Call me old-fashioned, a boomer or just plain nostalgic, but to me there are many times that doing things the “old way” is perfectly fine and maybe even preferable to technological upgrades.
For example, as much as I love the sophisticated detail of modern CGI effects, I still think that Godzilla movies featuring a guy in a rubber suit smashing miniature models while pulling Bruce Lee poses can be every bit as entertaining.
So needless to say, my heart warmed when Electro-Harmonix introduced their new Eddy vibrato and chorus pedal, featuring an all-analog signal path and bucket-brigade-based circuit just like some of my favorite chorus and vibrato pedals of my wild youth.
Chorus and vibrato are effects perfectly suited to the imprecise and more primitive nature of analog circuitry. Analog chorus and vibrato effects can sound gorgeously lush and full-bodied, with an inherently expressive musical personality that makes most digital and modeling versions sound cold, lifeless and clinical.
The Electro-Harmonix Eddy delivers classic analog chorus/vibrato effects with the rich textures and depth that previously could be obtained by spending a small fortune on vintage or boutique pedals.
With its affordable price and modern performance specs and expanded expressive capabilities, it’s an ideal analog solution for a digital/modeling world.
Whereas many vintage and boutique analog chorus/vibrato pedals can take up more space than a manspreading hobo on the N train, the EHX Eddy comes in a compact “Bud box”-style enclosure with a small footprint that comfortably fits into cramped pedalboard spaces.
Despite its small size, it’s packed with features, including volume, LFO waveform shape, tone, envelope, modulation rate and modulation depth knobs and a vibrato/chorus mini toggle switch that selects either dedicated effect.
In addition to mono ¼-inch input and output jacks, there’s also a ¼-inch jack for an expression pedal that can be set via a mini toggle switch to sweep modulation rate and depth settings. Selecting either “Rate” or “Depth” on the mini-switch allows the player to control the modulation “Rate” or affect the modulation “Depth” by the player’s picking force or an expression pedal.
A white LED lets users know when the effect is engaged, and a blue LED strobes on and off to display the rate and LFO waveform shape. The footswitch can be set to momentary or latch functions. Other features include buffered bypass and an included 9.6-volt power supply (the pedal does not operate on batteries).
Eddy is considerably more versatile and expressive than the average chorus or vibrato pedal. As a result, it requires more forethought than just adjusting the rate and depth controls to achieve the desired effect. The volume control solves the age-old problem of matching effect on and bypass levels, or you can set it to boost or decrease output.
The tone control lets users tweak textures from fat and warm to sharp and bright. The shape control provides standard sine-wave modulation at 12 o’clock or warped asymmetric LFO waveforms at settings above or below.
Similarly, the envelope knob has no effect at 12 o’clock, while the rate and depth settings increase with harder playing when the envelope knob is turned up, and the rate and depth settings decrease with harder playing when the knob is turned down.
The sound quality of the chorus and vibrato effects are simply gorgeous, with three-dimensional depth and full body that keep the guitar prominent in mix when the effect is engaged. The expressive responsiveness is inspiring and empowering once you get the hang of it, as is the ability to quickly switch from latch to momentary performance just by holding down the footswitch for about half a second in bypass mode.
- PRICE: $99 / £89 street
- TYPE: Bucket-brigade based vibrato and chorus with an all analog signal path
- CONTROLS: Volume, shape, rate, depth, envelope and tone knobs. Vibrato/Chorus mode and rate/depth toggle switches
- FEATURES: Latching/momentary footswitch. Expression pedal input
- BUILT: Assembled in USA
- POWER: 9V DC (supply included)
- CONTACT: Electro-Harmonix (opens in new tab)