‘Boutique’ music to a pedal enthusiast’s ears.
In a world littered with more guitar pedals than common sense, how can you possibly decide which ones are worth your time? Well how’s this for a good reason; handmade and hand finished just around the corner from our offices in Sydney. It’s as boutique as they come (yes, the magic word; ‘boutique.’)
Colortone’s new range of pedals present three new offerings; the Roundhouse, the Lo-Fi Delay and the Spring Reverb II. Let’s attack these in order of where we’d put them in our pedal chain.
A multimode tremolo pedal with three switchable types of modulation. An optical tremolo, a harmonic tremolo and a vibrato. All three of these are also controllable with a wave shape switch (triangle, sine and square) which offers subtle, classic tremolo effects all the way to a chopping, repeating tremolo.
We really loved the harmonic tremolo setting which introduces phase shifting for some harmonic modulation. The addition of a reverb and a grain knob also adds some serious utility to the pedal. Cranking up the grain gives some really nice subtle distortion to your signal.
Each of these pedals features a second layer of functionality, Holding down the Tap footswitch ramps to a multiple of the current setting over a second or two emulating the speed it would take for a rotary speaker to change. The longer the current waveform cycle, the more of a speed increase you will notice.
This was more intuitive than we were expecting and created some great swirling builds and transitions. Though I do wish that the tap tempo would set after only two taps however to prevent me doing too much dancing on my board.
The Lo-Fi delay
A grainy tape style delay that works pretty much as you’d expect. Three different algorithms give you either hi fidelity repeats, dark low passed repeats or tape style repeats with a high cut (this last one is full of character).
Similar to the Roundhouse a second layer can be activated by holding the splash footswitch to create some huge swirling feedback delay – super cool for organically creating a big feedbacking transition at your gig. It can also momentarily change the tempo of the current speed to either 1/2, 1/3 or x2 or x3. Great for Dub style momentary accent.
Alternatively the Lo-Fi delay can be used as a spot effect by switching it over into ‘dry’ mode, where the delay only kicks in when holding the splash button.
The Spring Reverb II
Finally the end of the chain features three awesome reverb algorithms; Echoverb (based on the 90s Princeton PT2399 Echo), Studio – a classic clean studio reverb, and Tank – a 70s electromechanical reverb.
There’s also a sneaky little usb port on the side, so I think we’ll be seeing some additional algorithms to come, and a little birdy told us that we’ll be seeing some custom algorith requests. It also includes a mod function which introduces a subtle vibrato and rototrem modulation.
A second layer of controls allows you to fine tune your reverb, modulation and boost settings. These controls involve a little bit of menu diving but don’t panic, you’re not going to be adjusting these on the fly, you’ll most likely be finding your favourite sound and setting and forgetting.
And let’s be real, who doesn’t love a bit of a menu dive to find some cool sounds.
Don’t be scared off by the depth of these pedals, they all come with a really nicely designed and intuitive user guide, and trust me, you’ll be grateful you took the time to read it. There’s a whole heap of interesting sounds to discover.
Put your hands up if you’re a guitarist who is interested in adding some unique, niche and eye-catching pedals to your rig (Everyone? Yep, me too). Consider adding Colourtone to your list whether you’re looking for some new additions to your live rig, or some fun new toys for the studio.
They come in at 469 AUD each for the Roundhouse and the Lo-Fi Delay and 312 AUD for the Spring Reverb II.
Check them out and pick them up at Colortones website.