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spook777

Rocktron VooDu Valve On-Line Guitar Multi Effects Processor



Sound Quality

This unit knocks all other "modellers" out of the water. Don't bother with Line6 or Boss unless you don't care about tone. The tube in this preamp makes a BIG difference. Read all the other reviews -- they agree. I have the older version so I don't have the cool Metallica or Megadeth settings as the new Online version does, but the Accept setting is hilariously close to it, and the SRV tone is cool, but I beefed it up a little more for my tastes. I am currently using the Heavy Blues with more gain for my main tone until I can dial in a perfect sound. They have a Smiths clean-tremolo setting for "How Soon Is Now" and a Van Halen "Eruption" flange/delay tone that sound just like it. The acoustic setting doesn't sound bad -- very piezo sounding instead of "acoustic", but pretty true once I fiddled with it. They have two gain settings too, low gain with Class A/B, Hard/Soft clipping choices and the high gain which I have to dial back because it's too buzzsaw for me. I always wondered what they meant as being a Class-A amp. Now I have a better idea. My current set up is for late night home-use in a condo(ie thru headphones). I run it direct into a Berhinger 2-channel mixer and if needbe at low volumes out into my computer speakers (which sounds like poop, but it serves it's purpose). I use the headphones on the mixer which gives me a better idea of the tone thru a board instead of direct from the unit. I also bought a Tech 21 power Engine for hearing it as a regular rig. See the other reviews about tube power as the Tech 21 is solid state amp and almost takes away some of the tone. I can see where it would shine with a tube power amp. I also have an extra Behringer midi pedal that I use with it. The effects are similar to my Replifex, but I agree with a few others--the configuration limitations are um, limiting and the speaker simulator doesn't sound like it does anything useful, but without the speaker sim the tone rocks. It is nice to have a wah to use and control with a midi controller. On my other rig I have two wah pedals (a Bad Horsie-1 for quick on/off and a CFH Dunlop for tone) and a volume pedal. I am happy I don't need all that and can use the Behringer's pedals. If you learn how to use the controller assignments you could even set up one pedal to control EQ movement (ie midrange) and wah on the same pedal. You can even recreate (Audioslave/Rage Against the Machine) Tom Morello's wah-pitch shifter this way. On that note I have a digitech Whammy reissue and the pitch shifter and whammy sound the same. Nothing spectacular but it does the job. If you want true tone for a whammy, get a double locking tremolo, otherwise live with the fact that pitch shifting is going to sound digital. um...that was an essay...lets reiterate with "it's damn good" and move on.

Reliability/Durability

Can I depend on it? Lets just say I've used the same Rocktron rig for years and have seen my bass player and my other guitarist burn through their effects and preamps. I believe I can truely say "I can depend on Rocktron". I don't know if I would necessarily gig with it, because I prefer amps over rack preamps, but I would definitely use it for recording (the other reason why I got it) or to jam with buddies. My plan is to replicate my amp tone for home use, so if I needed to, I would bring it as a back up to my rig and run it parallel to my rig thru a DI.

General Comments

I consider myself a "musician" over a "guitarist". Sounds stupid, but to elaborate...I play tones for the song/genre/etc. I won't crank a Dimebag tone while playing ACDC or SRV just because that's my "tone". I know guys that crank the gain to 10, scoop the mids, use a guitar made of basswood loaded with EMGs that claim they know tone. And at the same time I know guys who don't deviate from a blues tone and a strat. Eh...to each his own... I played a 63 Strat on my last recording and have had my gain set on my Mesa at 4 for recordings. I may not own it, or like the settings, but I have a good idea of what good clear tone sounds like.

 

I have a Strat, a PRS McCarty Rosewood, a Les Paul Studio, and have owned Ibanez & Jackson guitars. I have been playing since I was 13 (now 30) and have done the whole heavy metal (Metallica, Anthrax, Megadeth, Pantera, Fear Factory, etc.) thing in high school, the alternative-rock (Korn Deftones) and the snobby "vintage guitars/tone only" attitude in college, and the hard rock meets reggae stuff as well as acoustic singer-songwriting in my new endeavor.

 

My influences are U2, Metallica, Bob Marley, folk music (Cat Stevens, John Denver, Peter Paul & Mary, etc.), rockabilly stuff like Stray Cats & Chris Isaak, singer-songwriter music (Sade, Sarah McLachlan, Prince), and acoustic bands (Ben Harper, Dave Mathews). Bands like Slipknot, Sevendust, Dredg, Radiohead, Tool, and Audioslave get a lot of spins in my cd player, and other times I rock old Lionel Ritchie, some classical guitar, or 80's new wave music.

 

Why bother you telling all this about me? Well my rig similarly has always had to be multifaceted--able to give me a good crunch that cuts thru bass and cymbal frequencies yet have another tone to play bluesy or low gain stuff. I don't just buy a distortion pedal because one day I want death metal chugg...no sirreee...I need the ability to pull off some country twang/grit AND rock out some Slayer out of the same unit...For those of you with similar guitar attention deficit disorder (G-ADD as I call it) you may want to listen to my opinion of this unit.

 

For my band Divided by Zero I've use my main beater git, a Les Paul Studio--customized with Duncan JB/Jazz pickups, thru a Mesa Dual recto 3channel thru a Rocktron Replifex, controlled by a Rocktron Patchmate and All Access. I run my distortion on 6 or 7 on the modern-red channel and 4-5 on the vintage-orange channel for my "indie" and bluesy tones. I volume down on my guitar for less gain sometimes and rely on the power of the amp thru the speakers to add that extra distortion.

 

With that in mind having a Voodu-Valve is like having my main rig plus a few Fender amps and a bunch of pedals at my disposal. I haven't found my perfect tone yet but I am confident it's in there once I figure out the PC program and the EQ settings. I do wish that they built in a tuner to the unit. That would have been very very useful. Good thing I have my Boss TU12...

 

I would feel horrible if it was stolen and would definately replace it with another. I need to sell my Tech21 and get a tube poweramp. Then I will be 100% happy with my home tone. Until then I'll be happy playing thru headphones.

 

If you doubt my claims of what I consider "good tone", have a listen to my band: http://www.dividedbyzero.tv or http://www.myspace.com/dividedbyzero

 

and then go buy yourself a Voodu-Valve, knowing that it has that tone, and a lot of functionality. Studios/producers, forget the Line 6 modelers--why cut scratch tracks with turd-tone when you can use this unit and get the same tone as a mic'd amp?

 

Anyway, this is forever long and I haven't done my work and it's almost time to go home. C-ya.

James




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