Carl Martin Rock Bug - Super Impressed

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by c_mac, Mar 19, 2015.

  1. c_mac

    c_mac Member

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    I've been trying to find a way to go direct to the PA without having to go digital. I really like my currents pedals and tone so I didn't want to have to start over with a processor, I was just hoping to find a good analog setup that could take my pedals and get them to the PA while essentially keeping the tone intact.

    My current pedal board is: Barber Tone Press > MI Audio Crunchbox > Carl Martin AC-Tone > Seymour Duncan Deja Vu Delay > EH Holy Grail Reverb > Seymour Duncan Shape Shifter Tremolo > Korg Pitch Black Tuner

    I figured that since none of the drive pedals really have much for EQ adjustment, and since I play clean a lot as well, that I should try to get some kind of a pedal to use as a preamp. My amplifier for the last several years has been a Dr. Z Carmen Ghia. Obviously, there are no "Carmen Ghia in a box" pedals, however, the CG does have a sense of Voxiness to it so I figured the best way to go would be to get something more Vox oriented. I decided on the Tech21 Liverpool Character Pedal. It seems to be designed for almost exactly what I want.

    The next step was the get to the PA via some sort of direct box. I read up about the Carl Martin Rock Bug and heard some clips online; it seemed like the way to go.

    Both pedals arrived yesterday and I had a chance to hook them up through a PA. I honestly figured that it would sound just ok enough to make due but that I would probably be a bit frustrated by the lack of tone. I gotta say - not at all! I truly cannot believe how natural and legit everything sounded. I A/B'd back and forth with my amp and while everything wasn't identical, there was not any sort of big difference at all. I was able to achieve a wonderful clean tone and my pedal sounded and reacted just like they always have.

    Obviously, I haven't gigged everything yet and PAs can different from place to place but I'm extremely encouraged by what I've heard so far! And in truth, I probably don't even need the Tech21. It is nice to have in order to be able to shape the tone a little but honestly, I would probably be fine with just my usual pedals and the Rock Bug.

    Anyway, if any of you are looking at a similar option, I highly recommend checking out the Carl Martin Rock Bug.
     
  2. halfmanhalfgear

    halfmanhalfgear Member

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    The way I understood it was that the Rock Bug is a speaker simulator but has no tone controls. Whereas the Tech 21 Character pedals have tone controls and a switchable speaker simulation.

    So surely the Rock Bug would be the most redundant of the two as the Tech 21 can supply you both with an eq-able clean amp tone platform AND with its speaker simulator active, go straight into the PA with no need for anything else.....?

    Peace,

    Rob.
     
  3. c_mac

    c_mac Member

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    The Rock Bug has an XLR out and the Tech21 doesn't. Plus, the Tech21 doesn't sound as good as the Rock Bug by itself.
     
  4. halfmanhalfgear

    halfmanhalfgear Member

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    You can always use a cable fitted with a mono 1/4 inch jack to an XLR plug from any of the Tech 21s -if your desk doesn't allow for a direct mono plug connection.

    But is the Rock Bug really that much better in sound without having any eq? I ask this because a while back I was looking for the best direct sound for recording and just naturally assumed the Tech 21 pedals would be better.

    Peace,

    Rob.
     
  5. c_mac

    c_mac Member

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    They both sound good on their own but I think the Rock Bug takes what the Tech21 does and makes it that much better. After spending some time with it, I ended up using the cab emulator on the Tech21 then setting the Rock Bug to the closed cab setting. That was definitely the best tone out of everything for me. Again, both sound good on their own but the tone is better by a lot if you use them together. The Rock Bug just adds that extra bit of dimension to the tone.

    Plus, the Rock Bug XLR out actually converts the output (200 ohm as opposed to 600 ohm), therefore getting you a cleaner signal at the board. One of the issues with running direct is everything being a fuzzy mess. That is why I didn't want to just run a cable with the ends changed; I wanted an actual direct box. This direct box is designer specifically for electric guitar and it does the job really well.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2015
  6. kevin hart

    kevin hart Supporting Member

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    I bought a Rock Bug primarily for practicing silently at home, but decided it would be a great idea to keep it in my gig bag in case my amp ever went down on a live gig.

    I did end up having to use the Rock Bug on two gigs and was amazed how well the it sounded direct.

    Great little device!
     
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  7. TubeStack

    TubeStack Supporting Member

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    I've got one on the way for the same reasons: home playing and gig backup.

    Do you still have yours?
     
  8. kevin hart

    kevin hart Supporting Member

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    Yes, I still have it and use it all the time for rehearsing at home and still bring it to gigs as a back-up. Great little pedal.
     
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