Any H2O users?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Gi-gi-giggity, Jul 12, 2006.


  1. Gi-gi-giggity

    Gi-gi-giggity Member

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    How is it? Are the chorus and delay good by themselves? How about when used together? Any drawbacks or regrets?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Benny

    Benny Gold Supporting Member

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    Let me preface my comments by saying that I don't really dig any chorus (it's just not my thing), so I don't get a lot of use out of the chorus side, though you can get that fast "cold shot" tone out of it, and some of the old Police sounds with a little tweaking.

    I like the delay side. It has pretty good headroom (I've had some delays that would clip in a very nasty way if you hit them too hard with boosts) and the H20 doesn't clip when I use it. It has a good range of delay times (slapback to pretty long), and overall, is a very serviceable delay in most situations. It is capable of some great Dire Straits tones which is what I really use it for, but with an od or a responsive fuzz you can do some of the Pink Floyd tones. Wet/Dry outs are cool, and the buffer is good.

    I haven't been able to get it to self-oscillate, so you might need to look elsewhere if that is a functionality you're looking for. My only real complaint is that the footswitches are a little close together, and I've accidently engaged both sides, or switched one one when turning the other off. That said, I have big feet, and I'm still getting back to 100% stability and non-clumsiness after knee surgery, so for the more sure-footed folks, it's probably not a problem.

    I took it off my pedalboad because I don't use that much delay now, and I don't use chorus at all, so it was a lot of space for not much functionality, and I'm on a quest to get myself down to as small a pedalboad as possible. It's a good enough pedal that I haven't sold it yet, and I haven't found a delay at the same price point that I like much better.
     
  3. Allthumbs56

    Allthumbs56 Member

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    I have an H20 and a Route 66. Both keep their spots on my board. I don't use chorus a lot but I like the H20's chorus as it doesn't seem to have the increased high-end when it's on like others I own.

    Compared to other delay pedals that I have I find the H20 to be a bit "middle of the road" like most digital boxes (the exception being my Ibanez DL-10 which for some reason I love to pieces).

    All-in-all the VS pedals are great ideas and great values. Their shapes are unique but at the same time can be difficult to incorporate into a board.
     
  4. Gi-gi-giggity

    Gi-gi-giggity Member

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    Good comment, well noted. Thanks.
     
  5. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    Good review!

    I have had an H2O on my board for at least three years now. I keep TRYING to replace it with other combinations, and keep going back to it. I don't try to replace it because I get bored with it (though...honestly it is human nature to want the newest and best and think something that is really succesfull is getting "old") but more because of space, but actually...keep finidng out that a chorus and delay together take up MORE room and use up ONE MORE Dc power cable.

    So there is that. I have never had a problem hitting both accidentally. I don't think I have ever done that, and that is the beauty (it is designed so that you can have the option of toggling (you have chorus on, want only delay, hit both at the same time chorus is off, delay is on), turning one on/off, or the other one on/off. I use my toe to hit it, and aim :)

    The thing is, the chorus...I have played them in ME pedals, and have owned a few. Just bought a Guyatone Micro chorus MC-3, and a Boss CH-1. Both are unique and sound pretty damned good, but in the end, the H2O chorus is WAY MORE VERSATILE. The thing is, it has THREE parameters where a lto of choruses have only two (speed and depth), the H2O also has "width" and the inteplay between the three will let you really fine tune (and it doesn't take a long time, for at a gig...I have learned mine pretty well) and the best for me is...I can avoid the "too-effecty" sounding chorus sounds, and use it more for a subtle movement to the sound. You can also get it to sound sick if you like, and all points in between.


    On the delay, I and many others have had small problems (I've seen reviews) with the long-short switch, but I notice it only happens once in a while and even then only when newly switched on, after a while of toggling it gets okay again..and stays okay. The echo itself...Benny hit on one important point. I had a Fender Prosonic that has an insane +10db in the effects loop. The chorus side held it up fine, but the echo side croaked on it and made terrible noises. Then again, I'm pretty sure MANY pedals might do that with input +10db. All my other amps, it sounds fine. I DO notice a slight buzz on one amp only when the H2O is in the effects loop...on my Hot Rod DeVille. I am looking into it, and might buy a mini-looper just to keep it simple, and buzz free.

