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Review: Heavy Electronics Ascend

“After 3 years working and managing guitar stores, I saw the repeated shortfalls in pedal quality in terms of build and tone. In contrast, the few pedals that worked and sounded great were either vintage favorites or ultra high-end boutique pedals both of them carrying price tags one might expect to be hanging on a guitar. Heavy Electronics is born out of a desire for honesty in tone, construction, aesthetic, and price. Heavy Electronics makes road-ready effects pedals made with the finest components teamed with superior design…”

-Sayer Payne (Owner/Operator of Heavy Electronics)

For those of you who look for high quality, durable, transparent pedals, then you will be excited to learn more about Minneapolis based pedal manufacturer, Heavy Electronics. Heavy Electronics specializes in building boutique guitar pedals that cater to the player without compromising tone.

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Needless to say, they had us at the word TONE.

Today we’re going to look at the Heavy Electronics “Ascend”. On a basic level, the Ascend is a boost pedal. On a much deeper level, the Ascend offers a player unparalleled depth and transparency while giving your tone a kick in the pants.

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First, let’s get you some of the nitty gritty.

  • -Bypassable Tone Control
  • -Voiced Openly for Guitar & Bass
  • -True Bypass Switching
  • -Single Point Mounted PCB
  • -Flying Leads to Pots and Jacks
  • -Neutrik 1/4 inch Signal Jacks
  • -Powder-Coated Durable Finish
  • -Customer Service Ready to Help
  • -Dual Quality-Control Testing
  • -Hand Signed and Numbered
  • -Hand-made in Minneapolis Mn.
  • -Lifetime Warranty (Barring Abuse)

Power Supply:

  • 9 Volt DC 200 mA Center – 2.1mm
  • Power Consumption: 5.40 mA
  • I/O Impedance: Input = 330K Output = 5.8K
  • Dimensions: 4.37″ x 2.37″ x 1.07″ – 11.1 x 6.02 x 2.72 cm

The Build:

As you can tell from the blurb above, Heavy Electronics are built with not only the finest components, but, they are also built to last. If you ask me, that’s a winning combination.

The Heavy Electronics Ascend is certainly no exception. It all starts with a sturdy metal casing that is powder coated and topped off with a smooth grey/blue finish. Because powder coating does not have a liquid carrier, it can produce thicker coatings than conventional liquid coatings without running or sagging, and it ensures the paint will withstand every element of the rock n’ roll lifestyle. The main logo and design of the plane laid on top of the powder coat is very clean and seamlessly integrated to the overall layout of the pedal.

“…All of the pedals feature a “single point” circuit board mounting design that eliminates multiple pressure points on the PCB. Jacks are always metal Neutriks; finish is powder coated; Toggle switches are metal and are located to avoid impact. In fact, all electromechanical pieces and connectors are metal (except the 9V Jack where metal jacks simply must not be used). However, these aspects are not considered luxuries by Heavy Electronics but rather as mandatory features. High quality is a license to flourish as a company that makes its product right, NOT a license to hold guitarist’s tone ransom at an unfair price compared to cost of production. I make guitar pedals for musicians, and I play every pedal that ships to eliminate any compromises. It is for this reason specifically, that Heavy Electronics offers a lifetime guarantee against manufacturing defect. All pedals are hand-made in Minneapolis. This isn’t just about pedals. It’s about your art.”

-Sayer Payne (Owner/Operator of Heavy Electronics)

The Ascend has 2 knobs; Volume and Tone. The volume knob push’s your signal, while the tone knob shapes your overall sound.  One of the most exciting parts of the this pedal, is that the tone knob is completely bypass-able in order to capture your true tone.

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“In addition to a VOLUME control with intense headroom and push, we’ve added a bypass-able TONE knob.  This way the user can choose whether to tweak and filter the boost or use it at it’s fullest in tone-bypass mode.  Simply rotate the tone knob all the way counter clockwise until the knob “clicks” into bypass mode.”

On the bottom of the pedal you will find four plastic grips and a sticker that displays the serial number and the initials of who tested the pedal. (SP -Sayer Payne).

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Below is a picture of the “single point” circuit board mounting design.

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“Discrete analog design allows this exquisite boost to be balanced and true.  Wonderfully transparent and clear, yet powerful.  As your amp gain increases to the point of saturation, the Ascend can be used to push your tube amplifiers preamp into overdrive.  Reverb tanks are fed beautifully with its strong and concise low end.   Component quality is maximized with a “Metal-Can” amplifying transistor as well as metal-film resistors and low-tolerance film capacitors.

Because boosts often end up at the front of the signal chain, the Ascend incorporates a J-FET buffer circuit on the input signal.  This guarantees better impedence reaction and long cable performance.  After all, the Ascend was made for big stages.”

Not only does Sayer test every pedal that goes out the door, but, Heavy Electronics even offer a lifetime warranty with every pedal that goes out the door.

Are you sold yet?

Gear used for these examples:

  • Diezel Herbert – Clean Channel
  • PRS Standard 22 – Dragon II pickups
  • Heavy Electronics Ascend
  • Audix i5 microphone
  • North Eastern cable company guitar cable

PERFORMANCE:

The first example is the dry signal of the guitar to the amplifier. These are basic open chords on the clean channel of the Diezel Herbert.

These next set of examples are the same basic chords as the example above, but, this time I showcase three different settings with the Heavy Electronics Ascend.

The first example has the volume knob of the Ascend turned half way up and the tone knob is turn off (bypassed). The guitar is turned to the neck pickup. You can really hear as the sound and tone start to breakup and become saturated. Listen closely to each chord and how you can still hear how transparent and clear the strings are.

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Next,  I switch to the bridge pickup of the guitar while keeping the volume at half and the tone knob on bypass. Take a listen as the tone has a little more bite to each chord. It actually is a little reminiscent of an old Marshall Plexi. You can still hear the transparency and clarity of each string.

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In the third example, I turn the volume knob on the Ascend up all the way and leave the tone knob in bypass. Maxing the volume knob really pushes the signal of your amp and lets YOUR tone come to life. Pay special close attention to how the tone warms up and let’s the amp breathe.

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Finally, in the fourth example, I demonstrate the same chords, but, this time the tone knob is maxed out. You can really hear how the tone starts to become more compressed and brightens up in the top end compared to the previous examples. I really liked that, even though the tone compresses, you still don’t lose the overall integrity of your core tone.

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In the next set of examples, I wanted to showcase how well the pedal responds to different pick attacks, as well as, demonstrate the impact of the volume and tone knob. Plus, you get to hear me butcher a classic.

