Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Thing Of Beauty

We're lucky to have this gift of music, whether we play it, produce it, or just have a genuine love for it. Within the tunes we love and listen to lives those sounds we will remember forever, tones we'll take to our death beds, and creativity that can only come from special pieces of gear. As a player and music lover I'm always listening for some unique sound to do just that, something that will take my experience to the next level. This is where most of us get our inspiration from and the reason why certain songs become memorable. A lot of the credit for the wonderful sounds we hear in our favorite tunes belongs to the cats out there building us the unbelievable effects pedals we have access to today. One such person is Phil Taylor, the man behind the almighty Effectrode Audiophile Pedals line. The first time you set eyes on one of his pedals you know there's something different about them, you see the build quality and just know you're in for something special. The first time you play one? Well I'll just say this, you'll know right away you're playing something like no other, something capable of transporting your sound into the creativity pocket. There is no hit and miss with Effectrode pedals, all of Phil's designs possess immaculate tone and construction. These are effects pedals that are built to give you exactly what you need, and that can help you reach those sounds you have always wanted to hear. My experience with Effectrode was just like this...there was no turning back. In this post we'll be looking at the Vibra Chorus, an absolute thing of beauty!

Vibra Chorus

*All Tube: 100% pure analog vacuum tube audio path for maximum signal integrity and hi-fidelity sound reproduction.

*True Bypass: True bypass footswitching with a unique anti-pop circuit to drastically reduce the well known "click" or "thump" noise associated with electro-mechanical switching.

*Something Special: Unique golden ratio of stagger-tuned phase-shifting capacitors selected for electric guitar.

*Pink L.E.D: Pulsates with modulation speed for visual song tempo matching.

*Wall-Wart: Supplied with switched-mode technology wall-wart power supply adapter for low, low noise.

:Built Using Audiophile Grade Components:

*Heavy duty USA made Carling Technology footswitch
*Pro-audio quality Nuetrik jack sockets
*Precision grade metal film resistors
*Resin potted polyester coupling capacitors
*Porcelain tube sockets
*Fitted with JJ Premium vacuum tubes
*Diecast aluminium enclosure
*Tough powder coated finish

I am very lucky to have had the chance to put one of these amazing pedals through it's paces and very excited to have the chance to share it's capabilities with you guys. In all the years I have been playing I have never come across a pedal as warm, rich, and musical as the Effectrode Vibra Chorus. I took it down to the studio to plug it in the one of our nicer amps and the sound that came out had both my partner and I frozen with our jaws on the floor. I know it is almost a sin to say this, but there is just no comparing it to anything else. I have played many many chorus and vibe pedals in my time and for someone who religously makes it a point to put pedals through their paces that is a very strong statement. There is a quality to the pedal that just leaps out of the amp and into your heart. The pulsating vibe/chorus effect is so organic it feels almost like a breathing, like the sound is just there with you in the room and is not being forced out of or through anything. Both the chorus and vibe effect are tricky ones, they can easily sound either too extreme, sharp, and edgy...or dull, flat, and lifeless. There is none of that while playing through this baby. Every note stays on tact, every chord stays clear, every lick stands out and becomes a work of art. This might sound like a bit much to some of you, but let me assure you that once you plug into one you'll hear where I'm coming from. I would love to pick Phil's brain to see where he comes up with the ideas that he turns into his creations. His ability to shape thin air into magic is something we rarely see today, a dedication that hasn't been seen since the golden ages of the 60's and 70's. It's cats like this that give our music those signature sounds we can carry throughout our entire careers. It so happens that we took the Vibra Chorus down to the studio on a working day while we were recording the new tracks for my band's new record. The pedal was able to deliver the haunting and dreamy chorus effect we had been hunting for for the last few month's. With both single coils and humbuckers the Vibra Chorus produced heavenly tones. Where I heard it really sing was through my semi-hollow body Hagstrom Viking. If you know semi's like any one does you know that getting them to play well with pedlas can be tuff. The Vibra Chorus's ability to adapt to any guitar is mind blowing. At it's lowest settings with the Depth and Rate knobs set mild the effect is thick, lush, and heavy with push and pull. Your chords and licks swim in it's effect and come out pure yet full of character. Set at extreme and high settings the Vibra Chorus stays full of life and doesn't become useless. There are so many chorus and vibe pedals that only work well within their sweet spots and become useless once you reach the super lows and super highs. There is no sweet spot with this pedal, the entire range is sweet. My favortite placee to set pedal and where I have become addicted to the sound is Depth right before noon and Rate right around two o clock. MY GOD WHAT A SOUND! You could easily leave the pedal set at this setting and never get tired of the holy goodness that it sings out. The way this pedal works with electric guitars is absolute magic. Or is it? Phil's research on how to get the most out of his effects is impressive to say the least. He is definitely ahead of the game and well on his way into the stompbox history books. Everything about his pedals is sexy, the artwork, the knobs, the tubes, it's design, and of course the tone. Then just as much as it's capable of being beautiful it also hits that lovely dark side that makes our music interesting. There isn't much more I can say about this pedal that I haven't said yet, discovering for yourself what the possibilites are is a treat you will enjoy. This is one of the few pedals that will make that small list of timeless classics, collectables, and go-to favorites. I am proud to be one of the few that has the privilege to use this pedal in his music. Their are few pedals that have made the permanent line-up on my pedalboard, I spend lots of time rotating and swapping pedals in and out. But every once and a while they stay for good...the Vibra Chorus has become part of the family, and a leader of my tone/sound.


Look for an indepth look into the mind of Phil Talyor. Analog War Cry will be doing an interview with Phil in the near future. For more info on Effectrode pedals go to or click the logo in our links section. Get in on the magic!!!

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