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Review

Mooer Black Truck

Issue #58

The Mooer Black Truck is a very cool “metal-centric” take on the combined FX format. It’s not an all-things-to-all-people offering like the Red Truck, but if you’re a metal player it’s got everything you need to get the job done without breaking your back - or the bank.
Nick Jennison

PROS:

A great sounding set of effects for the metal player

Super convenient form factor and operation

CONS:

Gate is very aggressive

If you’re not into metal, you might be better off with the Red Truck

Guitar Interactive star rating: 4.5 stars

Mooer Black Truck

MSRP £319 (UK)  $TBC (US)


Mooer Black Truck

Following on from Mooer's hugely successful Red Truck, the Black Truck is portable and powerful multi-effects unit designed with hard rock and metal players in mind, especially with its built-in hi-gain distortion module. Featuring six built-in effects derived from Mooer’s Micro series, in addition to compressor, overdrive, distortion (with noise gate), EQ, modulation and delay/reverb, as well as a tuner, FX loop and looper switcher, Nick Jennison gets into gear with the Mooer Black Truck.

Everything in music moves in cycles: trends in songwriting, production and even fashion come, go and come back again. So it goes with gear, too. With shrinking tour budgets, more and more artists are turning to the multi-FX pedal to get the job done - something that only a decade ago would have been nigh-unthinkable. Units like the Tech 21 Fly Rig and Mooer’s own Red Truck, with their high quality and low price tags, have enabled guitarists to throw their entire “rig” in their hand luggage and reliably get their tone wherever they are in the world.

Following hot on the heels of the aforementioned Red Truck, the Mooer Black Truck is aimed squarely at the metal player, replete with all the tools you need for laying down massive riffs, eerie cleans and screaming leads; there are two analogue drive circuits, a compressor, a graphic EQ, a choice of three analogue modulation effects and a fantastic digital reverb and delay. Pretty comprehensive!

In terms of functionality, the Black Truck can be operated in either manual mode (where the pedal functions essentially like five conventional stompboxes in one unit) or preset mode (where various combinations of effects can be assigned to each footswitch). There’s also an FX loop for patching in external pedals, but it also allows you to use the four cable method (4CM) to place the drives, comp and EQ before your amp’s front end while running the modulation and ambience in the amp’s loop. It’s a very welcome feature, but there are two slight issues: 1) there’s no amp channel switching functionality on the Black Truck, so you’ll need an external footswitch, and 2) the Black Truck’s FX loop on-off status can’t be stored per preset, which makes running external overdrives tricky.

Sonically, the Black Truck is very focused and modern sounding throughout all of the modules. The “Hi-Gain” module has vast amounts of saturation on tap - for more than you’re likely to use unless your guitar is seriously weedy. Tonally, it’s firmly in ENGL territory, with a very dense and tightly focused sound. If you’re into the looser gravel of a Dual Rectifier, this might be a little “clinical” for you, but if Peavey 6505s are your bag then you’ll feel more at home. There’s a switch to scoop or boost the mids to suit your amp/genre of choice and another to engage the noise gate. The gate is seriously aggressive, to the point of being distracting. If you’re playing super-percussive djent styles you might dig it, but it’s way over the top for my tastes with no way of toning it down. Luckily, the High Gain drive is practically noise-free even without the gate.

The Comp and OD are ports of Mooer’s immensely popular Yellow Comp and Green Mile pedals. They’re great sounding classic circuits that are right at home in this unit. The Comp will make your cleans super consistent, and the handy EQ knob will allow you to dial in a little extra chime. This is particularly useful because it means you can dial your amp a little darker to flatter the drives on the Black Truck, without sacrificing sparkle on your clean tones. The OD speaks for itself - metal players have been using TS-style overdrives to boost their high gain sounds for decades, and the Green Mile circuit in this pedal does a great job. The graphic EQ is a thoughtful inclusion, allowing for greater tonal variety, and for jacking up the volume for a solo boost.

The modulations are clean sounding and perfectly functional, but perhaps a little “anonymous”. The flanger and phaser suffer a little from their post-drive position in the signal chain and can sound a little overwhelming. The tremolo, on the other hand, is right at home in this spot and sounds great for it. The superb “Space” module offers up either reverb, delay or both at once. Both effects are deep and three dimensional and capable of subtle tonal enhancement or massive washes of ambience.

The Mooer Black Truck is a very cool “metal-centric” take on the combined FX format. It’s not an all-things-to-all-people offering like the Red Truck, but if you’re a metal player it’s got everything you need to get the job done without breaking your back - or the bank.

SPECS

6 effects pedals built into 1 simple unit. Compressor, Overdrive, Distortion, EQ, modulation, Delay/Reverb

Full-featured controls for each effect

Built-in precision guitar tuner

Tap tempo synchronization

For more information, please visit:

mooeraudio.com

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Jimi Hendrix

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