#1
So for those of you who have seen my pedalboard, you know its a monster in terms of size and weight.



In terms of bringing, using, storing and powering it. So for quick and dirty practice sessions or when jamming, I've decided to put together a smaller board to chuck around. Naturally I wanted to have an OD, chorus, delay and reverb to cover my grounds. Ease of use and versatility are paramount.

So with some GAS and cash, I went shopping for the first pedal... and came back with two!

First off

Xotic SP Compressor





Next

Mesa Flux Drive





So now that the porn is over, I'm gonna toss some simple reviews.

Xotic SP Compressor
This thing is impressive to say the least. Most compressors I've tried are either too aggressive in the compression or twiddles with the base sound too much. From my experience, I really hated it when either happens.

However, with the SP compressor... it doesn't mess with the base tone of the amp or guitar, and the compression is subtle and natural.

The best way I can put it is, you don't know it's there until you switch it off... its so subtle and natural, it's impressive. No aggressive leveling of attack or decay. No EQ mucking. It's a really good pedal. Plug and play. It just sounds good as it is, there almost no need to tweak the internal dip switches.

Just with 1 switch to adjust the gain, one volume knob for effect level and a dry blend, the pedal does what it needs to do. Compress your volume naturally while still sounding good.

I've always been meh about Xotic products, but this compressor is impressive. In short, subtle, transparent, natural and dynamic.


Mesa Flux Drive
Online review rave about the Tone Burst, Grid Slammer and Throttle Box... however IMO, this is a really overlooked pedal.

It essentially is a Grid Slammer with more gain, tighter bass and EQ tone shaping.

I was initially set on getting a Throttle Box for gain sounds, but as I tested it, I found that the Throttle Box is just basically a distortion pedal. It simply doesn't clean up at all. It's like a 5150, loads of liquid gain, singing sustain, aggressive sounds and chunk.

The Throttle Box is great if you're still into the 6th-string chugga chugga. However, I tend to use less gain and look for more definition.

I had also looked at the MojoHand FX Rook, but for some reason it seems to roll off a lot of high frequencies, and sounds flat and neutered, no matter what I did to tweak it.

The Flux Drive with the Volume and Gain turned up can still reach melo-death levels of gain which is what I usually play. However, back off on the volume and the cleans come back... a little pushed, but still clean, something the Throttle Box can't do.

The EQ is active, allowing the cutting and pumping of frequencies. Plenty of gain on tap... and a loud pedal too.

Two things I did notice with this pedal:
1) its very transparent and responsive to the guitar and gear used.
2) It sucks at low volumes.

Use a darker sounding Les Paul, and you get nice percussive palm mutes. Use a sparkling tele, and it maintains the sparkle when you engage the pedal. However, this also means that it doesn't stray from your base tone. Don't expect to dime the bass and treble with a tele and get massive chugs from this pedal.

Also, it loves to play loud. When you move the volume past noon, it starts to open up and sound aggressive. Less than noon, it sounds flat and lifeless.

Its a nice pedal to push an amp into higher gain. Although unlike the Throttle Box where the highs gets aggressive and cutting, the Flux Drive doesn't have the cutting gain sounds like the Throttle Box.

One con though, it takes quite a bit of tweaking to get to "that sound", once you hit the spot, the pedal sounds great. Before that... it just sounds flat.


Other than these new toys... I did try a few other pedals. Reviews follow.

Mad Professor Silver Spring Reverb
This is one lovely pedal. The reverb sounds great no matter how you fiddle the knobs. One down side though. It sounds nothing like a Spring Reverb. In fact, it doesn't sound like any reverb.

The best I can describe it is you're sitting in limbo. You look around, there's no one else and nothing else. You look down, there's a chair and your guitar. You look around and decide to go for a walk straight in one direction.

1 day later, you're back where your chair and guitar is. Fine you think. You pick up your guitar and you play a chord, suddenly out of no where, a reverb comes back. Its not that it hit something... but your sound has travelled all over and "reverb"ed back to you. It feels like there's no source or reflection surface, and the reverb just comes outta nowhere.

With the Silver Spring, you don't hear the spring "ka-chunk"... its like the reverb reacts to your playing dynamics rather than your sound.

That said, put on some gain, and the reverb still comes out clear as day. In fact, I think this reverb sounds better with distortion than clean, because the contrast of the gain and the clarity of the reverb is so contrasting that it sounds great.

