Sounds by Flockler

Here’s an interview with Custom SoundsKimmo Aroluoma.

Kimmo Aroluoma + Jani Marjoniemi – Custom Sounds

03/12/2014

Review: Boss Waza Craft BD-2W + SD-1W

bd-2w_angle_zoom_gal

sd-1w_side_zoom_gal

Boss’ Waza Craft pedals are the company’s brand-new all-analogue, top-of-the line compact effects. The Waza Craft range has been designed to give the quality-conscious guitarist the full boutique-pedal experience in the well-loved Boss format.

The Japanese word ”waza” can be translated as art, artistry or technology, and hints at the fact that the three new pedals (the overdrives reviewed here, plus the DM-2W delay) are a return to old-school, all-analogue circuitry, and that the effects are factory-modded for your convenience.

****

bd-2w_top_gal

The Boss Blues Driver BD-2W Waza Craft (current price in Finland around 155 €) is a ”waza-treated” update of the popular Blues Driver overdrive.

In the late 1970s Boss came up with the now-legendary, compact guitar pedal format, which has since become an industry standard. The typical Boss pedal is made from a cast metal casing with the quick-access battery compartment tucked away beneath the pedal’s switch flap.

The BD-2W comes with the standard three controls for Gain, Tone and Level.

The Waza Craft range’s special feature lies in their twin mode set-up. You can use the mini-switch to toggle between Standard- and Custom-mode. Standard will give you a boutique version of the regular Boss Blues Driver experience, while Custom ups the ante by offering you a wider dynamic range, as well as a warmer tonality with added top-end sparkle.

The first clip gives you an idea of the BD-2W’s sound with the Gain control at 12 o’clock. The first half is played in Standard-mode, switching over to Custom-mode for the second half:

For the second clip I turned Gain up to full:

bd-2w_angle_gal

****

sd-1w_top_gal

The Boss Super OverDrive SD-1W Waza Craft (current price in Finland around 155 €) is the top-of-the-line version of the company’s yellow-clad classic.

The name gives it away – we’re looking at an overdrive stompbox, so we should expect a dynamic performance with a dense mid-range. As a rule of thumb, distortion-type effects tend to have more bite and a creamier compression than an overdrive.

The Boss SD-1W, too, sports three controls – Drive, Tone and Level – and a mode switch. Standard-mode is meant to give you an upmarket counterpart of the regular SD-1 pedal, while Custom-mode promises a wider frequency range (especially handy for ultra-low tunings).

Here’s a clip of the SD-1W with Drive set to 12 o’clock. Standard-mode comes first, followed by Custom-mode:

And this will give you an idea of this pedal’s sound with Drive turned all the way up:

sd-1w_angle_gal

****

bd-2w_angle_2_gal

What do terms like ”boutique-pedal” and ”premium range” really mean?

In the case of the Waza Craft pedals the answer lies in both the sound and the ”feel” of these effects:

Both overdrive boxes sound even creamier than the standard versions, while also adding a small degree of clarity to proceedings. These premium versions also manage to keep hiss levels even lower than their ”ordinary” counterparts. Both the BD-2W and the SD-1W feel somewhat more organic and responsive, when compared to their (well-made) standard range brethren. The overdrive tones are very natural, and both effects react very nicely to changes in playing dynamics or guitar volume settings. You never get the feeling of the effect being pasted on, instead there’s a real interaction going on between the player, his guitar and the effect pedal.

In isolation Boss’ Waza Craft overdrives might even seem a little underwhelming, but when you A/B them with their standard series counterparts the differences become quite clear rather quickly. Don’t get me wrong, the standard versions are reliable industry standards with a more than decent sound, but for the ultimate Boss-experience you should take the path to Waza Craft.

sd-1w_angle_2_gal

****

Boss BD-2W + SD-1W Waza Craft

approx. 155 €

Finnish distribution: Roland Suomi

****

Pros:

+ classic format

+ all-analogue

+ two modes

+ sound

02/12/2014

Review: JAM Pedals

JAM Pedals is a Greek maker of boutique effect pedals, whose products are now available in Finland, too (distributed by R-Jam Group).

JAM Pedals’ products are all-analogue, built by hand from first-rate components. Some models even rely on hard to come by NOS-chips and -transistors for their sound.

Most JAM-models can also be ordered in point-to-point versions, or with customised specifications and/or artwork.

All JAM Pedals come in hand-painted, unique designs, and are delivered with a cloth sack for storage, as well as a JAM-logo’d plectrum.

