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SolidGoldFX Electroman MKII Review

SolidGoldFX Electroman MKII Review

 

Perhaps I’m getting older. Perhaps I’ve tried too many pedals through the years. My expectations are each excessive and low. Excessive in the best way that I really feel like I actually need a pedal to do one thing totally different. Not even cool or nice, however simply DIFFERENT. Low in the best way that this not often ever occurs. I’ve simply come to anticipate so many pedals to only be “another one of those….” However from the second I first sat down with the SolidGoldFX Electroman MKII, I knew it was very totally different. This got here as a shock to me. With eyes and ears open, I proceeded to dive deeper into this lovely delay of thriller!

My first sighting of this pedal was in Andy’s demo. Immediately I used to be in awe of the sound of the repeats and the way they appeared to be wild, but he had full management over them. The maintain perform was so musical and simply made sense to me. Immediately, and with out even actually enthusiastic about it, I assumed this was an analog delay. It wasn’t till after I had acquired it and was utilizing it for about an hour that I acquired into the paperwork and found that it’s all digital! However that’s high-quality with me, particularly whenever you think about the standard of the sound and options of this pedal.

Throughout that first hour of use, a couple of issues actually received my consideration. To start with, the modulation. It’s actually good. Perhaps the most effective modulation circuit I’ve ever heard. The circuit design will get its distinctive qualities from having shut ties to the SolidGoldFX Stutter-Lite Tremolo circuit. I spoke with the pleasant sonic scientists at SolidGoldFX in hopes of getting the inside track on what makes this modulation circuit so magical. That is what I came upon…

The Modulation factor of the Electoman MKII is centered on a discrete transistor based mostly circuit that’s designed to offer a persistently imperfect waveform. This already sounds fabulous, as something that has a pleasant pure, natural really feel to it appeals to me. Many occasions, when utilizing modulation or different LFO managed impact, the factor that stands out to me as being so unappealing is the sense that it’s only a looping sound, repeating and by no means altering in any approach. This modulation circuit is the type you’ll be able to flip up and truly use as a result of it doesn’t provide the sense of a looped sound in any respect. The depth of the LFO within the circuit can also be impacted by the velocity setting of the Modulation circuit and can change relying on the velocity chosen. One other tremendous distinctive a part of the design is that the mod circuit itself is affecting the second delay chip within the Electroman MKII by making a rippling lag within the second delay chip’s time. It’s as if somebody have been feeding a delay into one other delay after which micro-adjusting the timing of the second delay in actual time. For this reason the mod circuit has such a superbly smeared high quality to it. That is, actually, music to my ears.

One other actually cool factor concerning the modulation is that it appears to vary lots if you dial within the COLOR knob. On the darker aspect, the modulation appears to be tamed a bit and will get murky together with every little thing else. That’s to be anticipated and is what I wish to confer with as “mud-ulation.” Then, round midday on the COLOR, the modulation actually comes into its personal, having a really musical and distinct attribute. When the colour knob is full clockwise (the brilliant aspect) the traits of the modulation appear to vary to a excessive move filter of some type. This ever-changing conduct of the modulation circuit actually provides to the realism of the voicing of this pedal. From an analog sort of sound with heat repeats and murky modulation, to a tape sound with HPF on the repeats, to a digital sound once you dial again the depth of the modulation. The pedal makes no outward declare to be these three voicings. Nowhere on the pedal does it say “analog,” or “tape,” or “digital.” Simply the knob that reads “COLOR” together with the “FLUTTER” giving delicate hints on the analog and tape sounds that await with just some turns of those knobs.

