Review: Electro Harmonix Canyon Delay & Looper


The Canyon delay from Electro Harmonix is a brilliantly designed, beautiful sounding delay/looper that will far exceed your expectations. Inside the little box you’ll find 9 delays, a reverb, two octaves, a sample and hold, a looper, some modulation, tap tempo – the list goes on and on. In fact I struggle to think of a better delay when it comes to the list of features offered vs. size and price. This delay pedal feels like when you go to a restaurant for a huge expensive meal and they forget to charge you for the drinks! With all that value, you just feel like you’re getting away with something! A delay that inexpensive, you’d surely assume it’s not going to sound very good. Do NOT make that mistake here. The Canyon delay sounds as good as the best delays on the market. Considering all that it does, how incredible it sounds, and the impossibly low price point, it will surely find it’s way onto, like, a gazillion pedalboards.

When Electro Harmonix releases a new delay/looper pedal, guitar players stop and take a listen. And rightfully so. For decades, Electro Harmonix has produced some of the best delays as well as some of the best loopers on the market and have been responsible for much of the industry’s innovation and time-tested designs. I just need to say the words “Deluxe Memory Man”, and you’ll get what I’m saying. Along the way, Electro Harmonix has continued to add features to modern versions of the DMM keeping tweak-happy delay lovers content for years. So when I saw that they now had a very compact, multi-algorithm delay plus looper to offer, I was more than intrigued. The Canyon is somewhat of a “new ground” for Electro Harmonix in a couple different ways. The only other delay of theirs I can think of in this form factor would be the Memory Toy, a great sounding, paired-down grandchild of the DMM, but, alas, a one trick pony. The Canyon delay, however, has several tricks up its sleeve. We may have expected a multi-algorithm delay from Electro Harmonix to be in their much larger enclosures like a DMM size, or, at least, a Memory Boy size. But here it is… and it’s as tiny as a Toy. Here are the Canyon’s features before we go on.



Sound Design:

  • 11 modes (nine delay types, sample and hold, and a looper)
  • Delay times ranging from 3ms to 3 seconds
  • Tap tempo with tap devisions utilizing the internal switch or an external switch
  • Option for trails on or off via internal dip switch
  • Simple controls for Level, Delay, Feedback
  • Easy access to secondary knob functions for added tone shaping
  • Several modes offer a nice, musical “ramping time” feel as you turn the Delay knob
  • Tons of Self-oscillation and gritty long repeat goodness on tap
  • Multi-stage LED indicates several behaviors including note division and looper functionality
  • All of this in a super compact enclosure

Ins and outs:

  • One 1/4” main input (right side mounted)
  • One 1/4” main output (left side mouinted)
  • 9v DC, center negative power jack drawing 150mA (top-mounted)


  • MODE SELECT: An 11 position rotary knob for selecting the delay mode/looper
  • FX LVL: Controls the blend between your dry signal and your delayed signal
  • DELAY: Controls your delay time. All the way down is 3ms, all the way up is 3 seconds.
  • FEEDBACK: Controls the number of repeats of the delayed signal. One repeat to infinity

Let’s have a more in-depth look one of the main knobs of the pedal:

Mode Select: Here you can select nine delay types, as well as the sample/hold, and looper.
The nine delay types are:

1. ECHO: A simple digital delay where each repeat sounds exactly like the dry signal and repeats fade away cleanly.

2. MOD: A modulation delay. The same as the ECHO delay, but with added modulation for warm, complex repeats.

3. MULTI: Multi-tap delay. Each repeat of the delay is played back at exactly the same volume. Feedback sets the number of constant-volume repeats.

4. REVRS: Reverse delay. The repeats come back to you in reverse. However, this isn’t your dad’s reverse delay. This one features intelligent reverse echo. It actually studies your playing so it can produce reverse echoes that best suit your playing and delayed time. Tip: Use the secondary function to adjust the sensitivity of the intelligent pluck detection algorithm.

5. DMM: Duh. Deluxe Memory Man. For my money, this mode is where it’s at. It’s a perfect example of a well-tuned delay pedal. Everything just sounds perfect and beautiful when played in this mode. Organic echoes transform as they repeat and lush modulation is available in the secondary functions. Beautiful-sounding time ramping effects are at your toe-tips. Just tweak that DELAY knob and musical pitch-shifting repeats rise and fall before your very ears.

6. TAPE: Tape delay. This mode simulates the highly sought after tape delay units of the 1970’s. Echoes degrade and distort as they repeat with plenty of wow and flutter on tap.

7. VERB: Reverb plus delay. In this mode, each repeat has a plate reverb attached to it. Turn the feedback all the way down and this mode can be used as a reverb only with DELAY controlling the pre-delay of the reverb signal.

8. OCT: Octave delay. Man! This is the mode that took me by surprise. The octaves are incredible and track with absolute perfection! There’s a POG and Pitch Fork in this thing!! It sounds really cool and trippy to use it as a delay, but you can also turn the Feedback and Delay all the way down and you have a damn good octave generator. Get into the secondary functions to adjust the octave up and octave down.

9. SHIM: Shimmer delay. This mode has some magical things going on. A rich octave-shifted harmony of delight will roll out of your speakers. They achieve this by modeling a chain of four EH pedals. First the signal is fed into a Soul Preacher Compressor then split in two. Half of the signal goes into a POG2 Pitch Shifter and then into a Stereo Memory Man. Then the signal is merged and sent into a second Stereo Memory Man. It boggles the mind to think of what’s going on in there. But it sounds incredible. I can’t imagine a shimmer delay sounding better than this.

10. S/H: Sample and Hold: First of all, I gotta say, this is the first Sample and Hold I have ever used where I actually can hear a viable use for what is coming out of the amp. I set the Delay to about 9:00 and made clicking sounds on my strings to produce some really cool machine gun sounds, à la Jamie Hince of The Kills. Feedback controls the sensitivity of the pluck detection.

11. Loop: Looper mode. In loop mode, the Canyon becomes a full-feature looper pedal with 62 seconds of record time. A loop is stored permanently, even when the looper is powered off. Wanna record that cool loop and take it to the gig. Go for it! Wanna save that cool riff from rehearsal? You’re safe!

Secondary knob functions are as follows, per mode:

MOD: Modulation rate, Modulation depth
MULTI: Volume decay/swell, N/A
REVRS: Pluck sensitivity, N/A
DMM: Modulation rate, Modulation depth
TAPE: Tape distortion, Flutter mod depth
VERB: Reverb Time, Reverb tone
OCT: Octave up level, Octave down level
SHIM: Low pass filter, Modulation depth
S/H: Volume decay/Swell, N/A

*If you feel like you’ve messed with the secondary knob functions so much that you’ve now taken your pedal so far out in space and you just wanna get back? No problem. The geniuses at Electro Harmonix left nothing to chance. You can return your pedal’s secondary settings to a factory default! This is also useful if you’ve purchased this pedal used and simply want to hear it on a “clean slate” so to speak.

While in Looper Mode, the knobs will function as follows:

FX LVL: Controls the output level of the loop playback
FEEDBACK: Controls the level of the existing loop that is preserved while overdubbing

The LED is also there to help you know what you’re doing. It will change color and/or blink to tell you valuable information such as:

In Looper Mode:

  • RED: Press the switch one time, the LED goes red and begins recording immediately
  • GREEN: Press the switch again, the LED goes green and begins playing back the recorded loop. Each time the loop cycles, the LED will briefly turn off
  • GREEN (dim): To stop playback, press the switch two times. Once stopped, the LED will show as green, but dim to indicate the presence of a recorded loop that is ready for playback
  • ORANGE: The LED will turn orange when you record an overdub on top of the original loop
  • RED (blinking): To fully erase a loop you press and hold for two seconds. The LED will go red and blink rapidly six times then go out. This indicates that the loop is fully erased

In Tap Division Mode:

  • RED: Quarter notes, no tap division
  • ORANGE: Dotted 8th notes (¾ of tapped delay time)
  • GREEN: 8th notes (half if tapped delay time)

Visit Electro Harmonix for more info about the Canyon.



Into the Canyon:

The Canyon delay is kind of a lesson in the idea that you don’t have to spend a ton of money to get great quality. I’ll admit that I’m a goon. When I first took a peek at this pedal, I kind of turned my nose up thinking it was just another cheap delay pedal designed to meet a specific price point. We have all seen some examples of not only delays, but other pedals that are put out, even by great companies, that just seem to be so they can have an entry level offering in every category of effect. But the truth has been made clear in this review already. This thing is nothing short of incredible. Personally, I would probably pay upwards of $350 for a delay of this caliber of sound quality. Of course, at that price-point, I’d probably expect it to be stereo with presets and MIDI/expression control.

When I sat down with the Canyon, I was nothing short of blown away. As I went through the algorithms, I remember texting my buddy with videos of each one that I loved and how rich they sounded. I simply could not understand why and how this thing was so magical. There are several modes on this thing that, even if that one single mode was all I got for my $139.00, I would be totally fine. The “DMM” is one. The “Octave” is another. “Tape” is not far behind. Then you have a sample/hold and a looper?? Dang. Then, on top of all that, you have the secondary functions. That absolutely shoots this delay pedal over the top! Make sure you have a look at the manual to see detailed information on how far this pedal actually goes.

If I had to get really picky, I’d say stereo would be cool, similar to the TC Electronic Flashback Delay, which is the same size. That pedal comes in at about $30 more than the Canyon, but I’d gladly pay up for a stereo version of this pedal although the multi-dimensional qualities of the delays make you forget you’re running in mono. MIDI and expression would have been great as well but would likely have required a larger enclosure.

Then there is the appearance of the pedal. It has kind of a cartoonish graphic and a random, swooshy “Canyon” writing over the graphic. To me, as well as some of the guys in the forums, this just kind of lends itself to a “silly” appearance, as if it’s begging to not be taken seriously. Then again, there was that Crayon pedal, too, so maybe it’s fitting the theme? The white on white plastic knobs give it a simple, yet washed out appearance further taking the design in a somewhat “cheapie” direction. I thought that the design could have just been better planned. An appearance with more of a sharp, higher-end design, maybe something black, could have been executed and would have been a more fitting visual representation of the intricate sounds that this pedal produces. I am not saying any of this to knock on Electro Harmonix but rather to relate to you as the consumer. If you’re looking at this thing and thinking “It doesn’t LOOK cool,” fear not. This pedal delivers the goods. Just get used to the look of it and have fun with it! If the looks don’t bother you then you’re already ahead of the game. I thought the tap tempo feature felt a little clunky, but I always assume that’s just me. There is a remote tap input which helps a ton by allowing you to place the delay pedal out of reach, near the end of your signal chain, but have a remote tap close to your foot at the bottom of the board. I found that using the remote tap worked much better for a more seamless tap tempo experience. Same with the looper. It’s not the most intuitive one-switch looper I’ve ever used, but that is because this looper has a LOT more features than a standard Ditto Looper, and added features can mean added learning curve. Once I read the manual and got myself acquainted with how it works, it became a breeze to use properly. Again, a look at the manual works wonders here.



