Sweetwater's 30th-anniversary Gear Extravaganza
GearFest '09 was held at Sweetwater's headquarters in Fort Wayne, IN and included a ton of amazing seminars and product demos from industry leaders, not to mention once-in-a-lifetime gear deals!
The action began Friday afternoon and continued through Saturday and was certainly a one-of-a-kind weekend full of great music and learning opportunities for me.
I was helping run the Tech-21 booth and demoing the Tech-21 line of "Character Series" effect pedals. I sure learned a lot about these effects and the sweet tones these pedals can produce, while generating some sales. After testing out all the pedals I was sold on the whole line!
Some things to point out about the pedals:
They are very clean sounding, I heard no white noise in the sounds the pedals produced, just clean tones and each pedal sounded very different.
The pedals are all analog and each one can go from a clean boost to a overdriven or crunching tone. You have full control upon the EQ settings of each pedal and the knobs are positioned on the pedals the same way for each pedal, where in the top row you have Level, Mid, Character and Drive and in the 2nd row you have Low and High, making it very to memorize the layout of the knobs.
Differences in the pedals:
Each pedal in the "Character Series" is loaded with distinctive voicings of amp styles and speakers.
The British pedal can give you the roar of a Marshall Plexi or the '70s Metalface and that sweet sound of the Greenback style speakers.
The Liverpool pedal, the one I always did a demo of first to get the crowd's ears perking, has a mod rock sound and can tune in the growl of the English Alnico Bulldog-style speakers. This pedal can really rock out a sweet tone!
The Blonde pedal has a very clean driven sound like a sparkly, spanky Fender amp pushing a sound like the old Jensen® speakers.
The California pedal can pull off the chunk of a high gain rectifer amp cranked while the tones sound like you're playing through a stack of EV® high wattage speakers.
The Boost DLA pedal is a delay with a clean boost and has 2 very nice little buttons to add in the trails (when pressed the echos will trail off when you stomp off the pedal) and the triplets button (that will shift the timing of the echos to be in sync with the actual tempo). I found both the buttons to be great little add ons to the pedal along with the Tap Tempo stomp switch - the sound, very clean and perfect sounding echos!
I didn't have a bass to test out the VT Bass pedal at the show but I have plugged into this pedal and found it can have a lean or fat distortion and also generate the clean thump of the SVT®.
All in All you have to give these pedals a test run! Start with all the knobs at 12 O'Clock because they work as plus or minus 12db when you turn them to the right or left. Turning to the right will increase the gain and to the left will decrease the gain bringing you into a world of killer sounds.
I saw a few demos of other pedals but did not have time to sit down and really plug in and play them.