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Lyon, Starcaster, and First Act Pedal Review Lounge


ck3

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Who has tried the new lines of pedals released by Target, Toys R Us, and Best Buy?

 

http://www.target.com/gp/search/601-7782528-5932125?field-keywords=lyon+pedal&url=index%3Dtarget&ref=sr_bx_1_1&x=12&y=14

 

http://www.toysrus.com/search/index.jsp?kwCatId=&kw=first%20act%20pedal&origkw=first%20act%20pedal&f=Taxonomy/TRUS/2254197&sr=1

 

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?_dyncharset=ISO-8859-1&id=pcat17071&type=page&st=starcaster+pedal&sc=Global&cp=1&nrp=15&sp=&qp=&list=n&iht=y&usc=All+Categories&ks=960

 

I've noticed a couple of informative threads here and there, but thought that it might be helpful to compile info into one location. I can add a review for the Lyon chorus sometime later this week.

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I bought two of the first act delays (the first one didn't work), the chip inside isn't really meant to go passed 300ms, but the pedal boasts 500ms of delay. Do to this, the repeats take on a queefytone passed 300ms. Still it's a great, cheap Digital delay. I a/b'd it with my 80s ad9 & the Toys'R Us delay held it's own pretty well.

 

It doesn't self oscillate. Pitch warping sounds can be accomplished by twist the time knob, just don't expect any space ships to crash.

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I picked up the chorus at Target on clearance for $8. Actually very solidly built and sounds pretty decent.

 

:eek:

 

I wonder if my "pawn shop prize" was one of these clearance priced gems ... if so, I paid around $12 too much for my Lyon chorus ... even if it does have a decent amount of warble, swirl, etc. :o

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I picked up the Starcaster distortion yesterday and have grown quite fond of it.

 

Soundwise, I think it is very close to the EH Metal Muff, but with more Muff and less metal. The mid-filter is a nice addition. Notes ring very clear. It plays well with other pedals, pretty much anywhere inline. When the volume runs past 12 o'clock, it starts to get a little hissy, but not too bad.

 

Is is true bypass? I don't know, but it will pass the signal clean without power when not engaged. With the a/c attached and the switch disengaged, it has a very faint distortion coming through. No power + engaged = the sound of silence.

 

I like the generic aspect of the labeling -- "distortion".

 

Currently on sale for $45 through the 1st of Dec at Target, which has a less hassle return policy than Best Buy.

 

Also of note, the Washburn Lyon Blues pedal (possibly BD-2ish) is a mere $35. I'd pick it up, but I feel that I lucked out on this one and don't want to push it any further.

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I braved the insane x-mas crowds at Toys R Us today and emerged from the frenzied mass of humanity with a First Act chorus. At first glance, the construction seems a bit flimsy, but I figure that the 15 year manufacturer's warranty must count for something. :wave:

 

Either way, it is surprisingly flexible for something in its price range. The intensity and speed parameters allow for everything from light chime to seasick vertigo. Though the control layout is relatively simple, the labels are somewhat decieving. I was a tad annoyed that the level knob is more of an output volume control than a wet mix setting. This odd design quirk can provide an interesting volume boost and/or overdrive, but may not be beneficial with most setups.

 

Thus far, the First Act chorus seems to excel at light to moderate chorus textures. It can add a decent bit of swirl to a clean electric or acoustic-electric guitar signal. The frequencies that it modulates sound as though they are in a neutral range, so I'm not certain if it is digital or analog just yet. I may be able to provide a more accurate report in this regard when peaking inside for trimpots in the near future.

 

Overall, the First Act chorus is much more versatile than its Lyon counterpart. The Lyon sounds decent, but only seems to provide quality examples of more dense chorus timbres. I also wanted to add the Starcaster chorus to my shootout, but the South Portland, ME Best Buy did not bother to stock any Starcaster pedals. :mad:

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i could see the starcaster's level control being useful for being able to control if and how much of a boost is involved. while chorus is an electronic attempt to simulate more players/guitars, more doesnt necessarily hafta equal louder.

 

 

how exactly does the high/low filter stuff work?

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I picked up the Starcaster distortion yesterday and have grown quite fond of it.


Soundwise, I think it is very close to the EH Metal Muff, but with more Muff and less metal. The mid-filter is a nice addition. Notes ring very clear. It plays well with other pedals, pretty much anywhere inline. When the volume runs past 12 o'clock, it starts to get a little hissy, but not too bad.


Is is true bypass? I don't know, but it will pass the signal clean without power when not engaged. With the a/c attached and the switch disengaged, it has a very faint distortion coming through. No power + engaged = the sound of silence.


I like the generic aspect of the labeling -- "distortion".


Currently on sale for $45 through the 1st of Dec at Target, which has a less hassle return policy than Best Buy.


Also of note, the Washburn Lyon Blues pedal (possibly BD-2ish) is a mere $35. I'd pick it up, but I feel that I lucked out on this one and don't want to push it any further.

 

 

 

I own one and dig it as well

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These have more knobs ...

 

 

I laughed.

 

Thanks for the review. I love crappy mass-market effects. Not so much for the sounds, but for the idea. The idea that some kid will pick up one of these and have it be the catalyst for letting loose the expression bottled up somewhere deep inside. The idea that he might evade the snobbery and condescension of a "real" music store and not worry so much about what he's buying, but why he's buying it. Maybe one day he'll buy better equipment or maybe after a couple months he'll put it in the closet, where it will eventually find its way to a some future yard sale. Regardless, for a time, that cheap, no-name gear opens a window of opportunity for thousands of anonymous kids across the country to do something that has meaning to them.

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I returned some crap at Target today and picked up a Washburn Blues Overdrive. It said "true bypass" and looked like the right kind of switch for it, so I was sold. It sounds pretty good on first listen, but really has very little signal boost. I'll post after I try it through the Big Fender Amp at practice this weekend.

Might trade it in for the Starcaster Distortion if I get sick of it. I have 90 days...

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