The Electro Harmonix Canyon Delay & Looper offers an astounding value and top quality delays. I cannot believe what you get out of this pedal at any price, yet it retails at under $140. I’d put this thing up against nearly any multi-algorithm delay out there. Seriously. The only place it falls short of the big boys is in its mono operation and limited external control options. Thankfully, many of us are running mono rigs and that simply won’t be an issue. At least they have the external tap tempo option, which I am sure will get used. When you cook all of this down to one simple thing it’s “how does it sound?” I’d take the Pepsi challenge with this up against any of the more expensive popular delays out there. If you were just blindfolded in a room and listening to this delay perform against its more expensive competition, you would likely struggle to tell the difference. Then you’d be struggling trying to accept that this thing does what it does. I had to just face the music and set aside my self-imposed negative opinions of a inexpensive delay pedal. Then, once that happened, I was kinda like, “Duh. This is a delay pedal from Electro Harmonix.” Why wouldn’t it be incredible? The features offered in the Canyon are as deep as they are grand.

This concludes our review of the Electro Harmonix Canyon Delay & Looper. Thanks for reading!

Electro Harmonix The Silencer Review – Best Noise Gate Pedal?


Electro-Harmonix is well-known for their affordable, industry-leading effects pedals. The sounds for which they are indirectly responsible are ubiquitous. The Big Muff Pi, The Memory Man, The Electric Mistress – All borne from EHX’s seemingly indelible drive to innovate and reimagine.

The Silencer… is less indicative of that drive but still stands out as a necessity. Noise gates are effective at eliminating hum, hiss, and string noise by filtering out any sound beneath a certain volume threshold. If you have a high-gain amp or pedal, or even if you’re getting hum from a poor power source, a noise gate should be part of your rig, end of story. While The Silencer functions exactly as any other noise gate does, it is one of the best noise gates out there at this price point: it’s smaller, lighter, and just plain prettier than most of its competitors.


  • Noise gate with built-in effects loop
  • 3 knobs- Threshold, Reduction, and Release
  • Noise reduction is variable from -70dB to +4dB
  • Release time can be set between 8ms and 4 seconds
  • Built in loop- Send and Return to filter out hum from guitar and effects in two separate loops
  • Buffered output (via Send)/buffered bypass keeps your signal strong and clean
  • Powered by a single 9-volt battery or optional AC adaptor

When you take The Silencer (and included EHX sticker- woo!) out of its handsome, art-deco inspired box you’re regaled with a lightweight, rugged little unit. And when I say lightweight and rugged, I mean it. To the uninitiated it appears to be made out of some otherworldly alloy with the density of balsa wood and the durability and look of pig-iron. The front is a silver and white screenprint, and the footswitch latches with that satisfying click-clack we all know and love.

The three knobs control the following parameters:

Threshold: Determines the level at which the volume is attenuated. I’ve found this works best at around noon for most general purposes.

Release: Shortens or extends the decay of the signal for either a more natural fade at higher settings or a punchy cutoff at its lowest.

Reduction: Controls how much the overall signal is reduced. This setting might seem counter-intuitive to some, as the higher you go, the less signal you get.

Visit Electro Harmonix for more info about The Silencer.


With my amp cranked to its highest-gain setting there is almost always a very unmusical hum that renders my tone muddy in any mix. Almost all reverbs modulate it into an instrument all its own, and pitch-shifters try to track it.

When I picked up The Silencer and used it right after my effects chain, the first thing I noticed was that this hum was almost immediately eliminated as if Electro-Harmonix had exorcised a phantom from my amp with this unassuming noise-gate as a proxy. Upon a closer listen, I noticed that the hum was still technically there, just attenuated out entirely between notes.

Even with its threshold at its peak, your playing comes through loud and clear; you do have to dial in a sweet spot to hear your gentle notes in the same phrases as your heavy ones. I’ve found that this is at around 12-1 o’clock. With the threshold at around 2 to 3 o’clock, the Silencer even rids you of obtrusive string noise. Those of us who embrace that noise may not have as much of a use for that function, but for those of you who think that dragging your fingers on the strings sounds particularly awful behind a delay, this is a godsend.
I noticed that at its lowest setting, the release knob doesn’t cut the signal off immediately. There’s a bit of latency there that is a function of the minimum 8ms release time. Not a huge loss, especially at low gain settings but still worth mentioning. I’ve also seen noise gates that execute other utilities, in particular offering the option to power other pedals via daisy-chain- but if that ability doesn’t concern you as much as size and build do, The Silencer is the way to go.

The way I use this pedal now, I plug my guitar into The Silencer’s input and run that signal through all of my pre-effects loop pedals, then in and out of my amp’s effects loop and back through The Silencer via the return and output to cancel all of the hum from my guitar, my overdrives and my amp. If your signal chain is a little simpler, it works just fine at the end- just make sure you’re putting it before any reverbs or delays. In my experience, you lose some of the more subtle and quieter nuances of your delay or reverb using any one noise gate as a panacea. In other words, you don’t want a high-threshold noise gate getting rid of the hum from your Electro Harmonix Metal Muff but also squashing out the trails of your EarthQuaker Devices Afterneath. Legends tell of an age long past when Periphery’s Misha Mansoor used 3 noise gates to get beautiful high-gain tone without sacrificing any subtleties, a convoluted solution to be sure, but an effective one!



The Silencer from Electro Harmonix is an exceptional solution for cutting out signal noise and tightening up your sound. Noise gates have always been an invaluable staple in the world of guitar, and while tons of other companies are offering circuits that do what The Silencer does just as well, if you a want a noise gate that’s reliable, very effective at eliminating noise, and looks nice on your board, too, The Silencer is the absolute best choice in its price range.

That concludes our review of The Silencer from Electro-Harmonix. Thanks for reading!

Electro Harmonix Deluxe Big Muff Pi Review – Best Fuzz Distortion Pedal?


The Electro Harmonix Big Muff Pi is a legend among guitar pedals. With a legacy dating back over 40 years, the BMP is a long-standing force to be reckoned with. The new Deluxe Big Muff Pi has finally reached what is without a doubt the most versatile iteration yet. The classic 3-knob Muff is expanded with an Attack knob, a dedicated noise “Gate”, a Bass Boost, and a foot-switchable Parametric MIDS EQ section which is also controllable via expression pedal. This may not only be the best version of the Big Muff Pi but the best fuzz distortion pedal… period. Here’s a detailed feature rundown before we serve up some “Pi” in our Electro Harmonix Deluxe Big Muff Pi review.


  • Delivers all the classic sounds of the original NYC Big Muff Pi, plus extra features.
  • Foot-switchable MIDS Section helps you cut through when recording or playing live.
  • MIDS section features four controls (Mids knob, Freq knob, Q flip-switch, On/Off foot-switch) so you can fine tune your midrange boost or cut.
  • Noise gate with adjustable Gate control eliminates noise and hum while preserving your attack and original tone.
  • Adjustable Attack control adds punch to your single notes and chords.
  • Switchable Bass Boost for added bottom when you want it.
  • Expression Pedal input lets you sweep the mids in real time.
  • True bypass for maximum signal path integrity.
  • Powered by 9 volt battery or 9VDC power supply.

Visit Electro Harmonix for more info about the Deluxe Big Muff Pi.

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Sound & Performance:

I’ve always been a huge fan of the EHX Big Muff Pi, so naturally I was very excited to hear about the Deluxe Big Muff Pi. Unlike some guitarists I don’t swear by any particular vintage unit as the be all, end all version of the Big Muff. The Big Muff Pi has been released in countless variations, and Electro Harmonix continues to reinvent the “Muff” sound and expand upon its tone and feature set with each new version. (See the Big Muff Pi with Tone Wicker for another example.) Basically, the “Muff” is getting better and better, and this Pi takes the cake.

Electro-Harmonix-Deluxe-Big-Muff-Pi-Review-Best-Fuzz-Distortion-Pedal-03The first thing to point out about the Deluxe Big Muff is that it easily captures the classic Big Muff Pi sound, making it immediately worthy of its namesake. Just leave the Attack and Gate rolled down, and the MIDS and Bass Boost off, and you’ve got the original Big Muff Pi with Volume, Tone, and Sustain controls. But of course if you wanted just a Big Muff Pi, you probably wouldn’t be reading this as this pedal indeed offers so much more.

Starting with the basic Big Muff Pi settings, the first “Deluxe” feature we’ll check out is the Gate control. With a high Sustain setting you can mute the strings and still hear some background noise when you’re not playing, typical of most high gain distortion/fuzz pedals. Bringing up the Gate to just around 9 o’clock will instantly cut out any unwanted background noise. The Deluxe Big Muff Pi’s Gate immediately cleans up any noise without compromising the response and tone of the fuzz. Dialing in the Gate just a little higher ensures a very quick response between your riffs for tight stabs of saturated Muff goodness.

Electro-Harmonix-Deluxe-Big-Muff-Pi-Review-Best-Fuzz-Distortion-Pedal-04The Attack control may seem underrated at first, but it actually gives the Deluxe Big Muff Pi a very unique feel compared to other Muff style fuzz pedals. It’s essentially a volume control for a parallel signal that adds emphasis to your initial pick attack. It may be hard to hear how this is impacting your sound at first if you’re using high Sustain settings. By turning the Sustain nearly all the way down and alternating between minimum and maximum Attack settings, you’ll hear how it adds a more noticeable emphasis on your plucking and strumming. As you bring up the Sustain and listen to the Attack, you’ll find that it really helps recapture the transient response of your playing, an essential remedy for anyone who’s ever felt like Muff pedals had a dulling effect on their pick attack. It’s effect is less prominent on extreme Sustain settings, but it’s a subtle touch that shows EHX spent time carefully considering how to refine the Big Muff Pi sound. The Attack control adds an essential vitality to the Deluxe Big Muff Pi, and I find myself usually preferring to max it out for more transient articulation.

