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Gear Review: T-Rex Replica Delay Pedal PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 09 April 2008 18:09
trex1.jpgBy Ken Volpe - Guitar Jam Daily
A few months back I needed a new delay unit for my pedal board. I have tried many delay pedals over the years and have never really been satisfied with any of them. A friend of mine suggested that I purchase the T-Rex Replica delay pedal and boy I am glad that I took his advice. Before I get into the specifics about the pedal, let me tell you a little bit about T-Rex engineering. They are a European company based in Denmark; that has been designing precision effects pedals since the mid ‘90's. Their users include David Gilmour, Pete Townshend, Carlos Santana, John Mayer, Steve Morse, and Gary Moore. The Replica has also been the winner of the Guitar Player Magazine's Editor's Pick award.

The Replica allows up to 1.5 seconds of digital delay at an extremely high sample rate. It also utilizes top-notch A/D/A converters to achieve warm and accurate sonic detail. It has a host of connectors including a guitar input, and two different outputs. The Replica also has midi capabilities as well. The unit has four useful full-sized knobs. These knobs control the Echo, Repeat, Tempo, and Level of the signal. This beauty has two footswitches - On/Off, and Tap Tempo; as well as two mini switches - for Subdivision and Brown. The Tap Tempo affords the musician the ability to change tempo to match the song or the part on the fly. With it the player can tap the delay tempo with his foot to match the song. The Subdivision function promotes even greater versatility for more complex rhythmic activity. The Brown feature gives you an alternate darker and creamier tone that comes in very handy for certain applications. Think old school tape delay. The Replica is even capable of used to supplement a rack set-up or for mix down in the studio. The unit can only be powered by AC and comes with its own AC power supply.

Now that I've given you a sufficient rundown of features and specs, lets put it into action. My main test rig for pedals is my trusty Baker Robben Ford guitar along with my Bruno CT35 1 x 12 combo. My CT35 absolutely loves pedals and the Replica fits into that mold very nicely. The first sound that I was looking to enhance was my overdriven lead tone. My short signal path goes from my guitar into my Keeley 808 pedal and then to the Replica. I set the Echo/Delay control to about 1 o'clock, the Repeats to 9 o'clock and the Tempo just below 10 o'clock. The result was a smooth and liquid singing tone that had me grinning from ear to ear. The delay in my sound was not too muddy or unfocused. The sonic detail of the original tone was still quite present. I mean, with a lot of previous delay pedals that I have used, you heard more of the delay than you wanted to especially with the tail of the note(s).  The next sound I was going for was an even heavier delay. So I cranked up the Delay and the Repeat control to my liking. Once again, my tone remained articulate and not cloudy and cluttered. When I backed off my guitar volume to clean up my gain, the T-Rex followed suit. I gotta tell you, it's a beautiful thing.

Let's talk about a few more standard guitar timbres to which the Replica is also perfectly suited for. One is a very short delay for shimmering, clean rhythm parts. It is that subtle, airy and chimey chorus type tone that we all know and love. The T-Rex steps up to the plate one more time and delivers. One last tone that I would like to tell you about is a slap back delay tone. This is a very familiar sound dating back to the 50's a la Les Paul.  My main issue with this sound from other pedals has always been that it is too springy, or even corny. With the Replica that was definitely not the case.  The slap back is responsive and very musical. The slap back setting helped me to play my favorite fingerstyle classics with great results.

In conclusion, I think I made it very apparent that this little pedal packs a huge punch and is not just an effect. I would venture to say that when used properly it is almost an instrument in itself. The construction and components are of the finest quality, hence great sounds and the utmost reliability.  Even if one did not take advantage of all the delay features, the warmth from the converters will give you an overall better sound. In other words, you can set the dials for a very mild and subtle effect in terms of delay, but still have a favorable coloration for your rig. There are definitely many delay units that have a more complex array of features and presets than the T-Rex. However, I have yet to come across a delay pedal that is as straightforward, useful and musical as the Replica.

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