Score!!! I do like cheap pedals!!! (Oh ya, and Boss RV3 Review & Demo)

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.

RV3

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.

Matthew Broderick
(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.

Clean Tone

Gerard Melancon Pro Artist strat with Lindy Fralin Blues pickups–>

Loop-Master bypass looper–>

Loop-Master bypass looper–>
    (–>Boss RV3–>
    (–>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. 

Splendid.
Karl. 

30 thoughts on “Score!!! I do like cheap pedals!!! (Oh ya, and Boss RV3 Review & Demo)

  1. Nice try Karl. Isn’t a reverb pedal supposed to be used for reverb? :) Should I be using my old Tubescreamer as an eq? Admit it…

    My name is Karl and I’m a tone snob.

    Ha!

  2. Mark–lol Sshh!! Don’t tell everybody!! hehehe

    Jonathan–haha It’s so weird…I never even thought of that. My brain works so oddly. But you’re right; reverb now = Godzilla. hehe

  3. I almost bought an RV-3 a while back but I bought an EHX Holy Stain instead, then sold it and bought a Line 6 Verbzilla which I also sold. Now listening to this demo I am both impressed with the RV-3 yet glad I did not buy one. Because it is better suited as an ambience pedal, (and I wholeheartedly agree with you here) I know it would not have lasted long with me.

    So thank you for the demo and for scratching a long ignored but not forgotten RV-3 itch. I can now put it to rest.

  4. Dan–haha Those links were great! So I guess the difference is heavier marketing on the RV5? hehe Frightening.

    And Future of Forestry was using one? Way cool.

    Eddie–good times, bro. Ya, it seems to be great for ambiance, and not so great as an actual replacement for spring reverb. Glad I could help! hehe ;)

    Andrew–ya, it’s a very decent pedal for ambiance. You don’t have a ton of control over the delays. Basically different settings preset into the pedal, and then you can control the time with a knob.

    Nice blog, by the way! I’ll add you to my blogroll, if that’s cool. :)

  5. Verb + Godzilla = Verbzilla.

    I also hate the pedal kiosks at GC. I wanted a wah a while back and it was painful testing out their half broken wahs into a little ss amps. Every wah was on when I sat down. A-W-E-S-O-M-E.

    Verb is good for stuff. I played texas blues jig last weekend and tele > trem > spring verb was delicious.

  6. A telecaster into a cranked princeton reverb. Can not be out done. The amount of differnet tones that can be gotten from those two things is amazing. Throw in a tape delay and I could be happy forever.

  7. Andrew–good times! Thanks, brother. And I look forward to future posts. Great to have you here!

    Mike–haha And seriously! I’m so glad someone’s with me on those kiosks. Has to be the worst sales idea in history. And I’m so envious that you have a place to play without pedals. I’m looking for one right now! :) Besides my house, of course. It’s just that I suck without pedals. My poser blues riffs can only go so far. hehe

    Mark–oh man, you guys are killing me. As much as effects are amazing, there is always something about just plugging straight in. Gorgeous and pure.

  8. I practice (Key word..practice.) during the week for Sunday worship without effects. Often times with an acoustic. First time with effects on Friday night. Finalize setup at Saturday morning practice and rock on Sunday morning. I taught guitar for over a decade and could never stress enough the need to practice without effects. Effects should be the icing ON the cake…NOT the cake. Sorry…don’t know how that soapbox got here.

  9. haha No worries. I love it! I practice both ways. One, to work on my straight playing, and the other, to work on my effects playing. Certain effects, I feel, need to be practiced with in order to get better at using them and playing in a way so as to have the effect and your playing compliment each other.

    Then that’s where the discipline comes in of not using effects just because they’re cool, when they’re not needed; and then of course, using effects when they are needed, even if it seems cooler sometimes to be able to say you plugged straight in.

    Tough balance, but I try to let my ears let me know the truth. :) Doesn’t always work out. hehe

  10. And…thinking anything I do is cool went away when my hair started to fall out and my name changed from Mark to (Insert childs name)’s dad.

  11. Funnily enough I just dug out my RV5 yesterday and was playing around with it on it’s own and now I saw this.

    I’ve never played the RV3 myself but pretty much all of what you saw for the RV3 I would say is true for the RV5 – nice spacious background verb. I’m not super fond of it for epic reverb drenched solos though – works better with a clean rather than a dirty sound.

    Re the kiosks – I certainly see your point about tone suck but as a sales gimmick it’s not a bad idea… it’s much more tempting to demo a pedal that’s already sitting on the floor plugged in, than having to ask the sales dude to get a pedal out of it’s box, and get it set up for you to try

  12. looks like i need to go and experiment with some heavy reverb and delay and see what ambience i can find….

    so the question is… is the RV3 going on the board?

  13. Mark–that ‘cool’ response…I’m calling it as the comment of the day. That was awesome!! :) Ya, I’m receding too, and worrying that I may have to get really buff so that I can rock the receding hairline like Jason Statham. hehe

    Baggas–very cool! I’ll have to try out the RV5 in my rig. And good point on the Kiosks. I can totally see how that makes sense from a marketing standpoint. I guess sometimes I can’t see that…I’m just wired to think ‘Tone.’ lol

    Cam–hehe The RV3 is going on the board eventually. But I kind of put the whole ‘ambient strings behind my sound’ thing on hold while I did the D13 thing. So, the RV3 had to get sold to help pay for the new amp. But hopefully it’ll be back soon!

  14. Just scored one for 70 off TGP! wow. I really like this thing. But you’re right so far.. best mainly for ambience. I’m thinking I might have to have 2 reverbs.. kicking this thing on only for ambient swells!

  15. $70? Nice score, bro! And I agree…you almost need a real spring reverb like the Lee Jackson or something for true, non-fake sounding reverb. But to use this one almost for its fakeness, for that digital artifact ambient decay…this pedal rocks for that! I’m so jealous you found this for $70 bucks! hehehe

  16. i was wondering what setting you had this pedal on at 2:45 in this video. i cant seem to get mine to sound as good as you have it

  17. I don’t remember exactly, but probably somewhere around:

    Mix: 10 o’clock
    Tone: 11 o’clock
    Time: 3 o’clock
    Setting: 11

    Hope that helps! :)

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