I'm still waiting to get a Red Panda Reverb... but if I can't get that... I'd get the Silver Spring. Ignoring that it doesn't sound like any reverb I know off, its a damn good sounding reverb.

Mojohand FX Rook
I know it sounds good, but while I could get a muscular sound out of it consistently, I couldn't get a sparkling or a cutting sound... like the tail ends of the guitar frequencies are rolled off.

Nice pedal overall, you'd be hard pressed to get a bad sound, but it just sounds flat and uninspiring to me.

EHX Holy Grail
Everyone knows this... but just as a random poll, does anyone else get the feeling that EHX pedals have a signature sound... a muscular undertone?

I gave EHX pedals many chances... but they all have that bumped lower low-mid sound that really fatten up a tone... just off-putting for me.

Its a nice reverb, but I really hated the tone that I was hearing.
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Last edited by ragingkitty at May 19, 2013,
#3
I really want that spring reverb. The main thing lacking in my tone is a beautiful sounding reverb, my reverb is just boring. Nice collection you've got there, I'd like to try out a flux drive too.
#4
I want your board soooooooo bad.


HNPD
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#5
excellent
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
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#6
GAAAD DAYM!!! That flux drive is sweet, HNPD!
My Rig
Fender Blacktop Strat HH MN > Joyo JF-01 Vintage Overdrive > Boss ME50 > Line 6 Spider IV 30

Other Shit
Jim Deacon Acoustic
Yamaha 12 string acoustic

New Amp Fund
£300/700
#7
Nice board man, HNPD I love the Sea Machine as well, man they ****ing rock.

How do you find the Space? Honestly I have been tossing up about one for so ****ing long and I just was curious as to how it sounds with all that other gear going on? No drastic tone shift? A few people online have said the digital conversion really hurts it but I am yet to find one that I can try.

Good shit man, enjoy.
#8
Your pedalboard is so beautiful it has me lactating.

HNPD
"If you're looking for me,
you better check under the sea,
because that's where you'll find me..."
#10
Thanks everyone! That pedalboard isn't the latest iteration, I've plonked on even more effects I don't need.

Quote by DeathByDestroyr
Your pedalboard is so beautiful it has me lactating.


Haha... a little disturbing.... a little.


Quote by Andalus
I really want that spring reverb. The main thing lacking in my tone is a beautiful sounding reverb, my reverb is just boring. Nice collection you've got there, I'd like to try out a flux drive too.


Quote by Ippon
Congrats! Very nice review; so, now I'm curiouser about the Silver Spring Reverb.



Its a pretty nice reverb... its really plug and play, set and forget. Overall I think MP focuses on making things easy to use and great sounding rather than making things overly complex.

Its a really neat sounding reverb overall. However, if you're anything like the TGP crowd (oh, my original 1890 spring reverb with radioactive core sounds so much livier) then, you should bypass it.

If you just like an effect because it sounds great, the Silver Spring is really worth considering.

If I can't get a Red Panda Context... then in all likelihood I'll get a Silver Spring. I love what the Eventide Space does... but the Silver Spring still sounds great IMO.


Quote by T7E
Nice board man, HNPD I love the Sea Machine as well, man they ****ing rock.


Yeah, EQD has really great effects. Functional, versatile and still great sounding. However, I find that the Sea Machine has a hollow and metallic sound quality to it. Do you find that to be the case?

Its not a warm sounding chorus, but by no means is it bad sounding. Just that it does seem a little... cold in some aspects.

Quote by T7E
How do you find the Space? Honestly I have been tossing up about one for so ****ing long and I just was curious as to how it sounds with all that other gear going on? No drastic tone shift? A few people online have said the digital conversion really hurts it but I am yet to find one that I can try.


The Space is great. Hands down the best and most versatile reverb you can possibly get.

It can sound cold and metallic on the Plate, springy and sprongy on the spring, hollowly in the room reverb. The Shimmer really sparkles, but you can still get subtle sounds. What I do is that I set a very very light and subtle Shimmer on my clean sounds, and my cleans literally sparkle. Literally. So much so it can give Edward Cullen a run for his money.

I don't hear anything digital about the Space, maybe becuase I've never been in a studio, so I've not heard the reverb from those rack units. However, all considered that it is a pedal, it just sounds amazing IMO.

