Electro-Harmonix's latest synth pedal might just be its masterpiece – meet the STRING9 String Ensemble

Electro-Harmonix STRING9
(Image credit: Electro-Harmonix)

Electro-Harmonix has announced the latest addition to its range of innovative synth pedals for guitarists, the STRING9 String Ensemble.

Nine new synth emulations are onboard, spanning classic units such as the Juno and ARP Solina, as well as a large symphony orchestra.

But perhaps the biggest enhancement over EHX’s previous offerings is the addition of the company’s Freeze effect on three sounds, serving up infinite-sustain synth pads underneath your playing, with the option of auto or latch modes.

Otherwise, the pedal utilizes the same technology as the rest of the 9 Series to conjure fully polyphonic synth sounds without the need for MIDI or special pickups.

Controls include Effect and Dry volume controls, as well as two program-dependent controls, which adjust everything from sustain/release to vibrato and phaser effects. There are Effect and Dry outputs to split your signal, too.

The full list of emulations is as follows:

  • Symphonic: Recreates the sound of a large symphony orchestra and features an octave down effect on the lower range of the guitar
  • June-O: Emulates the Juno analog string synthesizer sound
  • PCM: Sound of a small studio string section sampled by a vintage PCM keyboard
  • Floppy: Emulates sound of an Orchestron optical disc playback sampler
  • AARP: Emulates the classic ARP Solina string synthesizer
  • Crewman: Emulates the Crumar Performer analog string and brass synthesizer
  • Orch Freeze: Orchestral sound with a Freeze effect
  • Synth Freeze: String Synthesizer sound with a Freeze effect
  • VOX Freeze: Mellotron choir and strings sound with a Freeze Effect

We’ve gotta say, based on the video above, the effect is pretty damn convincing – Mike Matthews and co really know their stuff when it comes to synth pedals.

The STRING9 is available now for $247, including 9V power supply. Head over to EHX for more info.

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Michael Astley-Brown

Mike is Editor-in-Chief of GuitarWorld.com, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism from Cardiff University, and over a decade's experience writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as 20 years of recording and live experience in original and function bands. During his career, he has interviewed the likes of John Frusciante, Chris Cornell, Tom Morello, Matt Bellamy, Kirk Hammett, Jerry Cantrell, Joe Satriani, Tom DeLonge, Ed O'Brien, Polyphia, Tosin Abasi, Yvette Young and many more. In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe.