NakedInTheRain, on november 01, 2010 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 179
Purchased from: ProGuitarShop
Ease of Use: Three controls, from left to right: Level, Glass and Drive. Level sets the output of the pedal, Glass is your treble booster, and Drive controls the gain. Pretty standard for an Overdrive pedal. Runs on 9V battery or DC input. Bright glowing purple LED. True bypass.
I have the cream knobs, black Kanji character version of the pedal (version 2, I believe).
This pedal can be a little annoying to dial in, initially, because the Level knob, depending where it is set, has a lot of influence over the overall tonal characteristic of the pedal. For example, if you crank the Level all the way up, you'll need to turn down the Glass, as it can get a little piercing (I usually leave the Glass at noon by default, by the way, and tweak accordingly). However, when you back off the Level, you'll find yourself turning up your Glass knob again, and your Drive knob a bit also, to compensate for loss of presence. But you get used to this over time, as you learn how to control the pedal and coax all the different sounds of it.
This pedal didn't come with any instructions, but it's been fun figuring it out. I'm giving this an 8 for ease of use, because I have experienced more of a learning curve with this pedal compared to the other Overdrive pedals I've owned. // 8
Sound: I'm using this pedal with an Epiphone Les Paul Standard at the moment, into a Kustom '72 Coupe combo.
This pedal really only gets noisy when you dime the Level and Drive, but you'd probably expect that.
Now, for the sound: this pedal is amazing, straight up. Firstly, it's not completely transparent; it adds a slightly mid-humped, very warm character to your tone. I stress, very warm. The Kanji is probably best described as a low to medium gain overdrive; however, cranked up in front of a tube amp, this thing has gigantic balls, so you might even find yourself backing off on the Drive a bit. I usually tweak starting with the Level knob, as I believe it has the most influence over your tone, and then adjust the Drive and Glass to fine-tune the sound once I find it. The Kanji gives you anything from a gigantic warm clean boost, to creamy sustain on the neck pickup that goes on for days, to edgy classic rock tones. Although, as stated above, this pedal needs a bit of tweakage, but once you learn how to control the pedal, you can coax a lot of different sounds out of it. This is a very versatile Overdrive pedal.
At the moment, my settings on my Kanji are: Level - 1.30, Glass - Noon, Drive - 8.30. When I stack this on my clean tone, it gives me tones similar to John Mayer's Slow Dancing in a Burning Room clean tones. Also, when I stack the Eternity on these settings with my amp's lead channel, I can get close to the rounded, powerful, but not brittle or harsh, sustainy tone of Steve Vai. This is the only Overdrive pedal I've used to boost my amp's lead channel that hasn't tightened it up for a hard rock/thrash tone, but given it a fluid quality instead.
I'm giving the Sound a 10, because there is honestly nothing I can think of that needs improving with regard to this pedal's tone. // 10
Reliability & Durability: It is very well-constructed; however, I wouldn't throw it around, because the paint might chip and I would probably cry. Very sturdy switch. Had a look at the insides of the pedal, and the board is very compact and neatly snuck into the top half of the box, with plenty of room for the battery (if you're using one). Very good quality construction.
I've got a couple of other overdrives on my board, so I've always got a backup. However, none of my other overdrives can really replicate the sound of the Eternity, but they would suffice during a gig.
Rating this a 9, as I wouldn't want to tumble this pedal around, due to the fragile and beautiful look of the pedal. However, I don't have any concerns to the reliability of the pedal at all. // 9
Overall Impression: I play mostly alternative/progressive rock and blues. The Kanji is very much suited for my needs, due to its wide array of warm tones. I have been playing for nearly five years. If it was stolen or lost, I would buy another; this pedal just brings something unique to my board that I love. My favourite feature of this pedal is its versatility and the amount of different sounds you can squeeze out of it. However, the learning curve on how to dial in different sounds can be annoying - this is not a plug-and-play pedal, to say the least.