All the effects tested in this review run on a nine volt battery or a (Boss-type) power supply (not included).

****

Jam pedals – Tube Dreamer 58 + bag

JAM Pedals offers four different versions of its Tube Dreamer overdrive pedal.

Their compact Tube Dreamer 58 is the company’s take on the ultimate Ibanez Tube Screamer 808 pedal. The circuit is built around an original JRC4558D-chip.

Jam pedals – Tube Dreamer 58 pic 1

The JAM Tube Dreamer 58 (current price in Finland: 185 €) wins you over with a healthy dose of that classic, creamy Tube Screamer mid-range. The TD58’s forte, though, is the vastly improved dynamic range of the JAM-model, and the more organic, amp-like overdrive structure, achieved by using three diodes for asymmetrical clipping.

This sound clip – like all the others in this review – has been recorded using a Fender Stratocaster and a Blackstar HT-1R valve combo:

Jam pedals – Tube Dreamer 58 pic 2

****

Jam pedals – Tube Dreamer+ and bag

The flagship model Tube Dreamer pedal is called the JAM Tube Dreamer+ (current price in Finland: 225 €), and is the deluxe version of the JAM Tube Dreamer 72, which is designed a ”secret chip”.

Jam pedals – Tube Dreamer+ pic 1

The Plus-version adds a high-gain-/boost-circuit (left footswitch) on top of the moderate-gain overdrive section (right footswitch).

The Tube Dreamer+ is shipped with the high-gain circuit adding only more gain to proceedings, but you can also adjust the high-gain circuit’s internal trimmer to deliver copious amounts of signal boost, whenever it is switched on.

In terms of its sound, the Tube Dreamer+ gives more than a passing nod to 1970s Blues Rock and Heavy Metal. Despite its high-gain boost, this JAM-model hasn’t been designed for contemporary Thrash Metal.

Jam pedals – Tube Dreamer+ pic 2

****

Jam pedals – Red Muck + bag

JAM Pedals’ stompbox fuzz is called Red Muck, and it comes in a Soviet-inspired colour scheme, complete with hammer and sickle graphics.

Jam pedals – Red Muck pic 1

The starting points for the Red Muck fuzz’ (current price in Finland: 209 €) tone were the classic, early Big Muff -sounds.

JAM has refined the original fuzz character to come up with a much more versatile pedal. JAM’s Red Muck reacts extremely well to changes in the guitar’s volume knob settings, while the overall delivery is noticeably fatter and creamier, when compared to many other fuzz-effects. This pedal also takes well to full chords, and doesn’t mush up so quickly.

I have to admit that JAM’s Red Muck has quickly become my favourite fuzz box.

Listen for the tonal changes, as I slowly raise the volume control at the beginning of this clip:

Jam pedals – Red Muck pic 2

****

Jam pedals – Waterfall + bag

The JAM WaterFall (259 €) is a dual-function effect pedal, offering chorus and vibrato in one compact package.

Jam pedals – Waterfall pic 1

The two effects in the WaterFall have been designed around two legendary Panasonic-chips (the MN3101 and the MN3007), on which some of the earliest Boss modulation effects were also based.

The mini-switch on the right is for selecting the effect – chorus or vibrato (v) – while the switch on the opposite side lets you choose between a milder, vintage (-) version of the chosen effect, or its more drastic, modern counterpart.

The WaterFall’s chorus is simply superb, sounding very natural and musical:

Vibrato may not be the most-commonly used effect, but the WaterFall’s reading must surely be one of the sweetest-sounding there is:

Jam pedals – Waterfall pic 2

****

Jam pedals – Ripple + bag

JAM Pedals’ The Ripple (199 €) is an easy-to-use phaser. There’s only a single Speed-control for the effect, and that’s all.

Jam pedals – Ripple pic 1

This is one lush-sounding phaser – you can’t get more musical than this! The Ripple has a rich and organic tone, broadening your guitar sound, yet it never seems to usurp the show or hog the limelight.

Jam pedals – Ripple pic 2

****

Jam pedals – Delay Llama + bag

The Delay Llama?! The guys at JAM HQ sure do have a sense of humour!

JAM’s Delay Llama (265 €) is an analogue, lo-fi delay pedal in the spirit of the early Eighties.

Jam pedals – Delay Llama pic 1

The Delay Llama features a classic bucket-brigade circuit, which uses an updated version Panasonic’s legendary MN3205-chip. The maximum delay time offered is approximately 600 ms. An internal trim port allows you to adjust the maximum number of repeats available from the Repeats-control.

