Electro Harmonix POG Review & Demo

Continuing my search for a simple synth sound to be able to have in my rig when necessary. And by simple, I mean, I don’t need another amp to run synth into and then having a stereo rig plus the ‘pads’ amp. Wanting another amp…well, that’s different. The moment you cease to ‘want’ another amp, is the moment you cease to be a guitarist. And I’ll leave that up to you to decide whether or not I’m kidding. 😉

But the Verbzilla just didn’t do it for me. That was the most simplistic route…it’s got the reverb, octave up, and pre-delay all in one pedal. But I’m a snob (or so I’ve been told…and every time someone says that, I try desperately to pull my old junky Arion SAD-1 off my board and hold it up in triump……but I’m either too late, or no one cares, or they just continue to stare at my other gear……I’m working really hard to get a good-sounding Boss pedal, or Ibanez, or something, to show people I’m really not a tone snob……it’s just hard because even the good-sounding Boss pedals don’t have blue led’s, true bypass, killer paint jobs, and even better bragging rights…so……hehe 😉 ), and didn’t like the digitally tone. So then I decided to go the all-analog route, and get the POG.

It’s an octave generator, complete with a couple detuned (adding modulation) octaves. Has a sub-octave, and both one and two octaves up. And it’s all analog. So, add some delay, and you pretty much have a ’70’s or ’80’s analog synth. And all the wondrous warmth that goes with it. And, unfortunately, the noise. And the unpredictability. And the overdrive when you don’t want overdrive. Aech. So here’s the demo.

Clean Tone 

Prairiewood Les Paul with Wolfetone Dr. Vintage pickups–>
Loop-Master bypass box–>
Loop-Master bypass box–>
                (–>Electro Harmonix POG–>)
Holland AC30–>
65 Amps birch cab with Celestion Blue and Celestion G12H-30

You’ll notice that I did run through my whole pedalboard this time so that I could demonstrate how the POG reacts with delay and reverb both before it and after it. Also, I did power it through the courtesy outlet on the PP2+, but it was still a bit noisy. (Understandable, as it is actually creating fully trackable octaves completely analog and without fuzz.) And please note the awkwardness when I try to show the first upper octave, and there is no upper octave, so I really hit a couple high notes to make the upper octave sound, and there’s still no upper octave, and then I remember that the filter mix has to be up for the upper octaves to sound, and then I unsuccessfully try to pass it off as ‘demo-ing’ what the filter mix slider does. Very sad. 

Here’s the POG:

Some pretty cool sounds, and amazing that all this is happening in the analog realm. The tracking of the octaves to what I’m playing dry, is incredible. If you want an octave pedal, or a complete organ synth sound, I’m not sure there’s a better pedal for it.

But you can tell it probably wasn’t meant to be used as a synth low in the mix underneath the guitar. It still does it quite well, but it’ll start to overdrive itself. Which is a really cool feature of some of the old analog synths, and one we’ve come to love and expect. However, when putting that sound underneath what you’re already doing with the guitar sound, it takes away clarity. So perhaps a little too warm to be following the same notes as the guitar sound. Might be back to digital synth for that. Not the Verbzilla. hehe Or maybe the POG also needs a second amp for it to come out of. And I’m not going to go there until Coldplay calls. (And if you’re new to this blog, that sounds like I’m on the backup list for when Johnny Buckland gets sick or something. And that’s how I want it to sound. Makes me appear ‘cool.’ But in reality……well, let’s just put it this way: I’m not.)

Overall, a great sounding pedal that is still tripping me out as to how it does what it does so well. It’s just that I’m looking for something different. Plus, it is big and it takes up my whole pedalboard. No. That last part was a lie. But it’s looking more and more as if my snobbery is going to cause me to never get my synth effect without getting a completely separate rig dedicated to it split from an ABY box. However, on the plus side, this does give me the chance to try out the Boss PS3; and if I like it, then good-bye tone snobbery! I’ve got a Boss pedal on my board. How do you like them apples? Which is of course, exactly what I will say. Unfortunately, that quote is from ‘Good Will Hunting’, which is a good film, and rather difficult to find anything to make fun of in it. Hence, the unfortunateness as it relates to the way my mind usually works in these posts. 



………..Okay, I just can’t seem to help myself.

How did an actor who started here…


…end up here…


…and here…


…and here…

National Theatre

…oh ya…and here…


If it’s from the director of Mission Impossible II and Face/Off, you know it’s good.

Splendid (again).

44 thoughts on “Electro Harmonix POG Review & Demo

  1. Doggonit Karl…..Quit it….I want one of those. Is it true bypass? If not…Does it suck tone when off? Quickly…quickly…my credit card is in hand.

  2. I looked at demos on the POG ( not the micro ) last year because sometimes I want to sound like a 12-string without the hassle. Never was quite convinced to drop that much money. If it did a decent job of making a 6 sound like a 12 it might be worth it.

