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Micro-reviews of gear you just bought.

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Re: Wrong thread, s/b "gear I didn't know I wanted until jus

Postby Dr Tony Balls on Mon Dec 14, 2015 12:20 pm

whoisalhedges wrote:Space Balls - sweet. How's that work/what flavor the delay?

Also, I've a pal used to work @ NASA (in Houston, though). You don't know Rob Roberts by any chance?


Pretty standard DM-2/Aquapuss kind of circuit with a slam switch for self-oscillation. Also, im from Houston, which is how I got started in aerospace shit, but ive been in NYC for awhile now. Dont know Rob Roberts, though.



W.L.Weller wrote:Holy fuck I thought I wanted an Octaballs, but now, but now. Plz advise if the "SPACE BALLS" ever returns to shelves.


They rarely get made, at least in this fashion with the MN3005 analog chips. Those chips are hard to find and $$$ when you do, so I pretty much just make em when I stumble across some chip sets. I could make a pretty tight PT2399 digital version, though....
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Re: Micro-reviews of gear you just bought.

Postby benadrian on Mon Dec 14, 2015 2:06 pm

Bitchin' Tony.
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Re: Wrong thread, s/b "gear I didn't know I wanted until jus

Postby uglysound on Mon Dec 14, 2015 4:47 pm

Dr Tony Balls wrote:
W.L.Weller wrote:Holy fuck I thought I wanted an Octaballs, but now, but now. Plz advise if the "SPACE BALLS" ever returns to shelves.


They rarely get made, at least in this fashion with the MN3005 analog chips. Those chips are hard to find and $$$ when you do, so I pretty much just make em when I stumble across some chip sets. I could make a pretty tight PT2399 digital version, though....


Good news...there's a company called xVive making mn3005 clones now. They are about $12 a pop at synthcube.com (minimum order of 2). Now if someone would clone the sad1024 and tda1022 chips, all would right with the world.
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Re: Micro-reviews of gear you just bought.

Postby VaticanShotglass on Wed Dec 16, 2015 8:40 pm

Dr Tony Balls wrote:
VaticanShotglass wrote:The aesthetics are always clean and pleasing too. Reminds me of the Star Wars logo, which then makes me think of Space Balls, which isn't as good as I thought when I was a kid, but the point is the man puts out nice looking balls.



HA. Its actually based on the NASA "worm" logo, as they have been my day job for the last 15+ years. Also I *have* made some limited run Space Balls delay pedals in the past...

Image

Image

Image

Thanks for the kind words, everybody!


It all comes together!

Good things can be done with those PT2399 chips.

What's the verdict of those xVive clones? That is a reasonable price for such a specialized part, if the quality is spot on.
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Re: Micro-reviews of gear you just bought.

Postby the letter o on Thu Dec 17, 2015 7:06 am

VaticanShotglass wrote:
What's the verdict of those xVive clones? That is a reasonable price for such a specialized part, if the quality is spot on.


Apparently, XVive made those MN3005s pretty much specifically for use in their own budget analog delay, the W3 Memory. There're have been a few reviews and videos appearing online over the last few months. This one might give an idea of how they sound in use...



...not enough of a DMM guru to say how that measures up soundwise.
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Re: Micro-reviews of gear you just bought.

Postby Benny on Thu Dec 17, 2015 9:57 am

Just grabbed a few pedals on my last trip to nyc:
Strymon Flint: just what i wanted - two great effects in a compact box. The tremolos sound AMAZING, the reverb too, a bit way too subtle perhaps (not like the electro-harmonix holy grail, that in 2 was way too much reverb), but they sound very, very, very good.
Empress Tape Delay: wanted a compact delay with tap tempo. This does it, and it also has presets so i can set up some very common settings like a faux slapback echo. Now i can play that i'm the edge all day long. I wanted to replace the mxr carbon copy with this one but they are waaaay too different, the mxr sounds very different, very dark and very cool so for now i will kept it.
Zvex Box of Rock: wasn't interested in it until i tried it. HOLY FUCK it's the most 'amp-like' pedal that i've ever heard. super sensitive to dynamics and it sounds just amazing. I've even didn't thought that i like marshall amps (it's basically an emulation of a jtm45 on 10) but it sounds perfect. My original idea was to purchase a proco rat but after hearing the box of rock, the rat sounded like a chinese copy of a boss ds1.
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Re: Micro-reviews of gear you just bought.