    Back to the echo. It is very versatile. After Benny mentioned it, I cannot recall with certainty if I ever got it to self-oscillate, but then...for me that is not what I want out of a delay. I also now own what some call the "cadillac of analog delays" (I'm only guessing :) which is the Diamon Memory Lane, which is RICH...but also has its own power supply and is bigger than the whole H2O...so I may be sticking with the H2O still.

    Not always, but at times, I have gotten some of the most fantastic sounds out of the echo side. Just so you know, I play blues and blues-rock, and I almost never use slapback OR really long delay times, but mostly like...from a "fattening up" sound, on up to about what Jimi had in "Red House" or Clapton in "Sinners Prayer"....and this thing shines.

    I sometimes traded off with a Ibanez DE-7, which I also find really nice. But I consider them about equal, BUT it is easier and more intuitive to dial in sounds on the H2O. Especially say...between songs, when you need to "guesstimate" the delay time I find it pretty easy on the H2O, and a little harder on the DE-7. I also own a digidelay, and there it is near impossible because the "modes" all have different ranges.

    I think there is a new generation of H2O out now with some improvements, but I gotta say, not even considering price the H2O has been both a workhorse, AND has given me some amazing sounds...then when you refactor the price AND realize that any echo/delay-chorus combination is going to take up more room (the only advantage is you can upgrade one without the other) AND is going to take up two DC inputs instead of one (or two batteries if you don't use power supplies...so two backup batteries needed) I think the H2O wins.

    The exceptions are...if you are a delay-freak and must have the most pristine delay on the market...but then you wouldn't be looking at this, you'd be looking at huge analog pedals, with their own power supplies, etc.


    Really, you can't go wrong, and even can get them fairly inexpensively used, if you just want to try it out. If you like it, buy a new one and use the old as backup!
     
  6. Sid

    Sid Member

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    very nice reviews:BluesBros
     
  7. stekks

    stekks Member

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    gi-gi-giggity, You've got my nickname of the week award :dude

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Phil M

    Phil M Supporting Member

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    I don't like chorus, but the H2O is great. My regret is selling it for $100 last year because I need it again ...
     
  9. clothwiring

    clothwiring Supporting Member

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    I used the chorus as a pseudo-Leslie sim as I'm not a big chorus fan. The delay is okay, I personally like my DD-3 better, but it does it's job. You can get some nice slapback delays easily with the H2O. I recently sold mine though as I found I really didn't use it much and it was dead weight in my stock of pedals.
     
  10. drmathprog

    drmathprog Member

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    I like evything about it except the packaging. Granted, since it's 2 effects it sensible that it's larger than a single effect, but I think the "Baseball home plate" shape waste real estate. I would much rather see a smaller square or rectangular shape box.
     
  11. 58lespaulman

    58lespaulman Member

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    Does anybody mode these for True Bypass, or does anybody rehouse these??
     
  12. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    Good questions! Except as I think about it...

    I may be missing some point here, but have you ever opened one up? They have a printed circuit board, yup...in the diamond shape, and it fits very snugly in the housing.

    The pots and footswitches are soldered onto the PC board. there isn't much room between them either from the top of the box. (actually, at the moment I am talking about the Jekyll & Hyde, but I seem to recall the same on the H20) so even if you desolder the footswitches, and are thinking of just taking wire leads from the TB footswitch, the problem is TB switches are larger in all dimensions than the "regular" ones. Longer standoff, wider, more pins, and deeper.

    So basically, I think if you rehoused and TB'ed it, you'd end up with a much bigger pedal :-(

    Also, the buffers in them are actually pretty good!
     
