So after my recent Bad Monkey review, hehe……well, let’s just say the response has been…eh…less than positive. And I have been accused of purposefully setting the knobs on the ‘cheaper’ or ‘mass-produced’ pedals in my video shootouts, to make them sound bad. hehe And I mean, I can see their point…the cheap pedals do sound pretty bad, and you gotta explain it somehow. I’m kidding!! Kidding! But anyway, as much as I try to explain that all the pedals, boutique and mass-produced alike, are given equal opportunity in my demo vids (yikes…honestly, this is not a racist post…although with some of the response, you would think that Bad Monkeys are an actual race……well, actually…alright, I just need to stop…if you play a Bad Monkey, let the record show that I do not think you are part of your own racial stereotype! ), I realize that people will just not believe my (of course) untainted objectivity in my demo videos (hehehe…riiiiggghhht…I’m objective until one of them has a blue led) until I find a currently mass-produced pedal that I actually like.
The Boss RV3 is not that pedal. But it’s a step. See, as a reverb pedal, it just reminds me of the ’80′s. Now I love the ’80′s. Thriller, Jessie’s Girl, Breakfast Club, and Matthew Broderick killing his career by just nailing the role of Ferris Bueller. (Seriously, he did way too well in that role. He was spectacular! But now, everything you see Matthew Broderick in, you’re like, ‘Why is Ferris Bueller fighting Godzilla?’ ‘Why is Ferris Bueller necking with a lion while Can You Feel the Love Tonight plays?’ And yes, Matthew Broderick did do the voice of Simba in Lion King, and yes, that is a piece of movie trivia I definitely shouldn’t know.) But there were also a couple things about the ’80′s that I didn’t love. Like the omnipresent reverb on every snare recording from 1980 through 1989. And on the electrics. Although those had chorus on them, too. And on the acoustics. Although those had reverb, chorus, and phase-shifting. Yep. No need to relive that. And to me, the RV3 kind of has those sounds. Ya, I know Robben Ford plays one when he can’t get his hands on a Dumble, but…well, again, I should stop…I’m writing this post to keep me out of trouble. hehe I’ll let you infer what you will from that.
(See? It’s Ferris Bueller…just in fatigues. The best part about this movie is that as Godzilla is running through New York, he is very careful for some reason, not to touch a single building. The military jets that are shooting at him though, manage to hit every single building in the metropolitan area, including taking out the Empire State Building. In fact, they succeed in hitting pretty much everything in New York……except Godzilla. Ferris tries to help, but……it would have been more entertaining if he had just jumped on a float and started singing ‘Twist and Shout’.)
But!! I still love the RV3! As an ambient pedal, it is fantastic! It has this digitally artifacts thing going on that’ll just hang on behind what you’re playing and as you’re notes are fading out, that adds this depth and 3d effect that, at least to me, just sounds great. Gives your sound a fullness. Now, it needs to be used sparingly and low in the mix, but another upside to this pedal is that it’s buffer is actually pretty good. Not a ton of tone suck. So keeping the mix low works very well. I loved it when keeping it in the background for ‘synthy’ type sounds, and even for turning the mix all the way up and putting it in the foreground; if a digitally keyboard sound is what you’re going for. And for the record, this is exactly how Johnny Buckland from Coldplay uses this pedal; so I most definitely stole this from him. (Not the exact pedal like off of his pedalboard; the way to use this pedal.)
Anyway, here’s the demo. Just for fun, I decided to use the Holland Brentwood (6L6-based), and the strat. Guess I’m on a Jeff Buckley kick.
Gerard Melancon Pro Artist strat with Lindy Fralin Blues pickups–>
Loop-Master bypass looper–>
Loop-Master bypass looper–>
(–>Damage Control Timeline–>
(–>Damage Control Timeline–>
Holland Brentwood/Jumpmaster head (6L6-based)–>
Heritage pine cab with Jensen P12N
So you can hear the wonderful things it does to the sound in the background and on the decay. Just a nice, digital artifact, keyboard type sound for spaciousness. Don’t want to overuse it, but for what it is, fantastic. Or, well, what it didn’t mean to be. ‘Cause ya…the reverb sounds…well, not so much for me. And the question will have to be asked, how does this older one stack up against Boss’ current model, the RV5? And I’m not really sure. I’ve played them both, and this one sounds better; however, I played the RV5 at Guitar Center in Boss’ little pedal rack setup that has to be the worst idea in the history of selling pedals. They’re all hooked up together within the kiosk; so you’ve got like 27 buffers all running into each other. (Holy tone thinning, Batman!) Not to mention the fact that they’re hooked up to a Roland Cube that you can’t unplug. It’s like, wouldn’t they want the pedals to sound as good as they possibly could so as to sell them? That setup deal baffles me. But ya, that’s what I played the RV5 through, and it did sound very decent, but not as good as the RV3. But of course, it’s hard to tell when running through the world’s longest tone suckage and a mini Cube. And don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying that all those Boss pedals are bad. Just that Boss is stupid.
But their pedals? Oh yes. One of them just allowed me to tell people that I do like cheap gear; which means that now my Bad Monkey demo will now be seen as perfectly objective. Ya……probably not so much.