In this first example I have the neck pickup selected with the volume and tone knob on the Ascend maxed out. Again, with the tone knob completely maxed out, you can really hear how the tone compresses and brightens up.

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For the next example, I left the volume maxed out, but turned the tone knob to bypass. This should give you a solid demonstration and contrast of the impact that the tone knob of the Ascend can have on your overall tone. I thought the tone sounded a bit warmer and a little more even between the top and bottom end of the guitar.

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Finally, with the neck pickup still selected, I keep the volume maxed out, but, I dialed the tone knob back to about half in order to get a nice blend of my core tone and the Ascend. Take special notice of how transparent the tone is. I thought this did the best job at re-creating the core tone of “Shine”. You can really hear how the moving melody sits nicely within the rest of the open strings.

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For this next example, I really wanted to demonstrate how much of an impact the volume knob on your guitar  can have when used with this pedal. The first half of the example has the volume knob on the guitar dialed back about half way. The second half of the example has the volume knob turned all the way up. The volume on the Ascend is maxed out with the tone knob in bypass.

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You can hear how the signal breaks up just enough to capture the definition of the strings, yet maintains the transparency and clarity of your overall tone. Once the volume is turned up, you really start to hear how much the Ascend pushes your tone.

It wouldn’t be a true review if I didn’t butcher one more classic. So, for this last example, I once again wanted to demonstrate how much the combination of your guitar’s volume knob and the Ascend can impact your overall tone. This example utilizes the neck pickup of the guitar, the volume knob on the Ascend is maxed out, and the tone knob is three quarters of the way up.

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Pay special attention in the first half of the example to how well the signal responds to the pick attack of my right hand. Then, once the volume on the guitar is turned up, you can once again hear the warmth and clarity the Ascend brings to your tone.

As you can hear, the Ascend provides your sound with a nice kick in the pants that doesn’t take away from your core tone. The transparency and clarity of the pedal is absolutely what any TONE FREQ could ever want in a boost. Long story short, the Ascend does exactly what it’s suppose to do. It boosts your signal, doesn’t mess with your tone, and delivers on both quality and performance.

Plain and simple, this is one of the most impressive and best pedals I have had the pleasure of playing.

PROS:

  • Smooth
  • Transparent and clear
  • Tone Bypass allows you to push YOUR tone.
  • Solid construction and built to last. (Probably the best built pedal we have ever had our hands on).
  • Smooth, responsive controls
  • LIFETIME WARRANTY
  • HAND BUILT
  • Provides a nice, full, thick sound.
  • Simple and usable
  • Affordable

CONS:

  • NONE

TONE FREQ USER RATING: 10 out of 10

Pick one up from American Guitar Boutique for $129.99.

THE TAKEAWAY:

Honestly, this is a tone lovers wet dream. After all, that’s why you’re here anyway, right? Not only does it provide your tone with a nice swift kick in the pants, but, it’s HAND BUILT by someone that CARES about YOUR TONE. If you’re looking for a pedal that will give your tone a nice boost without affecting your tone, then do yourself a favor and pick up an Ascend from Heavy Electronics. We PROMISE, you WON’T be disappointed. And if you are, we’ll buy you a beer and discuss why you’re wrong.

Review: Evil Tweaker One Knob Fuzz

Over the last year or so, the name “Evil Tweaker”, has become quite popular with custom and boutique pedal collectors. It’s a name that rings quality, creativity, and tone. Of course, we can’t forget about the picture perfect paint jobs that set his pedals apart from anything else on the market.

Each company has what they would consider to be their flagship product. Whether its Ibanez’s Tube Screamer, a Fender Stratocaster, or a Mesa Boogie rectifier, it’s the products that have helped solidify their brand as much as the name. For Evil Tweaker, the One Knob Fuzz is that product.

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In the beginning, The One Knob Fuzz was Evil Tweaker’s first step into the realm of boutique pedal building. Since then, he has gone on to build a wide array of pedals. Anything from Line Buffers and Delays, to Loopers and Reverbs, he continues to push the boundaries of his madness.

Recently, Evil Tweaker created his first production run of his flagship One Knob Fuzz, and we were lucky enough to get out hands on it first!

First, let’s get you some of the basics

The Evil Tweaker One knob Fuzz:

  • Silicon 2089 transistor
  • Germanium clipping diodes
  • True Bypass switching
  • Bass cut switch
  • Neutrik jacks
  • Runs on standard 9V power supply

What did you expect? There’s only one knob!

The Build:

On the outside, the One Knob Fuzz is exactly what one would expect. It has a footswitch, input, output, bass cut, white LED, and of course, One Knob. It’s about as simple as it gets. However, as we all know, it’s what’s on the inside that counts. For this build, Evil Tweaker uses a silicon 2089 transistor paired with Germanium clipping diodes. And, much like his custom paintings, his point to point hand wiring is second to none.

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Speaking of hand painting, we have all come to love Evil Tweaker’s ability to take a paintbrush and turn a standard pedal into a true work of art.  While we may not get custom paintjobs on these new production run One Knob’s, they still have the hand-made touch with the word “Fuzz” being painted on in black against the solid white backdrop. But hey, modern art went through a minimalism phase too.

One of the most exciting things about this pedal is that Evil Tweaker has included a bass cut switch. This is a great extra feature that adds a little more versatility that was not available on previous models of the One Knob. But we’ll get to more on that in a second.

All in all, it’s a solid build. The aluminum metal casing will be more than capable of withstanding even the heaviest of metal (see what I did there) and the rest of the pedal is built to be stepped on. Even though these are a new production line, they still maintain the hand built quality of a boutique pedal. Plus, if it breaks, we’ll give you Mr. Evil Tweaker’s home address and you can go see him personally…Tell him Tone Freqs sent ya.

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The Performance.

We all have pre conceived notions on what we want out of a fuzz pedal. Some of us want a subtle distortion to help create a little extra bite, and others may be looking for something that resembles a blown tube amp. The Evil Tweaker One Knob does a nice job at finding its own spot on the fuzz spectrum. Below is a series of sound examples of what the One Knob Fuzz is capable of producing. These examples are meant to demonstrate the overall effect this pedal will have on your tone, as well as, showcase additional features of the One Knob Fuzz.

 Gear used for these examples:

  • Diezel Herbert – Clean Channel
  • PRS Standard 22 – Dragon II pickups
  • Evil Tweaker One Knob Fuzz
  • Audix i5 microphone
  • North Eastern cable company guitar cable

This first example is a dry signal into the clean channel of the Diezel Herbert. This example is to showcase what the amp and guitar combination sounds like without any effects.

