US600 Ultra Shifter/Harmonist Review

manufacturer: Behringer date: 10/28/2014 category: Guitar Effects
Behringer: US600 Ultra Shifter/Harmonist
The US600 Ultra Shifter/Harmonist is like having another guitar player in your band (without all the hassles that would create). Shift single notes and chords to create simple transpositions, intelligent harmonies and radical bends up to 2 octaves.
 Sound: 8
 Overall Impression: 6.7
 Reliability & Durability: 5.7
 Ease of Use: 7
 Overall rating:
 6.6 
 Reviewer rating:
 6.9 
 Users rating:
 6.3 
 Votes:
 27 
 Views:
 10,312 
reviews (3) pictures (2) 28 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8.8
US600 Ultra Shifter/Harmonist Reviewed by: frusciante_50, on july 30, 2008
2 of 4 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 30

Purchased from: Lifeismusic.com

Ease of Use: At first I was quite dissapointed with the pedal, as I did not buy an expression pedal. I was aiming at Tom Morello style whammy, and I had only tried the pitch shift setting (where an expression pedal is essential). But after fiddling with the various knobs, I found the tremolo arm setting. With a bit of delay, and a slow tremolo arm speed, I can get the two octave whammy sound I was looking for. The manual really only explains the functions of each setting in barely any detail. With the pedal doubling as a harmonising unit, the harmonist setting needs a lot of explaining, otherwise it will sound awful. The manual is not really sufficient. // 8

Sound: I have crappy guitars and amp (classic Squier and MG combination) and this thing still sounds great. I use this pedal with my Big Muff, and the sound is fantastic. It is not a noisy pedal, although I have found that twisting a certain knob can cut all volume, and you will mute your guitar. As I have said, I can now mimick the Tom Morello and Matt Bellamy whammy sounds I was looking for. // 8

Reliability & Durability: Honestly, I would feel comfortable going into a gig with this thing. It hasn't failed me yet, and I've had it nearly six months. I don't see this thing going wrong any time soon, and I don't feel insecure, just because it has a Behringer label on the box. I have three other Behringer pedals, and the plastic shell does not bother me. It won't break, as proved in various youtube videos (you can throw it across the room and it will be fine). // 9

Overall Impression: This pedal perfectly matches the music I play. I am happy, as I bought it for a specific purpose, and it fullfills my expectations. I have been playing for 5 years, and I own a variety of other stomp boxes. This is one of my favourites. I suppose I would have avoided initial dissapointment, had I looked into buying a Roland EV-5, but I saved myself 40 quid, and this is no longer a problem. I would probably buy this again if it were stolen. With pitch shifters, you have the choice of the Boss PS-5, or the DigiTech Whammy IV. This pedal is nearly 100 cheaper than either of them, which to be honest, is why I bought it. I think this pedal is punching way above its weight in tone quality for the price. I suppose you don't always get what you pay for. // 10

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overall: 4.5
US600 Ultra Shifter/Harmonist Reviewed by: ggrechen, on october 28, 2014
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: € 35

Purchased from: Music Store

Ease of Use: The controls are easy to understand and set up in a few seconds. The knobs have no physical stop points but a red led flashes when you reach the next setting. Works well. A blue led indicates when the pedal is active. The knobs are very stiff and will never accidentally change settings even if you happen to step on them or transport the pedal in your guitar bag. Sadly that's the best thing about this pedal. If you have ever used a Big Muff with its ultra-light-turning knobs you learn to appreciate this. However, returning it every few months because it broke again will reset your settings - which might be a bit annoying. ;) // 9

Sound: 1 octave down works well and sounds pretty good. Up-shifts sound a bit artificial but still ok for a short effect in a solo. Speed control allows from instant to very slow pitch sweeps. Mix control allows anything from pure wet signal to pure dry signal. There is a noticeable but manageable delay. Flutter is a very interesting... and completely useless feature that will give you a good laugh the one time you try it. Detune setting sounds like a bad chorus and harmony sounds like... artificial harmonies. In all fairness, the pitch shifter sounds WAY better than both pitch shifters on the Zoom G3 (which is the same price as a Whammy). // 7

Reliability & Durability: My Behringer pedal an I shared a relationship full of love and sensitivity. I stepped on it lightly and it gave me pleasant pitch-dives down 1 octave. I really liked that about it, but, alas, our love was not meant to last. I only used it once per week for one single song! That's like 20 minutes per week. Maybe that was simply too little time and my lack of devotion broke its heart. I mean it! The plastic casing and switch never failed, it was the cable input jacks or internal electronics that caused a slack joint.

