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This article was originally published in issue #40
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All singing and all dancing delay units that include ‘everything but the kitchen sink’ have become a common staple of the guitar effects industry these days, with most units offering more sounds and presets than you could ever possibly use in an attempt to compete with each other. Most people end up using just one or two sounds, leaving the multitude of other settings as little more than impressive sales devices in the music store. The Echolution 2 Ultra Pro from Pigtronix bucks this trend somewhat, offering a ton of very useful features but without overwhelming you with options and sounds you’ll never use.
As with all of Pigtronix’s range, the E2UP is built from the highest quality components offering all the benefits of analogue circuit design and tone but with a very sophisticated digital control system. There is a huge amount on offer here, this being the most complex product the company make, but if you’ve ever been overwhelmed by having a delay pedal with more modes than you can shake a stick at, the E2UP will be a refreshing change. This unit features true stereo ins and outs, MIDI in and out, Expression and remote control inputs and a USB input for updating the firmware and editing presets via the excellent software editor that will be a revelation for people who hate using the onboard controls to create sounds.
Speaking of controls, Pigtronix has taken care to give you only what you need with this unit, offering a series of dials for the most commonly edited controls such as Repeats, Mix, Time and Modulation Speed and Depth and any of these dials can be easily mapped to the expression pedal input. Eight small multi-function buttons allow for further editing with long and short presses offering different options and LEDs to show what settings are on or off. There is quite a bit to get your head around but the manual is excellent and it’s really just a case of remembering where everything is. For basic functions, you are up and running in seconds and even more advanced editing is very easy once you’ve figured out which settings are mapped to which controls!
The E2UP offers superb analogue delays from 10ms up to 10s, selectable via the Time dial which can be set to short, medium or long settings for more accurate control or dialled-in with the non-latching tap tempo footswitch. Once delay time is set you can choose to alter the time of the delay line as a ratio of the tempo, using 1:1, 3:4, 2:3, 1:2 or even as PHI setting (based on the Golden Ratio) for further creative control. A second delay line can also be added that can be based on any of these ratios for a wide range of cool multi-tap rhythmic delays. Each repeat can be pitch shifted independently with further options for a Halo ‘shimmer-type’ octave effect or ping-pong stereo sounds. The delays can then be run through one of four filters, Low Pass, Tape, Comb or Sweep to further shape the sound. LP, Tape and Comb can be combined with the Sweep setting and Pigtronix even included a Bit Crusher setting for adding grunge and distortion to the delay line.
Further tone shaping can be applied with a very extensive LFO modulation section, featuring Triangle, Square and Ramp and random waveforms. The LFO can be run freely or can sync to the delay time tap tempo and subdivision or even to MIDI clock if required. For extra creativity users can select reverse delay and ducking delay modes plus a dry kill mode and the ability to switch trails off or have the unit listen to your playing while in bypass mode, so that once switched on you’ll hear delays for what you played in bypass mode. Using a Pigtronix remote switch allows for even more creative expression with access to a freeze function that can even function like a looper and ‘jump’ function where the delays will cascade up in a chosen musical interval while the footswitch is held down.
The delays on offer here are truly exceptional and your original tone remains intact thanks to no analogue to digital conversion. From pristine repeats to gorgeous tape modulated delays, rhythmic multi tap madness and shimmering, pad-like ambient textures, the E2UP does everything you could want from a delay pedal without ever making you feel like you are paying for features you’ll never use. Delays simply don’t get better than this and although it’s an expensive unit you are getting the highest quality components and signal path here and that doesn’t come cheap.
With this much on tap, you need a way to organise everything, so Pigtronix have included space for 60 presets that can be selected using the preset dial, the Pigtronix Remote Switch (purchased separately) or via midi/USB. The software editor is free and runs on both Windows and OSX machines and even Linux for the real tech geeks out there! Also included is an 18v DC power supply.
Pigtronix may well have created the ultimate delay pedal here, especially for those that don’t want masses of special effect delay types they’ll never use, but would rather have superb sounding delays that can be filtered and shaped in truly useful ways. The price is up there with the other high end delay units on the market and should be high on your list of things to check out if you are searching for the ultimate in delay sounds for you pedal board.