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NPD: MSG Guitars Twin Unicorn Distortion

dpgreek

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
8,726
I've been looking for a great distortion for a while. I've tried tons of them from the cheap to boutique. The one I had the longest on my board with good success was Emma Reezafratzitz II. Emma was very good, but my only qualm was that it's a little more scooped than I liked with no mid control. When stacking with ODs, it was pretty awesome, but I wanted something with a little more versatility. I then had the Crazy Tube Circuits Black Magic MK 2 for a short trial period, but although it was very good, it still gave me more fuzz than crunch. So I did the usual checking of the threads and youtube and I stumbled across a Brett Kingman video where he reviewed the MSG Guitars Twin Unicorn with a similar set up to mine. (Damn you Brett...love you but you're bad for my GAS).

I loved the vid, reached out to Wen at MSG and went from there. I asked a few questions, and they were very responsive. I ordered through paypal and the transaction was very easy. It was shipped July 16 from China, I received it with lightning speed today (July 21). He also included a cool free T-shirt with it too. Awesome customer experience thus far. He answers every email you send.

I play a PRS SE Custom 24 with Fralin Unbucker pickups (medium output) into a Fender HRD 2 with Mullard 4004 and a WGS Reaper HP in it. I haven't used it through the amp yet. My ampless set up, which this review is on, is wah/drive/boost pedals into a Shift Line Twin V2 tube preamp into the Torpedo CAB into a Focusrite Saffire Pro 40 into Logic.

The sound of the Twin Unicorn is pretty damn amazing. It's can do pretty much whatever you want for distortion. It can do lower gain, but what I consider from this pedal to be low gain sounds like a medium gain distortion. I have it on 1-2 on the gain dial and it's got some punch. The 4-band eq is not aggressive (meaning small changes cause drastic difference), but dialed in right. You take notice when you dime out an EQ band or cut. The parametric mid toggle goes between 250, 500 and 800 Hz to focus frequency - which comes in very handy to shift your sound towards the mid spectrum you want. When you're flipping that toggle and using the mid knob you can really get the sound you're wanting.

As Brett described it, it's truly like having a 2 channel high gain amp. It's very touch sensitive and doesn't feel boxy at all. Has a lot of volume, gain and sustain! The gain toggle is three way. The up position and down seem similar, only real difference (to my ear) is that the top toggle shifts mids to a different part of the mid specturm. The bottom toggle adds some sizzle and maybe a touch more gain. The middle position is lower gain but still has balls. Gain range on the dial is huge. It can go from lower gain crunchy goodness to full blown out metal. I did also notice that when you roll up the gain it adds a fullness in sound.

I'm super happy with this purchase and I got one of the limited edition black/grey ones. Check out MSG Guitars and this pedal. If you're looking for a truly amazing distortion pedal that can give you a huge range of sounds, snag this one.
 
Last edited:

jdel77

Member
Messages
10,024
I've got one here, and yes it's capable of off-its-head high gain. Pretty ferocious pedal.
 




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