The Delay Llama will bring sonic fulfilment to fans of the BBD-sound – there’s plenty of grease on tap, and each new repeat degenerates noticeably from the one before. Factory settings even allow for the Repeat-control to cause infinite and distorting feedback loops, something for the fans of psychedelic and experimental music.

Jam pedals – Delay Llama pic 2

****

Jam pedals – teaser

In my opinion, these JAM Pedals offer the genuine boutique pedal experience at fair prices! They sound great, they look cool, their noise floor is low, and the pedals consume surprisingly little (battery) power. Give them a try!

****

JAM Pedals

effect pedals from Greece

Tube Dreamer 58 – 185 €

Tube Dreamer+ – 225 €

Red Muck – 209 €

WaterFall – 259 €

The Ripple – 199 €

Delay Llama – 265 €

****

Pros:

+ handmade

+ hand-painted

+ sound

+ low power consumption

28/11/2014

Grant Green – Live on French TV

grant green

27/11/2014

Review: DOD Bifet Boost 410

DOD Bifet Boost 410 – status led

DOD has introduced an updated version of its Bifet Boost 410 pedal this year – the 2014-version adds a switchable buffer to the circuit.

****

DOD Bifet Boost 410 – full top

The DOD Bifet Boost 410 (current price in Finland: 99 €) is a signal level booster, giving you up to a whopping 20 dB of amplification.

DOD Bifet Boost 410 – right 1

The booster sports two controls – one for volume and one for tone.

Over the last few years, the term ”true bypass” has become the new marketing buzzword, bandied about frequently to ”prove” one pedal’s superiority over another. In reality there’s no mystique attached to true bypass – it simply means that when the pedal is switched off the input is hardwired straight to the output, without passing through any of the effect’s circuitry. If a pedal’s manufacturer doesn’t state true bypass in the spec list, chances are the pedal in question has an internal buffer, which stays in the signal chain even when the effect is off. A buffer is a small amplifier, whose main purpose lies in changing the signal’s impedance from high to low. Most buffer amps don’t amplify the signal level at all (= a gain ratio of 1:1), while some add a tiny bit of treble boost. A high impedance signal suffers from far greater degradation, when fed through a long signal chain (or very long guitar leads), than a low impedance signal. This means that a buffered bypass can come in handy, if you’re using a lot of effect pedals in series. True bypass is usually preferable in smaller set-ups, or if the effect in question sits in front of a fuzz pedal (fuzz pedals generally need a high impedance signal to function properly).

The updated DOD Bifet Boost 410 pedal offers a switchable buffer, so you can decide whether you want to use a buffer or not. You get the buffer in the mini-switch’s On-position, or true bypass with the switch turned off.

DOD Bifet Boost 410 – DC input

The Bifet Boost 410 can be run using a 9 volt battery or a (Boss-type) power supply (not included).

DOD Bifet Boost 410 – base plate

You need to take off the pedal’s metal base plate to change batteries.

The package includes four small stick-on rubber feet, which you can use when the pedal’s not used on a pedalboard.

****

DOD Bifet Boost 410 – left 2

Usually, boost pedals can be divided into two categories: Those who provide a completely clean and neutral boost, and those who add a little colour and/or grit to the signal. The DOD Bifet Boost 410 belongs in the latter category, adding a little extra character to the mid-range frequencies, along with the raise in signal level.

Using the booster on a clean amp channel may push the guitar signal into overdrive, depending on the amount of headroom offered by the amp used. In this example you can clearly hear the Blackstar HT-1R’s sound break up and distort:

Used into a crunchy channel, the DOD-booster will add more chunky gain to to your tone:

You can use the tone control to add quite a lot of top end to your sound. You have to remember, though, that the sheer amount of gain on tap in this pedal will also boost any noise (hiss, hum) in your signal chain:

DOD Bifet Boost 410 – right 2

****

DOD Bifet Boost 410 – upright

DOD’s Bifet Boost 410 is a pro-quality boost pedal and very easy to use. The added buffer switch lets you decide for yourself, whether you need a bypass buffer or not.

****

DOD Bifet Boost 410 (2014)

Current price in Finland: 99 €

Finnish distributor: EM Nordic

Thanks to DLX Music Helsinki for the loan of the review sample!

****

Pros:

+ up to 20 dB boost

+ tone control

+ switchable buffer

26/11/2014

Review: Hughes & Kettner Red Box 5

Hughes & Kettner Red Box 5 – opener

Hughes & Kettner’s Red Box has been a runaway success, ever since the first version was introduced in the late Eighties.