For the second example, I play the same open chords as in the previous sound clip, however, this time the One Knob Fuzz is engaged and turned all the way up with the bass cut switch off. Notice how much of a significant difference there is in the signal. Unlike other fuzz pedals, the One Knob still maintains a certain level of clarity between each open chord. I also really liked the amount of sustain this pedal provides to your signal.

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This next example is the exact same thing, only this time the bass cut is engaged. Listen closely as the bass cut switch cleans up the low end and balances out the overall frequency.

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In this next example, I dialed the fuzz back to about halfway to showcase how responsive the fuzz knob is to the overall signal. The bass cut engaged for this example. I was really pleased with how well the signal cleaned up and responded to the adjustment and maintained articulation.

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For the next set of examples, I wanted to showcase a style of playing that we most attribute with a fuzz pedal. This first example has the fuzz turned all the way up with the bass cut engaged. Listen to how warm and round each power chord sounds. Also, notice how the bottom notes have a bit more clarity and distinction to them.

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Same playing idea, only this time the bass cut switch is off. Take a listen to both examples and see if you can hear how much of an impact the bass cut switch has on the signal.

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These next two examples are sticking with the same playing style, only this time I wanted to break up the power chords a little bit so you could hear the reaction of the signal. This first example is has the fuzz knob turned all the way up with the bass cut switch off. Pay attention to the lower notes and their definition between each example to understand the impact of the bass cut.

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And here is the same idea with the bass cut switch engaged.

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For these next two examples, I wanted to showcase how much of an impact rolling off of the volume on your guitar can have on the signal of the One Knob even when the fuzz is turned all the way up. I also wanted to demonstrate how you can capture smooth, warm, creamy solo lines with the One Knob Fuzz. The first half of each example has the volume on the guitar rolled back halfway and then rolled up to full volume for the second half. This first example has the bass cut engaged.

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Now with the bass cut turned off.

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Finally, in this last example, I wanted to demonstrate that this pedal is more than capable of providing you with enough fuzz to get as heavy as you want. I tuned the guitar to “Drop D” for this example and had the fuzz turned all the way up. I did not have the bass cut engaged, so pay close attention to the response of the lower notes.

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As I mentioned above, we all have our own ideas of what a fuzz pedal should sound like; however, The One Knob fuzz does a solid job at providing you with a nice, warm, fuzzy tone. While the bass cut switch may be subtle, it’s effective. Compared to previous models of Evil Tweaker’s One Knob Fuzz, this one is by far the best yet. Whether you’re looking to get heavy, or simply add a little extra bite to your tone, the One Knob should more than have you covered.

While I am incredibly impressed with this pedal, I would like to point out one aspect that others may not find appealing. While simplicity is the name of the game with the One Knob, some may be looking for more fuzz options. Other than that, anyone should find this One Knob more than capable of solidifying a spot on their pedal board.

Pros:

  • Smooth, warm, full tone
  • Not too harsh
  • Responds well to pick attack
  • Simple to use
  • HAND BUILT
  • FIRST PRODUCTION RUN

Cons:

  • May be “too simple” for some players

Tone Freqs User Rating: 9.6 out of 10

Price: 129.99 – Available at American Guitar Boutique.

Honestly, what more could you want out of a fuzz? It’s smooth, warm, articulate, and full of character. Plus, you only have one knob to worry about! If you’re looking for a production pedal, with the hand built touch, then we highly recommend you check out Evil Tweaker’s first production run of the covenant One Knob Fuzz. We promise you won’t be disappointed.

Make sure to stop by Evil Tweaker’s Facebook page and give him a one up! Tell him Tone Freqs sent ya!

Jamstar App: Review

OK. It’s no secret that there are hundreds of apps out there claiming to be the best at teaching you how to play guitar. Some are good, some are bad, and some should just be ashamed. Whether you’re a touring professional or just starting out, we’ve all downloaded at least one.

When you search through your phone, tablet, or other device, how many guitar apps have you downloaded? Well, if you’re anything like me, chances are, you’ve downloaded a whole bunch but don’t use any of them. At least, that was the case for me up until about 4 weeks ago.

Just over a month ago, a friend of mine told me to try this new guitar app called, Jamstar. He told me how this was unlike any other app out there due to “some audio recognition software”. Like any jaded guitar player with a smartphone, I was a little hesitant, but I decided to give it a try.  Turns out, it is different….

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OK…So what is Jamstar?

Livetune Ltd. is a startup company specializing in audio recognition and analysis that can be used across a wide spectrum of industries. Livetune’s first product is “Jamstar™ Acoustics,” a platform that teaches how to play guitar (with more instruments to come). The technology behind Jamstar™ Acoustics is a patent-pending engine that can detect the difference between single notes, polyphonic tones, white-noise and other advanced sonic subtleties via your device’s microphone.

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So, now that you know what we’re talking about today, let’s dig in.

Jamstar

  • Compatible with both iOS and Android products
  • Works with a REAL guitar
  • Uses your devices microphone
  • Provides real time feedback
  • Connects to Facebook
  • Utilizes a patent pending polyphonic algorithms and audio recognition software
  • Virtually NO latency
  • Groundbreaking application for music education
  • Partnered with DR strings
  • Built in tuner
  • 200,000+ active users

As I mentioned above, Jamstar is compatible with any iOS or Android device making downloading and accessibility very simple.

When you first download this app, you need to create an account. You have the option of singing up with your email, or, simply logging in with you Facebook account.

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Once you’re in, the app asks to pick your skill level. The trick here, is to set your ego aside and be honest. This allows the system to really determine the right learning plan for you and where to start you off. Besides, you can always change your skill level.

Right away I was very impressed with the layout of the app and the user interface. It’s very intuitive and easy to navigate. At the top of the screen, Jamstar has categories for you to pick from based on genre, and skill level. Those categories are; Trending, Lessons, Rock/Pop, and Jazz/Blues. Within each of these categories you will be able to choose from beginners, intermediate, and advanced depending upon your skill level.

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Jamstar has also teamed up with one of the leading publishing houses in the U.S. so they can continue to add new and exciting songs from the bands you love.

Here are some examples from each category:

LESSONS

The guitar strings, Basic warm up exercises, basics of rhythm, hand coordination, spanish fingerpicking, 7th chord arpeggios, major scale, minor scale, harmonic minor scale, power chords, jam session, rock riffs, and SO MANY MORE.

