NU-X is fast becoming a pedal company that is featured on everyone’s board
Rising in popularity thanks to their pedalboard-friendly mini pedals, as well as their larger two-button stompboxes and multi-effects units like the Cerberus, NU-X make quality pedals affordable for every player. The Verdugo range of pedals speaks to these values more than any other NU-X series.
Most recently, the Verdugo range has welcomed the addition of Amp Academy, a stompbox-sized amp modeller, and the Tape Echo pedal, which is a, uh… tape echo.
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NU-X’s Amp Academy pedal is a fully configurable amp modelling stompbox. It features two multi-function foot switches that can help you navigate the Amp Academy’s long list of amp options, even beyond what you can adjust on one of the eight knobs on the pedal’s main chassis, which itself is finished in a textured black with a golden faceplate.
On the faceplate itself, you have familiar controls such as presence, gain, and boost, as well as master output and three-band EQ via the bass, middle, and treble. The Amp Academy can be run direct via XLR or to an amplifier via the power amp, or both! The Amp Academy also features an effects loop to use external effects – like a tape echo!
NU-X’s Tape Echo is listed as a tribute to the Space Echo, one of the most popular effects in the history of recorded music. The Tape Echo features two switches, one to turn your selected effect on, and a tap tempo switch. Both switches are multi-function for rec/play/dub and ‘hold for sub. D/MS’ toggles display options for delay subdivisions. The Tape Echo has EQ to control how bright or dark your delay is, as well as time, repeat, and level to help you push your sound into saturated, warped and tapey oblivion! There’s the classic reverb control as well, an overlooked element in the classic Space Echo tone.
The Amp Academy and Tape Echo add to an already comprehensive line-up in the Verdugo Series of stompboxes from NU-X. While they hone in on more specific sounds (the Amp Academy honing in a massive list of sounds and allowing you to hone in further on presets), the existing range brings plenty to the table, giving you both ‘always-on’ style effects and charming and characterful sounds for hooks, leads, and unique sounds.
Ace of Tone
The Ace of Tone is a simple dual overdrive stompbox. Featuring two on/off switches and independent drive, level and tone switches, the Ace of Tone really is an ace up the sleeve. It acts as a subtle amp driver and a lead-boost in one, or a lead-boost and lead-boost-boost in one. The left circuit has a fat boost for more body and warmth, while the right circuit has a shine boost to add presence, shine, and sparkle.
While on the subject of gain, it’s difficult to move past the famous brown sound distortion, and the Fireman pedal that honours it. The Fireman has a switch to toggle between A/B modes and a separate on/off switch. On board are independent volume and gain controls, and universal bass, treble, presence, and tight controls.
While the Tape Echo can handle vintage delay fine, the Duo Time can handle everything else, from spacious ‘80s stereo delay to modern, glassy, sparkling echoes. It has two independent delays on board, allowing for true stereo delay or jittering mono delay that folds in on itself.
Continuing in the delay trend, the Atlantic is a combo delay/reverb pedal, with each effect having separate controls. The delay has toggle-able ‘60s (tape), ‘70s (bucket brigade), and ‘80s (digital) delay styles, as well as spring, plate, and hall reverbs.
Once you’ve used any one of the other Verdugo range to shape and transform your tone, it can be boosted and compressed with the Masamune. The Masamune features separate on/off switches for the boost and ‘komp’, as well as handy controls to quickly dial in an extra little push.
The Masamune rounds out the collection of more conventional pedals, but continuing on we have a bass preamp and DI, looper, some acoustic pedals, and a rotary speaker pedal.
The cleverly named Roctary simulates a Leslie cabinet. It also gives more control over the octaves being shifted and blended into the sound, which is largely how Leslie cabinets sound the way they do. The Roctary has six controls for the Leslie simulation, as well as independent octave up and octave down controls for the octave effect.
MLD Bass Preamp + DI
Melvin Lee Davis is one of the most famous bass players of the modern world, having penned the theme for Soul Train and being the musical director for Chaka Khan. His signature Bass Preamp is a simple tone shaping stompbox with drive and EQ, as well as impulse response options on either the 1⁄4” out or XLR out.
Stageman Floor + Optima Air Acoustic pedals
Preamps and DIs are equally important for acoustic players. The Stageman offers tone shaping EQ and gain, as well chorus and reverb, all of which can be routed to either the XLR or 1⁄4” output. If even this is too much, the Optima Air does away with acoustic guitars completely by simulating them with handy impulse responses and tone shaping controls.
JTC Drum + Loop Pro
Finally, the range is rounded out with a looper, the JTC Drum + Loop pedal. Functioning as a standalone looper, the JTC differs in that it offers drum loop options with recallable settings and presets. Control your rhythm level, loop level, and time signature from your pedal board!