  13. Gi-gi-giggity

    Gi-gi-giggity Member

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    Hahaha...thanks.

    Yeah, I'm looking for a good chorus and have had my eye on the Retro-Sonic, Jacques and ChoralFlange right now, but I ran across the H2O and it looked interesting. Trying to sort it out hurts my head.
     
  14. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    Try and simplify what you really are wanting here. The sales points for the H2O are that 1) you also get a really nice delay in the bargain and 2) Chorus is very controllable with three knobs instead of only 2...so you can make it subtle or wild as you want. I think it sounds great.

    But point number 1, are you also on the lookout for an "echo" ?
    I mean, would you have bought one anyway?

    I warn you, once you put it on the pedalboard you will hate that it takes up so much space, but you will have a hard time (if anything like me) getting it off the board again. It is a solid pedal, easy to dial in, and also one you can (I have) play around with quite a bit and even after a while get surprised by sounds you can find. It is a great pedal to explore.

    OR...you could go the other way...I am REALLY impressed with this (two knob) Guyatone MC-3, micro-chorus. It has a smooth and NOT tinny sound, nice and fat. It is pretty unique, but I've only had it for a coupel weeks and haven't had a chance to play much with it.

    Personally, I think the H20 is a great pedal. I just tried out some others, and I think it is going back on my pedalboard, even though I am space shy. I had been using mine in the effects loop of my Hot Rod DeVille (and it aalso sounded great in the FX of my Peavey Classic 30, and Carvin MTS3212) and very happy with it. Going to try it now on the input of my Bassman, see what happens.
     
  15. Digitalman

    Digitalman Member

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    I've had mine for a while now - it's a great pedal. I'm not big into chorus (or delay for that matter) but I end up using it quite a bit.

    It is big, but I don't have too many pedals anyway so space isn't that much of a problem. I was looking for a syrupy 80s chorus ala Andy Summers, Alex Lifeson (CE-1) so it fit the bill nicely. The delay is just the bonus...if I was really into chorus, I'd probably check out the Retro Sonic. But I really don't think I'd get that much use out of it to justify the investment.

    My only beef is that even though the chorus is very tweekable - I'd like to have an overall effect level control. Of all my pedals, I chose the H2O as my most 'special effect pedal' - I'm more into boosts and ODs.
     
  16. alphadynamic

    alphadynamic Member

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    Agree with above posts, its a big pedal, but great for rockabilly style echo, leslie effects, lush chorus, and even good with rock driven delays. Its simple to use, well built (i.e no breakdowns after 2 years in my beer sodden board). Having said all that, I never step on it, not my thing, I use it to split my signal to my tuner!!?!... still like an airbag, its good to know its there.
     
  17. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    Okay...I was really curious about that with not being able to get it to self-oscillate so I tried it out last night. This is one of the things I love about this pedal, to get it to self oscillate is dead easy on mine...I just turn up the feedback (definitely on max, but depending on the delay level, can also get it anywhere after about 3 o'clock) and there it was. The cool thing...it is easy to recover too. But, like MANY delays/echos, there is that weirdness if you change the delay time while echoing, but it works and keeps going at the new delay also.

    So, I think you ought to give it one more try, just turn the feedback up (it also MIGHT matter about the speed..the delay time..play with that) and the effect level up and play with the delay time and see if you can't get it to do it. Then if you ease back on different paramters you can also find places below those settings that can do it.

    If you can't, I think maybe something is not right with the unit.

    Personally...I love the sound of my new Diamond Memory Lane, but there is a pedal that is way too touchy (can't gig with it until I learn it better) and way too easily goes into oscillation...out of control, speaker-ripping, amp-destruction out-of-control. And it is not easy to reel it back in either. And it is so on-the-edge you can play for a while, then "dig in" hard on a couple of notes, and it puts it over the edge and goes into oscillation.

    So that's a feature I love on the H2O...even compared to my DE-7, I think the H2O is nice in that you CAN oscillate if you want, but you generally won't be doing it by accident!