When boosting the Tone past noon for more high-end emphasis, the Big Muff Pi’s low-end is typically reduced. This may be fine in a band setting with another guitarist or if you just want a cutting treble-focused sound, but sometimes guitarists may wish for a little more low-end presence. The Bass Boost control on the Deluxe Big Muff Pi is just what was needed. I usually find similar controls on pedals being a little overbearing, but this pedal’s Bass Boost is worth leaving on most of the time, especially if you’re scooping the MIDS section a bit for emphasis on upper and lower frequencies.

Speaking of the MIDS section, this is the defining feature that makes the Deluxe Big Muff Pi a clear winner among fuzz distortion pedals and other Big Muff Pi variations. The dedicated MIDS foot-switch lets you essentially have 2 sounds on call, like say, a standard rhythm tone and a mid-boosted lead tone. And as I mentioned there’s also plenty of scooping potential thanks to the Freq knob. The Q knob gives you a choice of High and Low settings for thinner or wider tonal sculpting. You could dial in a wide mid-boosted hump or a surgically precise mid-scoop.

Perhaps the most fun feature of the Deluxe Big Muff Pi is the expression pedal control of the middle frequencies. Try setting a maxed out +10dB MIDS boost with the High Q selected. Rock the expression pedal through its sweep for some extreme filtering effects. You can activate/bypass the crazy expression effects with the MIDS foot-switch for instant access to normal Big Muff Pi sounds and wild wah-style filtering effects. You can also control this with CV (control voltage). I’d love to see a synth experimentalist running their keys into this thing. Or maybe your band’s keyboard player can hijack the pedal with CV while you take a solo; you stomp on the MIDS and shred while your band mate goes wild with the filter. The Deluxe Big Muff Pi is a dream dirt pedal for sonic renegades. Get weird with it!

I must say, this pedal is definitely my favorite version of the Electro Harmonix Big Muff Pi so far. It’s obviously the most feature packed version of the “Big Muff”. It’s nearly perfect in fact. It would have been interesting to see a “Tone Wicker” flip-switch that allows you to achieve a Tone circuit free, full-range signal that could then be used with or without the MIDS section. Speaking of dream Muff possibilities, I’d also like to have seen some kind of adjustable “character” control that could adjust the looseness/tightness of the fuzz. These are just a few ideas that came to mind while thinking about where the Big Muff Pi could possibly go from here. As far as that loose, Muffy fuzz sound is concerned, this is the pinnacle of EHX Muffs. It’s great to see Electro Harmonix still tweaking the legendary fuzz pedal into the 21st century. The Deluxe Big Muff Pi contains a world of extreme fuzz textures and is a great value considering its reasonable asking price.

This pedal rocks like no other Muff before it. Electro Harmonix have done it yet again.



The Electro Harmonix Deluxe Big Muff Pi is without a doubt the ultimate version of the Big Muff Pi that EHX have released so far. Rather than just adding a bunch of random extra features, EHX took careful consideration of how the Big Muff Pi could be improved. The noise gate was long overdue. The Attack adds transient emphasis. The Bass Boost makes this Muff more massive. And the MIDS section adds an infinite palette on tonal coloring and performance flexibility. I look forward to seeing if EHX can take the Muff anywhere else from here. Until they do, the Deluxe Big Muff Pi reigns supreme.

That concludes our Electro Harmonix Deluxe Big Muff Pi review. Thanks for reading.


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Electro Harmonix Soul Food Review – Best “Klon Centaur/KTR” Overdrive Pedal?


The Electro Harmonix Soul Food is meant to do one thing: give guitarists access to the sought after style of clean boost and overdrive tones made famous by the Klon Centaur (& KTR) overdrive guitar pedals. And it’s meant to accomplish this lofty feat while costing about as much as a console video game. Sounds like good food for the soul to me.

Mike Matthews Vs. The Hype Machine

Few pedals are as sought-after as the mythical Klon Centaur (& KTR) overdrive pedals. Yes, these legendary stompboxes do sound fantastic, but many guitarists have realized that their inflated second-hand prices are fueled by greatly exaggerated hype. Yes, their tones are great, but there is a bit more surrounding why these pedals have soared to such lofty prices on the second-hand market than simply their great sounds. Less than 10,000 Centaurs were made, and the pedal has since been discontinued. While Centaur creator, Bill Finnegan, denies having any hand in fueling the hype, he adamantly refuses to build any more Klon Centaurs, a pedal that guitarists have begged and pleaded for him to produce. Bill alludes to the hype in print on the KTR overdrive pedal itself, adding even more emphasis to the hype he denies having any hand in making. Whether it’s intentional or simply by a matter of circumstance, he keeps the supply of Klon Kool-Aid limited, has attempted to hide the magic formula (the circuit and “mythical diodes” in this case), and occasionally sells a scarce derivative of the Centaur, the KTR, at a price that’s out of reach for budget-minded guitarists. Even if supposedly unintentional, it’s a brilliant marketing strategy as Bill’s actions have, in fact, directly fueled even more demand for his nearly impossible to attain pedals, creating more hype that could arguably be of his making. But with countless “Klones” flooding the market and every knock-off pedal builder wanting a piece of the Klon pie, something no one anticipated happened. Mike Matthews of Electro Harmonix decided to lay the hammer down on the Klon hype once-and-for-all and get in on the action in a big way. And like some kind of Robin Hood, Mike Matthews’ mission was to share this great wealth of overdrive tone with guitarists far and wide for a mere pittance compared to the lofty price of a second-hand Klon Centaur. The Soul Food is a Klon Centaur style of overdrive pedal that any budget-strapped guitarist can afford.

Electro-Harmonix-Soul-Food-Review-Best-Klon-Centaur-KTR-Ovedrive-Pedal-02Let’s find out if this is the best “Klon Centaur/KTR” overdrive pedal you can buy in our Electro Harmonix Soul Food review. Here’s a spec list before we serve our first helping.


  • Transparent overdrive.
  • Boosted power rails for extended headroom and definition.
  • Super responsive.
  • Controls for Volume, Treble, & Drive.
  • Selectable true bypass or buffered bypass modes.
  • Compact, rugged design.
  • 9.6DC-200 power supply included. Also runs on 9 volt battery.

Visit Electro Harmonix for more info about the Soul Food.

See the lowest price on Amazon.

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Sound & Performance:

There’s one thing that few guitarists would argue with: the Klon Centaur is an excellent overdrive pedal, indeed one of the best. The Soul Food is an original circuit design inspired by the Centaur. It aims to take your guitar into that realm of tone for a tiny fraction of the cost of a second-hand Centaur. From the moment you plug into the EHX Soul Food, you can’t help but notice that it does indeed sound very Klon-like. There’s no mistaking that it’s an overdrive in the vein of the classic Klon Centaur. While the Soul Food isn’t a one-to-one replica of the Klon Centaur, it does a commendable job of producing similar overdrive and clean boost tones yet with a flavor of its own. Mike Matthews and his engineers at Electro Harmonix have performed a heroic task in making this exceptional pedal available to guitarists with a discerning palate for Klon-style tones.

Is it unfair to compare the Soul Food and Klon Centaur because of the sheer difference in cost of these pedals? No, this comparison is essential and emphasizes how comical it is that the Klon Centaur has reached such outrageous secondhand prices. But if that didn’t happen, guitarists probably wouldn’t have access to the Soul Food today. The silly prices Klon Centaur pedals fetch is a testament to just how much value the Soul Food provides as nearly any guitarist can afford one. The Electo Harmonix Soul Food is easily on the short-list of modern effects pedals that every single guitarist should own or at least try out. It really is a great pedal that’s worth far more than it’s humble asking price. Rather than being a direct “Klone”, the Soul Food’s slight variances in sound may even sound more favorable than the Centaur to some guitarists.

When cutting the Drive on the Soul Food all the way, you’ll achieve a pretty transparent sound that’s great for using as a clean volume boost. Clean boosting is one of the most popular ways to use the Klon Centaur, and the Soul Food performs just as admirably in this area, offering sounds that some guitarists might even prefer in a double-blind test. Electro Harmonix took great care in getting a wide range of clean gain on the Drive knob’s left side of noon. You can push it up slightly around 9 o’clock or so to get just a little more punch from your guitar. While the Soul Food doesn’t add a lot of extra low-end presence (hence some after market mods offering additional low-end shaping options), the sound has a nice mid-range punch that’ll make your guitar pop a little more in a band mix while not treading too deeply in your bassist’s frequency range. And quite frankly, as I’ve said before, some guitarists might even prefer this pedal’s sounds to a Klon Centaur on the same settings or may even have a hard time hearing much difference at all. Basically, while discerning ears will notice subtle differences, they aren’t night and day.

The Soul Food has a slightly more aggressive top-end when you dime the Drive. You’ll notice a bit more sizzle that may warrant some taming with the Treble control. But when you get back to lower Drive settings, you’ll be treated to some usable boosted tones with a slight hint of added color and harmonics. As with the Klon Centaur, the Soul Food also shines in the range of Drive tones found between 9 o’clock towards a little past noon, and this can cover your moderate crunch needs with ease. Back to the higher Drive settings, you’ll even find just a little more gain than your typical “Klone” although I typically resist the urge to max it out for smoother overdrive sounds. As Klon connoisseurs will mostly agree, this style of drive is really about the cleaner, low-gain side of the overdrive spectrum.

It’s worth pointing out that this pedal plays well with just about any pickup configuration, particular on its lower gain settings. If you’re using darker humbuckers, open up the Treble control. If your single-coils are on the bright side, cut back that Treble a bit. The pedal is also articulate enough to retain note definition even when using warmer, duller-sounding pickups. It’s very easy to dial in settings with the Soul Food that just work with your guitar and amp for sounds that may even have you leaving the pedal on all the time. I especially like the added touch sensitivity offered by the clean boost settings with the Drive rolled all the way down.

The optional buffer is a huge plus. While the original Klon Centaur was buffered bypass all the way (it’s creator, Bill Finnegan, swears by it), many modern players have come to prefer using true bypass. (Sorry, true bypass is not almost always worse to many guitarists.) It’s great that the Soul Food offers options to satisfy both needs, another testament to how EHX puts the needs of their customers before their ego. You can use it to drive a strong signal to your other pedals with the buffer or have the Soul Food get completely out of your signal path with the true bypass option.

