#1
So I did some search on this pedal and the reviews are pretty much all over the board so I figured I'd explain my situation to see if it is right for me.


I have an alder bodied frankenstrat (SD JB in the bridge and texas special in the neck) going through a vox AC30C2 (I usually plug into the low input of the top boost setting)

I have a t rexx mudhoney 2, a homemade analog delay and a crybaby wah. Soon I'll be buying a joyo compressor.

I play lead guitar in a rock band and the other guitarist plays acoustic. I play a bit more clean but I do get heavier sounds for a couple of songs.

I don't really need any other effects, I'm quite happy with a basic distortion, a bit of reverb and delay for some things and wah for some solos.

However the appeal of the "set and forget" aspect of the sonic stomp is very appealing to me. I think I like basic sounds because I'm too lazy to tweak with too many buttons and knobs.

I heard that a well tweaked EQ could be better than a sonic stomp but I'm not sure how much effort I'd put into it... If the sonic stomp could just... make all my sounds a bit better, I think it would be worth it.

We gig every once in a while but not so much. Money isn't an issue but if I'm certain it won't be useful, obviously I won't buy it...

So what are your comments and suggestions?

Thanks!
#2
I hated that pedal for what it did to my sound in a band setting. It's super hyped for some reason, I'd recommend avoiding it even though reliability isn't a concern with it. Get a nice EQ pedal instead, the Detox EQ would be easy to use & would do something useful to your sound.
#3
Quote by steven_ferns84
I hated that pedal for what it did to my sound in a band setting. It's super hyped for some reason, I'd recommend avoiding it even though reliability isn't a concern with it. Get a nice EQ pedal instead, the Detox EQ would be easy to use & would do something useful to your sound.



thank you for your answer. Could you go into detail what you mean when you say you hated what it did with your sound playing with a band? Was it better when you played by yourself? and what specifically was the problem with it...

Thanks
#4
I wouldn't bother. They work ok but you get diminishing returns with better amps, and it's not a big difference in the first place, especially if you've got some effects going. There are some guys that swear by them and won't ever turn them off, but you'll see that with all kinds of stuff - compressors, boost pedals, buffers, etc., anything that gives the tone a little tweak but is subtle enough that you can leave it on. So when you ask if it's "useful," I'd have to say no.

The Sonic Stomp is a really appealing pedal, because everyone just wants a "push for better" button. To some extent the pedal achieves that but in a lot of ways it's more of a mental thing than an actual tonal improvement. Sure it sounds a bit different, but in about the same way that a new set of strings, or bumping your amp volume up half a notch, or trying a new pick might - and none of those things cost $100 and need a spot on your pedalboard. I also want to stress that in most cases it just sounds different, not necessarily better. On cheaper amps it seems to help out a lot, but on a decent tube amp it's a lot like a compressor - a noticeable but subtle change, but not better, just different.

As to the actual tone, I'd liken it to the "more bass" button that was the selling point for every midrange CD player in the 90s. Some people genuinely liked it, but for the most part it seemed like it was only good if you weren't listening all that hard. It wasn't actually nicer sound, just superficially changed in a way that was easy to market. The Sonic Stomp does a similar thing - if you just turn it on and off while playing alone, most people react with "it's better when it's on!" But if you actually listen to what it's doing, the change seems less impressive. It's hard to describe exactly what the sonic change is, but I'd call it a little clarity increase and a sort of midrange tweak perhaps. Again, some people love it but I found it deceptively underwhelming after a few tries.

TL;DR: If you're not sure if you need one, you don't need one. Don't get sucked in by the "Magically Better!" appeal, that's not usually the case.
#5
i have used one with all of my amps for specific things. its a great tool to help u in getting "that" metal tone a' la' killswitch, shadows fall, etc. but for most applications its really up to taste of the user. if your using an AC30 id just go with an eq. the sonic stomp to me seems like a eq of some sort by pronouncing the highs and lows. plus if not dialed in correctly it can make your sound digital in a way.

if money is not an issue id say go for it just to try it. they are only 100 bucks new and if u dont like it im sure u can sell it with a quickness.
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#6
it took me 2 months to convince the other guitarist to get rid of their sonic maximizer. it was well worth it. i am in agreement with colin on the effects on the tone, it gets some great press for some reason though and guitarists seem to go through an intense limited love affair with the pedal and then ditch it.
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#7
+1 to everything Roc said.

A few years ago I went in for a sonic stomp and came out with an MXR eq instead. I wouldnt be surprized if you end up doing the same. My opinion of it is by the time you turn it up enough to notice a difference, you've ruined your tone.
Last edited by lucky1978 at Jul 18, 2013,
#8
I guess I'll take a second look at some simple EQs...

