Price paid: $ 150
Purchased from: Local shop
Sound — 8
I use this pedal near the end of my effect chain, with a G&L Legacy and a Fender Tele. I feel like the sound is an interesting sound, but it is a very specialized sound. This is not a pedal you want to use for a pop cover band. If you are more of the alternative/experimental variety, then you will love this pedal. Outside of the basic effect, you can get beeps, boops, swirls, and space noises out of this Machine. With a delay pedal, the sounds only get better. Excellent for making background effects or noises in ambient settings. The base sound is good for a really produced, robotic sounds (Devo was fond of ring modulation), and tweaked can make some really good almost-broken up tones, especially with an Overdrive. If tweaked to give a subtle sound, one can add variety to simple chords, and interesting direction to solo tones.
Overall Impression — 8
I like to make expansive soundscapes and experimental music, so this pedal really matches my style well. It is not an effect for everyone, and requires a good bit of tweaking to figured out the sweet spots in the sound, not to mention it must be tweaked for every song you do if you want the effect to be consistent. I've been playing for in the range of 6 years, but only recently have switched to this new perspective on tones. Matched with my EHX HOG, the sonic options for my guitars are increased dramatically. I really wish this pedal allowed for presets, so that I could save settings for songs or sweet tones, but this is a minor complaint. The only other thing I miss is a LED, but the new models have this feature. I would really suggest getting the new model, as it is smaller and tougher. I would buy another one, a new model, if this one was lost.
Reliability & Durability — 9
The pedal's metal doesn't seem all that thick. However, on the new chassis the casing is much studier, and has an LED to boot, so I would suggest that model. I haven't gigged with it, but have stepped on the switch many times and the effect has yet to fail me.
Ease of Use — 8
This particular pedal is a ring modulator, and my version is the old chassis, which is larger and lacking an LED compared to the new model. The Frequency Analyzer is not the easiest pedal to just plug in and play. If you do, you will more than likely like just get some low-fi chaos. When you first start playing it, it is best to simply play and note and match the pitch of the effect to the key you are playing in (there are two knobs to do this with, a "Fine" and a "Shift"). Once you have done this, you get a couple of note harmonizing with the note that you play into the pedal. Once you get the hang of it, this process is a snap. There is only one other knob aside from the ones mentioned above, and the is a "Blend" knob, which mixes the dry and affected signal. This is the only effect this pedal does, and is meant to do. It came with a one page manual basically explaining how to pitch the pedal to the key you are playing in, which is really all you need to know how to do.