Rock/Pop

Green Day, Muse, Foo Fighters, Led Zeppelin, Nickelback, Creed, Grateful Dead, The Beatles, Soul Asylum, R.E.M., Smashmouth, Stained, Jimmy Buffett, KISS, AND SO MANY MORE.

Jazz/Blues

George Thorogood, Van Morrison, Ray Charles, Marty Schwartz (The guy from YouTube), Blues Essentials, Melodic Jazz minor scale, how to build a jazz solo, and SO MANY MORE.

Songs/lessons range anywhere from FREE to $.99. When you think about it, we pay anywhere from $.69 – $1.29 for a song on iTunes that gives us only the value of listening enjoyment. For $.99 you can educate yourself and learn to play the song on your own. Seems fair to me.

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One of the really nice things about Jamstar, is that they have regular, and easy versions of certain songs depending on your skill level. This allows the user to still play some of their favorite songs, but also allows them to play them at a comfortable level and help build their skill set. As you move your way through each lesson/song, Jamstar provides you with real time feedback. Plus, it ranks your score with other users and provides an element of “friendly competition”.

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Playing each song/lesson is actually a lot of fun. The layout reminds you of guitar hero or RockBand, only this time, you’re holding a real guitar.

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While there isn’t much of a learning curve, I still recommend starting very simple just to get a feel for the layout of the user interface when playing. Again, you can always change your skill level setting.

Let’s talk about that patent pending polyphonic algorithms and audio recognition software for a minute.

HOLY CRAP. This is, without a doubt, the BEST audio recognition software to ever be integrated with an app. Not only is there no latency issues, but, it makes for one of the best tuners available…AND IT’S FREE. I wish I could tell you the secret or even exactly how it works, but I can’t. What I can tell you, is that the audio recognition software is capable of determining the difference between single notes, polyphonic tones, white-noise and other advanced sonic subtleties, in order to provide you with an enjoyable experience.

Jamstar allows you to adjust the input of the microphone on your device to allow for optimal performance between the sound of the guitar and the app. This is especially great whether you are using your electric or your acoustic guitar.

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But wait, that’s not all! 

Are you a teacher or an instructor? They have an app for that!

Jamstar for teachers allows you to upload your own lessons, store them in the cloud and share them with your students. Once your lessons are in the system, you can monitor your students’ progress  with a backend dashboard. Jamstar for Teachers really allows students to grow at a much quicker rate while keeping their “homework” fun and engaging.

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One of the things that I like most about Jamstar, is that it is really about music education and teaching the guitar to the user. Livetune has taken a lot of the necessary steps to make sure the experience of learning guitar is not only fun, but educational. Jamstar has also teamed up with some of the industries leading teachers, including Marty Schwartz! (GuitarJamz).

“Jamstar is a great enhancement for what I already do online. It enables me to add a new, interactive layer to how I teach music on the web.”

Marty Schwartz – founder of GuitarJamz.com

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Jamstar is also partners with forward thinking guitar string company, DR strings, and jointly developed the “Color-Play Learning System.” DR’s breakthrough color-coated strings, which, with strong visual cues, enhance learning, are replicated in the Jamstar user interface.

“Jamstar’s technology is easy to follow and makes learning guitar far easier than ever. This is exactly what the industry needs now…a simpler, more effective and fun way to learn to play!”

Anthony Corona, DR Handmade Strings

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I do see a couple shortfalls with Jamstar. The first being their music library. I would like to see a much larger music library for users. In it’s current state, while it offers a great foundation, users will want a bit more of a variety when it comes to song selection. In Jamstar’s defense, they do continue to add more content quite regularly. So, it’s more so just a waiting game at this point.

The only other shortfall that I see, is that while this app is suitable for many players, it isn’t going to be for everyone. Some players will feel beyond the level of what Jamstar can offer. HOWEVER, If you think you’re at that level, at least put your money where your mouth is.

PROS:

  • Educational for the user
  • Easy learning curve
  • User friendly
  • FREE
  • No latency issues
  • Audio recognition software is without a doubt the best available for a guitar app
  • MORE INSTRUMENTS ARE COMING!
  • Amazing tool for guitar teachers

CONS:

  • Small library of songs/lessons
  • Not for every player

TONE FREQ USER RATING: 9.6 out of 10

Jamstar is what you call a “game changer”. For a long time, it seemed as though guitar education was starting to fall to the wayside (R.I.P Guitar hero). Thanks to applications like Jamstar and companies like, Livetune and DR strings, guitar education has found it’s way back to the fingertips of players and teachers. If you’re a beginner looking to learn for the first time, or a seasoned veteran looking to brush up on some old skills, then we highly recommend you check out Jamstar.

Download the app now!

Check out the video below to get a full walkthrough of Jamstar and how it works.

73′ Rams Head Big Muff Replica by JHS

“Close only counts in horseshoes, hand-grenades, and the ‘73 Ram’s Head.”

Yeah, you read that right. The name alone resonates with most gear enthusiasts as much as the solo from “Comfortably Numb.” It’s easily one of the most sought-after tones for guitar players, one that so many have tried to capture, only to fall short. Well, thanks to an exclusive partnership between JHS pedals and American Guitar Boutique, you can come closer than ever to capturing that iconic tone with their version of the hugely sought after ‘73 Version 2 Big Muff, otherwise known as the Ram’s Head.

First, a little history.

Electro Harmonix is responsible for the original Big Muff pedal and sound. In 1973 the Big Muff underwent a makeover and an upgrade to version 2, henceforth referred to as the “Ram’s Head” (you can thank this weird little face for the nickname).

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Legend has it that due to schematics changing so often, there is no single Ram’s Head that sounds identical.  They are close but hey, that seems to be the theme of this review.

JHS and American Guitar Boutique sought out to recreate that iconic tone of our dreams combined with state-of-the-art technology.  That means that not only are the board schematics to the exact specifications of an original Ram’s Head, but also the transistors have been upgraded to work with modern power supplies. That’s what you call a win-win.

The build:

There is something about purchasing a new HAND-MADE pedal and having the name of it written on the packaging that just feels authentic. The ‘73 Ram’s Head Replica comes nicely packaged in a JHS-labeled box and upon opening, you are greeted with an explosion of red confetti, the pedal, and nice little packet of extras from JHS.

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In the spirit of keeping things authentic, JHS captured the simplicity of the original Ram’s Head in the design. It’s your standard pedal housing painted in Dark Grey with the picture of a Ram’s Head on the front. Much like the original Ram’s Head, the JHS has only 3 knobs; volume, tone, and sustain. Honestly, what else do you need? It’s powered by a 9-volt plug-in and there is a LED indicator light on the faceplate that lets you know when the pedal is engaged. All in all, a pretty standard pedal build.

