Bieke's blog

[review] T-Rex Quint Machine (by Bieke)

T-Rex from Vejle, Denmark started out in the mid nineties, making MIDI switchers and then moved to making guitar effect pedals. Their first pedal line up consisted of a compressor, tremolo, overdrive and distortion and these were embraced by the pedal aficionados and praised as being top quality pedals.

They were. And T-Rex did not stop there and went on to release great sounding modulation and time based effects. Apart from a side step into the world of boutique guitar amps, T-Rex continuously specialized in designing guitar pedals and accessories and unleashed the affordable Tonebug series, the Dual function pedals, a series of tube pedals, power supplies, pedalboards and bags, even multi effect and more recently a ... wait for it ... tape delay – ay - ay – ay.

So, T-Rex has not been sitting still and kept reinventing their own line of pedals, nowadays it consists of a line-up of sleek compact pedals. One effect that T-Rex did not offer was a pitch shifter.

Until now. Read on to find out more about the T-Rex Quint Machine.

T-Rex Quint MachineThe looks

A compact size pedal, it measures 60x50x117 mm, in a distinguished purple brownish color with a  darker striping pattern, in- and output and 9V DC socket on top.

Red status LED and soft FET bypass on/off switch, slightly off center. T-Rex badge in the middle.

The Quint Machine has 4 controls, Fifth Up, +1 and -1 Octave and Mix.

Stylish cream colored fluted knobs with black markers

The Quint Machine also takes 9V batteries, but drains these instantly, so better to user a power supply. And you need a special tool to gain access to the battery compartment, so not that practical.

[review] Caline CP-26 Snake Bite - Reverb (by Bieke)

Caline has been around since 2010, and until now, this modest Asian company offers a full line of budget friendly pedals, their latest addition is the CP-30 Red Devil metal distortion. At the Musikmesse I stumbled into the Caline booth to check it out and I noticed the CP-26 Snake Bite reverb. I figured I’d give it a try. Well, first impression was that it sounded surprisingly good. First impressions can be misleading, so I did get another opportunity to give it another try. Here’s my review.

Caline Snake Bite ReverbThe looks

Well, Caline has this no nonsense standardized and uniform approach towards their line of pedals, low profile marketing, plain cardboard box, a uniform pedal housing, plain colors, classic knobs … Spartan looks.

The Snake Bite is a bit different, it still has the standard aluminum cast housing, and it’s a plain black pedal with white lettering, actually a stylish look, 2 rows of 3 controls each, white fluted knobs with black markers.  The pots feel solid, just enough stiffness for finetuning the controls.

9V DC adapter socket on top, in- and output on the sides. Status LED. 

It looks expensive.

Inside, it looks clean, jacks and pots are soldered onto the main PCB, whereas the switch is soldered onto a separate PCB, there is no battery clip.

[review] Dimmed Light Devices Odysseus - Radio Tube Overdrive (by Bieke)

Nothing escapes the pedal radar of Effects Database. I received an unopened box from Bart and he said : there's a pedal in it you might want to try. A handmade pedal, crafted at the foot of the Alps in Germany by Wolfgang Schwab, creator of Dimmed Light Devices...

Dimmed Light Devices Odysseus - Radio Tube OverdriveThe looks

Upon opening the box, indeed a pedal revealed itself. A kind of odd looking orange pedal, housed in a sort of transformer casing, a bit like the old Italian Mr. T pedals. But this time, it’s the DLD Radio Tube OD, with 3 controls for Level, Fuzz and Color. An orange on/off switch and a true bypass footswitch to engage the effect, In-and outputs on either side and a 9V positive center adapter plug on top. The pedal is fitted onto a baseplate made of perspex wood.

[review] Caline CP-20 Crazy Cacti (by Bieke)

Caline

Caline is another Asian brand, much like Joyo, NuX, Biyang, Mooer, Donner, ENO, DrJ and the likes, making mostly clones of classic pedals and sometimes try something different as well. Whereas the Asian competition at least try to offer something special and seek to establish some kind of indentity in the market, Caline sort of takes a no nonsense approach. The Caline pedals have no flashy paint jobs. Caline sticks to making basic effects, nothing fanciful.

So I got a Crazy Cacti pedal from Bart to try and review, I was a bit reluctant to give it a try, just from looking at it, I did not expect much.

[review] Mooer Audio Baby Tuner (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.

The Mooer Baby Tuner, well yes, is a tuner pedal...

[review] Mooer Audio SkyVerb (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.

The Mooer Sky Verb as the name suggests is a digital reverb. Another new and original addition to the ever expanding line of Mooer pedals (I lost count). Brilliant, lush reverb effect is what Mooer promises. Does it deliver?

[review] Mooer Audio MPH1 Ninety Orange - Analog Phaser (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.

Ninety Orange Analog Phaser is another obvious clone from Mooer. The Ninety Orange pedal is a phaser that replicates the classic MXR 90 phaser sounds.

[review] Mooer Audio MFL1 Elec Lady - Flanger (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.

As you might have guessed already, the Eleclady Classic Analog Flanger is Mooer's take on the classic Electro Harmonix design, the Electric Mistress Deluxe.

[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.

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