Wednesday, May 7, 2008

On the Board- MXR Carbon Copy Analog Delay

Many of you may remember my post a few weeks back about the the MXR Carbon Copy analog delay and how stoked I was to try one out. Well, I went ahead this past week and threw down the cash for one. Of course, upon opening the box the first thing I noticed was how great the thing looked. It has a dark green sparkle finish and two bright blue LEDs.
It’s perfectly sized- about the size of a Phase 90, so it barely shows up on the radar. Let’s face it though, looks don’t go very far after you realize a pedal sounds like shit. Nothing’s more disappointing than plugging in that new aquisition and knowing that you made a huge mistake. I’ve been there... haven’t we all? Never fear though- that’s not a mistake you’ll be making with this puppy. It looks great, that much we’ve covered, but HOW does it sound? In a word, fantastic. Plugging this thing in instantly makes you want to abandon your chosen genre in favor of something spacey and bleak. You know how every now and then you buy a pedal that makes you feel like a better guitar player? Here it is. Sit back, relax and enjoy the echo.

Let’s talk tone. Most tone aficianados are going to insist on analog and for good reason. Analog offers a much warmer, darker tone that is reminecent of the sounds of yore. The Jimmy Pages and David Gilmours of history made the analog sound what it is today- rich and legendary. MXR did the same with the analog effects pedal and with the Carbon Copy delay, they continue their reign. Part of this is due in part to the use of bucket brigade technology. Complicatedly put, an IGFET bucket-brigade device is comprised of a row of IGFETs of the depletion-layer type. The last IGFET of the row comprises a drain region provided with an electrical terminal to which a voltage is fed greater than the pinch-off-voltage and of a polarity opposite to the polarity of the clock impulse.

The thing that impressed me the most about the pedal was the 600ms of delay. You have no idea how far 600ms will go. My typical MO is to start out with all knobs at 12 o’clock. I feel like this is a pretty good way to get an idea of what a pedal is really like; not too much, not too little. That said, I started out with all knobs at twelve and went to town. After strumming a few chords and playing some really sad scales (I am NOT a natural shredder), I realized that thing is serious business. Control wise, MXR kept things simple: Delay Time, Regen (repeats), Mix knobs and a Mod on/off switch are as complicated as it gets. From my 12 o’clock position, i decided to get a little crazy. The Carbon Copy saw this coming and was ready with the spaceiest delays and echoes you can imagine. Rocketing through the solar system at warp speed could do no better. Don’t think for a second though that this is a one trick pony. A quick turn of the knobs reveals a very nice, tasteful repretoire of slap-back and warble.

Frankly, the easiest way for a pedal to win me over is versatility. Add to that a great sound and a decent price tag and I’m sold. This box boasts all this and more, great sounds, great looks and some major practicality.
The Carbon Copy is also very well made, with steel construction and an extremely durable switch that says you use it and abuse it, but then again, why would you want to? It operates on 9V of power and at $149 (street),
what’s not to love? The answer is nothing... MXR has done it again. I’ve been a diehard MXR fan for years and it’s because of products like the Carbon Copy. Do yourself a favor and buy this pedal right now... no seriously... now!

MXR Carbon Copy Analog Delay



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