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Seth Carmody_1

Electro-Harmonix Classics Flanger Hoax Guitar Effects Pedal



Sound Quality

This is a special effects box - one of only two analog flangers I know of that will do the through-zero flange effect. It doesn't sound like an MXR or an Electric Mistress. It's a replication of the original flange effect, done on tape, only in real time. As the flanger sweep rises the volume falls as the frequencies of the two two delay lines cancel eachout out, reaching a point where there's no sound at all, before coming back down again, gaining volume. It's a pretty cool effect, best heard with a gain pedal pushing the front of the Hoax. There's a fixed phaser on one delay line and a swpt phaser on the other, which you can use to accent the flanger effect or to get stand-alone fast phaser sounds. There's univibe type sounds and hi-res phaser sounds when the rate is set relatively fast, but, at the moment anyway, I won't be getting rid of my normal phaser as I've yet to find a smooth LFO in the Hoax that can replicate normal phase sounds at slower rates. The Hoax has two main problems. First, it's very noisy. My unit is pretty much unuseable in delay modes "1-4" when playing clean, because even with the guitar volume maxed I can hear the hiss at the bottom of the LFO sweep over my playing. It's possible I could eliminate this problem by boosting the signal volume with a clean volume booster before the Hoax, but I've not yet investigated it. Cutting some of the highs after the Hoax with an EQ or low pass filter may help also, but then you're sacrificing some of your tone. That said, even with the feedback maxed the fange effect is very weak when playing clean, so it's not a huge loss not to be able to use it on clean. I doubt an uninterested audience could distinguish it from a volume pedal. You need the harmonics provided by a distortion pedal to get the sweep happening, unless you mix in some phase to accent it. With a distortion, the hiss is inaudiable. Virtually noiseless operation for clean can be had in "DC" mode if you set the delay times above the hissy ares, but the best TZF isn't found in this mode. The second problem is the volume drop. Most settings have it, but I've stumbled on a few (particularly when set to LIN) where the volume increases. This could be rectified by simply running a clean volume booster before the Hoax.

Reliability/Durability

The unit appears solid and I've had no problems thus far, but the paint scratches off very easy. There's quite a bit of scratching around the feedback switch, and I have short fingernails and have only had it a week.

General Comments

Ultimately, you're buying this pedal for the TZF. The only other analog pedal that will do it is the Foxrox Paradox, which is about US$150 more expensive. The Hoax may be more flexible in that both its delay lines can be modulated (the Foxrox only one can be) and it has the phasers, but the Foxrox has no noise issues or volume drop by reports. If money is no object, the Foxrox may be the better choice. That said, I don't regret my purchase of the Hoax. Sure it has issues, but it's the only place you can get analog TZF apart from the the Foxrox. It's much more fun than the vintage Electric Mistress I had before.




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