Performance:

When you first plug in, you can’t help but smile. It is it. It is exactly what you want it to be: smooth, dark, warm, FAT, fluid, and so much more. In the video below, see how drastically you can shape the tone and span a pallet’s worth of sound.

You will wonder where this pedal has been all your life.  With the volume and sustain cranked, and the tone at noon, you’ll forget what your clean tone even sounded like.  As you back off on the Tone knob, you can really hear how your sound begins to round off and take on a darker feel. If you go the opposite direction and crank the tone, you start to approach ramming speed…I know…I should just stop with the jokey puns…

Anyway…

Dialing the tone back to noon, the pedal maintains a fat, fluid quality that translates beautifully in the upper register. Even as you dial back on the sustain knob, the integrity of the tone is maintained. As you start to crank the sustain knob up again, you begin to understand how the Big Muff inspired so many iconic guitar sounds.

Don’t worry–just because this pedal is known for solidifying the tones of the 70’s doesn’t mean that’s all it can do. If you’re looking for fluid fat leads, or a fuzz filled rhythm, the Ram’s Head will have you covered. Not to mention, the Ram’s Head handles humbuckers with ease and fattens up your single coils. What’s not to love?

Below is a picture of the schematics of an original ‘73 Ram’s Head.

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Here is a picture of the JHS Ram’s Head with the back plate off.

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If you can’t tell, the wiring is basically a shot for shot re-make and, unlike “Planet of the Apes,” this remake is worthy of a standing ovation.

Time to break it down.

Pros

  • Smooth, warm, fat, rich tone.
  • Simple and easy to use.
  • Well-crafted with solid construction.
  • Great packaging and extras from JHS.
  • Hand-Made.
  • Easy to dial in.
  • Built to the specifications of the original ‘73 Ram’s Head Version 2 Big Muff.

Cons

  • No place for a 9V battery.

Price: $250.00 at American Guitar Boutique. THE ONLY PLACE YOU CAN BUY THE FIRST RUN OF THIS PEDAL.

(Price for an original 70’s Ram’s head. $650+).

User Rating: 9.8 out of 10

All in all, you can hear how the pedal takes your tone and transforms it into a wall. Perhaps even, THE WALL…If you catch my drift.

OK, I’ll stop.

This pedal is sure to please and offered at a fraction of the cost of a so-called “original,” making both you and your significant other significantly happier.

Pick one of these up from Cory, Brett or Tim at American Guitar Boutique. http://www.americanguitarboutique.com/. You won’t be disappointed. Plus, now you’re only excuse for not sounding like David Gilmour is in your playing…maybe I should add that to the cons…

D’Addario EXL 110BT Regular Light Gauge Electric Guitar Strings Review

“cordaro” – the Italian word for “string maker.”

While doing my research for today’s review, D’Addario EXL 110BT regular guitar strings, I came across the history of D’Addario. It is honestly one of the most incredible company histories that I have ever read. Therefor, I figured it is only fitting to start this review off by providing a little history lesson for you.

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The D’Addario family of string-makers originated in the small Italian town of Salle in the province of Pescara. A baptismal form from 1680 names Donato D’Addario as a cordaro, where cordaro is a regional variant of Italian cordaio, meaning “maker or seller of ropes and strings”.  From other historical records, it appears that the town’s primary occupations were farming and string-making. At the time, strings were made of sheep or hog gut, and making them was a rather laborious process…

After an earthquake devastated Salle in 1905, two brothers-in-law, Rocco and Carmine D’Addario emigrated to Astoria in Queens, New York in an attempt to expand their market by importing and selling the strings made by their family in Salle. By 1918, Rocco returned to Salle and Carmine later began making his own strings in a small shop behind the family home. The process still remained a family affair.

In the early part of the 20th century, the guitar saw a major rise in popularity due to new, popular music. Sometime in the 1930’s, the family began making strings made to order for individual musicians or for guitar manufacturers.

The development of nylon by DuPont during World War II, produced a major change in the family business. The D’Addarios immediately began experimenting with nylon and began consulting with users and customers in order to better their product.

During the late 1940s and early 1950s (especially after the birth of rock and roll) nylon-stringed “classical” guitars were being eclipsed in popularity by the steel-string guitar. Some of the younger members of the family wanted to expand into steel strings, but Charles was reluctant to risk the family business on what he considered an uncertain market. In 1956 a new company (the Archaic Musical String Mfg Co.) began to make steel strings, run by Charles’ son, John D’Addario Sr. The company made strings for several of the major guitar makers of the time, including; Gretsch, D’Angelico, Martin, and Guild. In 1962 the two companies became merged under the name Darco.

The guitar quickly became the most popular instrument in the U.S. allowing the Darco company to come up with many innovations in the manufacture of guitar strings, including the first automated equipment to wind strings and the first roundwound bass guitar strings.

In the late 1960’s, Darco was approached by Martin Guitars regarding a merger in order to pool resources and development efforts. While the partnership was beneficial for both companies, by 1974 the D’Addario family decided it was time to market strings under their own name, and the J. D’addario & Company corporation was formed. (Darco is still a brand name used by the Martin Guitar company).

Originally located in Lynbrook, New York, the business continued to expand and, in 1994, D’addario moved to its current facility in Farmingdale, New York. With 13 family members among the 1,000 employees, the company is still a family owned and operated company.

How’s that for a family business?!

Like I mentioned earlier, today we’re going to be looking at the D’Addario EXL 110BT Regular Light Guage electric guitar strings.

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The D’Addario EXL110BT (Balanced Tension) electric guitar sets are comprised of mathematically optimized string gauge combinations, resulting in greater control and playing comfort. Combined with the distinctive bright tone of XL nickel wound strings, these strings offer greater dynamic control and a more consistent feel between strings for evenly balanced bending, strumming, fretting, picking, and plucking.

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The XL nickel wound strings are D’Addario’s best selling sets. They are precision wound with nickelplated steel onto a carefully drawn, hexagonally shaped, high carbon steel core. They offer the ideal combination of tone, flexibility and long life. What else could you want out of a string?

Performance:

Right away, I really liked the feel of these strings. Some strings can feel a little too harsh or rigid when you first put them on. For the D’Addario XL BT’s, that was not the case. They felt smooth, soft, and had a natural playability to them. They had a nice, balance, full resonance to chords and great sustain with single notes. The D’Addario XL BT’s are bright, but still maintain a warmer articulation between notes.

