Mixdown's Pedal Special: Variety Pack

Featuring Chorus, Multi-Effects, Bit Crushers and More

Here at Mixdown, we wholeheartedly believe there's a pedal out there for every guitarist. A stompbox soulmate, if you will. Find your perfect match right here. You can thank us later.

Ampeg Liquifier Chorus

Effect: Chorus

Expect To Pay: $209

Distributor: Amber Technology

Recommended For:

Players looking for an affordable gigging analogue chorus, matching anything from dream-pop to grunge.

 

Versatility:

Ampeg’s Liquifier analogue chorus pedal is a worthy new iteration in the chorus effect canon, albeit simple, offering a unique dual chorus by way of a clean signal through two modulated signals, instead of the typical one. The neat dual chorus produces a stunning array of tones few other options offer. You’d have to scour the market to find another chorus with true through zero phase cancellation. Although designed primarily for bass guitar, its lush trim of the low end makes this just as applicable to guitar or even synthesisers.

 

Usability:

The pedal is fit with a typical three dial setup for rate, depth, and effect, providing an uncomplicated channel to a cosmic variety of malleable timbres. The caveat is their fiddly sensitivity, making it hard to return to tones you stumble upon. Classic chorus tones can be found balancing the dials, but it’s also worth eliciting the wacky reverberations caused by rate and depth manipulation.

 

Construction:

The Liquifier is a sleek and highly compact operation, packing its circuitry into a high gloss purple die cast metal enclosure measuring 66mm x 114mm and weighing 0.27kg, ensuring it won’t crowd your board.

 

Overall:

The Liquifier is enviably affordable for the range of tones spiralling out of the unique dual chorus and is highly suited for live settings, but beware of considerable hiss for studio use.

 

By Joshua Martin

 

Mooer Black Truck

Effect: Multi-Effects

Expect To Pay: $599

Distributor: Jade Australia

Recommended For:

Hard rock and metal players looking for a compact and affordable do-it-all solution to their pedalboard woes, particularly those who are a little genre agnostic.

 

Versatility:

A one word review would be simply that – versatile. Featuring a ridiculously large amount of effects – compressor, overdrive, distortion (with noise gate), EQ, modulation and delay/reverb, chromatic tuner, FX loop and looper switcher – The Black Truck is an exponential expansion on last year’s Red Truck. The reverb-delay and phaser effects are uniformly excellent.

 

Usability:

The Black Truck is all about immediate functionality. All effects are simply engaged with straightforward volume, tone, level feedback, etc. knob caveats. All effects could be combined infinitely, with plenty of fun to be had playing with tap tempo and a long delay period. The inclusion of EQ, although gratuitous, makes sense in order to bolster the control Mooer is offering.

 

Construction:

The Black Truck trumps the hulking size of the floor pod ten times over, and certainly that of a mess of patch cables on a pedalboard, packed tightly into a fairly compact black casing and coming with a simple zip-up carry case.

 

Overall:

Man, this thing is a riot. It’s hard to fault the dizzying functionality of the Black Truck, though it also inevitably heightens the perennial conundrum haunting multi-effects pedals – is the analogue sacrifice worth it? Mooer might have offered the most compelling tug to the former yet.

 

By Joshua Martin

 

Mooer Micro Preamp 017

Effect: Preamp

Expect To Pay: $169

Distributor: Jade Australia

Recommended For:

Shredders looking to get a wide variety of high-octane tones without spending $2000 + on a boutique high-gain amp.

 

Versatility:

Modelled on the circuitry of the infamous Californian combo amps, which rose to prominence with the popularisation of heavy metal, the Mooer Micro Preamp 017 faithfully recreates the searing thrash tones favoured by the likes of Metallica and Suicidal Tendencies in the ‘80s. You want face-melting gain? The Mooer Micro Preamp 017 has it on tap.

 

Usability:

If you’re familiar with Mooer, you’ll know how much the company loves to simplify their stompboxes by stripping things back to the bare necessities. The Micro Preamp 017 sticks true to this ideology. In addition to your traditional three-band EQ and volume and gain controls, there’s a nifty little channel/cab simulator switch, offering a wild cocktail of tonal possibilities.

 

Construction:

I honestly can’t think of anything better than having the tone of a Mesa-Boogie in a pedal small enough to slip into your pocket, and the Micro Preamp 017’s aluminium chassis and pretty blue finish is certainly appealing to the eye. If anything, the tiny control knobs felt a bit flimsy, but if you use the old ‘set and forget’ method, it won’t be an issue for you.

