Of late, the market for 'micro' pedals has been particularly buoyant for companies who understand the importance of how useful space saving pedals can prove to be as part of a musician's rig. In the pedal/stomp box market, these 'micro' products have proven themselves invaluable assets for guitarists looking to save space on their pedal boards. One of the companies at the forefront of the 'micro' pedal market is Mooer pedals, who very kindly provided us with a handful of pedals to test. Having already reviewed some Mooer pedals back in issue 14, I had some idea what I was in for. That first batch of Mooers offered really impressive value for money and I was hoping for more of the same.
So, let's see.
REECHO PEDAL (see above image)
Essentially, the Reecho pedal is a delay pedal and features three Delay Modes. These delay modes are: Analog/Real Echo/Tape Echo and they are easily switchable via a centrally located toggle switch at the top of the pedal. The 'Analog' setting simulates a warm and smooth echo sound created by classic analog delay equipment. The 'Real Echo' simulates a natural echo sound in real environment, and the 'Tape Echo', as you'd expect, simulates the sweet and spacey echo sound from a vintage tape echo machine. Either side of the delay settings toggle switch you'll find both an effects level control and a feedback control.
Like all of the range, the pedal is housed in a full metal shell, is true bypass and is powered by a DC 9V power supply.
I was particularly impressed by the quality of delay on offer with this pedal. The signal always sounded very clean and with very little noise. It also sounded remarkably warm and very usable. I often feel that some delays can be very clinical and cold sounding but that certainly wasn't the case here. I particularly liked the tape echo mode, which sounded remarkably authentic. Very impressive indeed.
The Mod Factory is essentially a collection of 11 different classic modulation effects all rolled into one tiny but attractive unit. The effects on offer here are, respectively: Chorus, Flange, Phaser, Envelope Phaser, Tremolo, Stutter, Vibrato, Univibe, Autowah, Touchwah and Envelope Ring.
The effects are made possible by using 32-bit high performance DSP chip. As there are a lot of effects on offer here, Mooer has printed the complete list of effects on each side of the pedal, which makes for a great point of reference, if needed. Aside from the pedal's main effects selector control, the pedal has two further effects controls and a depth control.
The sheer number of effects on offer here makes this pedal a no brainer for anyone looking for a high quality compact modulation pedal. As with the reverb, the quality of the effects here is very high indeed and all effects had an element of warmth which you really have to experience for yourself. This is the type of pedal that you can simply waste hour upon hour experimenting with and with the ultra simple user interface, it's a breeze to use. I liked the fact the Mooer included the actual effects available as a print on either side of the pedal. Very useful as a quick reference, if needed!
The hustle drive consists of two main working modes, which are 'high peak mode' and 'low peak mode'. In High peak mode the pedal offers somewhat of a boost up the bottom end, so to speak! In addition to that, increasing distortion via the drive knob will result in more volume and a slight increase in high-mid range (around 3.5KHz).
In Low peak mode the emphasis is on maintaining the original sound with a little more colour, ideal for clean boosting. Adjacent to the Peak control toggle switch, you'll also find a volume control and a tone control.
I found this to be a very nice and organic sounding drive pedal that produces some great tones. With the addition of the two modes, the pedal offers lots in the way of versatility and in low peak mode affords the user an opportunity for a clean boost. Again, great quality here with low noise and great tones straight out of the box.
GREEN MILE OVERDRIVE
The Green Mile also offers two main working modes, which are 'Warm' and 'Hot'. With the 'Warm' mode activated, the pedal reproduces a warm tube drive tone and a very convincing dynamic response, similar to that of a classic tube amplifier, with a natural, smooth and creamy overdrive sound. With the 'Hot' mode engaged the pedal provides a more powerful output than 'Warm' mode, resulting in a very impressive crunch tone. In addition to the mode selector toggle switch you'll find a volume control and a tone control.
The Green Mile is a very impressive overdrive pedal indeed. A highly dynamic pedal with a fantastic response, it felt just like I was playing through a tube amp. The warm mode offered some beautifully smooth and creamy lead tones and like the Hustle drive, was very organic sounding. Switching over to the 'Hot' mode added more of a biting crunch sound but never losing that warmth at the same time. Again, just like the Hustle, this pedal will get you some great valve amp like tones straight out of the box.
In essence, the Acoustikar pedal is an acoustic guitar simulator pedal offering three different working modes which are 'Piezo','Standard' and 'Jumbo'. The 'Piezo' mode simulates a piezo pickup, the 'standard' mode simulates a standard acoustic guitar and the 'Jumbo' mode simulates a Jumbo sized acoustic guitar.
In addition to the modes settings toggle switch you'll find two other rotary controls which control the level and the body of the signal. The centrally located main rotary control is marked as a 'Top' control, which, I presume, allows you to dial in your preferred sound as dictated by the top wood type. This is essentially a treble control.
Being a devoted acoustic player myself, I'm always sceptical about anything that purports to be able to simulate an acoustic sound. That said, I felt that the Akoustikar did a thoroughly decent job of reproducing some acoustic tones. I found that I had to do some tweaking before finding a sound that I thought was convincing, but when it comes to acoustic tones, I can be quite hard to please!
The Acoustikar is a great sounding pedal, is very easy to use and is perfect for the player who wants to have the ability to access more of an acoustic sound without having to change instruments.