Also, while most guitarists may use a dedicated power supply for all pedals on their pedalboards, it’s nice that EHX included a power adapter with this pedal, adding yet even more value to what you get out of the box. Even if you don’t necessarily need it, you never know when an extra adapter will come in handy.

All-in-all you can’t beat the tones and value the Soul Food offers at this price. It’s seriously one of the best bargains around. Electro Harmonix have created one of the most indispensable and essential pedals to come along in a while.



The Electro Harmonix Soul Food is one of the best overdrive pedals you can buy and offers unmatched value at its unbelievably low price point. EHX could have slapped a $100+ price tag on the Soul Food, and its tones would still be a bargain. While guitarists with cash to burn may not mind shelling out a couple grand for a pedal, the Soul Food offers premium sounds for the tone savvy at a price that makes buying a Klon Centaur at current second-hand prices seem absurd. The clean boost tones of the Soul Food are exceptional, making this pedal a worthy Klon alternative despite its minuscule price-tag. Whether you want the Soul Food for its great clean boost tones, hard-rocking crunch, or everything in between, you won’t mind not sipping the Klon Kool-Aid when getting your fill of Soul Food.

That concludes our Electro Harmonix Soul Food review. Thanks for reading.


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Electro Harmonix Pitch Fork Review – Best Polyphonic Pitch Shifter Pedal?


The Electro Harmonix Pitch Fork offers something “whammy” loving guitarists have wanted for a long time: superb pitch shifting with optional expression control in a compact pedal. Yes, a few other companies have attempted this, but EHX’s Pitch Fork pulls it off like no other pedal has before. I’ve been following Electro Harmonix’s stellar pitch shifting and octave generating effects which include the EHX POG2, EHX Slammi and EHX HOG2 pedals, and the humble looking Pitch Fork represents the current pinnacle of Electro Harmonix’s ever improving pitch shifting algorithms. Aside from the various “whammy” style effects, the Pitch Fork offers momentary instant pitch shifting, detuning, drop tuning, transposing, and more. This intro is already spoiling my view of this being a supremely good pedal, possibly the best polyphonic pitch shifter pedal around. Let’s run down the features and get into our full Electro Harmonix Pitch Fork review.


  • Transposes over a +/- three octave range.
  • Three pitch shift modes: Up, Down, and Dual.
  • 11-position Shift knob selects the transposition interval.
  • EXP input lets you control pitch shift or glissando via optional expression pedal (compatible with EHX Next Step Expression Pedal, M-Audio EX-P, Moog EP-2 & EP-3, Roland EV-5, Boss FV-500L, and more)
  • Latch and Momentary modes affect how the footswitch and EXP intput behave.
  • Comes with EHX 9.6DC-200mA AC Adapter, can also run off a 9 volt battery (Pitch Fork current draw: 30mA).
  • Pitch Fork has a high quality buffered bypass.

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Sound & Performance:

This is a pedal I’ve dreamed about Electro Harmonix making for a long time. The thought of taking EHX’s excellent pitch shifting technology and implementing it in a pedal that could be used with any expression pedal is a feature I’d happily pay their asking price for. But there’s so much more to this pedal than what you’ll notice at a glance. The broad range of pitch shifting capabilities the Pitch Fork offers and the shear quality of its polyphonic tracking and sounds make it a value that no other compact pedal on the market can compete with.

First of all, let’s talk about the “whammy” style pitch shifting effects. The Pitch Fork gives you a total of 11 different pitch shift intervals which may be shifted either up, down, or both at once. You can use a fully wet signal or blend in your dry signal to harmonize with the various interval settings. That’s a lot of possibilities. The Pitch Fork’s generated notes are extremely stable, as good as the the HOG 2’s, if not better. That’s a shocking feat considering how small and inexpensive this pedal is. Even when transposing an E9 chord several steps up, the Pitch Fork retains stunning, warble-free note definition. When shifting up a full octave or more, single notes and less complex chord voicings give the best results.

The Pitch Fork’s D (detune) setting gives you a chorus-like detuning effect, similar to doubling your guitar in how it expands the dimension of your sound. You can set the detune effect either up, for a slightly sharp sound, or down, for a slightly flat detuning effect. Using the D setting in Dual mode lets you apply wider detuning in both directions for a more prominent effect. I typically dislike a lot of digital pitch detuning effects, but the Pitch Fork is an exception. To get the most out of it, try setting the Blend knob left of noon for a subtle amount of detune. Also, if you’re using an expression pedal, you can set it half-way through its sweep for a controlled amount of detuning which sounds really nice. If you want more extreme detuning try the m2 setting in Dual mode for the “Deep Detune” effect. It’s pretty intense, offering a throbbing assault of dissonance when called upon.

Electro-Harmonix-Pitch-Fork-Review-Best-Polyphonic-Pitch-Shifter-Pedal-03The 10 pitch shifted note intervals are as follows: m2 (minor 2nd), M2 (major 2nd), M3 (major 3rd), P4 (perfect 4th), P5 (perfect 5th), M6 (major 6th), m7 (minor 7th), 1 Oct (one octave), 2 Oct (two octaves), and 3 Oct (three octaves). Each of these intervals may be used to shift your pitch up for down for transposing and drop tune effects. There are a few note intervals missing between your original pitch and the first octave (no direct drop tuning from standard E tuning to C sharp), but this won’t be a major issue for most guitarists. If you tune your 6-string guitar to E flat, the M2 down setting will give instant access to C# drop tuning while the m2 up setting will let you transpose your guitar up a half-step back to E standard. As pitch shifting typically sounds most natural (i.e. like a guitar) at subtle settings, these settings are great for slight retuning for a few particular songs every now and then.

The extended pitch shifted tunings (P4-m7) also sound surprisingly good compared to what I’ve heard from various pitch shifting effects pedals in the past. You can drop tune your guitar for baritone tunings that sound great with clean chords, likewise for transposing to achieve higher tunings similar to using a capo. The sounds are quite good all around. Palm muting drop tuned chords with distortion starts to sound a bit more artificial as you go lower and lower in pitch, but there are still some great results to be found, especially with single note riffing. As you raise the pitch of your guitar the sound becomes more “chimy” as you go up with a cool crystalline sound that is still musical.

The Dual settings are the Pitch Fork’s ace up the sleeve, giving you access to 2 different harmonies at each of the Shift knob’s settings. These may be blended with your dry signal for 3 part harmonies, and yes, you can still play chords with flawless tracking. Each of these settings has the original up position harmony plus an additional pre-chosen harmony that is useful with it. Particularly worth noting is that the 1 Oct setting in Dual mode gives you +1 Octave and -1 Octave simultaneously. When blended with your dry signal, you can essentially achieve sounds similar to EHX’s Micro POG (without individual level control of the 2 octave voices when used simultaneously, of course). If you’re considering a Micro POG, I’d highly recommend taking a look at the Pitch Fork as it offers even more value at a lower cost and consumes less pedalboard space.

The Latch button lets you select between Latch mode and Momentary mode for activating/bypassing the Pitch Fork. In Latch mode you can activate the effect and shift the pitch via an expression pedal or CV control. You can use it in Latch mode as an octave pedal (similar to the Micro POG!) or 3-part harmonizer without the need for an expression pedal, saving more precious pedalboard space. Some guitarists will really appreciate that Electro Harmonix added the Momentary mode similar to the EHX Superego. This allows you to use the Pitch Fork instantly when pressing the foot-switch, immediately bypassing the effect when you lift your foot. An expression pedal controls the rate at which the glissando occurs, shifting instantly (4mS) in heel position or gradually (2 seconds) at the toe position. Try setting the pedal to a fully wet +3 octave setting with an expression pedal in the toe position while using Momentary mode and press and release the foot-switch to send the pitch cascading up and down towards the full +3 octaves for some sci-fi insanity. Also, if you want to use the Momentary mode for instant pitch stuttering effects without an expression pedal plugged in and prefer an ultra fast 4mS to the default 60mS setting, try plugging in a spare ¼” headphone adapter. This lets you save pedalboard space while still getting the instant pitch stuttering sounds of Momentary mode when using an expression pedal set to heel position.

The Pitch Fork surpasses what I would have expected. The only things I can even think of adding to this little pedal would be perhaps having a full 12-position rotary dial that adds the m3 (minor 3rd) interval for drop tuning from E standard to C# and perhaps a micro knob for balancing the levels of the both wet signals in Dual mode (adding more Micro POG functionality). But not having these things wouldn’t cause me to pass by this pedal. It’s really incredible how good the Pitch Fork sounds and how well it tracks. I will add that there is sometimes a slight increase in the noise floor when activating the pedal on clean settings, but again, this is hardly a deal-breaker, especially considering that the Pitch Fork will probably mostly be used by guitarists for distorted “whammy” leads. Sure, it seems like there’s always a slightly inorganic quality when pitch shifting a guitar up a full octave (which is arguably a good thing as some guitarists appreciate the slightly synthetic weirdness), but Electro Harmonix are really producing impeccable quality pitch shifting algorithms and pushing past what most companies are doing in terms of quality pitch shifting effects in a standalone stompbox guitar pedals. EHX has been releasing some killer guitar synth pedals lately, and it looks like they’re also aiming to dominate the octave/pitch-shifting/harmonizer market as well. I’m predicting that the Pitch Fork will become EHX’s next big hit in this effect category.

The EHX Pitch Fork rocks and is easily one of the best pitch shifting pedals available.



The Electro Harmonix Pitch Fork is one of the best pitch shifting pedals available and certainly the best value on the market considering its price. Make no mistake, the Pitch Fork does not skimp on sound quality and is packed with features. It’s the result of EHX’s years of experience creating high quality pitch shifting and octave pedals. That they’ve managed to pack so many options into such a small pedal at a price any guitarist can afford makes the Pitch Fork even more essential. Before you buy another drop tuning or pitch transposing pedal or even if you haven’t considered one in the past, try the Pitch Fork. You can’t go wrong with its plethora of high quality pitch shifting effects at its value packed price.

That concludes our Electro Harmonix Pitch Fork review. Thanks for reading.


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Electro Harmonix HOG2 Review – Best Guitar Synth Octave Pedal?


