EchoCzar & AngelBaby "honeymoon review"

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by G'OlPeachPhan, Feb 3, 2006.

  1. G'OlPeachPhan

    G'OlPeachPhan Member

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    My "honeymoon" review of the EchoCzar, AngelBaby, & Expression Pedal

    Intro:
    The EchoCzar was DEFINITELY well-worth the wait... After a few short hours with it, I don't know what I even did without it! This is an unparalleled tool that would prove indispensable for more conservative traditionalists on a fanatical search for the ulitmate in analog purity, all the way to ambient-soundscape shoegazers and everything in between!

    To summarize in one phrase:
    This is the ultimate in analog delay/echo/verb boxes both in terms of tonality, and functionality.

    The slightly longer summary:
    The fidelity surpases any repeat-oriented device I've ever encountered.
    The dynamic and interactive response of this device surpases ANY kind of device I've ever put in front of my amp before. These aspects directly related to TONE were my top priority, and I could not be more satisfied!

    The versatility in functionality yielding such a huge plethora of tones makes me want to call this thing "the ulitmate analog delay modeller," but without any negative connotation that the word "modeller" may carry.

    My application thus far:
    I've really got the Echoczar dialed very well now for what I want to do in a "live" context. That said, it's really an incredible tool, and it's capable of seemingly infinite functionality if you're in a setting where you can tweak knobs (such as the studio).

    The single most important aspect to me is the way the Echoczar COMPLETLY enhances my base tone on it's subtle settings (or ANY setting for that matter, as I have not yet gotten a BAD sound out of this box) --- Maybe it's just the honeymoon, but when I turn it off after having it on a subtle setting, I immediately want to turn it back on! It just makes everything about my tone sweeter and more musical.

    So here's how I've got it set up for now:

    -Dry signal to Matchless Lightning / 50% wet mix to Z Ghia

    -Amps in correct phase with each other for a more focused sound. Though 'out of phase' is also very cavernous and cool soundscape, and it EQ's the tone in a very retro and surreal way - I almost wish phase in/out was footswitchable. Of course this is only relevant if you're running a stereo setup.

    -Toggles set to Vintage mode (versus modern), Echo mode (versus Delay), and Multihead-Slaback mode(verus 'standard' or 'multi-head' reverb).

    -Expression pedal controlling number of repeats (HIGHLY useful for changing tones of any of the 3 delay channels, and also real-time control for expressive special effects)... So number of repeats for the following three delay settings are controlled variably as desired.

    -Delay 1:
    The "soft-mix" toggle function is assigned to delay 1 to soften the wet mix sound by about 60%. This channel is set up for slap-back, with a delay time of about 115ms. I almost can't bring myself to go back to my dry, no-echoczar tone when I could be using this setting instead! Certainly there are tones I like that I don't want any wet signal, but right now I'm completely addicted to the way the Echoczar completely enhances my tone.

    -Delay 2:
    I've got this set up for a LOOOONNNNGG Echo, approximately 625ms. This will be used for ambient washes of echo, where I'm using it more as an effect than as just a tone enhancer. It's on this mode with the longer delay time that you really get to appreciate what the multi-head slaback mode is doing.

    -Delay 3 (angelbaby):
    My FAVORITE setting. I would describe the tone I've got this one set up for to be the sound of a two guitars doubled on a recording, both with slap-back at just slightly different times, and ever so slightly out of sync with each other. VERY cool tone for leads, and also for semi-whacked out rythym tones. This is EXACTLY the tone I had in mind in wanting to create live when I added my angelbaby to the order, and after about a 1/2 hour of dialing and tweaking, I've nailed what I was seeking... Here's how I got there:

    Short delay time of around 125ms just like Delay 1, but that's where the similarities end. Of course the soft-mix function doesn't apply here, so right away the wet signal is much more apparent. The depth of the modulation is set about 90% of the way up, just before the wow and flutter get REALLY extreme, but the repeats are noticeably moving in a uniquely subtle phase-shifting relationship to one another. The rate knob is set so there are about 2-3 complete sweeps per second.

