[review] Mooer Audio Mod Factory (by Bieke)

Mooer Audio

There is no way around it. Mooer pedals have earned their spot in the mainstream market with an abundant line of affordable  mini pedals. It is a well known fact that a lot of Mooer pedals are clones of classic circuits. The usual suspects such as Ibanez, Electro Harmonix, Boss, MXR, Digitech, Fulltone,  all have been given the Mooer treatment. Mooer offers a cost friendly alternative and makes gigworthy pedals, well worth checking out, even for the more demanding players. 

At the Musikmesse earlier this year, I was gazing at an impressive wall of Mooer pedals and I spotted a couple of new ones as well.  An astonishing variety of pedals, there is not a single effect imaginable or Mooer has something to offer. So I tried a bunch of Mooer pedals and here is a review.

The Mod Factory is one of the newer Mooers, also one that is an original design, The Mod Factory uses a 32 bit high performance DSP chip and offers a combo of no less than eleven different effects such as chorus, flanger, phaser, envelope phaser, tremolo, stutter, vibrato, univibe, auto wah, touch wah and envelope ring modulator.

[review] Red Witch Violetta - Delay with Expression Control (by Bieke)

Red Witch Violetta

Have you ever heard of Red Witch pedals? If you have, you’re probably a bit of a pedal geek, if you haven’t, well any aspiring pedal geek should look into Red Witch pedals designed by Ben Fulton in New Zealand. Really. Red Witch has been manufacturing pedals for more than 10 years already, so chances are big you’ve heard of them. I think the first pedal was a phaser, I could be wrong but that’s the first one I remember seeing. Red Witch has been growing ever since, every year or so a new pedal was added to their range of boutique pedals. So, even if you have no ambition whatsoever to become a pedal geek, Red Witch still has a great arsenal of fine effect pedals that will help you shape your sound.

About 3 year ago, Red Witch further diversified and released the 7 Sisters, a cutesy series of seven different compact effect pedals, powered by rechargeable lithium ion batteries. A really cool idea and an astonishingly well designed series of pedals, not strictly targeted at the boutique crowd, not exactly cheap, but not really expensive either, let’s say attractively priced.

And now, more recently, Red Witch released the Violetta delay, the first pedal in the Original Chrome Series, it kind of uses the best of both Red Witch strengths, boutique sounds in a compact, rechargeable pedal.

The Looks

Looks dandy. A shiny chrome pedal, feels solid, and quite heavy even though it is really compact in size.

From the look and feel of the Violetta, I somehow get the feeling that it must sound good. Hmmm, looks can be deceiving of course, but judging from the controls and extras, this pedal seems to have a lot in store. Lovely graphics too.

The controls are :

  • Delay - delay time up to 1000ms
  • Mix – to blend wet and dry signals
  • Mod – adds modulation
  • Repeat – to go from slap back all the way to self oscillating mayhem
  • True bypass soft switch, and 2 LEDS, a status LED and a Battery Charge Indicator LED

On the right side there’s an Exp Out that lets you control the repeat level by means of an expression pedal. On the left side, you can plug in a 9V DC adapter to power the pedal or charge the internal lithium ion battery. The battery needs a 12 hour charge for starters, after which recharging will take much less time. And it is absolutely wonderful not having to bother with batteries or wall-warts to use this pedal. Really cool feature. The lithium ion batteries have a lifetime of 2 years, and if you need to replace it, you need to take off the bottom lid, and plug it into a dedicated battery socket. In- and Outputs are on top. Nice layout.

[review] D*A*M Grease Box - Solid State Pre-Amplified Germanium Overdrive (by LievenDV)

David A Main and Linzi Haynes make up D*A*M. I'm sure his own initials made up the brand name but they turned it into "Differential Audio Manifestationz".

More important, they claim to keep us fuzzy and warm with their pedals and that's what matters.

The Greasebox comes with two controls; volume and sustain. Next to an input, output and a switch, that's all there is to it on the outside.

No socket for your power adapters, this baby is only powered by a battery. Typical for fuzz based pedals of course.

[review] Wilson Effects WMA Wah - World's Most Affordable Wah (by LievenDV)

"WMA wah" stands for Worlds Most Affordable wah. It is not the cheapest but it sure is a fine pedal with quality parts for a good price.

