ZVex Seek Wah

Z. Vex Seek Wah Guitar Effects Pedal Review

So there you are, sitting in from of your digital recorder, trying to work out an overdub. Problem is, you keep going back to the same stock phrases. The same thing happens at practice when, while running through your band’s newest song, you suddenly realize you’re falling back on all your old, familiar tricks […]

Top Five Overdrive Guitar Pedals

Best Guitar Overdrive Pedal Should I Buy?

When considering which overdrive pedals belong on the Mount Rushmore of guitar gear, we here at Gear-Vault took one major consideration into account, which is tone. Let’s face it – overdrive is overdrive, and has been since studio musician Grady Martin continued playing despite a faulty pre-amp circuit in the console of a Nashville recording studio in 1961. The nuances of distortion, and opinions about its place in music, have been fine-tuned ever since. This list leans toward pedals that… […]

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Fender Classic Volume Tone, Phaser and Fuzz-Wah Pedal Review

This Fender Phaser Effect Pedal from the Classics Series adds versatility to your sound with a few easy knobs.
Rate–This knob controls the rate at which the phase shifting occurs. The rate control knob alternately illuminates blue and red at the same rate as the phase shifting.

Intensity–This knob adjusts the intensity of the Phasing effect.

Frequency–This knob adjusts what frequencies are affected by the phasing action. Fully counter-clockwise causes the bass frequencies to be affected most by the phasing action, fully clockwise causes the treble frequencies to be most affected by the phasing action.

Bypass Switch–A “true-bypass” of the phaser effect. Turns the phasing effect on-off.

Output Jack–Connect to the input of your amplifier (or other audio device).

Input jack–Plug your guitar (or other audio source) in here. Unplug the input plug from this jack to turn off the device and save power (very important) when not in use. […]

Operating Guitar Effects Pedal

No Guitar Effects Fix Bad Sound

Even the best signal processor can’t make up for a bad guitar sound. Too often engineers and producers tell worried guitar players, “We’ll fix it in the mix,” or, “I know it sounds a little funny now, but we’ll sprinkle some fairy dust on it and it’ll sound killer.” Statements such as these are, in my humble opinion, a crock. There are many things you can do to a bad guitar sound […]

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Line 6 POD HD PRO Review

The art of competing in a modern industrial world is constantly changing, and constantly getting more difficult. Each year, companies give it their all and toss their eggs in a basket, hoping it will pan […]


Pigtronix Guitar Effects Pedals

Reading guitar magazines and hearing all about a new piece of gear from an admired guitarist can be dangerous. In an attempt to satisfy our curiosity and nail that elusive tone we hear in our heads, we run the risk of falling victim to Gear Acquisition Syndrome, or GAS. In the category of distortion pedals, the subjective nature of the sounds they produce can lead to Empty Wallet Syndrome, or EWS. One player’s smooth distortion is another player’s sonic nightmare, and it ain’t cheap.

The Pigtronix PolySaturator is a multi-stage distortion pedal with a wide gain control and adjustable low, mid and high band graphic EQ. The Pigtronix catalog states that it’s based on the overdrive tones found in their Disnortion pedal, but it takes the idea further by adding four vintage JRC4558D chips, a Class A J-FET booster stage and a secret “special little chip” to the front-end. The gain structure has also been re-voiced to get everything from a clean volume boost to over the top fuzz. As if that wasn’t enough, it’s also true bypass.

When I took the PolySaturator out of the box I couldn’t believe how small it was. It is smaller than a Boss pedal and fit perfectly on my pedalboard. The first edition of the pedals have been hand-painted by Jason Myrold, of Zvex fame, and are perfect for adding some eye candy to your floor setup. While some might question the placement of the Input and Output jacks – both situated on the right side of the unit – it wasn’t a problem in the vertical position. It comes with a 15VDC adapter and the layout of the controls are very straightforward, with plenty of room for tweaking.

I was surprised to discover that the PolySaturator sounds more like a cousin to the fuzz family than you might expect, at least by judging from its name. Instead of a wall of saturated distortion, I was getting gritty, old school, organic rock tones with freakish lowend. This pedal loves single coil pickups and was begging me to play “Foxey Lady” the entire time it was plugged in. As I switched between a Marshall JCM800, a Fender Pro Reverb and a Fender Deluxe Reverb, I was particularly impressed with its articulation and definition. Even with the gain maxed, I could hear the clarity beneath its monstrous growl. The adjustable, active EQ provides 12dB of cut or boost at the 180Hz, 420Hz and 1KHz frequencies, giving this little unit a lot of tonal possibilities. I could dial in tones capable of slicing through a heavy mix or beef up the mids for a sweeter sound. With the gain set at noon, I was getting classic Marshall-esque breakup for rhythm parts and cutting lead tones for traditional blues soloing.

A fair word of warning: the PolySaturator bites and has some hair on it. It’s more suited to players who prefer fuzz over a saturated distortion sound. It’s great for dialing in your favorite fuzz tone or the sweet sound of an amp breaking up during chunky rhythms. Shredders should look elsewhere.

The Final Mojo
For the guitarist looking for a flexible alternative to your garden-variety fuzz and distortion pedals, the Pigtronix PolySaturator offers up cool, dirty sounds and vibe for days. Its small size will open up valuable real estate on your pedalboard and add sumptuous grit and ballsy low-end to your sound. […]

EHX Talking Machine Review

EHX Talking Machine Guitar Pedal [Review]

The programmable Stereo Talking Machine Vocal Formant Filter produces creative vowel-shaping that is controlled by the player’s dynamics. Nine selectable Voices deliver vowel sounds such as AH-OO and OW-EE, as well as Bassballs and wah-type dynamic filters. The Voices can be shaped with individual Attack and Decay controls while Sensitivity adjusts the envelope response. The resulting effects mimic characteristics of human speech and create sounds that are both organic and harmonically rich.

As its name implies, the Stereo Talking Machine possesses true stereo outputs as well as an effects loop. An expression pedal Input provides realtime control over filter sweeps, while nine preset locations let you store and instantly recall favorite programs. The Stereo Talking Machine delivers compelling sound-shaping capability with advanced control. […]