Distortion heads in the know certainly remember and revere the Bixonic Expandora, the 1990s boutique Japanese gain pedal that has rightfully earned legendary status over the years.
If you’ve had difficulty getting your hands on one of these units, fret not – Bixonic, the company behind the Expandora, is back, and they’ve taken their triple-distortion marvel into even wilder territory with the new Axentrix A1.
Guitar World Tech Editor Paul Riario calls the Axentrix A1 “an eye-catching design loaded with tons of distortion tones,” and that’s an understatement. The pedal adds in an extra selectable drive mode, for four in total: Crunch, Overdrive, Distortion and Fuzz. Also new is an Accent function that allows for a wide variety of expressions, carrying on the unique dynamic range expansion effects of the Expandora.
How does the pedal manage this? The Axentrix, Paul explains, “uses a newly-developed dynamic range expressor processing, or DREP technology, that allows the user to adjust not just the expansion effect, which was a unique feature of the Expandora pedal, but also the compression of the input dynamic range.”
He continues, “Once you pair any of the drive tones with the DREP technology Accent function you can begin to sculpt your own unique tones.”
Paul then walks us through the pedal’s control set, along with each knob’s secondary functions, which are accessed by pressing and holding the knob for two seconds.
The Level control, he explains, allows the user to choose between guitar and bass, while the Accent control (“think of it as a ‘feel’ control”) offers illumination as a secondary function, and the user can set the brightness of the knobs. Hold down the Gain knob, meanwhile, and you can choose between the four types of drive on offer, while the Tone control also accesses a three-band EQ.
Other features include memory buttons for saving and recalling presets, an onboard tuner, switchable true bypass or rich and clear buffered bypass, an optional footswitch for live performance and more.
“The Bixonic Axentrix A1 is undoubtedly a new-gen distortion pedal that offers an endless supply of drive tones for any playing style,” Paul says. “It’s a jam-packed distortion stompbox worth your time.”
For more information, head to Bixonic-Sound.