[review] J. Rockett Audio Designs Archer (by LordRiffenstein)

Rockett Pedals

Rockett pedals was started in 2006 by Chris Van Tassel and Jay Rocket. Both were long time session musicians and they were not totally satisfied with what the pedal-market had to offer.  So they started to design their own pedals, hoping that they would catch on. Their unique custom enclosures are eye-catchers!


The name, the knobs and the logo are obviously a hint as to the background to this pedal.  The Archer is Rockett’s own version of the much coveted Klon Centaur pedal. The controls are very simple and just like the original Centaur: output, gain and treble. The treble control is not a typical tone control but also not just a treble control. You can think of it like a mix between a treble and a presence control. Where the original Centaur came in a big enclosure, the guys from Rockett have put this in a very sleek design.  I only have 1 comment about it: if you use pancake plugs, the space for the power cable is very limited.  Some 9v DC plugs will not fit, it’s best to use a straight plug or a small one.

[review] Strymon Mobius (guest review by 3choplex)

I am slowly working through the presets and also how to tweak everything. It is a complex pedal.

The sound samples, even the good ones, do not do it justice. When I ordered it, I was worried that it would be sterile sounding. It is not. The word I would use in general is buttery. There is no harshness to any of the presets except where it was obviously intended.

The big thing I noticed is how clean it is. I did not notice single preset that added any noise whatsoever.  All the sounds are super high fidelity in a really nice way. Like I said before, buttery.

[review] Joyo Ironman JF-301 Rated Boost - Clean Boost (by rlm)

JOYO TECHNOLOGY is a Chinese company specializing in R&D, manufacturing and marketing digital products for music education. Their main products include: Effects Pedals, Guitar Amplifiers, Tube Amplifiers, Rock House, Metronomes, Tuners, EQ systems, Drum Practice Pads, Pedal Controllers, Synthesizers, E-Erhus, Professional Amplifiers, Stage Amplifiers, WiJoyo Ironman Rated Boostreless Systems, Audio Cables, and Portable Power Supplies. I think most of us know the company for their budget effect pedals like the Ultimate Drive, AC Tone, California Sound and Vintage Overdrive to name a few.

They recently added a new series of effect pedals to their product line up: the Iron Man series. This colorful range of small sized pedals includes different overdrives, boosts and a compressor. Every pedal comes with a patch of velcro so you can attach the effect on your pedalboard and a little piece of foam to put on the bottom to stop the pedal from sliding all over the place when placing it on the floor. Both the foam and velcro are cut to the exact size of the pedal.

Since the pedals are so small, there is no room for a battery. A 9v adapter is required.

The tone knobs are hidden behind a lid. When you activate the pedal, a white led lights up through the black plexi of the lid. All pedals are also true bypass.

[review] DigiTech HardWire Supernatural - Ambient Verb (by LievenDV)

Digitech continues the concept of loading 7 sounds in one pedal. Select a model and tweak the mix, liveliness and decay and you're off.

Basically, the 7 models form a mix of old classics and some new ideas.

DigiTech HardWire SupernaturalIf you like to introduce a psychedelic touch or some fresh soundscaping layers in your song, you might want to check these. Shimmer effects have been very popular among reverb lovers and this pedal features one that you can compare with the more expensive brands.

The plate reverb will pretty much work every time you'd like to add some reverb and the spring reverb is everything you would expect from a solid, decent but not exceptional reverb. The newer ideas add hints of modulation like phaser, chorus, flanging and some pitch shifting. These "ideas" sound quite specific so I wouldn't call them subtle. Of course, your mix setting will determine how subtle -you- want it and I noticed that this pedal gets very interesting when it follows up on a basic delay. Especially the newer sounds were valuable in this setup. While the classic sounds did a good job without a delay in front of it, the combo with the newer ideas will please the more experimental of nature.

Auction for Andy

Maybe you noticed the little "auction for Andy" banner that has been on top of all pages this week? It's for a benefit auction for the wife and son of Andrew Richardson (Z.Vex employee) started on Reverb. There are 169 (often unique) items sent in by manufacturers and artists: from guitars, pedals, autographed records and cd's, guitar lessons,... to a visit to Juan Alderete's studio (including an Earthquaker Devices pedal of your choice).


About Andy:

    Andrew Richardson, sales/operations manager at ZVEX Effects passed away suddenly on September 1, 2014. Artists and gear manufacturers alike have rallied to raise money for Andy’s beautiful wife, Moe (Marisa) and 3 year old son Bronson, who must now carry on without him. His passing is felt deeply by the many who loved him. From stores, artists, distributors, manufacturers alike, Andy was loved and is sorely missed. In addition to his key role at ZVEX, Andy was an amazing musician and member of Minneapolis-based bands such as The Crush, Book of Dead Names, Start: Destruct and the Dirty Hits. Andy was sarcastic, hilarious, organized, whip-smart and kicky cool. He will be remembered always for his talent, generosity, lanky gait and devilish smile.

    If you didn’t have the honor to know Andy, you can learn more about him here:

    Andy suffered from depression and anxiety. Although he had friends on all corners of the earth, he was somehow not able to ask for help. His life and his loss will not be forgotten.

    If you or someone you love is suffering from anxiety, depression, feelings of hopelessness and thoughts of suicide, please do not suffer alone. Reach out to your friends, your family, your employer, anyone who you think can help you get through the dark moments. If you know someone who may be struggling with the weight of life, remember that asking for help can be very hard – don’t be afraid to reach out. Life can be very difficult, but remember that there really is nothing you cannot get through, and there are good times on the other side.

    There are some incredible free resources to help you on your journey:

      Half of Us (sponsored by mtvU) - Are you dealing with Loss, Drug Abuse, Stress, Anxiety, Depression? Are you experiencing abuse, LGBTQ issues, trauma, body image issues, money problems, discrimination, self-injury, or veteran issues? If so, remember that half of us do too. Get the facts and learn how to take action. Practical, real and relevant info and resources for any one in need of help. Visit Half of Us or call (800) 273-TALK.

[interview] Dutch Kazoo: Patrick Devlin

Here's FXDB's interview with Patrick Devlin of Dutch Kazoo.

Dutch Kazoo is run by Corinne Mandell and Patrick Devlin. They're located west of Philadelphia in Pottstown, PA, USA.

How did Dutch Kazoo start?

I had modified my own gear for a long time, and I had built some one-off guitar amplifiers for friends. We have never done anything other than the Dutch Kazoo -- it is our first product.

From the very beginning, we wanted to ensure that the Dutch Kazoo would be designed successfully, so we hired J.C. Morrison, a very talented electronics designer/engineer, to work out the circuit from our rough concept. For the unique housing, we worked with Ika Peraic, who is a young and talented sculptor and industrial designer. I personally like every effect I use to look different, so I like things like Roger Mayer's rocket shaped effects and the old things from Ludwig and Mu-Tron. I think it makes owning or collecting those effects more enjoyable.

[review] DOD 280 Compressor (by LievenDV)

This DOD Compressor 280 is the 2014 version of a classic pedal. As we're used of DOD, the pedal is designed a lot like all the other DOD pedals. This compressor is a nice sparkly orange with the typical big dials. A real no-frills quality build.

The 280 has a 9v input, 2 knobs, a led and a button. Everything a compressor should be and nothing more. These two dials are big offer a very precise control. The guide offered on the website won't give any specifics or hard combinations as the pedal is as straightforward as it looks.  The level knob determines your output level and adds quite enough to make it work as a clean boost is you like.

DOD 280 CompressorThe magic is of course in the compression control. From low to high settings, the compressor doesn't seem to change the character of your sound. I've experienced some "tonal changes" with other compressors but this one strikes me as very "neutral".

The typical tonal change could sometimes add a nice flavor but that is not the essence of a good compressor.

A good compressor "makes the quiet loud and loud quiet", it squashes the initial hard attack and it makes the dying note sustain longer.

At this essence, the DOD is a noble worker; you don't hear it's there but it does a good job. I found it quite pleasing how my playing was evened out without coloring my sound.

[review] Darkglass Electronics Duality - Dual Fuzz Engine (by DiscoFreq)

This review was posted by David Gill (Montgomery Appliances) on the Haunting Mids forum. Since it was such a spontaneous and enthusiast review of 1 pedal builder about the creation of another builder (which he doesn't know personally), I wanted to share it here (with permission).

David Gill:

Been looking for an alternative to my B7K for bass dirt and after looking around and reading reviews it seems like the right choice was to stick with Darkglass since their pre/OD is so incredibly nice. IMO its an order of magnitude better than the other bass pres on the market. I ordered their Duality fuzz from Rogue Guitar Shop and it is the very best bass fuzz I have come across and actually maybe the best REALLY heavy guitar fuzz I've laid hands on in 15 years of playing.

[review] Hotone Audio Skyline series Octa (by LievenDV)

The Hotone Octa is a true micro pedal that gives you the control over 2 extra octaves.

It has a tiny button that lets you toggle between "normal" and "dirty" mode.

The small buttons have a striped indicator that takes a minute to get used to but proves to be useful. You can read off the control quite easy from a distance. To help that, The 2 octave knobs are noctilucent (Hotone's professional way of saying: glow-in-the-dark :)).

The package comes in a box that is as protective as the pedal casing and the nice people of Hotone even included a strip of velcro and a bumper already cut to spec. The pedal itself has a little metal rail to protect the controls when you click the button with your foot.

This is the standard layout of Hotone pedals.

[review] Hotone Audio Skyline series Wally - Looper (by LievenDV)

The Hotone Wally must be the smallest looper around and with 15 minutes of looping, you could easily record 2 Pink Floyd songs and still have time to spare in its memory. It comes in a very sturdy casing which feels heavy for its size. It only weighs 190g but it IS a small package. Those who were in doubt about the usability of the button on a small Hotone pedal: it's not like you're performing surgery when you try to use the knobs; they are quite handy to operate and you quickly adjust to the big level knob on top and the stripes on the 2 front knobs that ensure visibility.

Hotone Audio Wally LooperThis little guy comes in a box that is as protective as the pedal casing and the nice people of Hotone even included a strip of velcro already cut to spec. These are details but they add op to the complete package and considerate service. The pedal itself has a little metal rail to protect the controls when you click the button with your foot.

The control scheme is as straight forward as any modern minimalistic looper: you control the whole process of recording, overdubbing, undo, stop and delete with single or double taps. Double tap while playing =undo and double tap when stopped is delete. Don't worry, the little reference card is more complex than actually using the pedal; the LED shows you the way. After a few minutes, I had already recorded 4 layers of tunes in which I could always undo the previous one. Go nuts, you can overdub as much as you want. You can control the record volume separately from the output volume so you can blend in layers of sound at the desired volume.

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