The Electro Harmonix HOG2 is “an Octave and Harmonic Generator/Guitar Synthesizer that can simultaneously generate multiple octaves and harmonics from your input signal.” Like an EHX POG2 on steroids, the HOG2 can create octave intervals from -2 to +4(!) with a couple 5ths and a 3rd in between. The HOG2 features improved algorithms and sound quality than the original Harmonic Octave Generator and now offers complete MIDI control of every single editable parameter. Improved sound quality is always a good thing, but the unprecedented MIDI control may allow some seriously unique possibilities for guitarists who want to plunge deep in the HOG2. Here’s quick rundown of the pedal’s feature before we launch into our Electro Harmonix HOG2 review.


Sophisticated new algorithms improve the quality of the ten generated octaves and harmonics as well as the Freeze function.

Full MIDI control over all parameters and presets.


A Master Volume for added control and convenience. Volume levels are saved as part of a preset.

10 Controllable harmonic intervals and 7 Expression modes.

Freeze modes holds a note or chord so you can play over it or slide to new notes like a keyboardist playing portamento.

Amplitude envelope controls your attack or decay speeds.

Dedicated resonant filtering with sweepable frequency control.

Separate lower and upper harmonic amplitude envelopes.

Save and recall up to 100 preset programs with the optional Foot Controller (sold separately).

External expression pedal included.

Standard 9VDC 200mA power supply included.

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Sound & Performance:

I’ve been spending a lot of time with the EHX HOG2 as it’s a seriously inspiring pedal and one I’ve had very high expectations for since its announcement. If you’re a fan of the original HOG or the POG2, you might have an idea of what to expect. But don’t be fooled. The HOG2 really stands alone, not only among other guitar synthesizers or octave pedals, but among any other guitar effect period. While it draws some obvious comparisons to the POG2 (with a nod EHX’s own Freeze and Superego pedals) thanks to its multiple octave voices and sliders, the HOG2 takes this concept above and beyond with some interesting sonic possibilities that cannot be achieved with any other pedal or guitar processor.


The HOG2 has a total of 10 voices which may be used together in any combination. These are -2 Octaves, -1 Octaves, Original, +5th, +1 Octave, +1 Octave + 5th, +2 Octaves, +2 Octaves + 3rd, +3 Octaves, and +4 Octaves. The HOG2’s voices are created by an impressive use of DSP power and are triggered instantaneously with no noticeable latency. Even when playing fast runs it’s amazing how smooth the HOG2 sounds, and the tracking is impressively stable. It’s only when using several voices and playing some pretty complex chords that you may notice a little glitched-out warble, although performance is top tier in most situations and certainly improved over the original HOG. The sheer amount of pristine musical voices the HOG2 can create from a standard mono guitar signal trumps anything else I’ve heard from an octave/synth pedal. The higher range voices are shimmery and ethereal while the -1 Octave and -2 Octaves are smooth and organic sounding. Suspended 4ths, 5ths ,and added 9ths sound especially pleasing with higher voices while the lower octave voices can pull off some authentic bass guitar tones from a standard 6-string guitar.

The Original voice is interesting in that it doubles the Dry Output signal with a digital recreation of the signal. While it may seem redundant at first, the Original voice and Dry Signal each have their uses. You can use the Dry Signal to blend in an unaffected guitar signal to retain the most pure, unprocessed tone. Using the Original voice is primarily for when you plan to pitch shift the voices via an expression pedal (or MIDI control) or affect the voices with the Envelope or Filter section. You can also use the Dry Signal with the Original voice for a doubling effect. Detune the Original voice slightly for a chorus-like, modulated sound.

Electro-Harmonix-HOG2-Review-Best-Guitar-Synth-Octave-Pedal-04And speaking of pitch-shifting, this is where the HOG2 really starts to get interesting. Plugging in the included EHX Next Step Expression Pedal (or any compatible expression pedal) with Exp. Mode set to Octave Bend or Step Bend allows you to achieve some incredibly smooth pitch bends. Step Bend lets you bend one whole step while the Octave Bend sends your pitch soaring up one full octave. I sometimes noticed a slightly “stepped” pitch glide from the original HOG on the Octave Bend setting, but the HOG2 sounds absolutely pristine thanks to its improved pitch algorithms. The really cool part is that you can pitch shift any (or all!) 10 voices up or down a full octave. This means you can take that +4 Octaves voice up to +5 Octaves(!) and the -2 Octaves voice down to -3 Octaves. (To pitch shift the voices down, simply push the Exp. Reverse button.) Just watch your ears and the ears of your pets if you do find yourself brave enough to shift that +4 voice up an octave as it can get intense.

The Expression Pedal has a few other uses that make it an essential live tool for getting the most out of the HOG2 with your feet. The Volume option gives you control over the volume of the generated voices, letting you fade them in and out over your Dry Signal or complete silence the signal when not using the Dry Signal. The Freeze + Gliss is probably my favorite Exp. Mode as this allows you to freeze a note or chord and then play another note or chord and morph seamlessly between the two by rocking the expressional pedal. The effect is similar to sounds produced by the Electro Harmonix Superego Synth Engine except with precise expression pedal control over the rate of glissando. Freeze + Vol lets you take the HOG2 from silence to a sustaining pad-like symphony generated by the notes or chord you’re holding. The Wah Wah mode gives you a filtering effect that is voiced to capture the vibe of a classic wah pedal sound and does so very well. The Filter mode gives you manual foot control of the Filter’s Frequency parameter. This is an awesome way to add some movement and realtime tone-shaping to the HOG2’s voices. You can also set the range of the Filter sweep with the HOG2’s Frequency slider to perfectly suit what you’re playing.

Electro-Harmonix-HOG2-Review-Best-Guitar-Synth-Octave-Pedal-05The Filter is a key component to dialing in the overall tone of the HOG2. It’s such a great-sounding filter that I wish EHX would release it in a stereo MIDI-controlled standalone pedal. Seriously, guitarists and synthesizer fans who like quality filters will dig what EHX cooked up for the HOG2. The Resonance lets you adjust the Q of the filter which emphasizes the cutoff frequency for a potentially aggressive sound. For more subtle filtering just pull the Resonance somewhere around middle and listen for how it affects the peak frequency. The Frequency adjusts the cut-off of frequency of the Filter and will let you round off the high end if those higher voices need to be reined in. You can also get some great bass octave tones by filtering out most of the high end and using the -1 Octave and/or -2 Octaves voices. The HOG2 will give you some incredibly deep sub-bass sounds.

The Envelope brings in some cool Attack & Decay effects. There are separate controls to affect either the Lower or Upper voices. You can either add some Decay for fades and staccato effects or slow down the attack to remove your picking transients or fade in the notes and chords you’re playing. Using different settings for the Upper and Lower voices produces some cool results, too. For example, try setting a quick Decay on the Lower voices and a slow Attack for the Upper voices to create a quick stab of lower notes with a shimmery pad of harmonic octaves on top. Very cool!

The Spectral Gate is also useful when using multiple voices to retain a more focused sound that doesn’t clutter up the mix. It adds an emphasis to the most prominent harmonic of your input signal to generate an even cleaner effect with a bit less high end making it useful as an extra tone-shaping control as well.

The MIDI implementation is one of the biggest improvements to the HOG2, offering complete control of every single aspect of this incredibly deep guitar synth. You can control the HOG2 with any external MIDI controller or even program and automate the pedal from a hardware sequencer or DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) such as Ableton Live. I played a gig using the HOG2 with complete MIDI automation of the pedal and achieved some incredibly complex and precise pitch modulation what would have been impossible to pull off in a live situation otherwise. You can even use MIDI to create some wild pitch arpeggiation spanning +1 to -1 octave with clever automation of the Exp. Reverse and Coarse/Fine tuning parameters. The full MIDI capabilities of the HOG2 make this pedal an essential companion in the studio or as part of a MIDI controlled live rig. The HOG2 will likely become your head-turning secret weapon when you integrate it into such a setup.

The HOG2 can also save and store presets. This is performed most easily with the HOG2 Foot Controller (sold separately) which gives you access to up to 100 of the units presets. Without it you can still save and recall a single preset to the unit by pushing and holding the Exp. Mode button for 2 seconds to save your settings to the current preset bank and pushing and holding the Spectral Gate button until the Preset LED lights up to recall the preset. If you’re using MIDI you can access up to 120 total presets without the need for the HOG2 Foot Controller. When sequencing MIDI to control the HOG2 I just made a single default preset to recall and programmed MIDI for particular songs to automate the HOG2’s parameters as needed.

There’s not much to complain about. Some guitarists might wish the HOG2 Foot Controller was included, perhaps even instead of the expression pedal. Also, while the algorithms sound extremely good, you may still notice some jiggly anomalies when using the higher voices with 2nds, 3rds, and 7ths. The Filter sounds so good that you may wish, like me, that it had its own in/out to be routed anywhere in your signal chain, but of course that doesn’t take away from how awesome the Filter sounds within the HOG2. (I’ll just keep crossing my fingers for an Electro Harmonix MIDI-controlled stereo filter pedal.) There’s also the matter of size, as this pedal (and its accompanying Foot Controller and Expression Pedal) take up a lot of room on your pedalboard. But if you like octave effects and guitar synthesizer pedals, you may not mind clearing some room to make the HOG2 the new centerpiece of your pedalboard. The HOG2 is certainly one of the most ambitious guitar pedals from EHX and one that will inspire the bold guitarists who tap into the sonic power it offers.

Let’s see the final result.



The Electro Harmonix HOG2 is quite possibly the most inspiring guitar synth pedal I have ever played. Its array of 10 voices combined with powerful Envelope and Filter sections provide an unprecedented amount of customizable textures for some of the most surreal sounds you’ll ever hear generated from a guitar. While the HOG2’s included Next Step Expression Pedal gives you plenty of realtime control possibilities, it’s the pedal’s complete MIDI integration that pushes it over the top as a wellspring of guitar octave synthesis inspiration. Until the HOG3 hits the scene the HOG2 will likely reign as the best guitar octave synth pedal in the digital realm. In the right hands this pedal will create some legendary sounds.

That concludes our Electro Harmonix HOG2 review. Thanks for reading.


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Electro Harmonix B9 Organ Machine Review – Best Guitar Organ Synth Pedal?