The Red Box is a specialised DI-box for your guitar amp. Traditionally, DI-boxes are meant to transform the high impedance signal of an electric guitar (or bass) into a low impedance signal fit for direct connection to a recording (or PA) console.

The Red Box, on the other hand, is inserted between the amp’s speaker output and the speaker (cabinet). Hughes & Kettner’s analogue cabinet modelling then makes it possible to send the sound of a miked up guitar speaker to the mixing desk (or sound card) without having to actually put a microphone in front of the amp’s speaker.

Hughes & Kettner haven’t been resting on their laurels, though. They have updated and improved the Red Box every once in a while, with the most recent version being the Red Box 5 tested here.

****

Hughes & Kettner Red Box 5 – full

The Hughes & Kettner Red Box 5 (current price in Finland: 89,90 €) feels like a sturdy little blighter in its very compact cast-metal casing.

The Red Box’ switch panel has been sunk into the unit’s face, keeping the switches secure from mechanical damage or accidental changes to the settings.

Hughes & Kettner Red Box 5 – bottom view

Guitarists and guitar techs will rejoice in the fact that this little helper isn’t finicky when it comes to its power supply:

The Hughes & Kettner works just as well running on an internal 9 volts block, as it does powered by phantom power off the mixer, an external PSU. The Red Box will work with voltages from 9 to 12 V DC (centre negative) or even AC. So, finding a wall wart for this device should be a piece of cake!

Hughes & Kettner Red Box 5 – speaker jacks

The speaker connectors have been placed at the Hughes & Kettner’s bottom end:

The amp’s speaker output is connected to the Red Box’ In-jack, while the Thru-jack will send an unadulterated signal to your speaker (cabinet).

It is very important that you don not confuse the Red Box – which is a DI-box – with a dummy load! If you’re using a valve amplifier (or a hybrid with a tube power amp) you really have to make sure to have the correct speaker load (in ohms) connected, whenever you use the amp. Using the Red Box without a speaker or dummy load will fry your amp’s power section or audio transformer!

Hughes & Kettner Red Box 5 – XLR + DC

The Red Box’ top end holds the balanced XLR DI-output, as well as the power supply (not included) connector.

Hughes & Kettner Red Box 5 – switches

The Hughes & Kettner unit offers you five switches to tailor the DI-box’ output to your specific requirements:

There’s a ground lift switch (to cut any humming ground loops), a bass response switch, modern or vintage pre-EQ, a switch for the size of the virtual cabinet, as well as a 26 dB pad to prevent the DI-signal from overloading the console’s input.

Hughes & Kettner Red Box 5 – baggie

A black velvet bag is also thrown in with the Red Box.

****

Hughes & Kettner Red Box 5 – angle left

A ”great guitar sound” is probably one of our universe’s most subjective matters. Any guitar signal chain offers plenty of different variables. When you throw in the chosen cabinet, as well as the microphone and its placement relative to the speaker, the options available are virtually infinite. Nobody in their right mind can demand that a small DI-box, such as the Red Box 5, can actually offer any and all of the tonal options theoretically possible.

The Hughes & Kettner Red Box 5 raison d’être is to offer a handful of ”Best of” miked cabinet sounds, straight off of the amp’s speaker output to the mixing console (or sound card), without the hassle of having to set up a physical microphone, or having to account for the different sound characteristics of different rooms (for example on a tour). And in this the Red Box 5 truly excels.

To give you an idea of how well the Red Box 5’s sound stands up to a physical microphone, I have recorded a few clips simultaneously using a Shure SM57 and the Red Box. I used a Blackstar HT-1R running into an Änäkäinen Rumble speaker. The Red Box 5 was set to ”loose”, ”vintage” and ”large”.

Here’s a clean example, close-miked with the Shure:

And here’s the same example recorded direct with the Red Box:

Next I went for a crunchy amp sound; here’s the close-miked version:

And this is the same example DI’d through the Hughes & Kettner:

****

Hughes & Kettner Red Box 5 – angle right

Hughes & Kettner’s Red Box 5 is a fabulous tool, especially for onstage use. No need to put up a mic anymore, which means no more feedback and bleed problems. The Red Box 5 will give you consistently excellent DI’d guitar amp tones with the least amount of hassle.

