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Cusack Tap-A-Whirl or Catlinbread Semaphore trememlo?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by echo unit, Jul 14, 2006.

Which trememlo pedal sounds better and is your preference?

  1. Cusack Tap-A-Whirl Tremelo

  2. Catlinbread Semaphore Tremelo

Multiple votes are allowed.
Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. echo unit

    echo unit Member

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    These two look like the best two tremelo pedals out there at the moment. They look very versatile and feature laden.

    Do they sound good? If so, which one do you think is better in terms of sound?

    If you don't like these, what trememlo would you choose that offers both choppy and smooth tremelo?
     
  2. themusicboxstudios

    themusicboxstudios Member

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    cusack tap a whirl is a work of art ... so much thought put into that pedal. other than the tap tempo being extremely sensitive, the pedal is perfect IMO.
     
  3. livedead13

    livedead13 Member

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    i don't have any experience with the tap a whirl, but i have a Semaphore. the tremolo sounds great, but i find it impossible to get a square wave sound. maybe it's my amp (hot rod deluxe)?
     
  4. mild

    mild Member

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    I own the tap-o, and its great.

    That said, you also need to investigate the empress. That'd be who I'd be picking out of...
     
  5. echo unit

    echo unit Member

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    Anyone have the Semaphore and like it more than the Cusack TAW?

    Also isn't the Empress by Redwitch a Chorus/Vibrato unit? I didn;t know this was a trememlo unit. Are you thinking of the Redwitch Pentavocal Trememlo pedal maybe. That is Redwitch's dedicated Tremelo pedal or does the Empress do better trememlo for some odd reason?
     
  6. echo unit

    echo unit Member

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    What I'm hearing from people who have tried both is that the Semaphore is the most versatile and slightly better soundng overall?

    Anyone else find this to be true? Anyone Find the Red Witch Tremelo to be superior to these two? Why?
     
  7. drolling

    drolling Member

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    Empress is the name of a new Canadian company that have just released a new trem pedal.
     
  8. echo unit

    echo unit Member

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    Do you have a link or any info on it?
     
  9. jamison162

    jamison162 Member

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    +100 On the Empress. Had mine a couple weeks now.
     
  10. BmoreTele

    BmoreTele Member

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    They are two similar but different animals.

    The Semaphore has an external volume control.
    The TAW has an internal volume trimmer.

    The Semaphore does square and triangle waves with a control to shift the center of the wave so you can get a sawtooth, ramp, blip, and bleep shapes as well.
    The TAW has eight preset waveshapes including sine, square, ramp, blip, bleep, waver, echo, and ping pong.

    The Semaphore has a high and low speed range toggle.
    The TAW has tap tempo and the ability to ramp between speeds and the ability to change the rate of the ramping.

    The Semaphore has an extra output jack that can be used to control the oscillations of the Catalinbread Teaseer Stallion pedal.
    The TAW has a Fade In option allowing the tremolo effect to build at a rate that you can change.

    The Semaphore is extremely damn small.
    The TAW is pretty damn small too, but bigger than the Semaphore.

    The TAW can be modded so that each waveshape preset has its own individual ramp rate, fade in rate, and tap tempo ratio.

    They both sound good. I prefer a sine wave to a triangle, but most people would be hard pressed to detect the difference.

    I like the feel of the TAW footswitches. The TAW's LED blinks in time with the rate, even when the pedal is off. The Cusack True Bypass Switching System seems to be very high quality with no "pop" when switched.

    The Semaphore - $179. TAW - $250.

    Both pedal makers are stand up guys.

    I also tried the Red Witch Pentavocal Tremolo and although it sounds very good, I found the extra features (which focus on tone rather than wave form) to be less useful to me. It also does not have a sine wave form. Red Witch - $230.

    I prefer the TAW. The features are useful to me, it sounds great, it's built solid, and the Semaphore may be just a little too small for my fat feet. :D

    For a relatively more simple tremolo pedal, just sine-square-triangle waves speed and depth, the Frantone Vibutron sounds great. Maybe better than any of the others. Frantone - $260.
     
  11. livedead13

    livedead13 Member

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    Assuming you have played the Semaphore, have you been able to achieve a square wave chop? i can't seem to achieve this with the Semaphore. i have the depth all the way up with the square wave setting, yet the signal still wavers in and out like a standard sine or triangle wave. i emailed Catalinbread but got no response.
     
  12. catalinbread

    catalinbread Member

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    You have a PM. nicholas@catalinbread.com is the email. I don't check the ones tied to the message boards.
     
  13. nashvillesteve

    nashvillesteve Member

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  14. vinni

    vinni Member

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    Hi,

    I'm also looking for a new Tremolo pedal. I heard/played the Empress.
    It's good....but I just need one good tremolo sound and set to one speed.
    So....because it's so small and it cost less my vote goed to the Semaphore.
    Look....You can do an aweful lot with the Empress or Cusack...
    But do you really use that all?

    For me the answer is "No".....so the Semaphore will do.

    Vinni
     
  15. echo unit

    echo unit Member

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    So what's the Story with the Catlinbread Semaphore?

    Can it so the square wave throbbing chooy tremelo or is Parasite Trader corect when he says that he cannot get the pedal to do those kinds of sounds?

    Is his unit defective or is the pedal not capable of the real Square wave choppy throb trem?
     
  16. Moe45673

    Moe45673 Member

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    I used to use the semaphore and had no problem getting that choppy wave like in the beginning of green days "boulevard of broken dreams"

    Great unit, but tremolo as a whole just isn't for me
     
  17. livedead13

    livedead13 Member

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    dude! don't go around asking if my unit is defective. what will the ladies think? :p

    all kidding aside, i just hooked it up to my other amp which is solid state, and it is still not giving me a full on chop. actually, it is doing the chop, but even with the depth all the way up, the dry signal is still coming through, so it doesn't sound effective. i just thought that was part of the design, but apparently not.

    anyway. Catalinbread sent me a pm offering to take a look at it, so it's all good.
     
  18. nashvillesteve

    nashvillesteve Member

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  19. echo unit

    echo unit Member

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    So Parasite,

    is your unit defective?:BEER

    Just wondering if hearing some of the dry signal mixed in is normal according to Catlinbread or is this unit supposed to do the choppy trem where it goes from silence to full volume back and forth.

    I need a trem that will do what I just describes and not have the direct signal still sustaining underneath the chops.

    So is your unit operating properly in that manner or did Catilnbread tell you that it is supposed to sound the way I described from silence to full on volume?

    If so are they going to fix it for you?
     

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