Electro Harmonix have been absolutely dominating the market lately when it comes to polyphonic guitar synth pedals. EHX’s Superego Synth Engine, Ravish Sitar, and HOG 2 Harmonic Octave Generator have proven that quality polyphonic synth sounds can be achieved from a standard guitar signal, negating the need for one of those finicky hexaphonic pickup systems. And while it was EHX’s own POG & POG 2 pedals that seemingly launched the craze for making the guitar emulate organ-style sounds when paired with a modulation pedal, Mike Matthews and Co. have gone one better and created the Electro Harmonix B9 Organ Machine to achieve authentic organ tones from a single pedal. The EHX B9 may have been long overdue, but it couldn’t have come at a better time, representing the current pinnacle of Electro Harmonix’s guitar synth expertise in what is likely the best guitar organ synth pedal available. Here’s a complete rundown of the pedal’s features before we jump into our Electro Harmonix B9 Organ Machine review.


Dry Volume knob controls the volume of the untreated instrument level at the Organ Output jack.

Organ Volume knob controls the overall volume of the Organ preset.

Mod knob controls the speed of modulation. Modulation varies per preset and includes vibrato, tremolo, and chorus.

Click knob controls the percussive click level. For a few presets Click controls parameters unique to the preset.

Bypass foot-switch toggles the B9 between Buffered Bypass and Effect mode.

Dry Output jack outputs the signal present at the Input jack through a buffer circuit.

Organ Output jack outputs the mix set by the Dry and Organ controls.

Preset Descriptions:

1. Fat & Full – This sound adds an extra octave below and above to make your guitar sound twice as big. Fills out any band in an instant! MOD Type: Chorus.

2. Jazz – This preset has the cool, smooth jazz tone reminiscent of the late great organist Jimmy Smith. MOD Type: Chorus.

3. Gospel- This preset has the upper octave drawbars added to capture that great soulful organ tone. MOD Type: Chorus.

4. Classic Rock- This preset captures the classic rock sound of songs like Procal Harum’s “Whiter Shade of Pale.” Add a touch of distortion for a classic dirty organ. MOD Type: Chorus.

5. Bottom End- This preset has the lower draw bar sound. Perfect for adding bottom to your guitar or playing B3 bass sounds. With the CLICK control up you can lay down a bass line like the one on Sugarloaf’s “Green Eyed Lady.” MOD Type: Chorus.

6. Octaves- This preset uses the fundamental tone plus one octave above. This sound is great for songs like Led Zeppelin’s “Your Time is Going to Come.” MOD Type: Chorus. CLICK control adds not only key click, but higher harmonics.

7. Cathedral- Turn up the reverb and you are at the seat of a giant cathedral organ! Psychedelic rock tones easily pour out. MOD Type: Tremolo. CLICK
adjusts the tremolo depth.

8. Continental- This is the classic combo organ sound similar to classic songs “96 Tears,” “Woolly Bully” and “House of the Rising Sun.” MOD Type: Vibrato. CLICK controls vibrato depth.

9. Bell Organ- If you crossed an electric piano with an organ this is it. MOD Type: Tremolo. CLICK adjusts the amount of bell or chime added to the sound.

B9 is powered by included 9VDC power adapter (requires 100mA).

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Sound & Performance.

The B9 follows a pedigree of EHX synth guitar pedals that I’ve had in-depth experience with, putting me in a unique position for an EHX B9 review. I’ve raved about the Electro Harmonix POG 2 before, an octave pedal that utilizes DSP to synthesize its accompanying octaves, and the POG legacy has set the stage for EHX’s successive synth pedals which have impressed me with their excellent sound quality, accurate tracking, and clear note definition. Aside from sounding great, EHX’s synth pedals are also noteworthy for being somewhat forgiving of less than perfect technique, meaning they’re less likely to trigger random notes and wonky noises, something that cannot be said of guitar synth systems utilizing hexaphonic pickups. The B9 is similar in this regard, picking up notes that cross a certain volume threshold and generating its organ sounds accordingly. While it won’t mask outright sloppy technique, it doesn’t require a complete overhaul of your playing to generate great sounds. (But some changes to your playing will result in greater organ-like authenticity as I’ll point out in a moment.)

What becomes immediately apparent upon playing through the EHX B9, besides the sheer quality of its organ emulations, is how quick and responsive the tracking is. Single notes and full chords are heard immediately and ring out with clarity and definition. The B9 also tracks your vibrato and glissandos exceptionally well although this results in less authentic organ sounds, of course. I’d recommend refraining from string bends and vibrato, a challenge if these nuances are an essential part of your technique. It’s a feat worth managing as you will be rewarded with some pretty convincing organ sounds, especially if you can adopt a style of phrasing and note choice akin to a key-bound organist.

The B9 has independent volume controls for the wet and dry signals, letting you blend your guitar in the mix as well as playing with just the pure organ sound. You can also run your wet and dry signals to separate amps via the B9’s dedicated Dry and Organ outputs. This offers more flexibility for further tonal coloring of the wet and dry signals although you can still play them both through a single amp by using just the Organ output to blend both signals together.

The pedal also has a bit of dynamic range, sensing notes played at different volume levels and generating its organ sounds at a volume level corresponding to the input signal. This lets you vary your pick attack for more expressive playing when playing single notes. A lighter pick attack can also be used to avoid triggering the Click sound if desired. For chordal work, however, it can be better to play with even dynamics for smoother sustain and consistent note volume. This can often be accomplished best with a compression pedal placed in your signal chain before the B9. As with any synth pedal, the B9 should be placed first in your signal chain before any other effects with the only exception being when using a compressor before the pedal.

While the B9 doesn’t have a dedicated tone control, you will notice that your pickup selection and guitar’s tone knobs affect the tonality of the wet signal. EHX fine-tuned each emulation so that it’s easy to recall a sound quickly and achieve a quality organ sound, but it’s still worth experimenting with the sound of your guitar through pickup selection and tone controls to find the ideal organ tone. I had great results with both humbuckers and single-coil pickups. While you can color the tone of the pedal with your guitar’s tone knobs, don’t darken the tone of your guitar too much as this may result in the B9 not detecting your higher pitched notes.

The B9’s ease of use will certainly add to the appeal of the pedal with guitarists who just like to plug in and play with no complex editing menus getting in the way. Setting the volume levels of the wet and dry signals is self explanatory via the 2 dedicated knobs. The Mod and Click controls add modulation and a percussive click attack to certain organ presets, respectively.

Electro-Harmonix-B9-Organ-Machine-Best-Guitar-Organ-Synth-Pedal-03The B9 offers 9 presets that cover a lot of organ variation. The Fat & Full preset beefs up your sound with additional +1 and -1 octave tones for a massive organ sound and is one of the B9’s go-to presets that defines what this pedal is capable of. Since each note generates 3 separate tones, keeping your playing light on the polyphony keeps the frequency spectrum from getting too muddy. But this is definitely the preset to use for an organ sound that commands attention and dominates the mix when you really want to go all out. The Jazz preset offers a warmer, more mellow organ sound that blends into the mix without being overly prominent. Like the name implies it’s great for jazzy playing. Throw this preset a “B9” chord for fun and see where it takes you. Gospel adds an upper octave with an overall brighter tone to capture a church organ type of sound. Yes, it sounds as heavenly as the name implies! The B9’s Classic Rock setting will make your Deep Purple or Steppenwolf cover band complete without the need for an actual organ player. Magic Carpet Ride, anyone? Also, try it with an overdrive or dirty amp setting! The Bottom preset adds a booming low octave organ tone, great for laying down some fat bass lines. Add some Click for a more harmonic attack, and be sure to try using this preset with your dry signal for a cleaner sound with massive bottom end presence. The Octaves preset adds an octave up tone and offers more control of the higher end of your signal by using the Click knob to bring in the upper harmonics along with the percussive click sound. This preset can be tweaked to sound dark and mellow or quite bright depending on your tastes. The Cathedral preset is another standout. Use this with some heavy reverb for epic Phantom of the Opera organ sounds, great for creating a moody atmosphere or ripping some wild organ solos. The Cathedral’s tremolo can add some subtle modulation or heavily throbbing rhythm to your sound as well. The Continental preset definitely pulls off that House of the Rising Sun vibe, complete with a pulsing vibrato that can take your sound to seasick extremes. The Bell Organ preset blends an organ with an electric piano for some sounds unlike any other preset. The “bell” harmony is a major 3rd that occurs over 3 octaves above your base tone. That means if you played an open E note on your low E string the bell harmony would be equivalent to the A flat/G sharp note heard on the 16th fret on your high E string. This gives you access to high register piano-like sounds that even have a hammer-like piano click attack.

It’s refreshing how great the B9 sounds and how far guitar synthesis has come, although it’s maybe less surprising if you were already impressed with Electro Harmonix’s Ravish Sitar pedal. That last piano-like Bell Organ preset is almost a tease for possibilities that could perhaps be realized in future EHX synth pedals that emulate other instruments. I’d imagine many synth hungry guitarists who are fans of the quality sounds offered in the B9 would love to see an EHX piano/harpsichord synth pedal, violin/cello/harp “String Machine”, or after hearing the awesome tones of the Bottom preset, perhaps a lower octave pedal that emulates tones of classic bass guitars and upright bass sounds. I would also love to see a MIDI-controlled EHX synth pedal with oscillators and filters that emulates some of the classic and modern sounds heard on the past 30 years of dance/electronic music. With EHX leading the way in modern guitar synthesis with the proven technology found in their B9 Organ Machine, Ravish Sitar, HOG2 Harmonic Octave Generator, and Superego Synth Engine, I’d imagine that the continued success of these pedals will lead to even more guitar synth pedal surprises on the horizon.

While the focus of the B9 seems to be ease of use and having one quickly accessible sound from the pedal’s single foot-switch, I personally prefer the performance flexibility offered by the Ravish’s customizable presets and dedicated preset foot-switch. For some guitarists, the smaller enclosure of the B9 being set to single great organ sound will be enough for that one organ song in your live set. But for guitarists that really like to dig in and milk the most out of every pedal on their pedalboard, you might be hoping like me that the success of the B9 leads to a B9 Organ Machine Deluxe with expanded preset options and selection. Also, it’s a little surprising that EHX didn’t add in expression pedal control of the modulation to simulate the variable speed nuances of a rotating Leslie speaker cabinet, but aftermarket expression pedal mods are already available for guitarists that must have expression pedal control. You could also consider using the B9 with a dedicated rotating speaker simulator for even more authentic results. But even with all that in mind, know that the EHX B9 is still the essential pedal on the market for simulating organ sounds with a traditional guitar.

