Every day we see a handful of effects pedals emerge on the market claiming to be the best pedal in their respective effects categories, but it’s not very often we see a brand claiming to have invented an all-new effect altogether.
That’s exactly what Beetronics has said it’s done with the Seabee – an analog-meets-digital “Harmochorus” pedal that claims to provide guitarists with “a never-before-heard pitch shifting modulation”.
Beetronics has something of a reputation when it comes to boundary-pushing stompboxes, so when it premieres a pedal that promises to bring something completely new to the table, our ears perk up.
In simple terms, the Seabee is described as a multi-chorus pedal that combines “the finest analog bucket brigade chorus tones” with convenient digital delay control parameters for a huge array of modulation pedal tones.
With this in mind, it comes as no surprise that the face of the pedal flashes an array of controls that will supposedly help you tap into this suite of sounds. To Beetronics’ credit, though, the Seabee doesn’t look overly daunting, and if anything, looks like a fairly easy-to-work pedal capable of some truly interesting tones.
Three two-function control knobs, a trio of three-way toggle switches and two footswitches are responsible for unleashing the Seabee. While the first toggle flicks between Harmochorus and Chorus effects, the second navigates six different modes. There are three for each effect: Chorus has Roto, Depth and Sting to its name, Harmo has Dual, Arp and Mad.
Elsewhere, each set of control knob parameters are accessed via pressing the right-hand footswitch, which changes between Ramp, Rate and Depth controls, and Tone, Mix and Feedback.
The final toggle selects the three ramp shapes: A to B, Up and Down and Always Up. These are tweaked by the Ramp knob and triggered when the left footswitch is engaged, resulting in a huge array of wacky soundscapes as you migrate between two settings.
We’d quite literally be here all day – heck, probably even longer – talking about the ins and outs of each possible sound the Seabee is capable of, but other notable appointments worth shouting about include 16 onboard presets, four input level options for different instruments and tap tempo powers.
In terms of connectivity, there are inputs for MIDI and third party expression pedals, and two stereo output options.
It’s easy forget that, with everything that's going on, the beating heart of the Seabee is its all-analog bucket brigade chorus. Impressive, considering the amount of versatility the pedal has on offer.
And, if after everything above you’re still slightly bemused, just check out that livery: that’s got to be the cleanest chassis design we’ve seen on a pedal in quite some time.
The Seabee is available now for $349.
Head over to Beetronics for more info.