REVIEW: TC Electronic Alter Ego V2 Vintage Echo

I recently checked out the TC Electronic Alter Ego X4, a vintage-vibed delay unit occupying the same footprint as the mammoth Flashback X4 Delay. That pedal offered a wealth of old-school sounds curated by US store ProGuitarShop. The Alter Ego X4 is a huge, hulking pedal that’s perfectly designed for stage use, but perhaps you don’t want a single pedal with the footprint of a lunchbox on your pedalboard. Perhaps you want a more conventional compact delay pedal that’s still packed with vintage tone. Well, my friend, meet the Alter Ego V2 Vintage EchoBuy the TC Electronic Alter Ego V2 Vintage Delay here.

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REVIEW: TC Electronic Alter Ego Vintage Echo X4

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TC Electronic’s TonePrint line of pedals is a great innovation: when it was first launched, various rock stars and industry pros were handed the keys to a special program which allowed them to design custom effects which could then be loaded into the pedal by everybody (via USB or a handy mobile app). But then the program was made available for everyone, and now anybody who wants to tweak their tone and then share it with the world can do so. The Alter Ego Vintage Echo X4 Delay is related to the smaller Alter Ego delay, which was born when Andy and Aaron of ProGuitarShop got their paws on the TonePrint software for the Flashback Delay and created two exclusive new delay modes worthy of their own pedal. Now the Alter Ego X4 Vintage Echo takes this pedal and blows it out, in a similar way to the awesome Flashback X4 Delay.

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TC Electronic & ProGuitarShop Alter Ego X4 Vintage Echo

Hot on the heels of the awesome new quartet of mini pedals recently announced, TC Electronic and my good pals at ProGuitarShop have teamed up to create a new delay pedal geared towards vintage-style tones, building on the success of their earlier pedal the Alter Ego Delay and incorporating the functionality of the awesome Flashback X4 Delay. Called the Alter Ego X4 Vintage Echo, it gives you four TonePrint slots, three programmable presets, a looper, stereo ins and outs, MIDI programmability and the ability to control any parameter with an expression pedal. Here’s the press release… Read More …

NEWS: ProGuitarShop launches gear microsites

I just got this press release from ProGuitarShop about their new series of product microsites. This one is based on the Digitech Whammy Pedal, but there will be many others.

For my own thoughts on the venerable Whammy Pedal, check out my review here and my ‘8 Whammy Pedal Moments You Totally Have To Hear’ here.

CLICK HERE for ProGuitarShop’s eBay store.

Now we’ve all heard of the Digitech Whammy pedal, right? Have you ever tried to find any information on it? All retailers have the same info as the manufacturer on their website. This is great if you need to find out what voltage power supply to use or if the Whammy is true bypass, but what if you need to know if the Digitech Whammy is up to the task of imitating pedal steel licks. Does the pitch shift function shift smoothly or does it sound like the pitch is walking up or down the stairs? Can I get the rich doubled sound like the solo of “Money”? You just cannot find this information on any retailer’s site or even Wikipedia. That’s why we are proud to announce the launch of http://www.digitechwhammy.com/. This informational site is dedicated exclusively to the Digitech Whammy pedal. Features, tones, artists, even videos and nicely shot photographs will tell you more about this legendary pedal than anywhere else. How many salesmen have you grilled before you buy a product? How many of them answered your questions satisfactorily? No matter how knowledgeable they are, there is always opinion and bias in any information you’re given. That’s because they are there to make the sale. Now you can find all the information you need on the Digitech Whammy, including some awesome video demonstrations, without the hassle of calling a retailer or walking into a store and wondering if they really know the gear, or just need the commission. This site is for you, the working guitarist. Check out http://www.digitechwhammy.com/ and find out if the Digitech Whammy is the right pedal for you.

REVIEW: Schecter Solo 6 Classic

Almost every guitar company has a classic-looking singlecut design these days. With its roots in the early 50s, this type of guitar will probably always play an important role in the development of new rock, blues, jazz and metal derivations. There’s also something undeniably classy about a mahogany-bodied guitar with a flamed maple top, single cutaway and a simple twin-humbucker pickup layout.

Crafted in South Korea, Schecter’s new entry into this field, the Solo-6, is available in Classic and Hellraiser versions (see my review of the Hellraiser here), each of which is aimed at a very different corner of the guitar world. You can guess who the Hellraiser version is pitched at! The Classic is a little more refined in looks and performance.

For your hard-earned you get a solid mahogany body and 3-piece mahogany neck, primo ebony fretboard, a surprising 24 jumbo frets (you’d be forgiven for expecting it to have 22), a bending-friendly 24.75” scale length, and a pair of Seymour Duncan humbuckers (a Custom Custom in the bridge and a ’59 in the neck) mated to two volume controls and a tone control (which features a push-pull coil tap). A TonePros bridge keeps everything locked down and ensures faithful transfer of tone and sustain, while Schecter locking tuners keep your tuning nice and stable.

Plugged into my Marshall DSL50 50 watt amp head, the overall character of the Solo-6 Classic is quite dark and bassy in humbucker mode. In the distorted guitar realm, this would be my first choice for playing, say, a song like Alice In Chains’ ‘Would?’ or something else equally ‘Seattle.’ It’s a little too woofy for really heavy rhythms, although the neck humbucker sounds fantastic with a lot of gain. The single coil mode sounds extremely authentic, and is great for old school soul as well as country and funk. The middle position in particular has the ideal balance of ‘quack,’ ‘smack’ and ‘bark,’ with good definition between notes and a powerful, strident pick attack.

What the Solo-6 Classic is best for, however, is clean tone. It turns out that this beauty is most at home playing jazz or, with very mild overdrive, fusion. What seems like darkness when the distortion is cranked up reveals itself as subtle midrange bloom when the gain is backed down. The bridge humbucker has a nice round top end and supportive bass, while the neck pickup sounds very rich and defined. In single coil mode things get very bright and clear. This really is a guitar that reaches its full potential through a clean amp.

This is a very well built, elegant guitar which breaks the misconception that Schecter is just concerned with being a metalhead’s brand these days. If you’re put off by the South Korean construction, let me assure you that the quality matches the price tag and this is a very well built guitar which has that ‘we’re in the big leagues now’ vibe. It’s an ideal next step for Schecter collectors who find themselves moving to softer musical tastes, or a very worthy choice for anyone looking for a single cutaway electric that does more than just wail and chunk.

Here’s a video demo from ProGuitarShop.