The Electro Harmonix B9 Organ Machine is the premier guitar organ synth pedal and yet another great guitar synthesizer pedal from EHX. Let’s see the final result.



The Electro Harmonix B9 Organ Machine is the best guitar organ synth pedal available and another shining example of EHX’s guitar synth wizardry. The B9 offers dead simple ease of use thanks to its 9 finely tuned presets and sounds fantastic throughout its range of sounds. There’s a preset in this pedal that’ll capture an organ tone reminiscent of the most famous organ sounds in your head, and creative guitarists will use it to create textures unheard of until now. The B9 is the new go-to pedal for recording and live use whenever quality organ sounds are called for.

That concludes our Electro Harmonix B9 Organ Machine review. Thanks for reading.


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Electro Harmonix Slammi Review – Best Pitch-Shifter/Harmony Effects Pedal?


I’m a big fan of pitch-shifting and harmony pedals. For years I ran a pedalboard with at least 3 different pitch-shifting guitar pedals to cover the full range of dive-bombing and whammy-style effects. And ever since I first played the Electro Harmonix POG 2 Polyphonic Octave Generator and was amazed by its stunning polyphonic octave effects, I dreamt of the day when EHX would release a dedicated pitch-shifting pedal. My call was finally answered. At last the Electro Harmonix Slammi Polyphonic Pitch-Shifter/Harmony pedal has arrived.

The Slammi is the latest entry in the Next Step line of Electro Harmonix effects pedals. Unlike typical foot-controlled expression pedals, the Slammi uses no moving parts, relying instead on a motion sensor to track the movement of the pedal. The Slammi also features a range of commonly used note intervals with a range extending up 3 octaves and down 3 octaves. There’s also a detune setting for chorus-like effects. The pedal is also half as wide as pedals that produce similar effects. The Slammi seems to have a lot going for it. Is it the best pitch-shifter/harmony effects pedal? You’ll find out in our Electro Harmonix Slammi review.


Advanced new algorithm that sounds great and provides glitch-free tracking.

Up to three-octave maximum bend.

Create harmonies by mixing your dry signal with the effect.

MAX BEND Control acts as an 11-way switch to set the maximum bend/interval. Choose Detune, ½ Step, Major 2nd, Major 3rd, Perfect 4th, Perfect 5th, Major 6th, Minor 7th, 1 Octaves, 2 Octaves or 3 Octaves/Dive Bomb.

Precision control that lets you smoothly sweep your guitar’s pitch up or down.

Sweep direction can be reversed so maximum pitch bend is in the heel-down position.

Super responsive design with no moving parts, nothing to wear out or break.

Comes with 9 Volt battery, 9.6DC-200BI power supply optional.

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Sound & Performance:

The Slammi is certainly one of the more unique pitch-shifting pedals out there thanks to its interesting design first and foremost. But before I get into that aspect of this pedal, I really have to divulge my thoughts about how this pedal sounds. I’ve played a lot of pitch-shifting pedals over the years, and the Slammi has one of the best-sounding and most glitch-free algorithms I’ve ever heard. If you’ve followed the evolution of pitch-shifting effects over the past few decades, you’ve probably heard plenty of those nasty, unstable artifacts produced by some of the prototypical designs in this category of effects. Not to mention that many of the effects that support polyphonic pitch-shifting still suffer from a noticeable wobbling sound when playing chords. That’s not a problem at all with the Slammi as it sounds absolutely pristine for most uses.

Using the Dry Vol to bring in some of your clean, dry signal offers some very unique possibilities for shifting in some harmonies while playing full chords. You could simply set the Slammi to an octave up for 12-string guitar effects, manually shifting up to the octaves if desired. Or you could shift in some 5ths or other interesting sounding note intervals only on certain parts of a chord progression. There’s lots of creative possibilities here. The detune setting provides chorus-like sounds and is a solid effect for thickening up jangly chords although it’s not quite as warm your favorite analog chorus pedal. The polyphonic note tracking is very smooth and works exceptionally well over chords and single notes alike and sounds surprisingly natural compared to some of the lesser pitch-shifting algorithms I’ve heard. There’s no need to switch between different modes for single notes or chords. There’s just one fantastic algorithm for all purposes. It’s also worth noting that the octave effects are on par with the excellent POG 2 Polyphonic Octave Generator, a modern Electro Harmonix classic.

Electro-Harmonix-Slammi-Review-Best-Pitch-Shifter-Harmony-Effects-Pedal-04Cutting out the dry signal and setting the Max Bend to your interval of choice lets you pull off those classic pitch-shifting effects made famous by guitarists like Tom Morello and Steve Vai among others. Using +1 or +2 octaves with the Slammi set to Bend Up is a great place to start. The effects are smooth whether you’re shifting the pitch up or down. The sounds are especially great when shifting full chords, a hard feat to pull off. At extreme +3 octave settings you might hear a slight stepping through notes if you rock the pedal very quickly, but it’s barely noticeable if at all in most cases. The -2 and -3 octave dive-bombs are fun, too, and offer some really cool ways to start or end a song or pull off your best Eddie Van Halen impression without the need for a whammy bar.

The Slammi provides some truly great sounding detune and capo effects, and these might be perhaps the biggest selling points of the pedal for some guitarists. At small note interval settings the Slammi sounds quite authentic compared to your original tone and can be a suitable option for raising or lowering your guitar’s pitch without retuning or switching guitars. I was especially impressed with how the Slammi performed with EHX’s own Metal Muff with Top Boost, retaining plenty of note definition and low-end chunk. Guitarists who like heavy, low-tuned distortion tones will appreciate how the Slammi fares in this arena.

The Slammi’s range of movement it steady and smooth throughout with a perfect pivot point and a comfortable throw/sweep range. The pedal has a heavy, solid feel that provides a consistent range of motion like any well-made expression pedal should. Like any other expression controlled effect, with a little practice you’ll be able to control the sweep comfortably. The Next Step Effects, including the Slammi, are a boon for budget conscious guitarists as the lack of moving parts helps keep these pedals very affordable. But this design brings up a few points of concern. It’s a bit challenging to change settings on the fly, so you may find yourself restricted to picking just one setting for a live situation. (I used to perform with 3 different pitch-shifting pedals set to different settings, so that may not be a problem for some.) Also, your pedalboard patch cables will be subjected to a bit of movement when you rock the pedal back and forth, potentially reducing their lifespan. The pedal also tends to move around when you use it, so if you plan on adding this to your pedalboard, consider picking up the EHX Next Step Effects Cradle as well. When you tilt the toe end of the pedal forward to activate/bypass the pedal, there is a slight latency. The EHX light will also be covered by your foot, hiding the visual indicator of whether or not you have successfully turned the pedal on or off. Using it in an effects loop router is a solution or external bypassing of the Slammi. So while the Slammi sounds incredible, these few concerns are worth considering.


One last thing, I really like that you can easily calibrate the Slammi to operate in either direction of its sweep. This allows you to leave the Slammi laying flat with the pitch changed to make drop-tuning and capo effects easier to use. If you reverse the sweep, leaving the pedal flat will produce your dry signal, while rocking the pedal to the heel position will shift the pitch to the settings you have dialed in. Both options are useful in different situations.

For me, it’s all about how good this pedal sounds. The sound quality of the Slammi’s pitch-shifting is very hard to beat, especially for the price. Let’s see the final result.



The Electro Harmonix Slammi offers impeccable glitch-free pitch-shifting/harmony effects and is an exceptional value for the price. The unorthodox design of the pedal may not be for everyone, but those who appreciate the high-quality sounds this pedal offers will be in for a real treat. The Slammi can shift single notes and full chords alike without a trace of the nasty artifacts inherent in many lesser pitch-shifting pedals. The biggest strength of this pedal is probably the super high quality polyphonic capoing and drop-tuning effects that sound surprisingly natural. If you’re looking for the best pitch-shifter/harmony pedal and place your greatest focus on sound quality (and saving a buck or two while you’re at it), the Slammi may be the pedal for you.

That concludes our Electro Harmonix Slammi review. Thanks for reading.


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Electro Harmonix Ravish Sitar Review – Best Guitar Synth Pedal?


Having already been greatly impressed by the fast and responsive polyphonic tracking of the POG2 Polyphonic Octave Generator, I had a feeling the Ravish Sitar was going to be something special. While its name gives away the source of inspiration for the creation of this pedal, the Ravish Sitar offers a whole new world of sound design possibilities beyond its obvious sitar-like effects.

Ravi Shankar to Ravish Sitar

Let me assure you that the Ravish Sitar is no one-trick-pony. Sure, a sitar emulator might be a cool idea for a song or two. It could even form the basis for an entire project or album. But sometimes us guitarists want to get a little more utility out of our guitar pedals than one type of sound. But while the focus of the Ravish is to provide a convincing emulation of a sitar that’s complete with resonating sympathetic strings and optional modulation for a tanpura-like drone, its range of timbres extends to include those reminiscent of cello, organ, synth-guitar sounds, and more. While its reign as the sultan of sitar synthesis is without question (as you’ll discover in the review), the bigger question is whether or not the Ravish Sitar is the best guitar synth pedal around.

Here’s a quick rundown of this pedal’s features before we seek sonic Shambhala in our Electro Harmonix Ravish Sitar review.


Electro-Harmonix-Ravish-Sitar-Review-Best-Guitar-Synth-Pedal-02Independent Timbre controls for the Lead and Sympathetic tones.

Independent Volume controls for Dry, Lead, and Sympathetic voices.

Play in all 12 chromatic keys in major, minor, and exotic scales.

Create your own custom sympathetic scales; up to 17 notes, including microtones.

Freeze the sympathetic strings by holding down the Preset footswitch.

Fade and freeze the sympathetic strings with optional expression pedal.

Control the decay of the lead sitar notes.

Modulate the sympathetic notes to create movement similar to that of a tanpura.

Bend the pitch of the Lead voice from 1 semitone up to 1 octave with an optional expression pedal.

Separate outputs for main mix and sympathetic strings.

Selectable Q control on lead voice allows variation from organic to synthetic.

10 fully programmable presets.

Powered by included 9.6VDC 200mA power adapter.