****

Hughes & Kettner Red Box 5

Current price in Finland: 89,90 €

Finnish distribution: F-Musiikki

****

Pros:

+ very compact size

+ multiple means of power supply

+ different tonal options

+ pro-quality cabinet modelling

25/11/2014

Review: Änäkäinen Rumble 1 x 12

Änäkäinen Rumble Cream – logo 2

Puuverstas Änäkäinen’s Rumble 1 x 12 -cabinet (prices in Finland start around 580 €) offers a few fresh ideas on how to come up with a cracking guitar tone.

The fathers of the Rumble-concept are cabinet maker Kari Änäkäinen (try saying: Curry ANNA-kay-nun), who is also gigging as a guitarist and bassist, and Kuusankoski’s very own tube amp guru, Triodipaja’s proprietor Lassi Ukkonen (LUSS-cee OO-cow-nun). The guys hit upon the basic idea for the Rumble cabinet, when Kari asked Lassi to calculate the correct cubic content for a lightweight bass cabinet he was building for himself. The bass cabinet turned out very well and set the duo on the path to coming up with the Rumble.

****

Änäkäinen Rumble Cream – angle right

When it comes to the cosmetics of his Rumble cabinets, Kari Änäkäinen is a dyed-in-the-wool vintage fan.

Änäkäinen Rumble Cream – back angle

We received two different Rumble 1 x 12 cabinets for this review – one comes in a fetching ”Fender Blonde” look…

Änäkäinen Rumble Black – front angle left

…while the other clearly points in the direction of moody Marshall-ness.

Änäkäinen Rumble Black – back angle

The Rumbles sport metal corner protectors.

Änäkäinen Rumble Black – input

Here you can see the impedance sticker affixed to the sturdy jack plate.

Änäkäinen Rumble Cream – front cloth off

Currently, Kari Änäkäinen gives you a choice of five different speaker models for your personal cabinet.

The cream-coloured Rumble came equipped with an Eminence Private Jack -speaker (50 W/8 Ω).

Änäkäinen Rumble Black – front cloth off

A WGS:n Reaper (30 W/8 Ω) was chosen for the black counterpart.

As you can see in these pictures, one of the special features of all Rumbles is the large rectangular port on one side of the cabinet. The basic idea has been borrowed from bass-reflex speaker, which are often used in Hifi- and bass (amp) cabinet designs. In the Rumble the opening is mainly used for sound dispersion, as the speaker doesn’t feature any internal reflectors, tunnels or a ”tuned” bass port.

Änäkäinen Rumble Cream – struts 1

The details of the cabinet build is also a little bit different to your run-of-the-mill guitar cab. The cabinet itself is crafted from Finnish conifer plywood with a thickness of 15 millimetres.

The advantages of conifer plywood are its quality, abundance and light weight. Most other cabinet makers will claim that this type of plywood is too soft and pliable for cabinet-making, but Kari has found his own solution to this problem: He uses internal struts and supports made from the same material.

Änäkäinen Rumble Cream – struts 2

The speaker baffle, on the other hand, is made from very sturdy, 18 millimetre thick Finnish birch plywood.

The whole speaker cabinet is constructed using only glue joints and wood dowels. The only screws in an Änäkäinen Rumble are those keeping the speaker, the jack plate and the corner protectors in place.

Änäkäinen Rumble Cream – top handle

The Rumble’s low weight of approximately 12 kilos is easy to lift by the cab’s top handle.

****

Änäkäinen Rumble Cream – front left

The first – completely subjective – impression I got from using the Rumble 1 x 12 was of a ”loud”, ”big” and ”musical” sounding cab. The Änäkäinen even made my tiny Blackstar HT-1R sound like a full-size tube amp.

The Rumble gets across a healthy shot of warmth and transparency – just like many other quality cabinets – but its special, front-ported construction adds an amazing amount of spread and directivity to the sound that is all its own. The sound dispersion is neither too narrowly focussed, nor is there any sound getting ”lost” behind the cab. Thanks to its front port, the Rumble delivers a larger-than-life, Cinemascope-style sound.

The Eminence-loaded blonde Rumble sings beautifully with a warm and creamy voice:

Änäkäinen Rumble Black – front angle right

Thanks to the WGS Reaper -speaker inside the black-clad Rumble 1 x 12, this cab has a somewhat more aggressive British accent. This added bite isn’t quite as pronounced when you stick to clean amp settings, but it will help your Rock riffs to cut through more easily:

****

Änäkäinen Rumble Black – logo 2

I must say I really like these Änäkäinen Rumbles a lot! They deliver excellent, boutique-class tones at a very fair price. If you need a relatively compact guitar cab with a big sound, you should really consider going for a Rumble!