Speaking of balanced, let’s talk about that “Balanced Tension”? Does it make a difference?

Yes. The balanced tension allows for evenly balanced bending, strumming, fretting, picking, and plucking. In other words, these strings have a more well rounded, cleaner sound to them.

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E .10,

B .0135,

G .017,

D .026,

A .034,

E .046.

It’s good practice to change your guitar strings once every two weeks (Or less pending how much you play). However, we are all guilty of leaving a set of strings on for longer than we care to admit. I will say, I have been using the D’Addario XL BT’s on my guitar for roughly three weeks now. With regular playing (30-60 min per day), I am happy to say that the strings have maintained a clear, articulate tone.

Some users have mentioned that they have experience the high E string breaking after only a day or two of playing. Could be just a faulty string. It happens. I have not experience any issues with these strings. The only “con” I can find with these strings, is that these strings simply might not be for everyone. We all chase our own tone. Just depends on the sound you are looking for.

PROS

  • Bright, clean, round sound
  • balanced tone
  • smooth, soft, natural playability
  • Family owned company
  • Long lasting while maintaining a solid tone.

CONS

  • Not for everyone. Just depends on the sound you are looking for.

Pick up a set at Chuck Levin’s Washington Music Center. $ 4.99

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To put it simple, if you’re looking for a dependable, affordable, quality set of strings, then pick up a pair of the D’Addario XL BT’s. We all have our devotions and reserves for “our” strings, but, we highly suggest giving these bad boys a try. Plus, how can you honestly go wrong with a company that basically created what we know as the guitar string? Seriously.

Barber Electronics Compact Direct Drive

What do you look for in a overdrive pedal? Smoothness? Bite? How much gain is on tap? Maybe you just want a little extra boost. Well, we all have our own preferences. But, what if I told you there was a pedal that did all that, and then some? Intrigued? Good, keep reading.

Keeping with the theme of “does size matter,” this week we are going to look at the Compact Direct Drive by Barber Electronics.

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For those of you that don’t know about Barber Electronics, they are a HAND MADE pedal manufacturer that designs some of the most glorious pedal tones you have ever heard. They primarily customize their own designs, instead of copying old circuits, and provide greater clarity, note definition, with a wider range of tones, textures, and functions.

Some users you may recognize would be: Joe Satriani, Lee Roy Parnell, Nils Lofgren and Bruce Springsteen of the E Street Band, Jay Graydon, David Grissom, Richard Thompson, Eric Johnson, Christopher Cross, Dave Knudson, Rick Derringer, Lionle Loueke, Johnny Hiland and Jerry Cantrell.

Ok, back to the Compact Direct Drive.

Much like the TC Electronics HOF Mini Reverb, the Compact Direct Drive also has an older, fatter brother.  And like we learned from the HOF Mini Reverb, bigger, does not mean better.

Like it’s older brother, the Compact Direct Drive is designed to provide the user with a variety of different tones. These tones can range anywhere from a nice warm blues drive, to all out british overdrive and everything in between.

Gear used for this review:

  • Diezel Herbert
  • PRS Standard 22
  • Barber Electronics Compact Direct Drive

The Build:

As I mentioned earlier, this pedal is HAND MADE. It’s metal, and it’s meant to be stepped on. The deep forest green makes for a very attractive backdrop against the white decal lettering. Being this is the COMPACT Direct Drive, it is in fact COMPACT. Measuring at only 2.3″ wide, It’s designed to take up less real-estate while still providing the same great tone.

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One of the first things you will notice with this pedal, are the two toggle switches mounted at the top of the pedal. The toggle switch on the left is the “harmonics switch.” This switch allows you to go from the lower harmonics and capture the clarity of “strings coming through”, to a higher-energy “power tubes running hot” tone. The high harmonics setting (switched right) also give you a little more bite so you can make better use of your guitar’s tone control; back off a little on your instrument’s tone control and you be able to capture a nice fat and squeaky lead tone reminiscent of some of the most expensive tube amps.

The right toggle is the “gain switch.” This switch not only picks up where the harmonics switch left off, but, it offers you a whole other extension for creating the tone you want. This switch allows you to capture anything from a nice warm low gain, to an all out British distortion that would make even the biggest Marshall enthusiast take a second listen.

And if that wasn’t enough, you can adjust your sound with the volume, tone and drive knobs at the top. The volume control sets the output of the pedal; most players can find unity between 10 o’ clock and 2 o’ clock, depending on their pickup output and the guitar’s volume setting. The Tone control is a simple high-end roll-off. A good starting point for balanced sound is 2-3 o clock. The Gain control sets the amount of sustain and drive. A lower setting will give your guitar a nearly- clean gutsy-edge without losing the sound of your strings. Rotate to the middle and you start cooking with a throaty grind. Push it to the limit and you are greeted with singing sustain and harmonics. Want more? Well, just use the gain switch to take it over the top and I promise you will forget you had a overdrive channel on your amp.

Clearly, this is more than just your typical overdrive pedal.

Performance:

I must say, I was instantly impressed by the Compact Direct Drive. Whether I was looking for a smooth bluesy overdrive with the right amount of breakup, or an all out classic Marshall full stack, I was able to capture those tones and so many more with ease.

Below are sound samples that display a variety of the different tones you can capture with the Compact Direct Drive. Keep in mind, these were all run through the clean channel of the Diezel Herbert. The first four example maintain all of the same overall settings. These first four examples are more so to show the effect and differences of the harmonics and gain switch.

In this first example, I first show you a dry signal through the clean channel of the Diezel Herbert. In the second half of the example, even though the drive is set to noon, you can still hear how much the Compact Direct Drive effects the signal and supplies the user with a  substantial amount of gain.

The settings in this example are:

  • Volume: 10:00
  • Tone: 1:00
  • Drive: 12:00
  • Harmonics Switch: –
  • Gain Switch: –

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This next clip has both the Harmonics and the gain switch set to (+). This brings out more of a british overdriven tone with plenty of drive on tap. Pay close attention to each note of the chord to hear the evenness and rounded low end. I actually thought it provided a rather convincing GnR sound.

The settings in this example are:

  • Volume: 10:00
  • Tone: 1:00
  • Drive: 12:00
  • Harmonics Switch: +
  • Gain Switch: +

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With the Harmonics switch in the minus position and the gain switched to positive, you can hear how the overall drive is less saturated and you can capture more of the “string through” sound.

