T-REX, makers of the legendary Replica delay and a host of other top-notch effects pedals has a colorful gumdrop -colored series called Tone Bug that puts the great T-REX sound into the weekend player's budget. They come nicely packaged in a sturdy cardboard box with a translucent plastic cover, which should keep them looking new. But the true test is on a pedalboard at the gig, so let's give them a listen:
A beautiful blue, shiny metal box with two knobs and a footswitch. What does it do? It boosts...but not just by making your existing tone louder. BOOSTER lets you dial in some EQ "scoop" and pushes your rig to the front of the mix by increasing volume and narrowing the EQ band. I used my '85 MIJ /62 Telecaster RI and a ZT Lunchbox amp for testing. The ZT is a pretty un-colored amp sound and the Tele (with Duncan Alnico II pickups) is a not-too-weak, not-too-strong test guitar.
The BOOSTER was a revelation. Clean, clear boost with no added noise, even at higher gain settings. The Scoop knob fattened up or thinned out the output signal as needed. Great on electric, no doubt the same with a plugged-in acoustic.
Lemon-lime is the right color for something that squeezes so wonderfully. A COMP knob adds the amount of compression, the SUST knob is the release. A two-way toggle switch with a "Tortoise/Hare" graphic allows you to have a fast or slow attack rate. The SUSTAINER felt more like I was playing through an 1176 or LA-2A than a stompbox. No tone-sucking clamp-downs, no noisy boosts.
A Deep Burgundy pedal that promises Automatic for the Weeple. Sometimes you want to get Shafted and run around onstage at the same time. Now you can with the Sensewah, an Auto-Wah pedal. Flip a switch and its a Yo Yo, with a backwards envelope that can almost double for a cocked Wah pedal sound.
This yellow bug looks and sounds like GrungeBob SquareWave. The FUZZ is not subtle. It is not transparent. It is not "natural". It does not care if your amp "takes pedals". It clips your signal like a Marine Corps haircut. The Tone knob could be a little more useful, I couldn't smooth it out to get the "American Woman" fuzz tone with a Tele, but for the brighter, harsher varieties, the Fuzz does what a fuzz needs to do.
Which, when translated, can mean "Kill the Pop Song". Fair enough. This ambitious pedal packs tons of gain and a three-band graphic EQ into a small space. Something's gotta give, but it's not the tone. The Low, Mid and High sliders are a little wobbly, but they worked great. I dialed in a scooped Metal tone and blazed away, then cut the Low and High off, boosted the Mid all the way up, and got a Schenker-esque cocked-wah sound. The distortion is smooth and wide, but with plenty of bite. I'm now a certified Schlagermeister...whatever that means! Available in Black, of course.
For more information on all of T-Rex products, please visit - T-Rex-Effects.com