Posts Tagged ‘waza’

After I burned out my pedal board a couple of weeks ago, which included my beloved Mad Professor Deep Blue Delay, I immediately went on a search for a new analog delay pedal.

Yeah, I had my trusty MXR Carbon Copy but after using for it a couple of weeks, I remembered why I made it a backup. It’s not that it’s a bad pedal, but I’ve always had difficulty getting it set up with a sound and a response I like.

What I loved about my Deep Blue Delay was that – as Mad Professor put it – it was built to work well with distortion. I could put it in front of my preamp or my effects loop and it would rock. I knew that with my new analog delay, that was an absolute requirement

Enter the BOSS DM-2w.

Truth be told, I had never even played the pedal before I got it, but thanks to several demos on the Web, I had a feeling it was going to work well. What impressed me was that like my old DBD, the delay didn’t engage immediately; something I started calling staying out of the way of my sound. It allows the note to be plucked first, then the delay engages seemingly in the background. It was one of the first things I noticed when watching videos.

So a few days ago, I ordered one on Amazon, but it never arrived. So I got a refund and went to one of my local shops who had one in stock and brought it home.

I’ve been playing with it for the past couple of hours and all I have to say is this: I’m in Analog Delay Heaven!

The DM-2w does everything my DBD does and more. It has two modes: Standard and Custom. In Standard mode, the maximum amount of delay is 300ms and the tone is a little dark. It’s very good for slap-back delay. The Custom mode has a very nice 800ms maximum delay time, and it’s less dark. I won’t say brighter because it’s still a little dark.

But most importantly, one of the things that endeared me to the Deep Blue Delay was how smooth its sound was and the DM-2w is silky smooth. So along with it staying out of the way, for it to produce such a smooth sound, well, like I said, I’m in Heaven.

I’ll probably do a full review on the pedal once I’ve played and gigged with it. Stay tuned.

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…albeit not cheap.

For those of you who are familiar with attenuators, you know they solve a real problem with cranking a tube amp to get the power tubes to fully saturate: The volume that even a low wattage amp produces when it’s cranked is LOUD, and an attenuator helps to alleviate that by taking the amp’s output and reducing the power that ultimately gets to your speakers. I can tell you from personal experience, being able to record my cranked amp at conversation levels has saved my ears and saved me from the wrath of my family getting pissed that my amp’s too loud.

But the drawback of reducing the output power to levels that low is that you take the speaker out of the equation. Most amps work best when their distorted signal works in concert with the speaker cone moving air as the speaker add its own character to the overall sound. For a recent recording I made, I had to wait until no one was home to record my overdriven guitar parts so I could take advantage of the speaker moving some serious air. My ears didn’t appreciate the abuse they got, but the result was so much better than close-miking an attenuated amp.

But the folks at BOSS have seemingly overcome that by providing a unit that not only attenuates a cranked amp but also provides models to mimic various cabinets via built-in IR and a whole rash of other features. I’ll list the highlights later. Watch this demo. It’s pretty cool:

Here are the features off the BOSS website:

  • First-of-its-kind tube amp command center, built with Waza expertise and the Tube Logic design approach
  • Advanced variable reactive load circuit with discrete analog components supports tube amps up to 150 watts
  • User-adjustable impedance tuning correctly matches the reactive load to your amp, retaining its natural tone, dynamic feel, and distortion characteristics
  • 10 recallable rig settings for storing favorite setups
  • Deep real-time performance control via GA-FC/FS-series footswitches and MIDI I/O
  • Built-in 100-watt Class AB power amplifier with discrete analog design and seamless volume control
  • Powerful DSP section with 32-bit AD/DA, 32-bit floating-point processing, and 96 kHz sampling rate
  • Customizable stereo effects with premium tone quality: compressor, delay, reverb, and four EQs
  • Twenty-two mic’d cabinet emulations with five selectable close-mic types and three room-mic options, plus four slots for loading user speaker IRs
  • External effects loop with selectable series/parallel operation and control jack for switching amp channels
  • Parallel speaker outputs for connecting up to two cabs for gigging
  • Balanced XLR line outputs (mono and L/R stereo) for connecting to FOH console, stage monitors, and recording devices
  • Headphones output for quiet practice with cranked-up amp tones
  • Dedicated editor software (Mac/Windows)
  • USB for direct audio recording and editor communication

At $1299, it is not at all an inexpensive solution. However, that said, neither are the top attenuators that cost $500+. Considering the features this packs though, I’m surprised by the price point.

For me, this is something that I would seriously consider, especially for playing any of my tube amps on stage. I could attenuate the volume locally and use my speaker for local monitoring, then simultaneously send the signal via XLR into the board, eliminating a mic altogether and letting the sound guy do the mix.

Also, with the different IR models available, I could silently record my amp.

Looks like I’ll need to start saving my pennies…

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