In fact it broke 3 times in the first year after buying it (new). When the pedal left me for the first time I was sad and full of despair. What had I done wrong to deserve being left alone like this? When it returned to me after the short separation of 8 (!) weeks (an identical clone to be more precise, Behringer wisely does not bother to repair them but sends replacements), I was happy again. The second time (8 weeks again) I was just angry, shaking my fist at the Behringer website and shouting insults my mother surely would have disapproved of.

The third time I used the 8 weeks to think about my place in the universe and the message life was trying to convey to me. I am a wiser man now and share my insight with you so you don't have to repeat my mistakes. I am too poor to buy everything twice: cheap first, then sensibly expensive a second time. Lesson learned, thanks life - thanks Behringer!

While I don't expect to bequeath a cheap-shot like this to my great-grandson, receiving it dramatically at 6 years along with his first guitar and the words: "your father has played this pedal before you, and his father before him" ... I still somehow expected it to least the 2 years of warranty - even if it was used on a daily basis.

tl;dr:
Avoid of this pedal, get a Whammy or decent multi effect. Utterly unreliable, sadly as bad as it can ever get. // 1

Overall Impression: Alluring green colour -> from a distance someone might mistake it for a Tube Screamer and thus not laugh at you for using a Behringer pedal. You can get 4 US-600s for the price of 1 Whammy. However you should buy at least 2 or better 3 US-600s because they break all the time and you will need backups. Even then you can still save a few bucks towards a Whammy and the sound will almost be in the same league. Well, just buy a Whammy.

Seriously: The sound is good for the price - but what use is a pedal you absolutely can't rely on? No use at all. I wish it was built more solidly, I'd rather pay a couple bucks more and get something that lasts. // 1

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overall: 7.3
US600 Ultra Shifter/Harmonist Reviewed by: NeXEkho, on july 08, 2011
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 31

Purchased from: eBay

Ease of Use: For the most part, the pedal's easy to use. Flick to the mode you want, put the pitch where you want and use the footswitch. However, it's not always clear what the dials do in each mode, there's no way of storing presets and the dials appear to be misaligned to the silkscreen meaning you have to listen and count changes; (or look at the LED) Battery is in an awkward place; the hinge is actually a spring pushing two cylinders apart which hold the footswitch on which you remove with "a ballpoint pen" (I used a DS stylus) and then replace trying not to misplace the spring. // 4

Sound: Noiseless. No bypass but crystal clear. It's not perfect when pitch shifting, but such a thing is totally impossible and even pedals 10x the price have tracking issues; this has a little difficulty at times but for the most part is awesome. Being able to custom mix the dry feed in gives you access to organ sounds and so on. Pretty fun to play with. Not sure on flutter or detune, but it's largely a Whammy pedal and they're just bolt on afterthoughts. I bought it to play some of Morello's stuff and with a tremolo the into to Demiurgo using the organ sound that can be created using pitch shift. // 9

Reliability & Durability: It's plastic, but rock solid. You can see how ridiculously thick the case is when you change the battery. The base is actually fairly thick metal as well. One area of concern, however, is the footswitch. Most of the pedals I've used have a fairly durable Switch mounted off-board with a flying wire so you can replace it if it goes wrong and it doesn't put any stress on the PCB. Behringer have fitted a very standard surface-mount clicky button (metal square with a big plastic circle and four smaller ones) and a lot of sponge. Eh, it hasn't broken, but I don't expect that to last. // 7

Overall Impression: Far from perfect, but if you want a flexible pitch shifter for next to nothing for home recording or maybe occasional gig use, it's a good deal. I looked at the DigiTech Whammy and the Boss PS-5/6, but the Whammy is very expensive, supposedly not as good as it used to be and doesn't have a lot of flexibility while the PS-5 was discontinued and the replacement PS-6 is missing a lot of features and is far more expensive. If there's one thing I'd like, it's an analogue footpedal like a Wah or the Whammy, but for this price point, it's probably better to keep it simple. // 9

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