Origin Effects Unveils Cali76 and SlideRig CompressorPedals -
Studio-grade FET compressors set a new standard for stompboxcompression.
British boutique effects manufacturer Origin Effects haslaunched a pair of new compressor pedals that redefine the levelsof audio quality and performance available from a stompbox. Basedon the musical sound and dynamic response of the UREI 1176 - thelegendary FET compressor first introduced to recording studios inthe late 60s and heard on countless records since - the Cali76 andSlideRig put studio-grade compression within reach of the averageguitarist, in a pedalboard-friendly format and powered by a 9Vcell.
Living up to the Origin Effects motto - "purity of tone" - thesepedals feature a fully Class-A discrete signal path, withold-fashioned, high-end circuit design ensuring incredibly lownoise and the widest possible frequency bandwidth. The end resultis a full low end, sparkling highs and wonderfully transparentcompression, with a bright, clean attack and tons ofnatural-sounding sustain.
While the Cali76 offers the full complement of studio compressorcontrols, including ratio, attack and release knobs plus a VU-stylegain reduction meter, the unique SlideRig features two FETcompressors chained together in one pedal for even more sustain andsensitivity. Both pedals - which feature bespoke enclosures and are100% made in the UK are available now direct fromwww.origineffects.com priced £229/$299 each.
Origin Effects founder Simon Keats - an electronic engineer andanalogue circuit designer who has worked for the likes of Vox,Focusrite and Trident Audio - explains how the Cali76 cameabout:
"The Cali76 was designed to get that musical UREI 1176 toneinto the hands of guitarists. The 1176 just sounds so much betterthan the pedals most guitarists are used to, but of course theprice is prohibitive, as is transporting a large rack unit aroundwith you! So I stripped out the parts of the design that weren'tdirectly contributing to the tone and then optimised the circuitfor battery operation. I'm used to building high-end, custom studioequipment and I wanted this pedal to be the same - sturdy andreliable, with wide-bandwidth, low-noise, Class-A circuitrythroughout and no ICs in the signal path."
Meanwhile, the unique SlideRig pedal was inspired by LowellGeorge's timeless slide guitar tones on the Little Feat album DixieChicken. These were recorded using two UREI 1176s chained togetherin front of the amp, creating a sound that's almost completelyclean yet delivers incredible sustain.
"The SlideRig is something I selfishly designed for myselfbecause I wanted to get that Little Feat sound!" Keats confesses."It's essentially two Cali76s in one box, without the metering andwith the attack and release controls moved inside. Chainedtogether, you get almost endless sustain and the guitar becomessuper-sensitive."
Keats sent the very first pedal he completed to Little Featguitarist Paul Barrere, who immediately made SlideRig #001 part ofhis live and studio setup.
"The SlideRig is unbelievable," says Barrere. "It'sso clean! I've used it on the newest Little Feat recording and it'sremarkable how quiet it is. And having two settings makes itperfect for live shows as you can step it up for soloing."
Other pro players who have already embraced the Cali76 andSlideRig include Ben Lloyd and Tarrant Anderson (guitar and bass,Frank Turner Band), slide virtuoso Michael Messer, guitarist andproducer Paul Stacey (Oasis, Black Crowes) and steel guitaristJoshua Grange (kd lang).
While both pedals are optimised for electric guitar, the Cali76is also great for bass and can be used with acoustic guitar,vocals, piano or drums and to process just about any recordedmaterial. An upgraded version of the Cali76 - the Cali76Transformer-Option (£325/$425) - features an additional Class-Aoutput amplifier with a custom-wound transformer, providing abalanced line/DI output, pad and ground lift switches and furtheroptions to subtly shape the pedal's tone and harmonicsaturation.