Whatever's cool with me...

Whatever's cool with me...

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Behringer FX600 'multi-effect' guitar pedal: A value for money 6-in-1 effect stompbox!

This time around I'm gonna deviate from my usual rants on toys, football or any geeky discussions/topics. Instead, I will give a mini review of my latest 'toy' which I have acquired a few days ago from a seller up north in Malaysia. This seller it seems, according to many, is an authorised distributor of this particular brand of 'toy'. The toy I'm talking about here is a guitar pedal/effect/stompbox. Apart from my usual obsession with collector toys, comics and football, the guitar is another passion of mine and acquiring these pedals to enrich my guitar sound has been quite a thrill as well!
Well, for the benefit of the masses, the most famous guitar pedals according to many, would definitely be from BOSS since many well-known guitarist/musicians uses the brand relentlessly throughout the years. As the years progress, many 'copy' brands have cropped up to constantly rival the products manufactured by BOSS, but nevertheless without compromising on the quality if the guitar pedals itselves. But wait, just what is a guitar pedal? And what does it do? I know this is the most basic question there is about these well-known musical devices but again for the benefit of those not knowing yet, these wonderful effects are used to manipulate the sound of the guitar to be....errr, modified. I find that wiki's explanation on guitar pedal is by far the most 'people-friendly' in terms of simple explanation to the layman lot.
Anyway, on to the review. There are many other brands that are deemed to rival BOSS in terms of product offerings. These brands range from Dunlop, Digitech, Line 6, Electro Harmonix, Danelectro, VOX, Voodoo, Ibanez, Lazer, Gator, Behringer....there are simply too many to list here. Traditionally most musicians would most probably go for the already established brand i.e. BOSS, but until recently many of these so-called copycats have excelled in bringing their offerings up to the par of the ones produced by the famous brand. I am not saying this simply because I've bought a non-BOSS guitar pedal! By all means, I already have 2 pedals from BOSS and I thought that it is only fitting that I give other brands a chance to showcase their capabilities as well.

The Behringer multi-effect pedal aka FX600 is truly a wonderful creation of technology. I'm not gonna dwell into the technical stuffs, those you can read here or here. To cut things short, here are my short/simple/non-technical but straight to the core reviews of the various (six of 'em to be exact!) effects that come in this little package:
Pitch shifter - This effect will somehow 'de-tune' your guitar sound. With the effect on, the amplifier will produce a 'double-guitar' sound while you play. Cool effect to say the least but only works well during solos I reckon. Tad bit confusing if you play normal strumming chords and especially when you try to sing along with it.
Tremolo - The tremolo bar/whammy bar sound is recreated here. In my opinion, it works well to give you that 'reverb-y' sound as well. Simply effective if you want that 'warbly/waterry' effect from your sound.
Delay - It gives you a.....errr, delayed sound (duh!). While some reviewers gave a 'not-so-positive' reviews on this pedal, but most will agree that the delay function is the bright point of the pedal! Sounds sweet enough to make me forget that I've actually paid a fraction to get this pedal/effect if compared to the real deal. Real top notch yet simple control gives users complete control over the time and rate of their desired delay effect.
Phaser - Hmmm, wish i could say more regarding this particular effect, but it simply does not cut it for me. I was expecting a solid phaser sound (refer Led Zep's 'Kashmir Song' for references) but instead all I've got was a messed warbled-up sound undistinguishable from the flanger sound. I could just be me, but that's what I think I've heard...hehe.
Flanger - Gives an acceptable flangery/waterry/double-signalled guitar sound. Acceptable....but I already have a separate flanger pedal which has managed to give me a better sound than this one, so I can afford to overlook this flaw.
Chorus - Same review as the flanger above. Again, since I already have a separate super chorus pedal, i can afford to skip this altogether.
To sum it all up.....
Pros - Lightweight, cheap, affordable and represents a 'real' value-for-money investment.
Cons - A few of the effects simply doesn't come up to par with the predecessor aka the 'real deal'. I was a bit disappointed that the delay function does not come with the '4th knob indefinite hold function' like the one available on the BOSS DD-3 pedal.
Well, despite of all things being said and reviewed and albeit many negative/unpopular views on the FX600, I truly feel that it represents an excellent value-for-money purchase for me. A 6-in-1 effect pedal for a price of roughly USD 35, who can argue about it being overpriced or expensive? To the FX600, welcome to my family of guitar pedals! :D

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Juan said...

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