    Expressive Feedback:
    With the multi-head slapback mode engaged, the expression pedal allows me to induce feedback at any time on any of the three delay settings simply pushing my toe all the way forward, and then to bring the feedback swell back, I just ease back on my heel.

    Special-f/x Feedback:
    For space ship landing type effects, I've got the safety almost completely off to get the most dramatic effect, possible... To enhance this effect, I'm leaving the 'slide' knob all the way up to maximize the transition when switching between the long time setting on Delay 2 (the low rumbling landing on earth sound) to the short time setting on either Delay 1 or the angelbaby Delay 3 (both of which get me to the higher-pitched 'taking off into the outer atmosphere sound).

    So with the Feedback footswitch engage, all you have to do is change back and forth between one of the shorter delays (1 or 3) and the long delay (2) and the space ship is on "autopilot" so to speak.

    Ridiculous continued rambling about Feedback F/X:
    I wrote/recorded a song about a year ago that incorporates this space ship landing sound into the background of the chorus as a big part of the song, with a dry guitar riff going over the top of it... What is INCREDIBLY cool is that I can get the space ship landing coming and going with the feedback coming through the Ghia, while playing the dry riff over the top that's coming through the Lightning.

    Further, as the "spaceship" takes off with the high pitched sound, it sounds like it's getting further away because of the "soft-mix" assigned to Delay 1, and then as the spaceship rumbles back to earth everythings louder with the more prominent wet signal on Delay 2... Therefore, the riff I'm playing through the dry amp (Lighting) becomes much more audible when the 'ship' is far away, and then it gets all droned out as the 'ship' returns to earth!

    Pic of my current settings, grubby fingerprints included :D :
    [​IMG]

    Negative aspects:
    Other than the wait time, there weren't any. As I've already made clear, the wait was worth it without question... If I had to, I'd do it all over again even if the wait was a year or two! Ed Rembold's outstanding willingness to keep me updated and informed on the status of my order made the 9 months go by quickly and smoothly. Further, Ed has been FANTASTIC in supporting me with answers to all of my questions before, during, and after this whole process (pre-sale, sale, delivery, after support).

    Final comments for now:
    I hope that doesn't all sound like too much dribble... I tried to describe my uses/settings thus far as coherently as possible, but I'm not always the best wordsmith. ;)

    Honestly, in two short days, this thing has become more indispensable than just about any other piece of gear I own! It's the ultimate tool to help define "your" sound, or to help you recreate sounds from the past in a real and life-like way (not just a model).

    I know there are a lot of other aspects that I could cover (all of them very positive that I can think of), but I think a lot of them have already been covered, so I thought it was best to just keep this review focused on what roles the E'Czar and Co. will be playing for me.

    Follow-up:
    That said, I'd be happy to try to answer any additional questions from a new-user standpoint. Now, back to the honeymoon! ;D
     
  2. Robzilla

    Robzilla Member

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    i would imagine it's great to have 2 channels of delay :)

    the two channels share some knobs right? is it possible to get really different sounding delays? is it possible to set them really different?

    enjoy the echoczar!
     
  3. TaronKeim

    TaronKeim Member

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  4. G'OlPeachPhan

    G'OlPeachPhan Member

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    The two channels of the EchoCzar share all knobs except for independent delay times... However, the Soft-mix Channel Assign function allows you to assign a mix to either channel that is roughly 60% less wet than the other channel. So basically, each channel has it's own delay time, and allows you to control the volume/amount of the delayed signal.

    Further, with the expression pedal (highly recommended), you are able to tweak the number of repeats on the fly, and that yields a TON of versatility to the sound of either channel.