Kevin Wilson has a bit low profile when it comes to marketing and styling and this wah reflects the philosophy. It's a no-frills unit that has an optimal resistance on the foot but goes back and forth real smooth.  In a rare occasion you might feel a slight stutter in the movement but this is only when you try to move it real softly in a very precise matter. It's no stutter but you feel the physical action of the mechanics below. I consider this a side effect of the rather direct grip and control you have on this pedal. This wah isn't optical. This wah doesn't color your sound at all and the sweep is wide enough to give you enough to work with.

[review] Danelectro Cool Cat CV-1 Vibe (by LordRiffenstein)

Danelectro

What can we say about Danelectro? Let’s put it this way, if you don’t know this company, you shouldn’t be reading this review! ;-)

Coolcat Vibe

The CoolCat series of pedals was released many moons ago and had some very interesting pedals. The look isn’t for everybody but I like this old-school fifties look and feel.

Like it says on the box, this is a vibe pedal. Amazing wobbly tones can be had from it. It is different than most vibe pedals and I think it is a simulation of an actual vibe, there is no lightbulb inside it as fas as I know. Speed and intensity controls are typical for vibe pedals, the mix control certainly isn't and this is what I really like about this pedal. Great work Danelectro!!

[review] Klon KTR (by LordRiffenstein)

Klon

Klon is not a name from some science fiction novel. Klon is the brainchild of Bill Finnegan. He basically changed the pedal-world and maybe made the 1st real bouteek pedal ever.

KTR

The KTR is the successor of the much-respected Centaur pedal. The Centaur was being built by hand, Bill wanted to outsource the production so he wanted to get the same tone in an easier to manufacture pedal. The Centaur, as I’m sure you know, is one of the most sought-after pedals. An original is fetching prices that can buy you a great high-end guitar. Klones have come and gone but the real one has kept its foot in the door.

The pedal has volume, gain and treble control. Unlike the original Centaur, it has a switchable buffer. You can switch it on/off with a little slider on the side of the pedal. I agree that the buffer on is almost always better, so I leave it on.

[review] Danelectro Cool Cat CTO-1 Transparent Overdrive (by LordRiffenstein)

Danelectro

What can we say about Danelectro? Let’s put it this way, if you don’t know this company, you shouldn’t be reading this review! ;-)

Cool Cat CTO-1 Transparent Overdrive

The CoolCat series of pedals was released many moons ago and had some very interesting pedals. The look isn’t for everybody but I like this old-school fifties look and feel.

You have gain and volume controls at your disposal as you would expect. And then there’s the dual pot for treble and bass. They aren’t the easiest to adjust and you will often find turning both when you actually only want to change 1. You’ll get used to it OR, like me, you will find the perfect set-n-forget setting.

The pedal feels solid, switch is good so build quality is fine!

[review] Rockett Pedals Josh Smith Dual Trem (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!

Josh Smith Dual Trem

Josh Smith is an upcoming blues guitar player who has been working the road for many years. He has released several great albums and also works as a gun-for-hire doing high profile gigs.

The Josh Smith Dual Trem offers you 2 trem settings. Left and right side have the same controls. Both sides share a volume control. The pedal has 5 LEDs. Each side has a LED that visualizes the rate setting, it pulses to the rate/speed and each side has a LED to show you which side is on. Then there is the overall LED to show you that the pedal is on. Build quality is top notch and I love the unique enclosure!!

[review] Smallsound/Bigsound Fuck Overdrive (by LievenDV)

Brian Hamilton from Philadelphia was fed up with the numerous and quasi identical overdrives that got thrown at his head. Under his brandname Smallsound/Bigsound he introduced the Fuck Overdrive to the world. An overdrive with something else, something unique? Perhaps it is, as this pedal aims to be an overdrive pedal with a hint of breakup, a nice dose of desintegration.

You could say that on the more powerful settings, the fuzzy side of the pedals starts to kick in.

[review] D*A*M FUZZrong (by LievenDV)

The Fuzzrong is a straightforward and stable fuzz for players that want a warm fuzz that doesn't sputter or makes you cringe of odd high frequencies. This fuzz will keep you warm all night and David & Linzi at D*A*M know this.

The controls are really simple and that saves you some time for playing. Don't go to their website for more info though. I kind of got lost seeing all kinds of look-alike pedals without spotting this exact Fuzzrong pedal. No big deal. The depth knobs seems to boost the lower frequencies to bring a more ballsy sound.

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