Diving deeper I uncover that there’s truly an results loop on this pedal that permits you to add any sort of impact to only the moist sign. That is simply the good concept. I additionally like that they’ve it assigned to at least one easy stereo jack that you could entry with a stereo TRS insert cable. Yeah, hardly any of us have a type of laying round, however they’re very straightforward to return by or make, and whenever you’re up and operating you’ll discover that it’s a lot simpler to tug the one cable out and in when eager to take away the pedal from the loop. As quickly as I noticed this was a factor, I threw nearly every thing into that loop I might get my palms on. I used to be stunned how properly the loop handed nearly each single factor I despatched by means of it. Extra on that under…

 

 

Options:

Sound Design:

  • A model new, very distinctive and very musical modulation circuit
  • Two cascaded digital delay strains utilizing a pair of PT2399 chips
  • Delay occasions as much as 1,000ms
  • Choice for tails on or off with a handy floor toggle change
  • Controls for Degree, Repeat, Shade, Flutter, Time, Mode, Warp, Velocity, and Tails
  • Tons of Self-oscillation and gritty lengthy repeat goodness on faucet
  • An results loop that lets you add any type of impact to the repeats
  • A customizable Warp foot change
  • Two modes of delay utilizing solely the primary chip, or including the second at half-time

Ins and outs:

  • One 1/four” essential enter (mono jack, proper aspect mounted)
  • One 1/four” essential output (mono jack, left aspect mouinted)
  • One 1/four” fx loop insert (stereo jack, left aspect mounted)
  • 9v DC, middle unfavourable energy jack drawing 40mA (top-mounted)

Knobs/Toggles:

  • LEVEL
  • REPEAT
  • COLOR
  • FLUTTER
  • TIME
  • MODE (two-position toggle)
  • WARP (three-position toggle)
  • SPEED (three-position toggle)
  • TAILS (two-position toggle)

Let’s have a extra in-depth take a look at the primary knobs of the pedal:

The controls of the Electroman MKII are pretty simple, however there are some fascinating issues to be discovered as many of those knobs, and the toggles work together with each other based mostly on the way you set them up.

LEVEL: Units the moist sign from nothing to extremely concerned. I additionally observed that when utilizing the consequences loop, degree was SUPER necessary when dialing in filth pedals which are within the loop. My guess is that the extent management is someplace between the loop and the delay line. Once I had it up it appeared to actually hit the repeats onerous and went into a very cool oscillation even with the repeats solely half method. Once I dialed the extent again rather a lot, it appeared to maintain issues extra tame.

REPEAT: From a single slap-back repeat to utterly overtaking your sign. The “WARP” toggle results the conduct of the REPEAT knob even if you’re not utilizing the warp change. I additionally discovered the COLOR knob to be very stimulating on the repeats. The brighter you go together with it, the extra oscillation you get in return.

COLOR: Takes your delay from digital to “analog/tape” voicing. Some may have the opinion that the brilliant aspect of this doesn’t get tremendous brilliant like a number of the digital delays on the market. The PT2399 delay chip isn’t actually meant for full-on digital brightness. It’s all the time been recognized for extra of an analog/tape type of sound. In fact, many elements can decide this similar to entrance finish driver (if relevant), filtering (if relevant), how the PT2399 is configured, combine/summing amplifier, bypass configuration, and so on. Even the guitar/amp you’re utilizing will have an effect on this in some methods. I might say this pedal has repeats which are undoubtedly leaning in the direction of the analog/tape sounds, as much as, perhaps, a center of the street tone for digital delays.

FLUTTER: Controls the modulation depth, full CCW shuts off the modulation circuit. Now, right here is the place a number of the different magic is available in. This needs to be the most effective modulation circuits I’ve ever heard. There’s additionally some interplay with the COLOR knob right here. I can’t affirm, however I swear the modulation is including a excessive move filter on the repeats when the COLOR knob is full CW giving a really tape-like sound to the repeats. Additional management of the modulation is achieved by setting the three-position SPEED toggle.

TIME: Units your delay time from 70ms to at least one full second (1,000ms) of delay. Tweaking this knob together with your toe provides all of the warpy oscillation that you’d come to anticipate out of your favourite analog delay.

MODE: Modifications between commonplace delay and a second mode that sends the delay sign into the second chip for half-time repeats. Nice for that washy, shoegaze sound. This can be a pretty widespread method utilized in a couple of delay pedals. In the event you’re acquainted with the Tonal Recall, it has the toggle for brief, lengthy, and each. This may be like lengthy and each.

