Always loved Larry Carlton and Robben Ford’s tone, and even tried to build my own Dumble clone at one point. It didn’t sound good, and I didn’t have the expertise or time to make it sound good. Anyway, 13 years later and I’ve moved on in the music I play, but I still get GAS for that tone. Recently there have been more and more pedals trying to get that sound, and some of them are starting to come close. Here’s a list of the ones I know of:
I’ve owned both a Fishbone (Zendrive) and an SOV-1. When I compared the two the Fishbone sounded closer to me, less saturated and more touch sensitive. It was also smaller and didn’t run off mains voltage, so I kept it. Having heard demos of the Simble I was tempted to get one of those, however recently I’ve just bought a Fulltone Fulldrive 3 to replace my Fulldrive 2. I found that with the comp-cut mode, I could get close to the Dumble sound too. I hope to put up a comparison soon, but first impressions are, the FD3 comp-cut sounds more open and transparent (something I wanted out of the Simble) and is even more touch sensitive than the Fishbone, but a little bit more saturated when playing harder. The fishbone has a more pronounced midrange, making it to my ears sound more like Robben Ford, and the FD3 comp-cut more like Larry Carlton.
Update: Here’s a demo of the Fulldrive 3 (Comp-cut mode):
A list of some of the low cost pedals coming out of China these days. In some ways its a good thing, but Bill Finnegan of Klon Centaur fame, and some interesting things to say about when any company (not just Chinese), just clones a pedal, rather than offering their own unique interpretation. Anyway, on to the list:
Mooer – One of the first, famous for their micro pedals
In addition to the effects pedals, Joyo make tube amps, as do Bel Cat sometimes branded as SubZero. An “honourable mention” also goes to Behringer, while a German company, are made in China and compete in terms of value.
I’ve been searching for a single-pedal sized multi effects pedal to fill the last spot on my pedal board. Personally I want something that could do octave up/octave down (like an EHX Pog, but in a smaller/cheaper pedal) and the be a delay or chorus if I need it. After Googling, I didn’t find much of a definitive comparison list, so here’s a list of what I found. Let me know if you know of any others.
Update 1: I realised the iStomp Shape Shifter plugin doesn’t do chord/polyphonic tracking very well, so that’s now out. There is the Z-Cat Poly-Octaver 2, which also has Reverb and Chorus, so that’s almost multi fx – 3 pedals in one. There’s also the Mooer Pure Octave (and other mooer pedals) which are so small, you can get more than one for the same space on the board for different effects.
Neunaber technology just announced their Stereo v2 pedals, which while only doing a single effect at a time, can have up to 4 effects switchable with 2 presets each. I recently bought a Slate v2, and if you’re looking for something more high end than everything else on this list check them out at neunaber.net.
The iStomp itself is one of the cheapest around, and Digitech recently made most of the iStomp pedals free. I’ve owned one of these before, and it does have an octave up/down effect. Main disadvantage is that it requires an iPhone to change effect, and its also a little wider than a standard pedal.
Zoom Multistopm MS-100BT / MS-50G
Unlike the iStomp, this pedal has more editing features onboard and can do more than one effect at a time. Like the iStomp the MS-100BT can be updated with new effects via an iPhone (MS-50G is standalone), but there is no octave up/down sound yet.
I’ve just seen that this has a pitch shifter, so you could at least get octave up or down, but because you can run more than one effect, you might be able to add it twice and get both up and down.
It also has a Z-Organ patch which seems to a polyphonic up/down effect
I bought one of these, none of the pitch effects including the Z-Organ track well at all, and while its a fun pedal to own, its not good enough for nice ambient swells.
Korg Pandora Stomp
This pedal does tons for the price, but seems a little complicated for live use. It does have pitch shifting effects, but I’m not sure if it can do the octave up/down thing.
Behringer Digital Multi-Fx FX600
Behringer make great value stuff, and this pedal seems to have a really straight forward interface. I’ve heard bad things about the sound quality on this one though.
Beta-Alvin Multi Effects ME-100
One of the new low cost pedals to come out of China, but I’d never heard of this brand before. Seems to have a nice simple interface, but a limited array of effects.