    Also played with the chorus and got such a range of sounds. I think it does just thre right amount of level boost in chorus to make up for the perceived loss in volume of the effect.
     
  18. Gi-gi-giggity

    Gi-gi-giggity Member

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    I've already got a delay...that's just the thing. I'm not too concerned about price as long as what I get satisfies me. I've never really used effects that much to begin with, but in the past when I have they've been rack mounted.

    So, since the pedal thing is new to me, I find that I'm going about it pretty carefully in trying to choose what I like and what I plan on keeping. So far I have: Picture Wah, RC Boost, BB Preamp, TonePress and I'm picking up the TC VVD. I'm very happy with each of these pedals and don't plan on swapping them out anytime soon.

    Sooo, right now I'm down to finding a chorus (I'm still using a Cool Cat and it's dying on me) and a power supply (probably the PowerPedal2). If I can get a Flange (read:TC or ChoralFlange) or Vibrato (read Retro-Sonic) with my chorus purchase, then even better, but it's not priority to me. I like a simple chorus as I usually don't 'explore the space' with them much.
     
  19. Jon Silberman

    Jon Silberman 10Q Jerry & Dickey Gold Supporting Member

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    Before I describe my views on the pedal, FYI, here's where it sits:

    [​IMG]

    I'm a huge fan of the pedal.

    I have the chorus set around the settings described in the manual for faux Leslie sounds and use the tone frequently in tandem with guitar control pinkie volume swells. I rarely gig anymore but the last time I did with the H20 I could literally see people in audience looking around confusedly for the keyboard.

    The delay has pros and cons but for what I use it for, the pros predominate. The pros are the pedal has a delay range that is extremely practical and warms up the tone, particulary the repeats, in an analogue-sounding way in contrast to, for example, my other delay pedal, a mini Guyatone, also digital, where the repeats are faithful reproductions, tone-wise, of the original note(s). I'm sure the builder did this to simulate the tone of an old tape unit.

    On the other hand, if you (like I) listen to a lot of the original rockabilly artists, the ratty-sounding "real tape delay" myth is exactly that - a myth. Those now-old tape delay units actually sounded damn accurate when they were new and in their prime. I therefore find my Guyatone comes closer to an authentic rockabilly tone than the H20, so I use my Guyatone for that, dedicating the H20 for delays on overdriven lead tones.

    P.S. Do you guys know of Ariel Pozzo, a pro Argentinian guitarist who posts here occasionally when he's not somewhere in the world on tour? I absolutely love his overdriven delay tones and will unabashedly admit to having spent a lot of time with his CDs and my own gear to copy his tones and delay times and repeats (for which the H20 flat out excels).
     
  20. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    Understand. When you are looking for power supplies, as long as you only need 9 Vdc center pin neg., you ought to check out the one-spot (I've only heard about) but also, I use one called a Carl Martin Big John, which when I went to get a power supply, my music store steered me away from the voodoo one and the other mentioning how much less expensive the Big John was. I measured it and it is DEAD on at exactly 9 Vdc. Haven't had any problems, it has 7 cables out, a light for "check" and one for "on".

    Only drawback, for some unknown reason they only supply 5 cables with the box. Ask for at least two more (or do what I did, and buy right angled barrel connectors and regular RNC and some cord, and make your own. Right angle saves SO much space between pedals). It is not huge.
    If you find my pedal in the "show your pedal" thread, I think I had a picture of mine, which I mounted up under (made a bracket for it) my homemade slanted pedalboard.

    I once shorted one out against the chassis of one pedal, and unplugged and replugged in the main power in and it was fine, though I had to fix the pedal. It's rugged, and at least here in Norway it is way less expensive (or SOME less expensive). The exact same pedal is marketed also under another name I think...maybe Cioks or something like that.

    It's worth checking out.

    Let us know what you end up deciding, and if you do get the H2O, what you think of it!
     

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