Posts Tagged ‘quint machine’

Summary: The T-Rex Quint Machine gives you four voices to work with simultaneously: Your dry signal, octave up, octave down, and a fifth (think “Yes'” “Owner of a Lonely Heart”). You can dial in the amount of the fifth, octave up and octave down to get just the balance you want, then adjust the mix to balance with your dry signal. If you’re looking for a straight-forward octave pedal, this is definitely one to consider. Pros: The ability to set the levels independently makes this a very versatile pedal. You can get some awesome 12-string simulation, all the way to organ sounds. This pedal is super-easy to use and very easy to find your sweet spot. Lows are awesome on this pedal. Very bass-like. Cons: No real big cons, though I thought it would be a bit more transparent. Highs sound a little “synthy,” but only at real high levels.
Tone Bone Score: For what this pedal does, I love it. I researched octave pedals for awhile before pulling the trigger on this unit, and at least for me, it has the right mix of capability, simplicity, and of course, great tone to keep me happy. It’ll be staying on my board. Street Price: $189.00   I went to see Phil Collins awhile back, and playing with him – since their Genesis days – was the great guitarist Daryl Steurmer. During the show, there were parts that he was playing that had this wonderful 12-string effect as well as fifths. My wife asked me how he got that sound, and I said that he probably had a pedal. He also had some wonderful synth sounds, but those came from an actual synthesizer that he had hooked up to his custom Godin DS-1 guitars that are equipped with 13-pin synth jacks. But for the 12-string effect, that got me very curious as to what he was using. So the day after the show, I looked up his rig, which you can see here. Daryl plays with three different boards, depending on the gig, but on two of his boards, he has the T-Rex Quint Machine. Armed with knowledge, I started poking around the Web and to my surprise, I didn’t really find much information out there; at least relative to other kinds of pedals. Octave pedals aren’t for everyone, and they’re certainly not nearly as common as overdrives or even other modulation pedals. So to not see as much information out there about the Quint Machine is understandable. But the one thing I did get from my research was that those who reviewed it loved it. As for me, I have to be honest. I thought that the fifth was a bit gimmicky, thinking I’d never use it. But I actually love it. When used subtly, it adds a tonal depth to what you’re playing. You know it’s there, but it’s faint enough such that it almost sounds like an overtone. When adding just a touch of the fifth when played with a delay, the resultant tone is absolutely dreamy. Go figure. I didn’t think I’d use it, and it’s absolutely awesome!

Fit and Finish

As with all Scandinavian products I’ve purchased, The T-Rex Quint Machine has a very solid build. The knob sweeps are tight, but smooth. The jacks are solid. No complaints at all about the build quality of this puppy.

How It Sounds

Okay… so yeah, I gave it 5 tone bones. It sounds awesome. BUT it took me about an hour playing around with it before I felt comfortable with where I set the levels. Some people complained that it sounded too “synthy,” and it does if you crank the volumes and set the mix level high. When you do that, it’s pretty synthy and organ-like. Also, when playing fingerstyle I had to learn to be careful not to drone bass notes while switching chords as the pedal would bend the bass note. But I also had the mix set a bit high. What I found with this pedal is that moderation is the key to success with it. You have to find the right balance point between voice volume and mix. Especially if you want to get that 12-string guitar effect, you have to keep the volume set so you can just hear the highs, then set the mix just right. But as far as capabilities are concerned, check out this video from Andy at ProGuitarShops:

Always On?

So I gigged with the pedal today; just a few hours after I got it, and it stayed on the entire time! Depending on the song I was playing, I’d just adjust levels. But most of the time, I just had the highs dialed in at about 10-11 am, and the mix at about 2pm. That gave me a very subtle 12-string effect without sounding overpowering. Again, moderation is the key with this. I know there are lots of different options out there. The EHX Pitch Fork is a great alternative. So is the TC Electronic Sub ‘N Up, which also gives you a LOT of tweaking options and Tone Prints. But for me, the beauty of the Quint Machine lies in its simplicity. I just wanted a high-quality, straight-forward octave solution, and the T-Rex Quint Machine provides that in spades!

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