REVIEW: T-Rex Twister Chorus/Flanger

The idea of combining chorus and flanger in a single analog pedal isn’t exactly a new one: the two effects share mostly the same circuitry, and each can be coaxed into at least approximating the sound of the other (flangers are typically able to reproduce warm analog chorus sounds, while in my experience most chorus pedals can produce only a subtle flanging effect). But the T-Rex Twister adds a whole swag of options and additional functionality, further blurring the lines between the two effects, while also exaggerating the very things that make them different from each other.

Controls on the Twister include On/Off, Level, Depth, Regeneration, Tone, Rate, Chorus/Flanger, Light/Heavy, and a side-mounted, push-in/push-out input level control with an associated red LED, so you can tame down your ingoing signal for a cleaner, more hi-fi sound, or crank it up for some soupy, swirly warmth. There is a single input and twin outputs (stereo left and right). Power is via a battery (recommended only for emergency back-up purposes – I guess it eats up batteries pretty quickly like a lot of pedals of this ilk) or 9v adaptor.

I found myself drawn to several specific sounds with this pedal. One was a Gov’t Mule-inspired rotating speaker tone, achieved by selecting the chorus mode, cranking up the speed, staying in ‘Light’ mode and having Tone and Depth at around 3 o’clock each. This one was especially responsive to P90 pickups, and I wish I still had a Firebird so I could try it with mini humbuckers too, because I can just tell it would sound amazing.

Another sound I kept returning to was a Paul Gilbert flanger freakout, with the rate at 9 o’clock, Depth and Regeneration on full, and Heavy mode engaged. This sound was thick and metallic, with lots of shifting harmonics and pushing at the edge of feedback when used to drive distortion. It was especially satisfying to bend and hold notes on the wound strings, and let the pedal take over.

Finally, there were a lot of usable classic chorus sounds – nothing with quite the same amount of unique individuality of the other two settings described above, but still of a very high quality. A wide variety of sounds are available by varying the input gain and tone controls, from a bright, clean, funky 80s LA studio sound, to a warm, overdriven growl.

The T-Rex Twister is a very versatile pedal, and is able to swing from natural, soulful sounds to crisp, almost cold ones. It’s not just a chorus and a flanger: it’s studio-quality hi-fi and vingage-quality lo-fi versions of each. The stereo capabilities add a further layer of swirliness and usability, and the input gain control is a genius feature which I’d like to see incorporated in a lot more pedals. Ultimately you’ll either find one sound you’ll stick with for live use, or you’ll explore the Twister’s depth more fully in a studio setting, where it really comes to life.

LINK: T-Rex

NEWS: T-Rex Gristle King

Check out this wild new Gristle King boost/overdrive pedal from T-Rex. A collaboration between technician Tim Jauerning and guitarist Greg Koch, this pedal revives the spirit of those early 90s DOD pedals (later reissued by DigiTech) such as the Death Metal, which had controls labelled ‘Scream,’ ‘Guts,’ ‘Pain’ and ‘R.I.P’. The Gristle King’s controls are ‘Gristle,’ ‘Tone,’ ‘Gravy’ and ‘Flavour’ – so if ever you were dialing in a tone and you felt you needed more gravy, this pedal’s for you.

CLICK HERE to see T-Rex pedals at Tunnel Vision Music.

T-Rex Presents the Gristle King Pedal

The Gristle King is a combination of the features of the DGTM and the Luxury Drive, offering a wide variety of boost and overdrive possibilities. Besides the controls that are also appearing on the DGTM (Gristle, Tone, Gravy and Flavour) and the Luxury Drive (MORE), the DGTM has two new toggles (Pre/Post & Phat). The Gristle King gives you two effects, plus extra tonal possibilities, in one compact unit.

The Gristle pedal line was born in the US as a result of the cooperation between technician Tim Jauernig and guitar player Greg Koch. T-Rex adopted the Gristle pedals and they are now official members of the T-Rex pedal family.

For more information, visit their web site at http://www.t-rex-eng.com.