Review: Gamechanger Audio Third Man Records Plasma Coil
How do you make something that’s achingly cool even cooler? Throw rock’s most famous upholsterer and some crazy octave-fuzz fireworks into the mix, of course.
Gamechanger Audio’s Plasma was already one of the most characterful noisemakers around, then midway through 2019 came its successor, developed in collaboration with Jack White’s Third Man Records and featured on recent Raconteurs long-player Help Us Stranger.
The Plasma Coil takes the operating principle of the original Plasma – namely converting your instrument’s signal into a series of high-voltage plasma discharges in a xenon-filled tube – but dispenses with the blend control and adds a second footswitch for ‘special effects’.
With a choice of latching and momentary settings, this additional switch engages one of six highly combustible varieties of hot sauce: volume boost, two subharmonic voices, an upper-harmonic mode and two offerings with upper and lower harmonics combined. Powerful EQ controls boost or cut low and high frequencies and the voltage knob regulates how much electrical current is sent to the plasma tube.
Although we question the veracity of Gamechanger’s claim that this pedal “literally strips paint off the wall”, there’s no doubt that the TMR Plasma Coil spits and snarls with absolute abandon. From aggressively gated fuzz to synth-like sub-octaves and glitchy chaos, there’s an album’s worth of killer riffs in your first 10 minutes with this thing. Forget the science behind it – this pedal instantly makes you want to form a band.
Whether you use the special effect switch in latching mode to flip between rhythm and lead tones, or in momentary mode to throw devastating octave bursts into solos, inspiration is never far away. It’s not cheap, but if this is what the future of artist collaborations looks like, we’re firmly onboard.
- PRICE £339
- DESCRIPTION Analogue distortion/fuzz/octave pedal. Made in Latvia
- CONTROLS Voltage, low frequency, 6-position special effect switch, high frequency, volume. True-bypass on/off footswitch, special effect footswitch, momentary/latching selector switch
- POWER 300mA, 9V DC only
- DIMENSIONS 148 x 96 x 70mm
- CONTACT gamechangeraudio.com
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