The settings in this example are:

  • Volume: 10:00
  • Tone: 1:00
  • Drive: 12:00
  • Harmonics Switch: –
  • Gain Switch: +

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In this next example you can really hear the saturation from the Harmonics switch being engaged.  I really thought this setting had a nice, even, full body to it that was reminiscent of a 70’s Marshall.

The settings in this example are:

  • Volume: 10:00
  • Tone: 1:00
  • Drive: 12:00
  • Harmonics Switch: +
  • Gain Switch: –

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In the next two examples, we take a look at a couple different settings of the Compact Direct Drive while showcasing some broken/chopped chords. The first example has the drive dialed back to about 9:00, and in the second example the drive is maxed. Take a listen to both examples and pay extra attention to how each setting responds to the broken chords.

The settings in this example are:

  • Volume: 10:00
  • Tone: 1:00
  • Drive: 9:00
  • Harmonics Switch: –
  • Gain Switch: –

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The settings in this example are:

  • Volume: 10:00
  • Tone: 1:00
  • Drive: Maxed
  • Harmonics Switch: –
  • Gain Switch: –

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In the next example, you can hear very “tube” like sound in the power chords that has a more natural sounding drive to them.

The settings in this example are:

  • Volume: 10:00
  • Tone: 1:00
  • Drive: 9:00
  • Harmonics Switch: –
  • Gain Switch: +

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In the first half of the following example, you can hear that the Compact Direct Drive is more than capable of supplying a very smooth, slightly driven blues tone that breaks up just enough to maintain articulation. In the second half of the example, the gain is once again maxed out. Pay close attention to the extra amount of sustain and fluidity this provides for your tone.

The settings in this example are:

  • Volume: 10:00
  • Tone: 1:00
  • Drive: 9:00/Maxed
  • Harmonics Switch: –
  • Gain Switch: +

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Next up, I take my shot at another blues type solo, however, this time the gain is maxed out with the harmonics switch set to (-) and the gain switch set to (+). You can hear how there is even more weight to each note.

The settings in this example are:

  • Volume: 10:00
  • Tone: 1:00
  • Drive: Maxed
  • Harmonics Switch: –
  • Gain Switch: +

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Finally, I decided I wanted to showcase the extremes of this pedal. Mostly because the amount, and quality of the overdrive on tap, is very impressive. In the first example, I play a basic riff on the lower strings to once again demonstrate that this pedal can very easily provide you with a new rhythm tone.

The settings in this example are:

  • Volume: 10:00
  • Tone: 1:00
  • Drive: 9:00
  • Harmonics Switch: +
  • Gain Switch: +

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So far, you may be thinking this pedal is only capable of supplying a blues/rock type sound. Well, think again.

The settings in this example are:

  • Volume: 10:00
  • Tone: 1:00
  • Drive: Maxed
  • Harmonics Switch: +
  • Gain Switch: –

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In the final example, I wanted to demonstrate how this pedal reacts when you have the gain maxed out, but dial back on your volume knob on your guitar. The first half of the example has the volume knob on my guitar dialed back to about 3. In the second half of the example you will hear the change when I open the volume up all the way and demonstrate that this pedal is also more than capable of supplying a very fluid and articulate lead tone.

The settings in this example are:

  • Volume: 10:00
  • Tone: 1:00
  • Drive: Maxed
  • Harmonics Switch: +
  • Gain Switch: –

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Like most hand made pedals, the Compact Direct Overdrive doesn’t come with a spot/ability for a 9V battery. Not a real big deal, but, some people may like the option. Other than that, I really have no other issues with this pedal.

Pros:

  • Incredible sound quality
  • Smaller than the original Direct Drive
  • True Bypass
  • Harmonic and gain switch offer a wide pallet of sounds and tones
  • Sturdy construction
  • Hand Made
  • Smooth sound control
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • No 9V battery capability

Tone Freqs User Review: 9.8 out of 10

Price at Chuck Levin’s Washington Music Center: $124.95  (Cheapest price ANYWHERE).

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With it’s ability to offer anything from a smooth blues tone, to all out Master Volume that would make even Angus Young take a second look, the Compact Direct Drive is sure to please. Plain and simple, if you’re looking for a overdrive that is incredibly versatile, while still offering top sound quality, then go pick up a Compact Direct Drive from Chuck Levin’s Washington Music Center. You can thank me later.

TC Electronics Hall of Fame MINI Reverb

TC Electronics is one of those brands that resonates with players in both quality and performance. They are also one of those brands that most players would feel comfortable enough to purchase a piece of equipment without even trying it.

Their Roster of featured guitar artists are the likes of; Albert Lee, Alex Lifeson, Andreas Kisser, Andy Wood, Audley Freed, Bill Kelliher, Billy Morrison, Brad Whitford, Brent Hinds, Brett Scallions, Brian May, Brian Nutter, Bumblefoot, Cory Churko, Dave Weiner, Donna Grantis, Doug Aldrich, Dweezil Zappa, Eric Johnson, Jason Hook, Joe Perry, john 5, john Petrucci,Kirk Hammett, Mark Tremonti, Mike Mushok, Orianthi, Steve Vai, and that’s just SOME of their featured guitar artists.

Recently, TC Electronics released the little brother to the highly sought after Hall of Fame, the Hall of Fame Mini Reverb-the keyword here is, “Mini.” Therefor, I think its only fair that, today, we try to answer the age old question, “does size matter?”

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Let’s get you some of the basics, first.

  • TC Electronic Hall Reverb
  • Bypass mode: True Bypass
  • Signal Circuitry: Analog dry-through
  • Dimensions (Width x Depth x Height):
  • 48 x 48 x 93 mm / 1.9 x 1.9 x 3.7”
  • Standard ¼” jack – mono/TS
  • Output Connector Type:
  • Standard ¼” jack – mono/TS
  • Standard 9 V DC,
  • centre negative >100 mA (not supplied)
  • Reverb Level Knob: FX level
  • (knob assignment can be changed using free
  • TonePrint Editor software)
  • Switch: FX On/Off
  • Input Impedance: 1 MΩ
  • Output Impedance: 100 Ω

Equipment used for this review

  • Diezel herbert
  • PRS Standard 22
  • TC Electronics HOF mini Reverb

On the outside, the Hall of Fame Mini Reverb is about as simple as it gets. But don’t let the simplicity fool you. This little guy packs a serious punch thanks to TC Electronics highly praised Tone Print technology.

If you’re not aware of TC electronic’s Tone Print technology, then let me give you a basic run down. Tone Print is a software (and an app) that allows you to download settings and presets via your computer or smartphone and upload (or beam) them to your pedal. These settings are anything from industry standards, to specially designed sounds by some of the most sought after players in the industry. Essentially, this brings you one step closer to sounding like your favorite players, and to customizing your sound.

