DVK Technologies is a new Australian company dedicated to making dual-sound pedals that pack maximum tone into minimal space (and look super-cool at the same time). The graphics are loud and bold but they ain’t got nothin’ on the tone. Case in point: The Mrs. Part boost, part compressor, this is a pedal that is much more than the sum of its parts. And that includes the ability to sum the parts: you see, each of the two effects can be selected separately or combined. Cool!
MEET THE MRS
The boost side of The Mrs pumps out 25dB of gain — more than enough to push a ranging valve preamp into meltdown, but also quite sufficient to get a little more sparkle and punch from a clean amp too. Controls consist of gain and level pots as well as a normal/fat toggle switch. Over on the compressor side you’ll find comp, level and attack controls as well as a normal/bright switch. The pedal’s innards are bursting with so much juicy tonal goodness that there’s no space for a battery, so you have to run The Mrs on a 9v power supply. It’s also extremely pedal board-friendly, both in terms of the amount of real estate it takes up on your board and its ability to be clearly seen on stage, even if you’re rocking a double-tiered, six-foot-wide, three-foot-deep pedal board of doom.
The boost side is a little more flexible than the plethora of single-control boosters flooding the market at the moment. Sure, the level control pumps out up to 25dB of juice, but there’s also an actual gain control as well, which means you can add some dirt to your oomph. This is great for players who use the boost for extra gain but who still aren’t able to get all the fire they want out of their amp. The normal/fat switch increases the flexibility even further, allowing you to make up for wimpy pickups or simply hammer your amp with a big bass-y wallop. I liked setting a moderate gain level, a high ‘level’ level and engaging the fat switch while playing low notes on a Telecaster; the single coil grunt is pure country, and not the pretty kind. The greasy, buffalo-lassoing, tumbleweed-kickin’, cattle-branding variety. Oooh yeah.
The compressor side goes way beyond a compressor’s typical brief of loudening quiet signals and quietening loud ones for the sake of dynamic vanilla. Nope, this compressor has loads of character and enough output to get downright dirty. If you want a polite compressor, set the attack fast and the compression knob at around 10 o’clock in the normal mode. You’ll get a great Motown-ready rhythm tone that’s usable in a wide variety of situations. Kick on that bright switch and max out the compression and attack knobs and you’ll get a snappy, lively sound that is great for commanding attention instead of sitting nicely in the background. If you want an absolutely killer lead sound, especially with single coils, turn both the compressor and boost on at the same time, and use the compressor side’s level control to feed the boost. Set the boost to ‘fat’, the gain to about 1/3 of the way up and the level to whatever your amp tells you is right. You’ll get a glassy, vibrant, extremely tactile and reactive tone that responds great to pick attack, but even better to flicking the pick and rocking it finger-style like Jeff Beck. Beware though: as you pile on the gain you’ll pile on the noise, so don’t go nuts. The Mrs is only human, after all.
TO HAVE AND TO HOLD
The Mrs is not going to easily be lost among the sea of compressors out there, nor is the boost section simply tacked on as a value-added bonus. Both effects are good enough to stand alone in their own right, but their presentation in such a thoughtfully-voiced and flat-out toneful unit makes The Mrs utterly indispensible.
Price: RRP $299
Phone: (03) 9555 8081
By Peter Hodgson