Nebula- I don’t use phasers so my input here will be of little value. I noticed the sweep was smooth. I didn’t produce as much treble frequency as I thought it would, so I imagine this puts the sound in the “mellow” range.
Rook- I’m just going to discuss the toggle-up position on this one as I felt the other two clipping options were fizzy, harsh, and unusable. My favorite setting was at low gain with the toggle-up position. It colors the sound nicely (not “transparent” and I found a lot of cool uses for it, be it with chords or single notes. I had to run the bass knob quite low- around 8 or 9 o’clock, otherwise it would be too muddy. Not as “middy” as a Tubescreamer and not as flat/open as a Barber OD or Timmy. I liked it quite a bit but I still prefer other overdrives.
Recoil- This delay was refreshingly good! The repeats are clear and quieter than some PT2399 delays I’ve heard. The tone is pretty much perfect and while the Recoil has a tone knob, adjustments are not very noticeable with a clean signal (in fact, there is an odd signal boost at the extreme end of the dial). I noticed, however, that while running an overdrive or fuzz into it, the tone knob is really helpful. I could back it off to really have the repeats hide in the background- much like the Cbread Montavillian. The delay time range was extensive enough for pretty much anyone. The original signal is retained really nicely. I was happy with the Recoil and I think it represent a really good value amongst delays. Very versatile and dead simple. I’d recommend it.
Thanks for the opportunity to try these guys out. I'm likely going to buy a Recoil and I'm looking forward to trying the Colossus!
I'm working on a long review that I have here and on my blog. In the meantime, anyone thinking about buying a phaser should by the Nebula IV. It's my favorite since my Mu-Tron Phasor II! It's just so versatile. It can do phase 90 tones, it can get into Univibe territory with that cool throbbing sound, and it can do a good Leslie simulation. It's just great.
The Recoil is great, and does some really interesting things when you starve it for voltage.
Sorry for the delay folks. BAN and the rest of you are deserving of a review. I think the pedals, and work of the company deserve it.
NEBULA: First off, like I think someone else stated before me, I am not a phaser guy. (My only experiance with a phaser is an old big box Small Stone from EHX. I used it for that big swoosh with the speed all the way down...) The thing that drew me to the Nebula was ease of finding a good use easily. Big swoosh or subtle texture was easy to find, and with that, I think it is easy to find ways to use the box for different parts and textures. If I had money and room I think I would add this one.
ROOK: Nice little drive pedal here. Love the variability of this unit. I am a low-gain guy...no seriously, way low gain. Most of the time when I use an OD pedal the drive is on just a tad. I loved pretty much all of the settings I got out of the Rook. As a testament to the pedal, I think I could pick this one to use as a drive in the truest sense. I mean I feel like for me, the quality of the drive would work for me well in settings just above where I normally would. I think this pedal is great for a grab and go board cause so many sounds can be drawn out of it.
RECOIL: I have been through a lot of delay pedals. I can't stress this enough people, a LOT of delay here. Due to budget constraints as of late all delays have gone away except for my dd20. The DD20 was left behind for its variability and workhorse stature. The strength of the RECOIL is that it can cop so many great delay textures than many of the other boutique delays I have had. To keep this short I love the far left and far right of the tone knob. I think this is where the magic happens on this one. I am a big fan of The Edge. Not his dotted 8th stuff, but many of the textures he gets from an old DMM or his SDD-3kp. The RECOIL allows you to dial in these textures. (Sorry, I do not approach delay from a "Tone" state of mind. I look to a delay to see what textures if gives me to put in songs that give a tune its soul.) I know that sounds over the top but I could quickly dial in many great vibes with this delay. This pedal, at least for me, passed a great test. This is the best standard I can relay: Set the delay up that it is not noticable in some sense, then switch off the delay - is it missed? does the song then suffer?
A big thanks for letting me try these out. What a great opportunity!
In short: The Nebula can do everything a Phase 90 can do and can kick in a few Univibe tricks as well. Whenever I plug into a phaser I tend to play the same things. I start with Big Long Song (a progression I wrote in high school with lots of open drones). Next I play Breathe by Pink Floyd, Mayonaise by Smashing Pumpkins and then proceed to geek out on Cure songs. The Nebula nailed all of the above tones, but it was amazing on Breathe. Even better, I was able to get close to the Univibe throb of Hey Baby (Land of the New Rising Son) by Hendrix. It even does a decent leslie simulation with the depth cut to 1/3 or 1/2 way and the speed about 80-90% of the way up.
For comparisons, I ran the Nebula IV alongside my crappy little Danelectro Chicken Salad and the "Script Phase" and Univibe models from my Line 6 M9. Everyone knows that the Chicken Salad brings a ton of tone with its diminutive price tag and it sounded pretty good next to the Nebula IV. But as Mrs. P90 pointed it, it sounded noisy and a little distracting in comparison. The grit of the Chicken Salad is cool at times, but I found I could place the Rook in front of the Nebula and approximate the grit of the Chicken Salad. As for the comparisons with the M9 (of which I happen to love for modulations) the Nebula IV had a certain thickness and 3-dimensional feel that the M9 lacked. I don't think it's something a listener would pick up on, but it felt different to play. Then again, that's often the case of comparing a real analog pedal to a digital model.
BAN and b rad - thanks again for putting this together. Please sign me up if you do a box with the Clementine and One Ton Bee - I'm eager to check those out. ...and I have a feeling I'll be buying a Nebula IV in the not too distant future.
Of the three Mojo Hand pedals I had for review, the Rook was the hardest to master. It has great tones in it, but for me, it took a good deal of tweaking to pull them out. I found it best dialing the gain of the pedal back to zero and cranking the output to really push an amp into overdrive. Using the pedal to generate dirt was less rewarding for me.
The tones I liked most from the Rook, were setting the gain low and the volume high and using the Rook to push an "on the edge of breakup" amp into overdrive. Again, I preferred the switch in the middle position and always set the treble slightly higher than the bass.* Set like this, the Rook felt like an extension of the amp and responded wonderfully to picking dynamics. In short, it made the amp easier and more fun to play. Also, at this setting, the Rook does a much better job of cleaning up when the volume on the guitar is rolled back. Using the Rook like this, it's the feel of the pedal that you notice more than the tone. For tone, it just sounds like the base amp, only a little better. For feel, you can dig in for distortion, lighten up for cleaner parts, and use subtle vibrato to coax notes into feedback.
All said, the Rook is a great pedal. In a sea of modded Tube Screamers and "transparent" overdrives, the Rook is a unique and highly varied beast. If you want an overdrive pedal that provides its own distortion, I probably wouldn't recommend the Rook. If you want an overdrive to interact with your amp and push it into its own distortion, I doubt you'll find anything better for the money.
Nebula - Seriously, one of the best phasers I've played. I love phasers personally, I tend you use them in front of drives. This one played SO well in front of drives, way more than an MXR type. Got plenty of whoosh if you wanted it, but nearly every phase tone was very musical. I will likely get one of these...if they ever offer it in something other than orange!!
Rook - This pedal seems mostly to be intended for goosing up an already sizzling amp. I don't play like that so I didn't get much out of it. It was plenty interesting with a strat though, like an extreme EQ pedal into a clean amp.
Recoil - One of the more interesting delays I've played. I really dug the mix and tone controls, you really could shape the delay tone which is not something I'm used to in an analog type delay. I really found this to be a very nice sounding delay, easy to dial in and get a great tone out of.
Thanks for the opportunity to play these. PM sent to the next guy.