Postby whoisalhedges on Thu Dec 17, 2015 10:43 am

Benny wrote:My original idea was to purchase a proco rat but after hearing the box of rock, the rat sounded like a chinese copy of a boss ds1.

Hahaha this is such an evocative description....

Of course, that's why some folks (including me) like the Rat.

They're completely different devices. They're not intended to really fill the same role. The Box of Rock is supposed to be more amp-like than the Rat, like a top of the line overdrive with extra gain. The Rat was never intended to be anything but artificial- it wasn't marketed as a "JTM on 10," it was sold as something that'll do what your amp CAN'T do. The Rat is also one of very few pedals for which I give any credence to the "the old circuit was better" stuff. Okay, one of very few except BOSS - seems like every revision they make is to make the circuit worse. And I don't consider the Dunlop Fuzz Face to be a Fuzz Face. ;) but yeah - most pedals, if they give up any unidentifiable "mojo," they make up for it by better bypass (whether T.B. or a better buffer), lower noise, and more unit-to-unit consistency - Big Muffs, perfect example. You might find 1 of 10 old ram's head or triangle Muffs that sound amazing; the rest are thin and noisy and you'd never know why they became popular. Outside of those outliers, I'd take a current production BMP with Tone Wicker over any of 'em. The "best" Muffs ain't even made by EHX (just like the best Fuzz Faces and Rangemasters weren't made by John Dallas). The Rat is a different beast entirely. The CP Rat is pretty much a turd, a generic "distortion" box, interchangeable with the kind of stuff you can get for $25 at Wal-Mart. It's Behringer, Rogue quality distortion. The old Rat was something special - but something way different from the Box of Rock.

I'm a fuzz guy. I get my overdrive by turning up my amp. I wouldn't be in the market for many distortion pedals - the Rat, Box of Rock, and a really clean/well built example of the Ross/Distortion+/DOD 250 circuit would be pretty much it.

Congrats on your purchases. You sure didn't waste your time on anything that wasn't top-of-the-line. Those pedals should satisfy you for years.
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Re: Micro-reviews of gear you just bought.

Postby Dr Tony Balls on Thu Dec 17, 2015 11:13 am

The ZVEX stuff always cracks me up because its always like how many Super-Hard-Ons can you fit in a circuit. Not that there's anything wrong with that....the SHO is a great sounding little boost. But the Box of Rock is literally 3 SHOs and a big muff tone stack, then an extra SHO as a separate boost. Haha.
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Re: Micro-reviews of gear you just bought.

Postby benadrian on Thu Dec 17, 2015 2:21 pm

Dr Tony Balls wrote:The ZVEX stuff always cracks me up because its always like how many Super-Hard-Ons can you fit in a circuit. Not that there's anything wrong with that....the SHO is a great sounding little boost. But the Box of Rock is literally 3 SHOs and a big muff tone stack, then an extra SHO as a separate boost. Haha.


Indeed! I've always been amused by the mileage of the SHO circuit.

The BOR has that 470k/470pf RC network that give a very JCM800/JMP MkII high shelf. When I originally saw both the BOR and the Brown Sound in a Box schematics I thought, "oh, their copying the Marshall inter-stage voicing characteristics. I see what they're doing there.
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Re: Micro-reviews of gear you just bought.

Postby SecondEdition on Thu Dec 17, 2015 10:32 pm

Ampeg SS140C:

It had to get cleaned up before I got it to where it sounded like it was supposed to.

