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Re: Line 6 ubermetal pedal???

3/9/2005 9:29 PM
Mark HammerRe: Line 6 ubermetal pedal???
I have a pair of the new Tone Core pedals (Echo Park, Tap Tremolo). They're quite good.  
 
In general, I have been underimpressed with the kinds of things digital technology can do in the way of distortion. It is important to note, however, that such digital effects have generally been nested within multi-effects units, where the DSP circuitry had to take care of many things and wasn't in a strong position to be fast enough to tackle the kinds of moment-to-moment things that good distortion modelling needs to do.  
 
In the case of the Tone Core and other single-function digital pedals (e.g., Digitech's series), the multi-tasking element is removed so the DSP is in a stronger position to do more with the signal with respect to modelling distortion. We're also a few years down the road right now from where we started with digital distortion mimickry, with faster processors, and better modelling algorithms, so I expect good things. Not having one, though, I can't speak to the naturalness of the distortion tone. The samples at the Line 6 site suggest the Crunch Master is a pretty good pedal, as well as the Uber Metal. Of course, whether they do a great job at what they do, or not, is separate from whether its the tone you want.  
 
I'd be remiss in not putting in a plug for any of the very fine DIY boxes that the various contributors on the DIYstompbox forum have contributed (http://www.diystompboxes.com/sboxforum). Ed Guidry's "BSIAB" (Brown Sound in a Box), and several of Joe Davisson's designs (Blackfire, Vulcan, Obsidian) have won rave reviews from builders desiring high gain sounds. I built a Blackfire, and it kicks royal butt; very much a "singing" pedal. On the less high-gain side are Doug Hammond's designs, like the Highway 89, and some of the designs at runoffgroove.com that mimic several well-known different tube amp preamp sections.  
 
Check 'em all out, commercial and DIY, and see what you like.

 
Replies:
Joe Davis Mark, Thanks for the info as it is ... -- 3/10/2005 12:39 AM