The Build:

The Mini HOF is made out of a 1590A-sized die-cast aluminum enclosure and topped off with a cherry red finish. Weighing in at under 1 pound, the TC Electronic Hall of Fame Mini Reverb is built for even the roughest conditions. Not to mention, it’s small enough to fill that very last spot of real estate on your pedalboard.

Like I mentioned earlier, simplicity is at the forefront of this build. The Mini HOF has one foot switch, one knob, one input, one output, and of course, one spot for the mini-USB jack. Simple, right? Basically, you plug in, turn the knob, and decide how wet or dry you want your reverb signal. That’s it.

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Did I mention it’s Mini? Just so you have an idea, that is the HOF mini sitting next to an Apple mouse.

While the nano build is exciting from a space saver point of view, it should be noted, that there is no place for a battery. Again, you WILL need a 9V AC adapter in order to run this pedal. One other aspect of the HOF mini that was an instant let down, was that it does not come with a mini-USB cable. For a pedal that so heavily relies on the Tone Print technology, you would think TC Electronics would want to provide the mini-USB. Then again, who doesn’t own a smartphone.

Performance:

First things first, like any other pedal set up, you have to think about the signal chain. Below are a few basic setup examples depending on your setup.

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I chose to go through the effects loop of the Diezel Herbert.

Between the mix knob and the Tone Print software, the combination provides the user with the ability to create a landscape of different reverb. Here are just SOME of the reverbs you will be able to have at your finger tips: Room, Hall, Spring, Plate, Church, Modulated, Lo-Fi, Tile Ambient, Gated, and many, many more. Being that there are SO MANY different types of reverbs you can load onto the HOF via Tone Print, I’m just going to showcase a handful of my favorite reverbs and demonstrate how they react to the mix knob.

Before I jump into the demos, I want to mention that this pedal does sport true bypass. This, of course, allows you to maintain YOUR true signal and tone. After all, you ARE a TONE FREQ!

The first example is of the “Lost in Tone” preset. This reverb is based on a church reverb, but with the parameters backed down, so the effect is only subtle in a very noticeable way. Listen to the warmth and fullness it adds to the open chords.

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This next example is a artist preset from Troy Van Leeuwen. The idea behind this particular sound, was to create a darker version of a vintage Twin Reverb, but to also incorporate some heavy modulation. You can definitely hear the strength of the vibrato in the upper register and with single notes.

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Toxic Verb Twister is the next preset I want to show you. This is another artist preset on Tone Print. This one in particular is by Knox Chandler. This tone is all about twisting the signal source. In this example, even though I am only playing one note at a time, you can hear how something so simple is taken over by the depth of the modulation and reverb.

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In this next example, you’ll ear one of Uriah Duffy’s favorites, the Spooky Verb. This is a lush dynamic plate reverb that is typically used to compliment solo phrases on bass. I decided to use it for guitar. I really like the amount of air and depth it provides in between the spaces of the notes. I think it really fills in the gaps of each note quite nicely.

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Again, sticking with the Spooky Verb. This time I decided to turn up the distortion and let you hear the decay in between quick notes in a solo segment. You can really hear how the gaps fill in between the stopped notes.

Now we’re going to move onto the all mighty Steve Vai signature sound with his preset, Ocean Machine. This is a very natural sounding reverb, with a bit of chorus and Steve’s very precise parameter and EQ settings. This tone has a nice wash with a mellow bite and plenty of shine for your own tone to come through. In this example, I play a fingerpicking segment with a  moving melody on top. The first half of the example shows the “True Bypass” ability of this pedal with a completely dry signal. Once I engage the pedal in the second half of the segment, you really begin to hear the ocean sound that Steve is trying to emulate.

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Of course, it wouldn’t be a true Steve Vai example unless I took my attempt at “For the Love of God.” Take a listen to Steve’s “Ocean Machine” tone as it’s paired with a considerable amount of gain.

Finally, we are moving on to Jona Weinhofen’s tone called, Anthem reverb. This is a long hall reverb that, when cranked, can create a very ambient ad almost spooky like effect that can take your sound into a whole other dimension. In this first segment, I play a fingerpicking passage that sounds as if it’s buried by the bass notes. It actually creates the illusion that there are two guitars playing.

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In the second example of the Anthem Rever, I decided to take a shot at volume swells and demonstrate how long the tail is on this particular reverb. Even with faint volume swells and a mild amount of distortion, you’re still able to capture a nice, ambient sound that actually resembles a violin.

As you can hear, this is more than just your standard reverb pedal. Thanks to the Tone Print software, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a reverb you like. Overall, I was very pleasantly surprised with the performance of the HOF Mini. The sounds were very convincing and natural sounding. There is a slight learning curve to using the Tone Print software and uploading each sound to your pedal, but after a few attempts, it’s surprisingly simple.

I do want to touch a little more on the Tone Print software. I used both the software that you can download from TC Electronic’s website, as well as the app for the iphone. Both have their positives and negatives. I did like that I could customize all of the parameters of each reverb with the software for the computer. However, having to go buy a mini USB was rather frustrating. Yes, they are cheap, but still annoying. Of course, if you download the app, you don’t need the USB cable to transfer the sounds to your HOF mini. You just can’t manipulate and customize the sounds. Transferring each sound to the pedal is super fun and easy though with your phone. Basically, you pick a sound, hold the speakers of your phone over your pickup, and then “beam” the sound to you pedal. You may even find yourself doing that just for the sake of doing it. Check the video at the bottom to see a demonstration.

Pros:

  • Small and compact
  • Large variety of reverbs
  • Simple to use
  • not latency
  • True Bypass to help you maintain your true tone
  • Inexpensive – $109.99
  • Solid construction

Cons:

  • No Mini USB cord
  • Can only have one reverb loaded at a time
  • Can’t adjust the parameters of the reverb without the Tone Print software

You can pick one of these up from Chuck Levin’s Washington Music Center for $109.99

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Tone Freq User Rating: 9.2 out of 10

Despite its small size, the TC Electronics HOF mini reverb is capable of running with it’s older, and fatter brother. If you’re looking for a solid reverb to add to your board and still have room for EVERYTHING else you have ever wanted on your pedalboard, then you need to go pick one of these up. Plus, it comes with a smaller price tag. What’s not to love?

Make sure you check out the video below to see the pedal in action! Plus, they show you how to send the tones to the pedal via your phone!