The distortion is oddly much grainier and more defined than on my other Ampeg, the VH140C. The edge is so pronounced, in fact, that I felt like I had to turn the treble down really far... to like 2. I'm not sure why the distortion is so dissimilar, but it's a stark difference.

With the treble that low and the bass really high, though, and with a lot of mids as well, it sounds pretty great.
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Re: Micro-reviews of gear you just bought.

Postby VaticanShotglass on Fri Dec 18, 2015 12:06 am

benadrian wrote:
Dr Tony Balls wrote:The ZVEX stuff always cracks me up because its always like how many Super-Hard-Ons can you fit in a circuit. Not that there's anything wrong with that....the SHO is a great sounding little boost. But the Box of Rock is literally 3 SHOs and a big muff tone stack, then an extra SHO as a separate boost. Haha.


Indeed! I've always been amused by the mileage of the SHO circuit.

The BOR has that 470k/470pf RC network that give a very JCM800/JMP MkII high shelf. When I originally saw both the BOR and the Brown Sound in a Box schematics I thought, "oh, their copying the Marshall inter-stage voicing characteristics. I see what they're doing there.


ZVEX always amazes me with the crazy pricing. Other than cartoon paint, there's nothing to the assembly that is more exotic than an EarthQuaker or whatever.

I've built a few SHO boosts (they are nice sounding) and always named them "Super Rip-Off." The name works on a couple of levels. I also slap on a Master Volume knob.
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Re: Micro-reviews of gear you just bought.

Postby skoz on Fri Dec 18, 2015 12:19 am

VaticanShotglass wrote:
benadrian wrote:
Dr Tony Balls wrote:The ZVEX stuff always cracks me up because its always like how many Super-Hard-Ons can you fit in a circuit. Not that there's anything wrong with that....the SHO is a great sounding little boost. But the Box of Rock is literally 3 SHOs and a big muff tone stack, then an extra SHO as a separate boost. Haha.


Indeed! I've always been amused by the mileage of the SHO circuit.

The BOR has that 470k/470pf RC network that give a very JCM800/JMP MkII high shelf. When I originally saw both the BOR and the Brown Sound in a Box schematics I thought, "oh, their copying the Marshall inter-stage voicing characteristics. I see what they're doing there.


ZVEX always amazes me with the crazy pricing. Other than cartoon paint, there's nothing to the assembly that is more exotic than an EarthQuaker or whatever.

I've built a few SHO boosts (they are nice sounding) and always named them "Super Rip-Off." The name works on a couple of levels. I also slap on a Master Volume knob.


I agree the pricing is pretty out of hand and I could care less about the paint but the super duper 2 in 1 is probably my favorite pedal ever. Sounds so good!
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Re: Micro-reviews of gear you just bought.

Postby thelonelymastodronus on Fri Dec 18, 2015 6:25 am

Vox Pathfinder 15R

I finally got this little thing. I guess everyone is right; it's pretty damn killer. Nice cleans, takes pedals well and can be had dirt cheap. Will try recording it this week, but for now it's a keeper.
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Re: Micro-reviews of gear you just bought.

Postby Snowblinder on Fri Dec 18, 2015 4:52 pm

Image

Fender silverface Vibro Champ.

Got this for dirt cheap because it was sitting in a friend's basement for years and he never played it. All of the tubes are original (Fender labeled RCA's I think, maybe GE) and work fine. Stock speaker was total crap, invested $40 on a new WGS G8C speaker which sounds a million times better. The cleans on this amp are beautiful. Tremolo works and is a nice touch. Breakup starts at about 7 on the volume. I don't so much care for the sound above 8 (too ratty), so I keep it there and run a Boss SD-1 into it, which is where it's fucking at. Such a great sound. The amp sounds good with each of my guitars, but it really likes my Junior copy with its single P90. I can't wait to record with this.
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Re: Micro-reviews of gear you just bought.