I've rated the Kanji Eternity overall as a 9; the only demerits were that you have to spend a bit of time dialing in your sound, and the fact that you really don't want to throw the box around lest you scratch, dent or chip it. Overall, this is a fantastic and versatile overdrive, and I don't see it leaving my pedalboard in the foreseeable future. // 9
properpat, on may 05, 2009 1 of 15 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 185
Purchased from: proguitarshop.com
Ease of Use: This is quite possibly the simplest pedal I've ever used. Every sound us use-able, so dialing in something nice just depends on your mood that day. Didn't come with a manual, but it doesn't really need one. There are only three knobs, and if you can't figure out what they do in less than 10 seconds you probably shouldn't be playing guitar in the first place. // 10
Sound: Signal path: Musicman Axis Supersport Rosewood with HighOrder Maximus bridge and 7.5K A5 neck pickups, spectraflex cable, lovepedal eternity kanji, spectraflex cable, fargen olde 800 1x12 combo set clean-ish. Pumping all that through an eminence wizard speaker. Typically my amp is a take no prisoners, in your face RAWK amp (it's a hand-wired version of a JCM 800, what did you expect). Despite this the kanji is very smooth and warm, fattening up the signal just a little bit. My setup is very bright, so I keep the glass knob down pretty low (around 11 o'clock). Turning down the gain and maxing the volume grants you a decent clean boost (I only say decent because it really didn't boost my signal all that much, added a little extra hair for solos). Set the volume on unity and start turning up the Drive, now your into some bluesy, sexy, beautiful Overdrive. If I HAD to compare it to something (I'll be honest, it's a unique sounding Drive), I'd probably say is was like a warmer, ultra-smooth JTM45. But that's through my amp. The pedal seems fairly transparent, so I imagine if you used it with say, a 5e3 type of amp it would probably only make that amp sound sexier. Judging by the responsiveness coming from this pedal I'd imagine it's only designed to work with tube amps (I know some of you tone-freaks out there are crapping your pants because I alluded to putting it through a solid state amp). It's not really the sound I'm after, I can't lie. But boy is this a nice pedal. It really is the nicest Overdrive I've ever personally heard (and if I ever find anything better I'll gladly share it with the world), I'm just not a pedal guy. If I was, this would have a permanent place on my board. I'm going to give this category a 9. I know I've sung the praises of this pedal, and I stand behind every word. But it's not what I am LOOKING FOR. Who knows, this could be someone's tonal nirvana. // 9
Reliability & Durability: I took a peek up underneath this things skirt when I first got it and was terribly impressed. This is, without a doubt, the cleanest and most solidly wired ANYTHING I've ever seen. The Switch is solid as a rock (and completely silent I might add, no click, no pop, instant gratification... Nice) and the knobs and pots have a super smooth taper. The box feels substantial enough to take a baseball bat (though I would never test that theory). I'll only give it an 8 because I'll probably never gig with this pedal. // 8
Overall Impression: I play RAWK. Real rock I might add. Not this down-tuned, chug-chug, can't-hear-any-dynamics-there's-so-much-distortion crap that's so popular (even though it's slowly declining, thank God), though that tone has it's place as well. I'll throw down some blues, a little punk, maybe even a little funk every now and then (I don't like to limit myself too much on what I play). I don't think it quite matches me as a player, I like quite a bit of edge in my tone. I've been playing for seven years now, and the only gear I own currently is what is listed in my signal path above. If it were stolen? I'd find out Who it was and prosecute him to the fullest extent of the law (I couldn't really blame him for stealing it though, it's a gorgeous piece of tonal art). I don't really love it, but I can't hate it. It's just a different texture than I'm used to. Who knows, maybe one day I'll be jonesing for that tone as well. The only other Overdrive pedal I've owned (played a ton of them, been disappointed by almost all of them) is the Tim pedal by Paul Cochrane (which is a bit of a different animal, it's geared more in toward the blown-Marshall camp). Though I can't put the two side by side, I can tell you that they're not comparable. The Tim is a bit more raunchy and edgy, but not nearly as sweet or warm or smooth. I can't really say I wish the kanji had anything else. It would be wrong of me. Sometimes you come across a piece of gear and realize just how beautiful it is. You may not like everything about it, but you don't want to change it because that would be like defacing a beautiful painting or putting MOPAR parts on a Chevy. // 10