    So yes, it is EASY to set the two channels up to sound pretty drastically different despite the fact that they share a good number of controls. Also, due to the highly interactive nature of the features on the EchoCzar, just changing the delay time for example can result in the effect sounding drastically different...

    For example, using either multi-head mode, having a relatively short, slap-back delay time setting, especially with the soft-mix assigned to that channel, does not sound too much different than if you are using the echoczar's standard delay mode because of the fact that the repeats aren't there long enough to really establish a really distinct flavor...

    HOWEVER, if you set up the opposite channel to not have the soft-mix on it, and also use a relatively long delay time on that channel (say 500ms), then the delay really shows not only a longer delay time, but also a much different character to the sound of the repeats that was not nearly as apparent on the other channel where you had the shorter delay time set up.

    Add to this that the Expression Pedal controlling the number of repeats also drastically influences the relative amount of 'delay flavor' that you're introducing, and you can make some pretty drastic sounding changes just by rocking your foot on when using either channel!

    Add the AngelBaby to this mix REALLY allows you to create a radically different sounding modulated delay on the 3rd Channel that it adds... Considering one of the main sounds I wanted to have is created by using the Angelbaby (described in the original post), I wouldn't have considered it as optional equipment! (not saying that will be the case for everyone though of course) ;)

    Hope that helps to answer your question! :)
     
  5. drolling

    drolling Member

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    That sounds like so much more fun than grappling w/my old memoryman on a mic stand, while trying to play at the same time..

    Got on the list last july, but just added the angelbaby this week..don't know what I was originally thinking.

    Thanks for the great review
     
  6. Enjoyer

    Enjoyer Member

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    Wow!
    Great and informative review. I hope your honeymoon never ends!
     
  7. El Jimbo

    El Jimbo Member

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    I thought the wait for these was 'only' 3 months.:eek:


    Sounds like fun.
     
  8. Robzilla

    Robzilla Member

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    sounds great! :)
     
  9. Cobra

    Cobra Supporting Member

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    Hey peaches, how about posting some clips of your Toneczar settings. This would illuminate what you're saying in your review alot better than text, especially the spaceship stuff.
     
  10. ToneRanger

    ToneRanger Member

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    Hey thanks a lot. Just like I need to start GASsing for the Echoczar even more...
     
  11. Smokehouse

    Smokehouse Member

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    This is pure torture, I just ordered mine Jan 10th.....

    Are we there yet ?????

    Great review.....cant wait:BEER


    Smoke'
     
  12. fuzzyguitars

    fuzzyguitars Supporting Member

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    Damn.

    thanks for the great write up.

    I am waiting for mine too.

    Shouldnt be long now I hope.

    Maybe I should order an expression pedal as well.

    Do you think the boss ev-5 would work?:RoCkIn
     
  13. Enjoyer

    Enjoyer Member

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    Damn!
    I have read and re-read and re-read your review.
    Thank you for taking the time to write it. I placed my order with Ed on January 12. I've got a wait ahead of me, but reading your review assures me that it will be well worth it.

    fuzzyguitars - as to the expression pedal, Ed indicated to me in an e-mail that,
    "The expression pedals do not have a "wait" list, I just work them in as
    necessary to fill orders."
    Let him know immediately and I am sure there will be no problem. I don't believe that the boss ev-5 will work, however check it out with Ed.
     
  14. G'OlPeachPhan

    G'OlPeachPhan Member

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    Glad the review is helpful and enjoyable guys! I just got back from a weekend at an indoor waterpark with my wife's extended family, and all I could think about was getting back to spend some time makin' music with the 'czar. :)

    Some clips are a great suggestion, as they would certainly better-illustrate what I was trying to describe with words. I would be happy to post a few as soon as I can sit down and do it in the next week or two. Where is a good spot to host the clips?

    I think the expression pedal is a fantastic tool for getting even more sounds and "expressiveness" out of the echoczar, and the design and quality of the modified EB VP Jr. is definitely worthy of the rest of the setup.
     

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