Postby Benny on Sat Dec 19, 2015 2:05 pm

skoz wrote:
VaticanShotglass wrote:
benadrian wrote:
Dr Tony Balls wrote:The ZVEX stuff always cracks me up because its always like how many Super-Hard-Ons can you fit in a circuit. Not that there's anything wrong with that....the SHO is a great sounding little boost. But the Box of Rock is literally 3 SHOs and a big muff tone stack, then an extra SHO as a separate boost. Haha.


Indeed! I've always been amused by the mileage of the SHO circuit.

The BOR has that 470k/470pf RC network that give a very JCM800/JMP MkII high shelf. When I originally saw both the BOR and the Brown Sound in a Box schematics I thought, "oh, their copying the Marshall inter-stage voicing characteristics. I see what they're doing there.


ZVEX always amazes me with the crazy pricing. Other than cartoon paint, there's nothing to the assembly that is more exotic than an EarthQuaker or whatever.

I've built a few SHO boosts (they are nice sounding) and always named them "Super Rip-Off." The name works on a couple of levels. I also slap on a Master Volume knob.


I agree the pricing is pretty out of hand and I could care less about the paint but the super duper 2 in 1 is probably my favorite pedal ever. Sounds so good!


i paid 150$ shipping included for my BOR. paying the full price was ridiculous, but this includes the boost so yes, it's pretty versatile.
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Re: Micro-reviews of gear you just bought.

Postby DefinitelyNOTtheSWEDE on Sun Dec 20, 2015 10:18 am

Image

Had a chance opportunity to get this guitar for a ridiculously low price, and I have to report, I'm pretty amazed at the quality. Two buckers, with a strat center pick up configuration... Actually a pretty fantastic combination. The real great addition to these (and all reverend guitars I'm told) is the bass roll off, which is a passive knob that simply rolls off the low end, which is such a novel feature, and so useful I'm shocked this isn't more common. Graphite but, pin lock tuners, and wilkinson trem, so it's pretty well appointed. The look is just shy of being too modern, for my taste, but I do appreciate that it's a nice balance between classic fender (6 bolt on) and something new.

The neck is a very flat radius, and a bit thinner (though not shred thin) than my usual taste, but I'm very impressed with this guitar. Not sure if it's the korina body, but it has an incredible sustain, and really pleasing sound, just luxurious in its tone (ugh). I paid way little, used, but at the $900 or so new, I get the appeal. It feels and sounds above its sticker price. No idea who or what a Gil Parris is, but he's got himself a nice enough guitar here. I bought it thinking perhaps if I was displeased I would be making out flipping it with a decent profit, but I think I lucked into a very nice, unexpected keeper. Anyone else play a reverend? I'm impressed enough by this one to keep my eyes peeled and interested in what they are up to.
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Re: Micro-reviews of gear you just bought.

Postby whoisalhedges on Sun Dec 20, 2015 12:57 pm

DefinitelyNOTtheSWEDE wrote:Anyone else play a reverend? I'm impressed enough by this one to keep my eyes peeled and interested in what they are up to.

If there's one guitarist whose name alone would make me want to buy his signature instrument, it's Ron Asheton.

http://www.reverendguitars.com/instrume ... signature/

Unfortunately, I think this is just one butt-ugly-ass guitar.

It's a shame, because in addition to having Ron's name, it has three P-90s, is a cool shade of orange, and (as it is a Reverend) is probably a damn good instrument. I've never owned a Reverend, but I've played a few, and they've all impressed me with their quality, their sound, their fit & finish. But I have ALWAYS hated asymmetric Vs. A proper Flying V is already dicey - in cherry, with the big pickguard, fine - almost any other configuration is completely bogus. Make it asymmetrical, and you make me vomit a little. Were Ron's name on a Gibson Flying V (like the one he played in the old days), I'd be on it. Had Reverend teamed up with Ron on a Strat like he played on Fun House - well, the Strat is more flexible than the V. Do whatcha want.

I want to like this guitar so much. But I fuckin' hate it. So much.