WARP: This feature is type of fantastic. Have you ever ever hit the “hold” perform on a delay pedal and, regardless that it sounded cool, you actually want you may change the conduct of that change? Nicely, this does precisely that. Three modes allow you to determine the way you need it to behave. Middle place (my favourite) provides a delicate conduct, simply dipping into oscillation after which easily popping out. Proper place is “imminent lift-off,” as described by the guide. Full oscillation madness ensues. Left place is someplace between these two extremes.

SPEED: Presents three totally different velocity settings for the modulation circuit. Sluggish within the middle place (my favourite), quick to the fitting, and medium to the left.

TAILS: The Electroman MKII is buffered bypass. This change enables you to determine the way you’d just like the pedal to behave when bypassed. Trails are choked when the change is to the left, and trailing when switched to the fitting. The pedal stays in buffered bypass whether or not tails is engaged or not. This helps to stabilize the design of the pedal.

Go to SolidGoldFX for more information concerning the Electroman MKII.

 

 

What’s new within the MkII?

Each variations of the pedal share a number of the robust factors of the MKII comparable to the consequences loop and the warp foot change. The MKII brings so many new options to the desk; it’s virtually like a completely new pedal. The unique knobs have been very straight ahead delay pedal choices: LEVEL, REPEAT, TONE, and TIME. The MKII brings modulation to the desk and provides a fifth knob with the FLUTTER management. The spectacular financial institution of 4 toggles providing a mixed 10 positions takes the performance of the Electroman MKII into outer area! Choices for Mode, Warp, Velocity, and Tails actually offer you full management over this pedal. A rise in delay time from 600ms to 1,000ms rounds out the listing of enhancements. It’s exhausting to consider that each one of those additional options come at an elevated value of solely $25 over the unique Electroman.

A delay pedal with an results loop can change your world.

Yep. This pedal has and results loop that lets you enter an impact or collection of results into the moist sign. That’s proper, identical to how the pedal provides a modulation to the delay trails, you possibly can add in any sort of impact to the repeats. Need your delay trails to have a flanger on them? How a few ring modulator? No drawback. Simply plug it in and go for it!

I made a decision to have slightly science challenge yesterday. I sat down with a field filled with pedals and simply tried every one within the loop. My first selection, Ayahuasca (a very nasty fuzz pedal), gave the repeats a low-fi, skinny and gritty really feel. I used to be stunned how a lot the dust pedal actually affected the repeats and the oscillation. I had my repeats set at about three:00 and the filth simply despatched the repeats right into a very nice, sustained oscillation. Dialing again the REPEAT, and to some extent even decreasing the LEVEL knobs actually did the job of protecting the oscillation proper the place you needed it. Additionally, dialing again the OUTPUT on the Ayhuasca actually helped to maintain issues beneath management. Subsequent, I reached for an previous 1980’s Peavey Refrain. It had a pleasant, delicate impact on the repeats. I even tried a number of issues that appeared fairly unorthodox. An Empress compressor with the ratio set to 10:1 and a robust combine actually made for a singular sound that nearly modified the delay into a totally totally different pedal. Subsequent was an Ibanez Analog Delay. Getting the TIME knobs of the 2 pedals to sync up made for some nice rhythmic repeats and simpler oscillations. A surprisingly nice pedal within the loop was my Gravitas tremolo. It was good and sounded prefer it belonged there. My favourite of all the pedals I attempted was the f.13 Flanger from Alexander Pedals. It simply sounded unimaginable within the repeats. Utilizing the combination knob on the f.13 allowed me to get it good. Then I had a random concept. What if I might insert the Plus Pedal into the loop of the Electroman MKII and the f.13 Flanger within the loop of the Plus pedal? Took me a number of tries to get it proper, however I obtained it in order that the Electroman MKII was doing its factor usually, repeats and all. Stepping on the Plus Pedal momentarily blended the f.13 Flanger easily into and out of the repeats. It was like magic… like provides you goosebumps magic. I’ve included a diagram on learn how to set all that up. Hopefully additionally, you will discover some superb issues to do with that loop!