Usually do you guys configure your eqs to be always left on or more for a boost or like specifically for distortion or clean or something?

Also maybe I should make a new thread but is the joyo EQ any good? I like that it doesn't have too many knobs...
#9
I don't use an EQ pedal, the EQ on my amp does fine.

Sounds like you might not need one either. I know the allure of pedals is strong, but if you're not sure why you'd need a pedal, maybe you should save your money for tubes and strings.

On the other hand, and to be fair, an EQ can be super useful for keeping your voicings consistent between clean and distorted tones. But! Make sure you're actually solving a problem and not just buying stuff.
#10
Quote by Roc8995
As to the actual tone, I'd liken it to the "more bass" button that was the selling point for every midrange CD player in the 90s. Some people genuinely liked it, but for the most part it seemed like it was only good if you weren't listening all that hard. It wasn't actually nicer sound, just superficially changed in a way that was easy to market. The Sonic Stomp does a similar thing - if you just turn it on and off while playing alone, most people react with "it's better when it's on!" But if you actually listen to what it's doing, the change seems less impressive. It's hard to describe exactly what the sonic change is, but I'd call it a little clarity increase and a sort of midrange tweak perhaps. Again, some people love it but I found it deceptively underwhelming after a few tries.

Basically this. For me it would create problems to cut through the mix or sit well in the mix. I found it to be like a hi-fi based EQ effect that turned my amp's sound more like a processed sound.

Since you said money wasn't a concern so I think you should really look into the Homebrew Detox EQ that goes for ~$130 new on ebay. It's simple & easy to use, if you don't want something complex. Should be able to get a used one for less & sell it for same without much loss. You could look it up on youtube for demos or check the homepage for a audio clip from Paul Gilbert. The Joyo stuff is cool but you aren't on a budget so getting something solid would be a better choice.
#11
Quote by Roc8995
I don't use an EQ pedal, the EQ on my amp does fine.

Sounds like you might not need one either. I know the allure of pedals is strong, but if you're not sure why you'd need a pedal, maybe you should save your money for tubes and strings.

On the other hand, and to be fair, an EQ can be super useful for keeping your voicings consistent between clean and distorted tones. But! Make sure you're actually solving a problem and not just buying stuff.


You might be on to something here. I got a reasonable raise at work and am now working from home so I'm saving like 50$ a week on gas costs so I figured I could treat myself a little bit but don't want a new guitar or a new amp and am reasonably satisfied with my current effects.

I think one way I could benefit from an EQ would be shaping it for a nice clean sound on my neck pickup with a little boost. My problem being that if I set my amp's volume for my bridge pickup, the neck is too weak sounding and vice versa. Not a huge problem for jams but it's annoying at gigs. I could then also use it as a bit of a boost for distorted solos...


I'll check the homebrew pedal, thanks.
#12
What kind of guitar are you using? Does it only have 1 volume knob?
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#13
it started out as a yamaha pacifica but the only original thing left is the wood. It's got one volume and one pull out tone knob that splits the JB
#14
An eq would probably be the way to go then. It's a pretty useful pedal anyways so it's not like it's a bad investment and your gas would be cured.
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#15
I don't like it. If you're at the point where you have to stick one of these to help you with your tone, then you must have a problem. The Sonic Maximizer was quite overhyped in the 90s with all the digital effects rack - most people used them and it was a mess since they create extra frequencies /odd order harmonics from the original signal. Eventually you'd discover they also increase the harshness and tonal smear. They can work ok on a cheap setup where hyping the sound for a bit might be fine.
#16
I have a Sonic Maximizer (forget which version, but its rack mount).

With my Valvtronix AD30VT, it made a difference.
With my Vox AC30, it didn't do shit.

Get an EQ instead.
#17
I agree with Roc, I have not used the stomp version, but I have a rack-mount version (its one of the 90's ones that were blue). And while it does change the sound, I prefer not using it for guitar.

I think it works well with my PA, it is like a magic EQ for any venue. You can dial in a very acceptable sound with very little time spent. I use it a lot when I run sound for bands I have not worked with or very rarely work with.
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#18
Quote by gumbilicious
it took me 2 months to convince the other guitarist to get rid of their sonic maximizer. it was well worth it. i am in agreement with colin on the effects on the tone, it gets some great press for some reason though and guitarists seem to go through an intense limited love affair with the pedal and then ditch it.


+2

i also thought i lost mids when i had it and didn't cut through. i bought mine for like $60 back when BBE was more or less starting out and i got it off of a legal dealer off of ebay.
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