Regardless - Reverend makes great instruments, and yours is mint.
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Re: Micro-reviews of gear you just bought.

Postby dropthebeat on Sun Dec 20, 2015 2:43 pm

DefinitelyNOTtheSWEDE wrote:Anyone else play a reverend? I'm impressed enough by this one to keep my eyes peeled and interested in what they are up to.


Hey, I play some Reverends:

Jetstream 390
Image

Sensei RT
Image

15th Anniversary Flatroc
Image

They are great instruments - batting way above their price point, as it were. (I have about $2k CAD into all 3 and I bought the Sensei new!) They cumulatively get probably 80% of my attention, guitarwise, and I've got 12 or 13 other electrics at last count.

If forced to complain, I will say that they are, on the whole, pretty polite-sounding - they don't deliver the whole aluminum beard/noise rock KRAAANGGGGG at all - but they cover a lot of ground, especially the two with the Filtertron-type pickups. All 3 play and sound great, the Bigsbys on the Flatroc & Sensei work as they should (roller bridge & locking tuners make a big difference for sure), the bass contour control is invaluable, and while I still prefer a lot of 'classic' designs, I don't find the aesthetic too objectionable.

Anyway. Reverend. Big fan. Will own more. Congrats on your purchase; hope it'll be a keeper.
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Re: Micro-reviews of gear you just bought.

Postby VaticanShotglass on Mon Dec 21, 2015 7:52 am

Snowblinder wrote:Image

Fender silverface Vibro Champ.

Got this for dirt cheap because it was sitting in a friend's basement for years and he never played it. All of the tubes are original (Fender labeled RCA's I think, maybe GE) and work fine. Stock speaker was total crap, invested $40 on a new WGS G8C speaker which sounds a million times better. The cleans on this amp are beautiful. Tremolo works and is a nice touch. Breakup starts at about 7 on the volume. I don't so much care for the sound above 8 (too ratty), so I keep it there and run a Boss SD-1 into it, which is where it's fucking at. Such a great sound. The amp sounds good with each of my guitars, but it really likes my Junior copy with its single P90. I can't wait to record with this.


I just love my champ. I play it pretty much like you. I love the clean sound. Old dudes are always going on about how you need to turn up to ten to get the best overdrive ever. I don't get it. Maybe with an extension cab. I had a friend over and he tried it out with the volume around 4, and he went to tweak the reverb when he realized there was no reverb. It just has a great dimensional clean sound.
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Re: Micro-reviews of gear you just bought.

Postby Snowblinder on Mon Dec 21, 2015 7:55 pm

VaticanShotglass wrote:
Snowblinder wrote:Image

Fender silverface Vibro Champ.

Got this for dirt cheap because it was sitting in a friend's basement for years and he never played it. All of the tubes are original (Fender labeled RCA's I think, maybe GE) and work fine. Stock speaker was total crap, invested $40 on a new WGS G8C speaker which sounds a million times better. The cleans on this amp are beautiful. Tremolo works and is a nice touch. Breakup starts at about 7 on the volume. I don't so much care for the sound above 8 (too ratty), so I keep it there and run a Boss SD-1 into it, which is where it's fucking at. Such a great sound. The amp sounds good with each of my guitars, but it really likes my Junior copy with its single P90. I can't wait to record with this.


I just love my champ. I play it pretty much like you. I love the clean sound. Old dudes are always going on about how you need to turn up to ten to get the best overdrive ever. I don't get it. Maybe with an extension cab. I had a friend over and he tried it out with the volume around 4, and he went to tweak the reverb when he realized there was no reverb. It just has a great dimensional clean sound.


I have to edit my earlier sentiment and say that it actually does sound pretty good on 10, IF you bump the treble knob up a bit. It's a cool sound, though certainly not the holy grail of overdrive tone. But....

....it still sounds best like this: Junior--->SD-1 with unity volume and minimal gain--->Champ with volume on 8, treble on 5 and bass on 0. L.A.M.F. tone all day.
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