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TC Electronic SCF Gold review

TC’s very first pedal returns with some practical updates to make it a serious modulation contender for the 21st century

TC Electronic SCF Gold
(Image: © Future / Olly Curtis)

Our Verdict

A welcome return for a classic and very classy-sounding pedal, now with everything in place to slot into the modern pedalboard.

For

  • Three effects in one pedal.
  • Stereo capability.
  • Ease of use.
  • Quiet operation.
  • Adjustable input gain.

Against

  • Enclosure might still be a little large for some 'boards.

TC Electronic is a well-established company with products covering studio and guitar, but the company started out in 1976 with just a single effects pedal – the Stereo Chorus Flanger (SCF), which has now been made available as the SCF Gold to celebrate its 45th anniversary.

While the new pedal pays tribute to the original, it takes advantage of more modern technology, notably a new op-amp in the preamp stage, a standard nine-volt DC power socket replacing the hardwired transformer, and a larger, more easily seen LED. While it may boast more headroom, improved low-frequency response and a wider dynamic range, it is said to stay true to the original sound, still incorporating the essential Bucket Brigade Device circuit design.

What the pedal offers is a triumvirate of effects – chorus, flanger and pitch modulation – selected by a front-panel toggle switch and delivered in either mono or stereo from a mono input. 

You get adjustable modulation speed from one sweep every 10 seconds to 10 sweeps a second, and a Width knob to determine how wide the sweep is. An Intensity knob differs in its function depending on the selected mode. 

In addition, there’s a small Input Gain knob that sets the gain for the whole pedal – bypassed and engaged – so you can’t set it to bring in a kicked-in boost, but it does give you extra gain in your overall chain.

TC Electronic SCF Gold

(Image credit: Future / Olly Curtis)

The chorus here has plenty of range, with the Intensity knob controlling the wet/dry balance and determining whether you want a subtle or strong chorus effect. At about 3 on the dial, it matched our vintage Boss CE-2 pretty closely.

It’s great in mono, but it offers a lovely spaciousness if you can use it in stereo. The flanging sound is equally rich. The Intensity knob adjusts the regeneration, adding emphasis by ramping up the hollow metallic flavour. 

When in Pitch Modulation mode, you can actually access a combination of chorus and pitch vibrato, which can come across like a rotary speaker effect. The Intensity knob determines the blend of the two effects, offering plenty of hybrid modulation to explore.

Specs

  • PRICE: $/£149
  • ORIGIN: China
  • TYPE: Stereo chorus, pitch modulator and flanger pedal
  • FEATURES: Buffered bypass
  • CONTROLS: Speed, Width, Intensity, Mode switch (Chorus/Pitch Modulation/Flanger), Input Gain, Bypass footswitch
  • CONNECTIONS: Standard input, standard outputs L (mono) & R
  • POWER: 9V DC adaptor 150ma (not supplied)
  • DIMENSIONS: 95 (w) x 124 (d) x 49mm (h)
  • CONTACT: TC Electronic

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Trevor Curwen has played guitar for several decades – he's also mimed it on the UK's Top of the Pops. Much of his working life, though, has been spent behind the mixing desk, during which time he has built up a solid collection of the guitars, amps and pedals needed to cover just about any studio session. He writes pedal reviews for Guitarist and has contributed to Total Guitar, MusicRadar and Future Music among others.