****

Änäkäinen Rumble 1 x 12

Finnish prices starting around 580 €

Made by Puuverstas Änäkäinen

****

Pros:

+ workmanship

+ a functional, non-mainstream concept

+ wide, yet focussed sound

+ rich bottom end

+ different speaker options

24/11/2014

Testipenkissä: Boss Waza Craft BD-2W + SD-1W

bd-2w_angle_zoom_gal

sd-1w_side_zoom_gal

Uusien Boss Waza Craft -pedaalien on tarkoitus antaa laatutietoiselle kitaristille sen ultimatiivisen, boutique-tyylisen Boss-elämyksen.

Japanilainen sana ”waza” tarkoittaa taidetta, taidokkuutta ja tekniikka, mikä uudessa Boss-sarjassa viittaa siihen, että ensinnäkin sarjan pedaaleissa käytetään vanhan liiton analogitekniikka, ja toiseksi sarjan efektit (tällä hetkellä: tässä jutussa testatut kaksi säröpedaalia, plus DM-2W-viive) ovat valmiiksi modattuja firman tehtaassa.

****

bd-2w_top_gal

Boss Blues Driver BD-2W Waza Craft (noin 155 €) on täysanaloginen, päivitetty versio Bossin suositusta Blues-säröstä.

Boss on keksinyt 1970-luvun lopussa efektipedaaleilleen tämän kompaktin muodon ja rakenteen, josta on tullut sittemmin alan standardi. Tyypilliseen Boss-pedaaliin kuuluu valumetallinen runko, sekä pedaaliläpän alta löytyvä paristokotelo.

BD-2W tarjoaa kolme säädintä: Gain-säätimellä määrätään särön määrää, Tone-potikalla soundin kirkkautta, ja Level-säätimellä taas asetetaan efektille haluttu lähtötaso.

Waza Craft -pedaalien pikkukytkimellä valitaan Standard- ja Custom-tilan välillä. Standard-tilassa BD-2W käyttäytyy dynamiikan ja soundin kannalta kuin perinteinen Boss Blues Driver, kun taas Custom-tilassa on tarjoilla entistäkin laajempi dynamiikka, sekä lämpimämpi ja avoimempi soundi.

Tässä soundiesimerkissä Gain-nuppi on avattu kello 12. Soitan kaksi samankaltaista pätkää – ensin Standard-tilassa, ja sen jälkeen Custom-tilassa:

Toisessa äänitteessä pedaalin Gain-potikka on avattu täysille:

bd-2w_angle_gal

****

sd-1w_top_gal

Boss Super OverDrive SD-1W Waza Craft (noin 155 €) on keltaisen klassikkosärön boutique-versio.

Nimensä mukaisesti tässä on kyse overdrive-säröstä, eli odottavissa on dynaaminen ja keskialueella rikas särösoundi. Distortion-säröt taas ovat yleensä purevampia ja vahvemmin kompressoivia kuin overdrive-pedaalit.

Myös SD-1W tarjoaa kolme säädintä – Drive, Tone ja Level – sekä kaksiasentoisen minikytkimen. Standard-tilassa odotettavissa on premium-luokan versio legendaarisesta SD-1-soundista, kun taas Custom-tilassa soundiin on lisätty enemmän bassorekisteriä.

Tässä ensin yksi esimerkkipätkä, jossa SD-1W:n Drive-säädin on avattu puoleen. Ensin käytän efektiä Standard-tilassa, minkä jälkeen soitan samankaltaisen riffin Custom-tilassa:

Seuraavassa klipissä Super OverDriven Drive-säädin on avattu täysille:

sd-1w_angle_gal

****

bd-2w_angle_2_gal

Mitä tarkoittavat käsitteet ”boutique-pedaali” ja ”premium-luokan efekti”?

Waza Craft -pedaalien tapauksessa vastaus on sekä kuultavissa että tuntuvissa:

Molemmissa testatuissa säröpedaaleissa soundi on vielä entistäkin kermaisempi ja selkeämpi. Efektien oma kohina on näissä premium-versioissa saatu vielä aavistuksen verran alemmas. Sekä BD-2W että SD-1W tuntuvat myös vielä orgaanisemmilta kuin niiden (perushyvät) tavalliset rinnakkaisversiot. Särösoundi on erittäin luonnollinen ja hyvin herkkä muutoksiin soittodynamiikassa tai kitaran volyymipotikan asetuksessa. Säröefekti ei tunnu millään lailla päälle liimatulta, vaan kitaran ja pedaalin välille syntyy luonnollinen ja hyvin musikaalinen vuoropuhelu.

