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Inspired by overwhelming customer demand, Barge Concepts is proud to announce the release of our expression-pedal-ready bypass looper, the VFB-x.

The VFB-x is a fully buffered True Bypass loop with a Clean Blend control and a footswitch-activated variable feedback blend. The VFB-x uses audio grade Burr Brown op-amps to buffer the send and receive signals, allowing improved signal strength over long pedal chains and cable runs, and minimizes "tone sucking" from vintage and mass-produced effects. The Clean Blend control mixes the clean/direct signal with the output of the effects loop, while the Feedback Blend circuit controls the amount of receive signal that is fed back to the send jack.

This expression pedal update to our popular VFB-2 features unique active opto-isolator technology to provide dynamic foot control to the VFB-2 Clean Blend and Feedback Blend controls. Unlike common expression designs that send your audio signal out to an expression pedal and back, adding unnecessary capacitance, high frequency roll-off, and crosstalk, the optically controlled expression circuit allows for external, on-the-fly manipulation of the Blend resistance, without degrading your audio signal. Multi-position dip switches built into the new dual circuit board design permit fine-tuning the response sweep for compatibility with more than 18 industry standard expression pedals.

The watchword of the VFB series is unparalleled versatility. Whether you simply need a signal buffer or true bypass looper, want to add a blend control to your favorite stompbox, or are ready to start exploring the endless possibilities of feedback looping, the VFB-x is a tool that has a place in every musician's rig. With its fully buffered signal path, complete isolation of inputs and outputs, and an intuitive and interactive control set, the VFB-x is in a class by itself in the occasionally confusing world of buffers and bypass devices.

Application Suggestions:

As a True Bypass loop: Use it to turn on/off multiple pedals at once, keep noisy or tone-sucking pedals out of your signal path, add true bypass to any or all of your pedals without complicated or overpriced modifications.

As a Blend control: Mix your clean tone with that oscillating delay or your heavy fuzz and distortion sounds. Run a chorus or flanger in the loop of the VFB to add some swirl to your dirt sounds and modulate your delays. It's perfect for Bass and Baritone players that want to use conventional guitar effects, but need to dial in some of their clean instrument signal for improved low end response. Also a perfect addition to digital delays and multi-fx units that may have a blend/mix function, but are mixing in a digital/processed version of your clean tone - not your actual direct signal. Use the expression control to change your blend settings on the fly - fade from clean to distorted with your favorite overdrive, wet to dry with your delays and modulation FX, or use a clean boost for violin-like volume swells - all without having to turn a knob or take your hands off the strings.

As a Feedback loop: The feedback circuit takes the signal at the Receive jack and feeds it back to the Send, a creating a feedback loop for sometimes unpredictable, but always interesting and unique new sounds. The feedback blend determines the amount of signal that is fed back into the loop for more accurate control. Fuzz and dirt boxes will feed back, delays and reverbs will repeat and oscillate into gigantic walls of sound - combining multiple effects in the loop opens up entire new worlds of sonic mayhem. And since the Clean and Feedback Blend controls are independent and interactive, anything from completely clean to wild over-the-top noise can be dialed in with the turn of knob or quick foot movement.

As a Signal Buffer: The VFB-x uses very low noise, audio grade Burr-Brown internal buffers to insure transparent sound across the entire audible spectrum. With all signals buffered, you have a lower impedance signal driving the pedals both in the loop and after your VFB, as well as high impedance inputs to insure that a clear signal passes to the output. All internal signals are actively blended so that there is absolutely no unexpected interaction between your instrument and your effects.

VFB-x Features:

  • Compact, aluminum enclosure. Footprint 4.75" wide x 3.75" deep
  • 3PDT True Bypass switching.
  • LED indicators for Bypass and Feedback switches.
  • Low noise, audio grade Burr Brown op-amps.
  • Low noise, 1%, metal film resistors used throughout
  • High quality mica, film, and tantalum capacitors for unmatched signal fidelity.
  • Switchcraft jacks.
  • Alpha pots with set-screw knobs.
  • Clean interior layout with 2 silk-screened and solder-masked circuit boards.
  • All audio jacks mounted on the North end to save board space.
  • Industry standard 9V DC power jack (operation supported up to 18V with regulated power supply)
  • Top quality 9V battery pre-installed.
  • 7 day return policy
  • Lifetime Transferable Warranty.

Availability and pricing:
VFB-2, now shipping, list price $115.
VFB-x, available August 2007, $200. Preorders available.
Moderately priced custom builds are also available.

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