 

 

Worth, high quality, and nitpicks

As I said above, the Electroman MKII delay holds its personal as a singular, feature-rich delay pedal. Whenever you take a look at the asking worth of $225, I feel it’s an unimaginable worth for all that you simply get. In reality, it’s solely $25 greater than the unique Electroman! The worth-point locations it proper in there with the present worth for a brand new Deluxe Reminiscence Man. I really feel it’s a toss up between these two. Every has a number of issues higher than the opposite, however general, they’re sort of comparable pedals, and I’d truly give a favor in the direction of the Electroman MKII. For one factor, the construct high quality. This pedal, like all the SolidGoldFX line of pedals, are hand-made. One look inside this factor, and I actually understood the standard of workmanship. The whole lot has a pleasant, high-end really feel to it. The knobs, toggles, and switches all give a way of high quality and a spotlight to element. I also needs to level out the aesthetic of the pedal is simply spot on. The colour of the enclosure is simply beautiful. Has that look of a 1970’s gold sparkle speedboat with a gorgeous, thick layer of clear coat. The daring “ELECTROMAN” emblem on the face of the pedal can also be good. My solely slight nitpick of the aesthetic is that the labeling on the knobs is slightly arduous to learn within the low lighting of my musical séance room. My different nitpicks are rather less forgiving. Let me first say, that the MORE I really like a pedal… the MORE I appear to nitpick it. Feeling detached about an impact pedal doesn’t make me want or hope for a lot of something from it. It’s once I love a pedal that I are likely to get all like “WHY???” My largest nitpick of this pedal is the shortage of a faucet tempo. Particularly on a delay pedal that has two foot switches. There have to be a cause that the maintain/warp change doesn’t double as a faucet tempo on this pedal. Hopefully, that cause isn’t that’s was simply deemed unimportant. That might REALLY full this pedal for me. I imply all of it depends upon how you employ the stuff. Plenty of very effective results, most of them classic, don’t have a faucet tempo function. Nevertheless, today, it’s actually type of anticipated. MIDI implementation, and even an expression pedal choice, would even have been very good. That small group of musicians that really use MIDI is rising very quickly. Most of us ignored MIDI till pedalboard controllers began getting highly regarded. Now a pedal that doesn’t retailer and recall presets simply kinda makes you go “huh?” My last nitpick is a private one. A few of us favor aspect jacks and a few of us want top-mount jacks. I’ve discovered, for probably the most half, aspect jack individuals are simply those that don’t actually care the place they’re. Prime-mount jack individuals are principally “top-mount or GTFO.” I perceive why some compact pedals have side-mounted jacks, and I’m happy with that. Then there are pedals which might be in these extensive enclosures and also you open them as much as discover that the jacks chilly have been mounted up prime. It simply sort of looks like a missed alternative to me. That’s all. In case you’re a top-mount jack fan, you perceive what I’m saying. Nonetheless, all in all, the Electroman MKII is a superb selection when weighing worth, high quality, and my want record.

 

 

The SolidGoldFX Electroman MKII has a decidedly distinctive sound, insuring a agency spot within the overcrowded world of delay pedals. This one comes down to 2 issues: uniqueness and flexibility. The Electroman MKII merely sounds totally different than different delays on the market. Arduous to do and onerous to consider, however they did it! A powerful record of options and an enormous quantity of versatility deliver this pedal to your board. Whether or not you’re on the lookout for the sounds of analog, tape, or digital, the Electroman MKII has you coated. Even in the event you get bored and need to change the sound of the pedal utterly, you’ve gotten the consequences loops at your disposal for a vast potential to create any delay sound you possibly can think about! Should you’re in search of a delay that’s surprisingly straightforward to make use of, has a number of voicing capabilities, and a feature-set and sound design that units it aside from the gang, look no additional than the Electroman MKII from SolidGoldFX!

This concludes our assessment of the Electroman MKII Delay from SolidGoldFX. Thanks for studying!