The reverb sound gets "integrated" into your base tone like its meant to be there. I don't hear any tone shifts, and it sounds really natural. Strymon has this sheen of digital sound over its reverb on the BlueSky, you don't get that on the Space.

My suggestion is to order it off ProGuitarShop? They have a returns policy right? People and friends that have heard the Space think the sound is practically surreal. However, you will need to spend time dialing in the Space. Its not a plug and play reverb in any sense of the word.
Quote by Blompcube
it's so cool to hate Gibson, even the federal Department of Justice hates them.

( )( )
( . .) This is Bunny. Copy and paste Bunny into your
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Last edited by ragingkitty at May 19, 2013,
#13
Quote by ragingkitty


(1)Yeah, EQD has really great effects. Functional, versatile and still great sounding. However, I find that the Sea Machine has a hollow and metallic sound quality to it. Do you find that to be the case?

Its not a warm sounding chorus, but by no means is it bad sounding. Just that it does seem a little... cold in some aspects.


(2)The Space is great. Hands down the best and most versatile reverb you can possibly get.

It can sound cold and metallic on the Plate, springy and sprongy on the spring, hollowly in the room reverb. The Shimmer really sparkles, but you can still get subtle sounds. What I do is that I set a very very light and subtle Shimmer on my clean sounds, and my cleans literally sparkle. Literally. So much so it can give Edward Cullen a run for his money.

I don't hear anything digital about the Space, maybe becuase I've never been in a studio, so I've not heard the reverb from those rack units. However, all considered that it is a pedal, it just sounds amazing IMO.

The reverb sound gets "integrated" into your base tone like its meant to be there. I don't hear any tone shifts, and it sounds really natural. Strymon has this sheen of digital sound over its reverb on the BlueSky, you don't get that on the Space.

My suggestion is to order it off ProGuitarShop? They have a returns policy right? People and friends that have heard the Space think the sound is practically surreal. However, you will need to spend time dialing in the Space. Its not a plug and play reverb in any sense of the word.


(1) Yeah I am not a big chorus guy, subtle is the way I roll with it and I reckon its great for that. Can really fatten your sound without absolutely dominating. I like that kind of hollow, metallic quality to it. Makes it unique, and thats what I love. Yeah its definitely not warm but that doesn't bother me. Warmth is something I've never really gone out looking for, you know. Kinda keen on getting a Custom Built Fromel Seraph. Just want him to throw a mix and rate knob on top of the original design, as the lack of tweakability is my only concern with what is otherwise a beautiful piece of gear.


(2) Ah cool that's somewhat reassuring to hear, just trying to collect as many first hand accounts before having a dip at it is all. And yeah, I am definitely a tweaker. I have no issues with that, and ample time to spend on it.

Cheers man

EDIT: Just registered the Edward Cullen reference. Twilight dude? seriously?
Last edited by T7E at May 20, 2013,
#14
Quote by T7E
EDIT: Just registered the Edward Cullen reference. Twilight dude? seriously?


Not really... all I know about the Twilight comes from The Oatmeal's (http://theoatmeal.com/) ragging of the book and movie haha.

Speaking of chorus, have you tried the Red Witch Empress or Medusa... those are really awesome chorus pedals... really awesome. Maybe the Medusa for you, the Empress might be a little warm.
Quote by Blompcube
it's so cool to hate Gibson, even the federal Department of Justice hates them.

( )( )
( . .) This is Bunny. Copy and paste Bunny into your
C('')('') signature to help him gain world domination.
#16
Quote by ragingkitty
Not really... all I know about the Twilight comes from The Oatmeal's (http://theoatmeal.com/) ragging of the book and movie haha.

Speaking of chorus, have you tried the Red Witch Empress or Medusa... those are really awesome chorus pedals... really awesome. Maybe the Medusa for you, the Empress might be a little warm.



Nah but I haven't tried them but the pentavocal trem and Fuzzgod 2 are the shit and I have ridiculous faith in the brand as a whole. I'll pop into my local in a few weeks and give em a go, along with the space and a bunch of delays. I'm not displeased with the Sea Machine but I can sell it at just about no loss to my cousin, as we are both in the middle of board overhauls, he has expressed interest in it and I could do with a change whatever. Thanks a bunch dude