  3. Hogan from the David Crowder Band uses a Micro Pog in his rig. He walks through it on the Remedy DVD…granted he is using it in his violin rig so I guess it might not be that helpful for guitarists. It does sound great with his violin.

  4. Phillip–ya, it is pretty big. Although, my favorite part of the POG is the two octave up setting, and the Micro only goes one octave up. Kinda sucks, because ya, the small one would be nicer.

    Chris–lol Ya, where he gets his angel wings shot off, or whatever? Odd.

    Mark–haha Yes, it is true bypass, and no I didn’t notice much if any tone suck when it was bypassed. 🙂

    Randy–ya, I wouldn’t get one of these for a 12-string imitation. Great synthy stuff, but didn’t really sound like a 12-string.

    Jonathan–nice. His violin guy is a crazy tech/gear head, from what I’ve heard. Very cool. 🙂

  5. I have no interest whatsoever in synth sounds.

    But dangit Karl, Daredevil & Paycheck are two of my favorite movies!!!

    I used to respect your opinions about these things… I just don’t know anymore…

  6. Wait, Tom…didn’t you once play worship with a drill? Weird synth sounds should be right up your ally! 😉

    And I admit, I’m pretty merciless on movies. Daredevil, to be fair, has a pretty interesting premise. Just the movie itself and Ben…yikes. I might just stick to the comic. And I have never seen Paycheck. But…I have seen MI 2, Face/Off, Broken Arrow, and Windtalkers, all by John Woo as well. (Wow, why have I seen all of those?) And I’m, uh, let’s just say not a fan. But maybe…just maybe……for some strange reason, he totally rocked Paycheck and it’s amazing. You never know. 🙂

  7. Ok, you’ve got me on the whole drill thing. But that was a long time ago!!! I’ve risen above that… (yeah, right…)

    And I have to be honest. I’m a cheap date when it comes to movies. I like just about anything. But I really liked Daredevil and Paycheck!!!

  8. Tom–haha No worries, I thought it was cool!

    And ya…I promise, I’ll check out Paycheck when I get a chance. 😉

    Mark–seriously? Aw, bummer. I’d have pulled it for you, too. My apologies, brother!

  9. I wanted one of these when I first messed around with one in GC on my bass, but I’d never really use it. If I were a guitar player, however, I would ride that pedal like a dead horse.

  10. Karl,
    Bout 6 minutes in, you mention the pedals you use for swell effects – what kind of stuff you got going there? It’s a pretty slick sound I’ve been trying to get for a while!


  11. Colty–Very cool. So I’m guessing you’re a minimalist bassist? In my humble opinion, the best kind! hehe 🙂

    Wil–Let’s see, someone asked that on youtube, too, so I went back and listened. I believe it’s a slow phaser (Subdecay Quasar) into a long delay with a lot of repeats (DC Timeline) into the POG, into another delay set at a short multi-tap setting with a lot of repeats and low in the mix to kind of get that depth and texture (another DC Timeline), and then lastly into an analog delay to kind of meld everything together and warm it up right at the end so it sounds more ‘old analog synth’ (Arion SAD-1). 🙂 At least, I think that’s what it was. Hope that helps!

  12. I wouldn’t claim the term “minimalist,” I throw in too many fills to do that. I’m just not Justin Chancellor, the bassist from Tool. I’d like to think of myself as being more like Misty Edward’s bassist, though not nearly as good or pretty. I swear, I will marry her one day.

  13. (random question) has anyone ever tried the boss DD-5? I’m asking because whenever i put it on the lowest setting (basically reverb) and turn the repeats all the way up and then move time knob it makes these really weird noises and ads in different notes that I’m not even playing! not sure if my just weird or if everybody’s does that. thanks

  14. Colty–that was an awesome comment, and I totally missed it! Sorry, bro!

    Nater2–I’ve played it a bit. If you’re turning the time knob while you’re playing, or while there’s still some sound from your guitar decaying or being delayed, then yes, the weird sounds are normal for most delay pedals. If you’re just turning the time knob while everything is silent, and the pedal’s making sounds on its own, then that is pretty different. But possibly cool! hehe

  15. yea, depending on the setting i can get this awesome weird atmosphere effect that i think might be something like the digital storm effect you have creatively used before ha ha

  16. Great demo. And cool site in general. I am a huge fan of guys like you who can combine faith with music. There’s a great music worship cat out here in SF by the name of Max Butler who has toured the world playing secular music but now devotes most of his time to the Good Word. He can get a bunch of us other wise no good son of a guns into sunday service just cuz he is such a great musician. God truly does work in mysterious ways!

  17. Mike, right on, and thanks for the kind words on the site. I was actually just in San Fran a couple weeks ago. Next time I’m out there, what are some good music or jazz dives to check out? 🙂

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