Review: Boss TE-2 Tera Echo Pedal
Echo is the most organic sounding of the note-repeating effects, enveloping listeners with exponentially derived reiterations and decays.
Many famous players—including Eddie Van Halen, Brian Setzer and Jimmy Page—prefer it to traditional reverb or delay for its nonlinear response, broad dynamic range and ability to preserve the dry signal’s tone. Yet echo is also the most difficult time-based effect to emulate accurately, given the numerous parameters involved and the audio-processing requirements.
So it’s a pleasure to discover that Boss has nailed the effect with its new TE-2 Tera Echo pedal.
The secret lies in its use of the company’s new, proprietary Multi-Dimensional Processing technology (MDP), which brings a remarkable sense of depth and realism to the effect. The TE-2 Tera Echo is also something of a milestone: it’s Boss’ 100th compact pedal overall and the third in a trio of Boss boxes to feature MDP.
The Tera Echo can produce the many distinct layers of decaying repeats and overtones of real echo. At the same time, it delivers all of the dry signal’s tone, dynamics and attack nuance. Your original signal remains strong and is never swamped by the effect.
The Tera Echo has a familiar control set. Effect level sets the wet-dry balance; tone adjusts the amount of ring and chime in the repeats; feedback sets the tail length; and S-Time—spread time—dictates the time between echoes and sets the number of ambient repeats. The pedal also has a freeze function that lets you indefinitely hold the current effect sound for ambient soundscapes or to provide backing for soloing.
Although most users will connect the Tera Echo in a mono configuration, either in front of their amp or in the effect loop, the pedal’s true sonic potential and processing power is realized when it’s part of a stereo rig. Typical Boss power options are included for an under-the-treadle nine-volt battery or an external adaptor.
What’s most impressive about the Tera Eeho is how well it preserves the guitar’s signal and, like an analog device, beautifully blends the unaffected sound with echo characteristics. The effect sounds natural, with no attack latency or annoying digital artifacts. Setting the feedback and S-Time controls beyond the 12 o’clock positions will take you down the path of sonic insanity and experimental spatiality—extreme perhaps but more innately musical than similar settings on a delay or reverb pedal. I preferred how more subtle settings displayed the decay of a reverb with the accurate note reproduction of a delay.
The Tera Echo is ideal for jazz and country applications, but even heavily distorted sounds benefit from the pedal’s ability to expand an amp’s multidirectional sound dispersion while adding natural delay. Connect the pedal to a stereo rig and offset the amps’ bass settings to hear the most breathtaking big-room effects.
List Price $291.50
Manufacturer Roland Corporation U.S., bossus.com
Stereo and mono inputs and outputs allow for versatile setups with single- and dual-amp rigs.
Boss’ innovative Multi-Dimensional Processing delivers rich, spacious and natural-sounding echo without swamping your original signal.
The Bottom Line
If you’re looking for an ambient alternative to traditional delay and reverb effects, Boss’s TE-2 Tera Echo delivers an aural amalgam of repeats and decays that sounds like the real thing.