Boss RV-6

Specifications

-Input Impedance 1M Ohms

-Output Impedance 1k Ohms

-Mono or Stereo Out

-Expression Pedal input

Reverb Types

-Modulate, Spring, Plate, Hall, Room, Dynamic, Shimmer, and +Delay

Tone Controls

-Effect Level, Tone, Time, and Mode

Power Requirements 

-External 9v AC Adapter or 9v battery

-Current Draw 65 mA

Thoughts on the RV-6 Reverb by Boss

The Boss RV-6 is a fantastic reverb pedal, that is priced lower than many of its competitors. Though the RV-6 maybe priced cheaper, don’t let the price fool you. This pedal has every reverb effect you will ever need; from the spacious dynamic setting, to a traditional spring reverb. The big plus for this pedal is that it has a delay setting which allows for a greater tonal variety in one pedal. This is great for those looking to save room on their pedal board, or just keep a little money in their pocket.  My favorite setting on this pedal is the dynamic reverb. The dynamic reverb automatically sets the depth of the effect according to how I play. It gives a deep sounding reverb without washing out the tone of my guitar or amp. With it’s wide-variety of reverb settings it can used in any genre or style of music. It can also be used mono or stereo, and has a input for a expression pedal. The Boss RV-6, is in my opinion, the best reverb pedal under $200 on the market today.

MXR Micro Amp

Specifications

-Input Impedance 1 MΩ

-Output Impedance 470 Ω

-Maximum Output Level +6 dBV

-Noise Floor -80 dBV

-Gain Control +0.5 dB to +26 dB

-Freq. Response 20 Hz to 20 kHz, +0 dB, -1.4 dB

-Hardwire Bypass

Tone Controls

-Single Gain Control Knob (+0.5 to +26 dB boost)

Power Requirements

-Power Supply 9 volts DC

-Current Draw 2.5 mA

Thoughts on the MXR Micro Amp

The Micro Amp is a great boost pedal that I currently use to match the output volume of different guitars. This pedal is able to increase the volume of my guitar without coloring my current tone. Using the Micro Amp as a volume boost to match the volume of different guitars isn’t the only way to use this pedal. This thing really comes to life when it is used as a solo boost. When used as a solo boost the Micro Amp adds tons of sustain and rich harmonics. Whether you need a boost to match the volumes of different guitars, or a simple clean boost for solos, the MXR Micro Amp will do the job.

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TC Electronic Ditto Looper

Specifications

-5 minutes of looping time

-Unlimited Overdubs

-24bit uncompressed audio

-True Bypass

Tone Controls

-Simple one knob level control

Power Requirements 

-External 9v AC adapter only

Thoughts on TC Electronic’s Ditto Looper

Practice makes perfect right? For many guitarist practice can become frustrating and boring. Before I purchased a Ditto Looper; I would load up a backing track on YouTube; fire away my best Minor Pentatonic licks; and many days completely neglect my rhythm playing. It wasn’t until I was jamming with another guitarist did I realize how much my rhythm guitar sucked. Shortly after that I went on the hunt for a practice tool. I soon discovered the Ditto Looper. And in short, this pedal is hands the most simple, needed, and undervalued pedal on the market. It not only helps you nail your rhythm techniques but also allows you to record song ideas with the tap of your foot. Made a mistake, simple, just double tap and hold and you’re set to record a fresh loop. My favorite thing to do on the Looper is layer a simple chord progression, and practice my lead guitar over the top. Now, with the help the Ditto looper, I am practicing my lead and rhythm guitar at the same time. With Ditto’s small foot print, it goes unnoticed on my pedal board, until I fire it up for some practice. Many guitarist believe their first pedal should be an overdrive/distortion pedal. I know I did,  mine was a Boss DS-1. The Ditto Looper however, should be the first pedal that any guitarist beginner or professional purchases for their pedal board.