 

Overall:

While I’m certainly not heavily invested in the realm of heavy music nowadays, I definitely had a brief thrash phase as a teenager, and I really wish the Micro Preamp 017 existed back then because I would have snapped it up in a heartbeat. It’s the perfect solution to nailing those feverish high-gain tones without having to drop racks on a boutique Cali combo, with Mooer once again proving themselves as the frontrunner in the micro pedal market.

 

By Will Brewster

 

NUX Solid Studio

Effect: Amp Simulator

Expect To Pay: $269

Distributor: Pro Music Australia

Recommended For:

Studio boffins, amp nerds, apartment dwellers with limited space.

 

Versatility:

To describe the NUX Solid Studio as versatile would almost be insulting – this pedal redefines just how flexible a simulator pedal should be. With eight classic cabinet and microphone models as well as three tube and microphone placement types to choose from, if you can’t manage to find a desired tone out of this pedal, maybe you should just give up.

 

Usability:

If you’re pining for an oddly specific tone – say, the cabinet of a Roland JC120 close-mic’d with a Neumann U87 through a power amp loaded with EL34 valves – buy the NUX Solid Studio. This pedal is near limitless with its possibilities, and the inclusion of a DI Output on the side means you can leave your amp at home and gig straight through a PA.

 

Construction:

For such a tonally diverse pedal, the NUX Solid Studio is surprisingly compact, and far lighter than expected. All of the knobs and switches feel extremely rugged, and the inclusion of the DI Output on the left side of the unit means you’ll be less likely to trip on excessive cables when using the unit onstage. It’s the simple things that win me over.

 

Overall:

The only other pedal I’ve encountered with a similar amount of microphone, valve and cabinet options to the NUX Studio was three times the size and more than double the price – and to be honest, I think I got a lot more out of this one. If you’re also tempted to explore the world of an amp-free live rig, I’d heavily recommend the NUX Solid Studio – it’s got bang, it’s got buck, and it’s built like a truck. Not bad at all.

 

By Will Brewster

 

Meris Ottobit Jr

Effect: Bit Crusher

Expect to Pay: $475

Distributor: Studio Connections

Recommended For:

Players who want their guitar to sound like a video game arcade.

 

Versatility:

With so many brands in the current market striving for higher sample rates and crystal clean effects, it seems that Meris are taking it in the opposite direction and trying to reduce sample rates down to almost nothing.

 

Usability:

The different knobs give you a heap of control on the level of crushing/decimation to your signal. From more subtle effects through to absolute bit crushing chaos, the Ottobit Jr is a ridiculously fun pedal for emulating the sounds of your favourite Atari games.

 

Construction:

The glossy black chassis with an ever so subtle flake makes for a tasteful looking pedal. Coupled with extremely well built parts and a not so overbearing size, the pedal is a welcome addition to your board without taking up too much space.

 

Overall:

Look, it’s not the kind of pedal that is applicable for everything, and it’s certainly not for every player. That said, the Ottobit Jr is well crafted and bucketloads of fun.

 

By Nicholas Simonsen

 

Meris Enzo

Effect: Multi-voice synth

Expect To Pay: $475

Distributor: Studio Connections

Recommended For:

Alt-rock, avant-garde and experimental performers.

 

Versatility:

There are a million and one ways to use the Enzo and then some. From mind-bending ring modulation to sprawling frequency sweeps, this pedal’s capabilities are only limited by your creativity. Completely bypassing the synth functions even turns the Enzo into a vintage pitch-shifter.

 

Usability:

The Enzo’s controls may take some time to get used to. Each knob governs a specific perimeter, enabling the player to tweak bandwidth filters, modulation depth, sustain, and much more. The magic happens when these settings are tweaked in conjunction with each other, producing a truly mind-boggling amount of tonal combinations. Plug an expression pedal into the Enzo, and you’ve got hours and hours of sonic experimentation ahead of you.

 

Construction:

The pedal is finished in a durable coat of vibrant gold over a brushed aluminium housing, making for an extremely classy look with its polished black knob controls and text. Contrary to its immense sonic library, the Enzo is of an extremely manageable size, which means it can easily fit onto your board without any issues.

 

Overall:

While this pedal isn’t for everyone, synth-enthusiasts and lovers of quirky sounds will definitely find something usable in the Meris Enzo. Ever wanted to turn the sound of your guitar into something else entirely? This might just be up your alley.

 

By Edward Lim

 

 

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