- Spring Loaded Battery Compartment
- 9V Battery or DC Powered
- Anodized Aluminum Casings
- Fender Amp Jewel LED
- Backlit LED Knobs
$99.00 – $199.00 MAP
A few months back, I had the good fortune of being invited to a press event celebrating the launch of Fender’s new line of guitar pedals. In addition to getting a chance to play through each of the pedals, I also got a chance to hear directly from Stan Cotey, the man behind this line of guitar effects.
First of all, these pedals are anything but a rehashed version of someone else’s designs. Each of the pedals features an all-original circuit designed from the ground up by Stan and his team. In addition to sounding great, these pedals have the kind of player-friendly features that make it clear they were designed by, and for, gigging musicians.
Spring Loaded Battery Compartment All of the pedals in the line sport a flip-top, magnetic battery door at the base of the enclosure. Simply pull the batter door down, swap out the battery and you’re good to go.
9V Battery or DC Powered Whether you prefer a 9 volt battery or your favorite power supply, there are no special power requirements
Anodized Aluminum Casings The enclosures are both rugged and light, and feature a bent, one-piece aluminum facade that extends to the floor from either side of the faceplate.
Fender Amp Jewel LED The iconic, “matching” color-coded LEDs make it super easy to tell which pedal is on or off, even from the other side of the stage.
Backlit LED Knobs All of the knobs on each of the pedals features a switchable, backlit LED light pipe, which takes the guesswork out of knowing where your controls are set, even on the darkest of stages
MIX AND MATCH
Demo guys are pretty much the only people you’ll see playing through just one brand of pedals. That said, these pedals are designed to work together and as demonstrated in my RigBook video in this issue, they offer up a great Sunday-centric palette of tones. I’ve also included the excellent demo videos that Stan and Fender amp expert Rick Heins shot demonstrating what the various controls and switches do on each of the pedals. In so doing, I am free to talk about the specific features and tweaks that are particularly appealing to me in a worship-centric application.
LEVEL SET BUFFER – $99.99
While I’ve owned plenty of buffered pedals, I’ve never had a buffer pedal on my board. That said, this pedal is designed to do more than just compensate for giant pedal boards or tone-sucking cable runs. As the name implies, the Level Set Buffer further expands the tonal bliss of a great buffer into a one-pedal solution for compensating between the varied output levels and tonal nuances when you switch between instruments like Strats and Les Pauls. The HI-FREQ control also makes it easy to tame the high-end for guitars that are just a hair “spikey”.
THE BENDS COMPRESSOR – $129.99
If I’m playing worship, I’m gonna have a compressor on the entire time. As you might expect, the Blend control allows you to choose how much of the compressed signal you want to mix in. This allows you to set the Recovery control at slower settings without having to compromise all of the natural dynamics of your instrument if you don’t want to. The Drive control allows you to add some extra hair, much like you get by turning up the Level control to bully the front end of your amp into overdriven submission.
SANTA ANA OVERDRIVE – $199.99
This may be the best feature set of any overdrive I’ve played. Having separate Bass, Middle, Treble, and Presence controls allows you to get at those hard to reach frequencies that so many overdrive pedals paint into your tone. The dual function Boost footswitch enables you to either boost the daylights out of your signal or add “more” gain with a gentle boost – kind of like going to 11, but better!
PUGILIST DISTORTION – $99.99
Once again, these guys were thinking outside of the box. The dual, uniquely voiced distortion engines can either be run in series or parallel, and the Blend control allows you to find the perfect mix between the two. In combination with the Bass Boost toggle, having two Tone and Drive controls makes this pedal a real stand out.
MIRROR IMAGE DELAY – $149.99
This pedal also has a pretty unique bag of tricks that are perfect for worship guitarists. A second delay engine allows you to stack a dotted eighth delay on top of the default quarter note delay setting. Dual tonal variations for Digital, Tape, and Analog settings allow you to go a bit lo-fi with the flip of a switch. At shorter delay times, the modulation circuit transforms this pedal into a luscious Chorus that blends beautifully with the Marine Layer Reverb.
MARINE LAYER REVERB – $149.99
One of the things I love about all the pedals in this series is that you don’t have to menu-dive to make the magic happen. The Shimmer and Cathedral settings are of course perfect for worship. Like the Mirror Image, the Marine Layer features mix bypass so your reverb does not come to an abrupt halt when you bypass the pedal.
Noting that many fender amp enthusiasts tend to use one amp, it is not surprising that the Mirror Image and Marine Layer are mono, which is one of two small complaints I have. The other is the fact that without a battery or power supply these otherwise wonderful pedals do not pass signal, so keep that in mind.
Whether your building your first pedal board, or are looking for something new to check out, these pedals deliver some serious bang for the buck! And, as you’ll hear in the RigBook video, they work exceptionally well for worship!