Reviewed: NUX MG-20 Guitar Modeling Processor
I never got on the multi-effects floor pod train as a teen guitarist. I was unjustifiably concerned about the “fidelity” of my tone, decrying the inauthentic tinny sounds of the all-purpose slab. Instead I dropped a heinous amount of money on what I considered the real deal; Russian Big Muffs, rare Wahs, etc. As time has gone on and technology has refined, that has become a rather silly position to take.
Reviewed: T-Rex Fuel Tank Chameleon
T-Rex has been producing pedals and power supplies alike out of Denmark since their inception in 1996. Producing world-class and widely used pedals such as the Mudhoney and Replica pedals, they’re used and loved by artists such as Steve Lukather, Alter Bridge, Depeche Mode and Patrick Matera (Katy Perry). T-Rex also produces power supplies that power these famous pedals and the Fuel Tank Chameleon is the middle-of-the-road option in the Fuel Tank Series, flanked by the bigger and aptly named Goliath, and the slightly smaller Fuel Tank Classic.
Reviewed: Line 6 HX Stomp
It’s time to admit something to ourselves: amplifier modeling is the new reality. This new wave began in 1998 with Line 6’s kidney-shaped POD. While, realistically, the tones weren’t especially close to what they claimed to imitate, the convenience of being able to switch between ‘amps’ and patches, either effected or not, was groundbreaking. This was superseded by the Fractal Audio Axe-Fx in the mid-2000s, who then released the Axe-Fx II in 2011, which became the industry standard. In the same year, Kemper released their profiling amplifier, which allowed users to model their own amplifiers with startling accuracy. Fractal and Kemper have been neck and neck ever since, while Line 6 has slowly released updates of the POD, such as the POD HD and HD X series. Unfortunately, Line 6 has remained associated with the tones and sounds and effects on the original POD, despite consistently releasing top-quality products. This all changed in 2015 when they released the Helix and re-entered the big league. Enter stage left (or left and right; there’s a stereo output): the HX Stomp.
Reviewed: NUX Cerberus Multi-Effects Pedal
Have you heard the news? Multi-effects pedals are back, and with the ever-developing power of modern digital processing technology and cross-platform integration, they’re better than ever. Whether you’re a beginner looking to develop a taste for different tones on a shoestring budget or you’re chasing a no-frills touring solution to easily slot into overhead storage or under the car seat, you can’t beat a solid multi-effects unit to supply the goods in a pinch.
Reviewed: Mooer Preamp Live
It’s the most dreaded scenario of a serial tone fiend: all of a sudden, after countless hours spent twiddling with your amp and pedal settings, you fall out of love with your guitar tone. In a desperate effort to juice some life back into your beloved rig, you scour the internet and trawl through gear forums for what seems like weeks, trying to justify the purchase of another new pedal which you are absolutely certain holds the key to the divine zone of heavenly tone. In a fever, you drop half your weekly pay cheque on this said box of knobs and circuitry (and probably an obscene amount for shipping, too), waiting anxiously for the postman to deliver your new pedal – the fabled ‘last one’ – only for you to plug it into your amp and find out that after all this effort, your tone still sucks.
Reviewed: T-Rex Effects SoulMate Multi-Effects Pedal
In true guitar fashion, everything seems to go round in stages. Trends and fashions come and go only to resurface years later. Pedals have somewhat followed this path too. With stompboxes being the go-to for many years, rack and multi-effects units soon enjoyed some time in the sun before the focus returned to pedals for much of recent times. Modelers, smaller units and digital gear have all enjoyed success of late, and the multi-effects unit has also seemed to reappear. A few issues ago we played the T-Rex Soulmate Acoustic, which offered an all-in-one effects unit for both gigging and the home, alleviating the need for multiple pedals, messy boards and monster effects rigs. Similarly, the SoulMate offers plenty of options for the electric guitarist.
Reviewed: Radial Engineering AC-Driver
Acoustic guitar live sound can be a very different beast compared to its electric brothers. Yes, you can just plug and play and let the sound guy/FOH operator work his magic, but a little initial control can be a good thing too. Radial is known for its super reliable stage gear offering a range of high quality DIs/pedals/preamps for both live and studio situations. Focusing more on the live acoustic instrumentalist, the AC-Driver should appeal to a range of players in the acoustic domain.