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This article was originally published in issue #66
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Appears to be built very well
Good useable tones on board
Lightweight and small
Few options equal in the same price bracket!
Power: 9V DC center negative
Dimensions：320mm(D) × 65mm(W) × 42mm(H)
Valeton is a new brand offering fresh designs for musicians looking for quality gear for every style, setting, and genre. After over ten years of experience designing and building MI products for other brands, the Valeton team has now come together as a single company, offering a new catalogue of original designs: affordable, performance quality tools. One such new product is the Valeton Dapper Bass. Dan Veall Tells us more.
"Here's one for the analogue effect lovers out there!!" I can't imagine that'd be a great intro' to the next song at a gig, but for us geeks at home, well it could be just the thing you want to hear if you are going at it "old-school style" for your next gig-rig.
Valeton, a USA based company introduce themselves as a brand who have already forged a successful career in building hardware for other companies, but have decided to pool their resources and expertise to create their own brand and product line.
The internet has already been bursting at the amount of small form factor pedals that have swamped the market. Some great examples and some maybe less so depending on budget. Valeton, to my ear in these review items we have to show you here suggest that the models fall into the former group.
Up on the stand we have the Valeton Dapper Bass. This is a multi-effect "fly rig" style pedal that I am pleased to say includes some really useful features.
You'll want to fire up the video and check out just a handful of tones I put together for you, but I think you'll be able to get a good idea what this unit is all about fairly quickly.
Effects, in terms of signal path (right to left) are:
Tuner: A stable and easy to use "single display" tuner that mutes the output when engaged. Useful as a mute function too simply by holding down the first foot switch.
Compressor/Boost: You have the choice between using the effect as a clean boost or as a compressor, or of course a mixture of both. I also like that if you are using a driven setting in the Bass Amp effects, then boosting the level here will help to add more saturation by driving the front end of the effects. This works well with respect to the analogue nature of the signal path.
Dirty Q: An envelope filter with an added Fuzz circuit. I can accept that given the sometimes complex nature of envelope sounds, using just one knob to create useable sounds can be a design "head-scratcher". Valeton have done their best to access subtle to all out weird filter sounds here. Use with caution... no wait... go for it! Weird is good! The Fuzz effect is mild and I found that switching between the two modes with my bass, I needed to tweak the effect volume to balance between engaged and bypassed sounds.
Bass Amp: A very useable amplifier simulator with a nod to a certain classic stack to my mind. Wind up the gain and it gets gnarly, or as I chose to do, ride that saturation wave for just an edge of bite which grows some teeth when you dig in. There's a good amount of boost and cut on each knob to sculpt your sound.
Octave: Self explanatory, but this analogue octave effects has a nod to another pedal classic. Of course, I went straight for the Oct 1 only tone to see if it had that smooth synth effect and I was pleased that it had that organic edge I was looking for. The effect tracks well and as I recall, I hit a D on the A string before I had any wobbles or artefacts, which isn't bad. It'll never do an octave below that D which you will find on digital processors, but that's not it's intention anyway.
Chorus: Oh yum!! Instant Pino or Duff on one knob in conjunction with the Octave for the former, or a bit of amp drive in the latter. Push the depth knob around and, well, there's Hooky too!
The all metal shell features what appears to be some quality metal foot switches and metal connection sockets. I think you'll be able to give this unit a serious amount of abuse before it gives in!
On the subject of connections, Valeton include a DI output which is perfect for sending to a recording device or PA system at a gig in tandem with running to your stage backline. There's even an effects loop for inserting effects in between the ones on board. Power comes courtesy of an included power supply, but any quality pedal board PSU will no doubt do the trick as consumption is a very low 85mA!
Let's round up then. For the money, this thing is very good! - If you are doing fly-gigs or having to travel really light, it makes a huge amount of sense. Playing gigs with beer flying everywhere and don't wanna risk taking thousands of pounds worth of gear with you? Another good reason to grab this little board.
All in all, balancing features with cost, there's lots to be raising your thumbs