Nano Clone review by Electro-Harmonix

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  • Sound: 1
  • Overall Impression: 3
  • Reliability & Durability: 7
  • Ease of Use: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 4.5 Poor
  • Users' score: 5.5 (28 votes)
Electro-Harmonix: Nano Clone

Sound — 1
I first tried this through my practice rig of. Pearly gates modded pacifica -> pedal -> Peavey bandit amp. And god it sounded it awful. Never fear I thought, I'll put it full my full rig at a jam, that should help it out. Into my full rig it goes. Gibson Explorer/(also used a friends american strat) -> Fender HOT Rod -> (FX loop) Pedal. Still sounded shocking! There is no depth control, and by default it seems to be set to max, let be honest it's pretty rare you ever want ANY pedal set to max let alone a chorus which to my mind should be used largely as a subtle effect. This is exacerbated when you dial the rate up as it seems that even more depth is added, the main way you can tell this is by the amount of hiss it generates... Not only does it massively overdo the level of effect it also destroys the tone of whatever goes into it - it feels like the presence knob has been taken out your amp, put in backwards and set to cut it all out. Things don't get much better when you turn it off either - as far as I can tell not only is it not true bypass, but turning it off just reduces the depth and there is still a slight wooshing that can be heard, more annoyingly that tone suck is ever present. Putting this in the FX loop, even with it off made my usually gorgeous HOT Rod sounds like the sort of pound-land knockoff you'd expect to sport a "Pender" logo... In short this is, and will probably remain, the worst sounding pedal I have ever used. I have heard better chorus effects built into modelling amps that cost not much more than this pedal.

Overall Impression — 3
I have been playing guitar for about 6 years now and have been slowly building my pedal collection and was looking for a cheap chorus just to have a bit of fun with. This pedal ticked the cheap category at only 30, but unfortunately failed to tick the "fun" box as it just sounds godawful. I would normally be inclined to say for a cheap pedal like this it's worth a shot to see if you like chorus as an effect or not, but in this case it's not true. It'll likely put you off using chorus at all, which is a great shame as it can add a lot to your sound. Fortunately I paid no money for this and I was able to give it straight back and I would most certainly not buy one again. I'm now in the market for a proper chorus pedal but won't be lured in by the cheap and cheerful trap again.

Reliability & Durability — 7
The casing is solid, and there isn't a lot inside it to go wrong so I would trust it to take a bashing provided it wasn't plugged into anything. A quick look at it's insides however reveals that the jack connectors, 9v connector and foot Switch are directly soldered onto the PCB and in fact the jacks are not attached AT ALL to the outer casing. Should you stomp on this and miss slightly and hit your jack lead it could be a Swift goodbye to this pedal... On balance though it is solidly built - I wouldn't gig with it and certainly wouldn't buy a second one as a backup but if I was using it regularly I'd trust it.

Ease of Use — 7
This pedal is as simple as they come - one rate knob and an on/off switch. Takes either a 9V battery or a standard adaptor. To be quite frank if you can't use this pedal there is something wrong with you. I only have two gripes with it's usability: 1) to change batteries you have to remove the entire backplate - that's more hassle than it needs to be, but as I use an adaptor is no biggie 2) lack of true bypass - you wouldn't expect it in a pedal at this price range, but this thing has a very poor bypass - it really sucks all the life out of your sound even when off. Being fair though - this has to score well on ease of use - the tone suck is a sound thing

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