Empress Effects Heavy Overdrive Pedal
The Empress Effects Heavy is an aptly named box that you'll find full of a huge range of killer high gain tones. From crisp, mid-driven 80's metal, to scooped, modern down-tuned brutality, this little box of sonic mayhem does it all. The two independent channels can be voiced similarly so that one channel can be used as a solo boost, or they can be voiced entirely differently by using the mid range control in conjunction with the 3 position mid frequency select switch. Add in separate weight controls to shape the low end response of each channel, and a global hi/low eq section that allows you to fine tune your particular amp and cab combination, and you've got a serious tool to create a supremely heavy sounding rig.
On top of all this Empress have added an extremely responsive and hassle free noise gate that will ensure dead silent operation with even the most obscene amounts of gain added.
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- All Analog Signal Path - no digitals in here!
- Super High Gain - It's called the heavy, what'd you expect?
- Weight - An intuitive new control that changes the character of your low end.
- 3 Band EQ - Selectable mid frequency lets you get precise eq curves, with boost or cut up to 10dB per band.
- Dual Channel Design - Heavy and Heavier let you set your channels similarly, for rhythm/solo, or completely differently for a wider range of tones.
- Soft Touch Switches - Relay bypass and intelligent switching make this pedal super easy to use.
- Noise Gate - Natural and aggressive settings let you tailor the gate to your needs, keeping noise out of your signal chain.
- True Bypass - The Empress Heavy employs true bypass, so you can be sure that it's not affecting the signal when disengaged.
- Small Size - The enclosure measures approximately 4.5" by 3.5" by 1.5", which is delightfully small when considering all the features packed into this unit.
- Input Impedance 1M
- Output Impedance 510 Ohm
- Frequency Response (-3dB) 35Hz - 17kHz
- Power Input Voltage 9 - 12 V DC (Negative tip)
- Power Input Connector 2.1mm barrel connector (Negative tip)
- Power Consumption ~ 200mA
- Enclosure Material Die Cast Aluminum
- Input connector 1/4" Jack
- Output connector 1/4" Jack
- Height (Enclosure only) 1.5"
- Height (including controls) 2"
- Length 3.5"
- Width 4.5"
- Weight 1lbs
Have still to explore all the tonal possibilities of this aptly-named dual distortion pedal but first impressions have been very positive. The unit is smaller and lighter than I expected but the two foot switches are well separated. With six controls for each channel plus shared 'hi' and 'lo' EQ there are plenty of tone-shaping options. The user manual helpfully suggests some settings to get you started. The internal noise gate has so far proved very effective left on the 'natural' setting. You can adjust the threshold to suit your guitar's output, but having used the pedal with guitars loaded with vintage, medium output and hot humbuckers, I've found no need to alter the default factory setting. If you're in the market for a versatile high-gain distortion pedal I would strongly recommend taking a look at this one.