New Arrivals For February 2020

Winter NAMM 2020 has been and gone, and now we wait for announcements to become shipping product … and then to reach the UK, which can sometimes take months longer.

I’ve pre-ordered a couple of things that were announced at (or around) NAMM. They’re going to take up most of my gear budget this year. The PRS S2 Singlecut McCarty 594 might arrive by the summer. We already know that Neural DSP’s Quad Cortex won’t arrive until the autumn at the earliest. At least I don’t have to wait as long for the Lark (Rhett Shull’s new signature pedal from Mythos Pedals); that should ship in March.

I’m still keeping an eye out for interesting bits of gear, but it’s got to be pretty special – and at a special price. By and large, I’m only looking to pickup pedals to help me fill in the gaps in my collection, or provide complementary tones for recording with.

Finally, I may have finished my planned revamp of the home studio, but now I’m sitting down to use it, I’m finding that a few things need sorting out, and that there’s a few gaps that are nagging at me a bit. I’m going to be tackling those, but not all in a single month 🙂

Here’s what arrived this month.

Two Notes Torpedo CAB M

Impulse responses (IRs for short) are a godsend for recording guitars in a home studio. I just want to move them off of my computer, so that the guitar cab emulation happens before the preamp and any plugins I want to use on the way in.

I thought about waiting for the new Two Notes Torpedo Captor X. It looks fantastic, especially in a live setting. I’ve already got the original Captor – which I’m very happy with – and the CAB M is the cheapest way to add an IR device right now.

I had a lot to say about the CAB M – not all of it positive – in my First Impressions blog post. I’ll also say this: after moving IRs onto the CAB M, I’m happy with my guitar tone in a way that I’ve never been before.

Lewitt MTP 440 DM Microphone

One thing that I want to do this year is to make impulse responses of my own cabs. I just don’t have the space to keep my cabs mic’ed up all the time, and it isn’t easy to recreate guitar tones when you’re having to tear everything down on an evening.

I’ve read quite a few reviews where people reported that the Lewitt MTP 440 microphone was a great choice for getting a recorded tone that sounded like the amp and cab. That sounds ideal for making IRs. They’re about the same price as a Shure SM57 too. It should also help me with my Kemper profiles too.

To be honest, I’ve been enjoying the Two Notes Torpedo CAB M so much, I just haven’t done anything at all with this microphone yet, other than unbox it to make sure it arrived.

Lovepedal 4-Knob Brownface Deluxe Overdrive Pedal

Lovepedal is one of those pedal brands that I’m quietly really enjoying. The Amp 11 is one of my favourite drive pedals of all time, and the Tchula Black Mamba is the pedal I always take with me whenever I’m going to try out a new amp or guitar. I’ve also really liked pedals like the JTM, Jubilee, Champ and Blackface Deluxe that aim to emulate classic amp tones.

As the tweed / vintage American amp sound seems to be my thing right now, I’m keeping an eye out for any Lovepedal pedals that fall into that. They’re pretty rare on the second hand market in the UK, and often go for more than I want to spend on them. It’s going to take me quite a while to collect them.

I’m not expecting the Brownface Deluxe to push the Sweet Honey Overdrive (SHOD for short) or Fender MTG off my pedal board. By all accounts, it’s not really a standalone overdrive pedal. I’m hoping it’ll go nicely into my Blackstar Studio 10 6L6 to give me a different flavour of clean tone. I love seeking out complimentary tones for recording guitar. If it gives me that, I’ll be happy enough.

Turns out, it was a little better than that …

Danelectro Cash Cow Distortion Pedal

I’ve had a couple of the pedals from Danelectro’s Billionaire series so far, and I’ve been very impressed with just how good they are. They’re not just good pedals for the money, they’re simply good pedals. I would like to try them all.

Despite the big promotional push when they first launched, they rarely turn up second hand. When they do, sellers tend to ask too much for them. I guess they’re not aware that here in the UK, whoever distributes these pedals dumped their stocks through outlet stores a couple of years or so ago. I guess that didn’t go too well, or I’d have seen a more regular supply of them by now!

The Cash Cow promises to be the series’ first (and, so far, only!) proper drive pedal for clean amps. Outside of YouTube, I couldn’t find any decent reviews of this pedal … so I’m looking forward to when it arrives 🙂

It didn’t turn out to be quite what I was expecting …

Fender The Trapper Fuzz Pedal

What the hell am I doing, buying a fuzz pedal? I’m not a fuzz person at all. The electricity here is full of the kind of noise that fuzz pedals can’t wait to amplify and shove right back in your face. Why, why why?!?

I’m a huge fan of Fender’s drive pedals. Every one of them has a sound inside them that I want to use. And, just like the early Mad Professor pedals, I’ve been collecting them all. With The Trapper, I’ve now got every Fender drive pedal (for guitar) that’s actually made it to market.

It was a good purchase.

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