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Ibanez Tube Screamer Mini

Specifications

-Input Impedance 500 kOhms

-Output Impedance 10 kOhms

-Dimensions 3.6 X 2.0 X 2.1″

-Gain +30 dB

-True Bypass

Tone Controls

-Tone, Overdrive, and Volume Level

Power Requirements 

-External 9v AC Adapter Only

Thoughts on the Tube Screamer Mini by Ibanez

The Tube Screamer Mini has the same JRC4458D IC chip as its larger counterpart, the TS9. This pedal, like all other tube screamers, is a fantastic multipurpose overdrive. The pedal works great with a clean, crunchy, or cranked amplifier. My favorite setting on this pedal is the tone control  1’o clock, level 12 o’ clock, and the gain 2 o’ clock. I love that this pedal offers the same options and tones as the TS9, but with a much smaller foot print. The Tube Screamer Mini has never left my pedal board; so if you’re looking to get the famous tube screamer sound, but keep space on your pedal board, I recommend the Ibanez Tube Screamer Mini.

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Guitar Safari?

“Guitar Safari,” a term I first heard from the great Joe Bonamassa, can be defined as a expedition to find, try, and acquire new gear. My first safari was in Maryland when I got in my car and took off to Island Music Company. Island Music Company came to be my go-to guitar store in Maryland. The store was small, but stocked everything I needed. This shop is where I purchased my first Fender Strat a (MIM) Classic 50’s in surf green. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to keep a guitar for more than a year so the strat was traded off for a Gibson Les Paul, which still have…for now. Before my first trip to Island Music Company, I purchased everything from online guitar super stores like Musician’s Friend or Sweetwater. Though these websites stock everything imaginable, there is only one problem: you can’t try the gear you want before ordering it. By going out on these guitar safaris, you get to experience the gear first-hand, not over the speakers of you laptop. Going out, finding, and exploring guitar shops has put more used and new gear into my hands. These expeditions  to  local guitar shops have helped me understand what gear I like and what gear I dislike. So ditch the YouTube reviews, get in your car, and go out and explore all the local guitar stores in your area. You never know what you might find!

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MXR Custom Shop’s Il Torino Overdrive

Specifications 

-Input Impedance 2.4 MΩ, 1 kHz

-Output Impedance 24 kΩ max

-Nominal Output Level* -17 dBV

-Noise Floor* -100 dBV

-Bypass Buffered with MOSFET technology which recreates the gain structure of classic tube amps.

Tone Controls

-BASS ±9 dB, 40 Hz

-MID ±5.5 dB, 600 Hz

-TREBLE ±6.5 dB, 10 kHz

-Distortion Gain 34 dB to 67 dB

Power Requirements

-Power Supply DC 9 volts/9v Battery

-Current Draw 4.7 mA

Thoughts on the Il Torino Overdrive by MXR

Designed by Carlo Sorasio, a famous Italian amp and pedal builder, the Il Torino Overdrive pedal is a Boost/Overdrive pedal with a simple three band EQ that gives you a variety of tonal options. This pedal goes from a clean boost to a super compressed overdrive that reminds me of a cranked tube amplifier. My favorite setting on this pedal is the overdrive engaged: Treble 11 o’clock; Mids 2 0’clock; and Bass 1 0’clock; with the master volume at 12 o’clock and the gain maxed out. This setting gives you a very compressed overdrive that works great as a lead or rhythm tone. The Il Torino works great as a standalone overdrive, but really sings when boosted with a clean boost or tube screamer-type pedal.  If you’re looking for a multipurpose overdrive then this pedal is worth checking out.

Below is an audio clip recorded with a 1989 Fender Strat (MIJ) into a Blackstar HT1 with a Boss RV-6, for a touch of reverb. The audio clip plays, in order: a clean amp with no pedal; the Il Tornio in boost mode all knobs 12 o’clock; overdrive mode all knobs 12 o’clock; and finally, my favorite settings listed in the above review. (Best enjoyed with headphones!)

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