Waza Craft -säröjen ensivaikutelma ei ehkä ole niin korostetun erilainen kuin mikä ehkä odottaisi, mutta suorassa A/B-vertailussa rivipedaalien ja Waza Craft -sarjalaisten väliset erot ovat helposti havaittavissa. Tavallisetkin Boss-efektit toimivat mielestäni moitteettomasti, mutta Waza Craft -säröissä on kiistämattä vielä luokkaa makeampi soundi.

sd-1w_angle_2_gal

****

Boss BD-2W + SD-1W Waza Craft

hinnat noin 155 €

Maahantuoja: Roland Suomi

****

Plussat:

+ tuttu formaatti

+ täysin analogiset

+ kaksi toimitilaa

+ soundi

21/11/2014

Tulossa maanantaina: Boss Waza Craft

****

Lisätiedot: Roland

20/11/2014

Testipenkissä: JAM Pedals

JAM Pedals on kreikkalainen boutique-luokan efektipedaalien valmistaja, jonka tuotteet ovat hiljattain rantautuneet myös Suomeen (maahantuoja on espoolainen yritys R-Jam Group).

JAM Pedalsin kaikki kitara- ja bassoefektit ovat analogisia, ja valmistetaan käsityönä laadukkaista osista. Joissakin malleissa käytetään jopa harvinaisia vanhoja (ns. ”new old stock”) siruja ja transistoreita.

Erikoistilauksesta saa myös point-to-point versiot firman pedaaleista, sekä customoituja efektejä.

JAM-pedaalien ominaisuuksiin kuuluu aina myös käsin maalattu kotelo, kevyt kangaspussi ja firman logolla varustettu laadukas plektra.

Nyt testissä käyneet pedaalit toimivat kaikki sekä 9 voltin paristolla että Boss-standardin mukaisella 9 voltin virtalähteellä (ei kuulu hintaan).

****

Jam pedals – Tube Dreamer 58 + bag

JAM Pedals tarjoaa neljä erilaista Tube Dreamer -säröpedaalia.

Kompakti Tube Dreamer 58 on firman edelleen jalostettu näkemys klassisesta Ibanez Tube Screamer 808 -pedaalista. Kytkennän perustana käytetään jopa alkuperäistä JRC4558D-sirua.

Jam pedals – Tube Dreamer 58 pic 1

JAM Tube Dreamer 58 säröön (185 €) on saatu mukaan tuhdin annoksen vanhasta Tube Screamerista tuttua kermaista keskialuetta. TD58:ssa on kuitenkin parannettu roimasti pedaalin dynamiikka ja särön putkivahvistin-tyylistä soundia käyttämällä kolmea diodia, jotka tuottavat harmonisesti rikkaan asymmetrisen klippauksen.

Tämä ääninäyte – kuten tämän jutun muutkin pätkät – on äänitetty Fender Stratocasterilla ja Blackstar HT-1R -putkikombolla:

Jam pedals – Tube Dreamer 58 pic 2

****

Jam pedals – Tube Dreamer+ and bag

JAM Tube Dreamer+ (225 €) on valmistajan lippulaivasärö, joka perustuu JAMin Tube Dreamer 72 -pedaaliin, jossa käytetään firman salaista sirua.

Jam pedals – Tube Dreamer+ pic 1

Plussaversio tarjoaa keskivahvan overdrive-särön lisäksi samassa kotelossa vielä yhden päälle polkaistavan high-gain-/boost-piirin (vasen jalkakytkin).

Tehdasasetuksissa high-gain puoli lisää signaaliin pelkästään säröä, mutta Tube Dreamer Plussan pienellä sisäisellä trimmerillä voi halutessa myös lisätä reilusti high-gain-särön volyymitasoa.

Soundiltaan Tube Dreamer+ nojaa vahvasti 1970-luvun mehukkaaseen Bluesrockin ja Heavy Metalin suuntaan. High-gain-puolestaan huolimatta tämä JAM-pedaali ei ole tarkoitettu nykypäivän Thrash Metal -soittajille.

Jam pedals – Tube Dreamer+ pic 2

****

Jam pedals – Red Muck + bag

JAM Pedalsin fuzz-pedaalin nimi on Red Muck (punainen lika), vaikka se onkin hyvin siistin näköinen, neuvostoajan symboleilla leikkivä efektipedaali.

Jam pedals – Red Muck pic 1

Red Muck -fuzzin (209 €) lähtökohtana toimivat historian parhaat Big Muff -soundit.

