Those looking to get a toehold on Steve Lukather’s premium electric guitar tone can take five from hammering the Reverb search function and point their attentions towards the Foxgear site, where they might well find just what they are looking for.
It’s called the Gurus Echosex 3º, it’s an emulator (and then some) of a vintage Binson Echorec echo unit, described by Lukather as “the most important” item of gear he owns – not to mention the most used.
Lukather has used variations of the Echosex ever since it was first launched in 2014. This signature edition comes with his settings highlighted by Lukather’s tech, Jon Gosnell, in green text under the controls, but the invitation to experiment is very much extended to any player who mounts this on their pedalboard.
This is Lukather’s “always on” effects pedal. Many players will have one. Perhaps most pros. The Echosex is Lukather’s, and it is not just marketing pabulum either; when Alex Skolnick had a shot of the Toto guitarist’s rig last summer, revealing everything that was on the ‘board, he too noted how the Echosex was always on.
Lukather’s signature Echosex 3º comes with a wholly redesigned power section, with its internal tube running at 262V just like the old Binson Echorec units. The dynamic response has been enhanced, with improved noise filtering to cut out any unwanted hiss and crackle.
But this being an emulator of a vintage echo machine you can get some very cool sounds from a relatively simple set of controls. The Mix Volume sets the level of the repeats. The Length of Swell dial is your feedback control, taking you from a single repeat to self-oscillation when you max it out, thus uniting two of the most disparate tribes in popular culture, the Toto and Radiohead superfans.
Echo sets the delay time, from 35ms to a generous 730ms. Age of Damage, meanwhile, oh, now your talking; this simulates mechanical wear and tear. If you’ve ever wanted to use one of David Gilmour’s old Echorec units but never had the chance, this might be the next best thing.
There are no demos of Lukather's signature model but the demo of the regular Echosex 3º above will give you an idea how close it gets.
Finally, you have a Tone control to adjust how bright or dark you want those repeats, and this new edition of the Echosex pedal has the much-requested tap tempo, which has its own footswitch beside bypass/engage.
You’ll need a 12V DC from a pedalboard power supply to make it run. It’ll cost you $429, and a proportion of that will go to the Ed Asner’s Family Center for Autism. For more details, head over to Foxgear Distribution.