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Sound & Performance:

The Ravish Sitar is quite possibly one of the best kept secrets in guitar effects pedals. I can imagine that many guitarists look at it and either love it or loath it right away, depending on whether or not they have a taste for the exotic sounds of the instrument that it seeks to emulate. But there is much more to this pedal than meets the eye. While the Ravish will definitely please sitar enthusiasts and fans of traditional Indian music, it packs an incredibly diverse range of synth-like guitar tones that adventurous guitarists will appreciate.

While it’s often fun to just plug in a pedal and start strumming away, you’ll get a lot more out of the Ravish by taking a moment to become familiar with its controls and how they interact. When you first fire up the pedal and start hitting notes, you’ll get a cacophony of dissonant tones if you’re not playing in key with the tuning of the sympathetic strings in the various presets. The digital display indicates the selected preset and key signature, and 4 orange LEDs indicate the scale and whether or not the key signature is sharp. To use the Ravish Sitar’s sympathetic strings to the fullest extent, some basic knowledge of music theory and scales is helpful, but even if you’re just playing basic chord progressions and simple pentatonic scales, you can still get amazing sounding results.

Electro-Harmonix-Ravish-Sitar-Review-Best-Guitar-Synth-Pedal-03The Ravish certainly captures the exotic vibe of the sitar, creating mesmerizing accompaniments to single notes and chords. It’s pretty incredible just how smooth the textures sound even with polyphonic chordal passages. Adding a bit of Modulation to the Sympathetic voice makes the surreal ambience even more hypnotic. You can also adjust the Decay of the Lead voice to affect the envelope filter style attack, creating the subtle metallic movement that completes the sitar-like vibe.

The Decay is part of how you really get the most out of your Lead voice. Using it in conjunction with the Lead Timbre knob allows you to make the Ravish sound like a sitar or a range of other instruments. With the Sympathetic and Dry Level knobs turned down, cutting the Lead Timbre knob fully counterclockwise produces a very woody tone that sounds reminiscent of a cello. Add a little palm muting for a pseudo-plucked cello attack. As you push the Timbre knob gradually clockwise, the tonality of the Lead voice will transform, and the Decay function will begin to have a more noticeable effect. Leaving the Decay at 0 will produce the most prominent attack envelope while raising it as far 9 will create a consistent attack and tone that’s vital for creating some dramatic, very un-sitar-like effects. Exploring the Ravish’s Lead timbres reveals sounds from 16-bit video games, accordion and bagpipe textures, organ-like effects, and even those emulated guitar tones from old-school keyboards. There’s some serious fun to be had for any guitarist looking for something a little different. Also, a little bump of the Ravish’s Q parameter is ideal for making your Lead tone stand out a little more in the mix when used with the Sympathetic strings or other musical elements.

To touch back on my introduction, the Electro Harmonix POG2 showed that the brilliant engineers over at EHX know a thing or two about harnessing modern DSP power to create pedals with insanely fast pitch tracking and incredibly smooth polyphonic performance. The Ravish Sitar carries on this standard with extremely precise and reliable performance. While some lesser pitch and synth pedals are known for their unstable “wobbling” pitch effects, the Ravish Sitar has no such issues, producing smooth harmonic textures even when playing chords with 3 or more notes. It’s also surprisingly dynamic, producing louder sounds when you pluck the strings harder. While some synth and pitch pedals benefit from increased tracking accuracy when having a compressor placed before them, you would only need a compressor with the Ravish if you simply want to even out the dynamics due to minor volume inconsistencies in your playing. Basically, the Ravish’s tracking is superb and very revealing of your technique. It’s quite impressive that a digital instrument can be so responsive and musical.

There are a few more little surprises in the Ravish’s bag of tricks that add to the creative possibilities. Holding down the preset button suspends the resonating Sympathetic strings, creating a droning texture to improvise over. If you plug an expression pedal into the Drone input, you can fade in and hold the sympathetic strings, an effect that is especially beautiful with some delay or reverb added after the Ravish Sitar. It’s also possible to create your own scale of up to 17 notes for customized sympathetic textures. You can even use an expression pedal to control the pitch of the Lead voice, raising it from 1 semitone up to a full octave. At wider pitch interval settings the sweep sometimes seems to step through the notes, interrupting the smoothness of the pitch glide. Shifting the expression pedal more slowly or very fast reduces this perceived effect. Setting the Pitch to an octave up and leaving the expression pedal in the toe position lets the Ravish Sitar’s unique Lead voice produce a great sounding polyphonic octave up effect.

Electro Harmonix have yet again broken new ground in guitar synthesis with the Ravish Sitar guitar synth pedal. Let’s see the final result.



The Electro Harmonix Ravish Sitar is easily the best sitar emulator effects pedal ever created and also offers a wealth of great tones beyond its namesake. With deep control over the Lead voice and Sympathetic strings, the Ravish produces some of the most sitar-like sounds ever triggered from a guitar. Guitarists who dig deeper will find textures and sounds similar to organ, cello, and more. It’ll even emulate old-school keyboard style guitar tones and retro video game sounds. The Ravish Sitar has earned an irrefutable place among the top tier of the best guitar synth pedals available.

That concludes our Electro Harmonix Ravish Sitar review. Thanks for reading.


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Electro Harmonix Superego Review – Best Guitar Synth Pedal?


I like to generalize guitar players by dividing them into two categories. One kind of guitarist likes to keep things simple. They just want their favorite guitar, a good amp, and maybe an overdrive or wah on occasion. Other guitarists are a bit more extreme. They’ll seek out any and every new way to effect their sound and are always looking for new guitar pedals to mangle and shape their tone. If you’re the second type, then Electro Harmonix has a new synth pedal you may be very interested in.

The Electro Harmonix Superego Synth Engine uses polyphonic granular synthesis to sample and loop what you play through it. An optional effects loop for the effected signal adds infinite possibilities. It reminds me of the Electro Harmonix Freeze pedal juxtaposed with a sound-on-sound looper or delay pedal with an effects loop… on steroids. Even that description doesn’t really do the Superego justice as this pedal is one of the most original creations I’ve ever encountered.

It is the best guitar synthesizer pedal out there? Let’s find out. I’ll run down the features of this revolutionary pedal and dive into the Electro Harmonix Superego review.



3-Way toggle switch for selecting between Latch, Momentary, and Auto modes.

Auto mode captures, freezes, and sustains notes and chords as you play.

Momentary mode allows sampling and holding of single notes or chords when pressed.

Latch mode allows layering of sampled notes and chords.

Gliss knob controls portamento function when switching notes and chords.

Volume controls for Wet and Dry levels.

Speed/Layer control for adjusting attack and decay of the frozen sound in Momentary mode. It adjusts decay time of auto triggered samples in Auto mode. It adjusts the volume of previous layers in Latch mode.

Effects Send/Return for inserting effects into the wet signal.

9-volt power supply provided.

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Sound & Performance:

Starting off with the Momentary mode, I plugged in my Strat and went for a warm clean amp setting to get a feel for this pedal.

Pushing down the Superego’s footswitch allows you to sample a segment of your playing and continue playing over it for as long as the footswitch remains pressed. This happens pretty quickly as the Superego grabs and loops a smooth texture of the initial notes or chords ringing out when you press the footswitch. The Superego is a beautiful pedal for adding interesting textures to your playing, allowing you to create ethereal accompaniments quite unlike any other synth pedal I’ve ever heard. The sounds of pedal are divinely inspired.

The Speed knob allows you to control how long it takes the effect to fade in when activated and fade out when released. It’s pretty easy to get a feel for the pedal’s subtleties and dial in some truly mesmerizing effects. The Superego really excels at adding emphasize to held notes during a solo or for creating droning foundations to play over.

I find that the Superego can be quite sensitive to your pick attack. It’s best to “feel” your way into this pedal to get accustomed to how it samples your playing and triggers its droning effects. You’ll find that the smoother your technique is, the better this pedal sounds as is the case with just about any great pedal really.

Electro-Harmonix-Superego-Review-Best-Guitar-Synth-Pedal-13In Auto mode the Superego automatically detects note changes and samples the new notes you play. I was able to find the threshold for sample detection and with careful use of picking dynamics, hit notes harder to trigger sample notes while playing more softly to add melodies over the top.

By turning down the volume of the Dry signal, you can really hear the glissando of notes and chords as the Auto mode morphs from one to the next. The glissando of the Superego is a very textural effect that is unlike anything else out there, offering unique sounds as notes and chords morph into each other. Well, actually you can find similar excellent sounds in the EHX HOG2 from which these glissando effects are based.

A slight latency may sometimes be noticeable when listening to only the effected signal as the Superego samples its loop after the initial attack. This very slight delay is necessary to sample such pristine loops and is perfectly acceptable for dreamy soundscapes where feel is more important than strict timing. When blending the wet and dry signals, the latency is further rendered a non-issue as the Superego fades in its characteristic sounds after the initial attack.

The Latch mode lets you stack layers of sound. The Speed knob controls how many layers you can hear stacked. You could use this mode to carefully add harmonies and layer note fragments or build a wall of sound to infinity. The controls are actually fairly easy and intuitive to use yet provide just enough flexibly to sculpt its unique Superego synth effects.

The Superego really shines when you use other pedals in the effects loop, offering a whole new layer of depth to the sounds it can create. I experimented with various tremolo, delay, and reverb effects and also the Electro Harmonix POG 2 and Big Muff Pi with Tone Wicker with very musical results. Integrating the Superego with other pedals offers unlimited creative potential for adventurous musicians. Also, I highly recommend running the Wet signal with effects into a separate amp for even more interesting possibilities.

This pedal offers endless variety and will help create truly amazing soundscapes in the hands of the most creative and experimental guitarists. The Superego is a shining example of the kind of effect (along with the Ravish Sitar and B9 Organ Machine) that could only come from the brilliant engineers over at Electro Harmonix.

Let’s have the final result.



The Electro Harmonix Superego is destined to become a coveted classic among guitarists who can appreciate what this unique sonic implement is capable of. Whether you’re adding subtle accompaniments or creating atmospheric soundscapes, the Superego gives you tonal possibilities that you won’t find anywhere else. It’s intuitive and easy to use, yet is as expansive and infinite as your imagination. The Superego is truly an instrument in its own right. Those who seek out the myriad possibilities contained therein will reap great rewards as this pedal offers a promise of great musical attainment to those who achieve unity with the Superego.

That concludes my Electro Harmonix Superego review. Thanks for reading.


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