JAM on kuitenkin jalostanut näistä alkuperäispedaaleja huomattavasti yleispätevämmän kokonaisuuden. JAM Red Muck reagoi esimerkillisesti kitaran volume-potikan kanssa, ja fuzz-efektin yleissoundi on täyteläisempi ja hieman kermaisempikin kuin monet muut fuzz-efektit. Tämä pedaali ei myöskään mene täysin tukkoon, silloin kun soittaa sointuja sen läpi.

Täytyy sanoa, että JAMin Red Muck on tämän testin perusteella noussut minun henkilökohtaiseksi suosikki-fuzziksi.

Tämän audiopätkän alussa avaan hitaasti kitaran volume-potikan:

Jam pedals – Red Muck pic 2

****

Jam pedals – Waterfall + bag

JAM WaterFall (259 €) on nyt testatun kuusikon monipuolisin efektipedaali, joka tarjoaa sekä chorus- että vibratoefektin samassa kuoressa.

Jam pedals – Waterfall pic 1

WaterFallin efektipiirit käyttävät varhaisista Boss-efekteistä tuttuja – nykyään legendaarisen maineen saaneita – alkuperäisiä Panasonic-siruja (MN3101 ja MN3007).

Pedaalin oikeanpuoleisella pikkukytkimellä vaihdetaan choruksen ja vibraton (V) välillä, kun taas vasemmanpuoleisella kytkimellä voi valita käyttääkö vahvemman nykytulkinnan tai miedomman vintage-tyylisen version (-) valitusta efektistä.

WaterFallin chorus on erittäin luonnollisen kuuloinen ja musikaalisella tavalla orgaaninen:

Vibratoefekti on ehkä hieman harvemmin käytetty efektityyppi, mutta WaterFall-pedaalin tulkinta on kuitenkin hyvin laadukas lajinsa edustaja:

Jam pedals – Waterfall pic 2

****

Jam pedals – Ripple + bag

JAM Pedals The Ripple (199 €) on erittäin helppokäyttöinen phaser-pedaali, koska sillä on ainoastaan yksi säädin efektin nopeussäätöä varten.

Jam pedals – Ripple pic 1

Samoin kuin WaterFall-choruksen kohdalla, voin myös The Ripple -phaserin tapauksessa vain todeta, että efekti toimii erittäin kiitettävästi hyvin musikaalisella tavalla. Phaser-efekti on täyteläinen ja soundia laajentava, ilman että JAMin pedaali kahmisi koko huomiota itselleen.

Jam pedals – Ripple pic 2

****

Jam pedals – Delay Llama + bag

Delay Llama?! Kyllä, JAMin tyypeillä on huumorintajua!

JAM Delay Llama (265 €) on analoginen lo-fi viive-efekti varhaisen 1980-luvun hengessä.

Jam pedals – Delay Llama pic 1

Delay Llaman kytkentä on rakennettu bucket-brigade-periatteella, jonka sydämenä toimii vanhan (ja legendaarisen) Panasonic MN3205 -sirun laadukas kopio. Pedaalin maksimaalinen viiveaika on noin 600 millisekuntia. Sisäisellä trimmerillä voi säätää toistomäärän ylärajaa.

Delay Llamalla on juuri se oikea BBD-soundi – se on likainen, ja jokainen toisto huononee entisestään hyvin herkullisella tavalla. Tehdasasetuksilla pystyy käyttämään Repeat-säädintä myös feedback-loopin aiheuttamiseen, mistä kokeellisen tai psykedeelisen musiikin ystävät varmasti iloitsevat.

Jam pedals – Delay Llama pic 2

****

Jam pedals – teaser

Nämä JAM-pedaalit ovat mielestäni todella loistavia, eikä edes ylisuurella hintalapulla pilattuja! JAM Pedals -efektit tarjoavat aidon boutique-kokemuksen: Niillä on loistava soundi, hyvin alhainen kohinataso, omaleimainen ulkonäkö, ja ne ovat sähköpihejä. Kokeileminen kannattaa varmasti!

****

JAM Pedals

kreikkalaisia efektipedaaleja

Tube Dreamer 58 – 185 €

Tube Dreamer+ – 225 €

Red Muck – 209 €

WaterFall – 259 €

The Ripple – 199 €

Delay Llama – 265 €

****

Plussat:

+ käsintehtyjä

+ käsinmaalattuja

+ soundi

+ vähäinen virrantarve

Seuraa

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Liity 49 muun seuraajan joukkoon