Gear Review: MC Systems Dynamic Drive, Hybrid Chorus and String Reviver Pedals
It happens. You’re in the middle of playing and need just a little more from your pedal.
Do you attempt the balancing act? You know, where you balance on one foot and try to gingerly adjust a knob with your free foot? What if you turn it too much or hit another knob? It can all end like the wire-cutting bomb scene in Lethal Weapon 3!
MC Systems has released the Apollo series of pedals, which includes Chorus, Overdrive, Delay, Phaser, String Reviver and Fuzz pedals. They all offer a unique footswitching system called V-Switch.
V-Switch can boost or cut certain aspects of the effect, depending on how hard you stomp on the pedal. Set your overdrive pedal to a moderate setting when switched on, or stomp harder for more drive. Below the pedal is a trimpot to adjust depending on how light or heavy of a stomper you are.
Alternatively, if gauging your foot dynamics is too much, there’s Alternate Mode. Alternate Mode acts as a secondary setting when the pedal is on. Example: On the Hybrid Chorus, the Alternate Mode allows you to set a second Rate setting on the pedal.
All pedals are based on an analog circuit and feature true-bypass switching. Here’s a brief rundown of three of the pedals from the series.
Dynamic Drive is an overdrive pedal with three familiar knobs at the top; Drive, Tone and Level. The V-Switch allows you to boost or cut the amount of drive and Alternate Mode allows you to boost or cut the Level. Alternate Mode works great as a boost for solos. In the clip, I gradually boost the Drive and Volume without blowing out your earbuds.
Hybrid Chorus is a chorus pedal that offers Depth, Level and Rate. V-Switch Mode lets you increase or decrease the Depth. Alternate Mode lets you speed up or slow down the Rate. In the clip, I play the same lick starting with a heavy chorus and mellow it out by the end.
String Reviver is most unique pedal in the series. It adds more presence and punch to dull strings. I also see it useful as a clean boost or tone shaper to help a darker guitar cut. The three basic knobs are Definition, Slope and Level. Definition is comparable to a Presence knob and Slope is comparable to a Tone knob. The V-Switch alters the Definition, and Alternate mode allows you to cut or boost the Level. In the clip, hear how it brightens up the “vintage” strings I left on my Strat way too long.
Street Price: $179 US
You can't believe everything you read on the Internet, but Billy Voight is a gear reviewer, bassist and guitarist from Pennsylvania. He has Hartke bass amps and Walden acoustic guitars to thank for supplying some of the finest gear on his musical journey. Need Billy's help in creating noise for your next project? Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.