When I was young, somewhere during my teenage years, I fell in love with rock and all of its shades. I admired its rebellious character and every riff in every song filled me up with excitement and pleasure. Back then I rarely thought about the ways in which you can achieve those sounds. Back then I did not really care if I am being honest. But one day as I was attending the concert of a local band, friend of a friend introduced me to their guitarist. After a long chat I got so curious about music, all the instruments and equipment that I decided to take up guitar classes immediately. And I have been performing since then. The reason why I am telling you this story is that this band was playing Come As You Are from Nirvana. Their first riff is steeped with chorus and the pedal they used was Small Clone from Electro-Harmonix. This unit became an inspiration for me and that is why I decided to present its capabilities to you. Let’s begin our journey and see what’s so special about this small piece of equipment!
Electro-Harmonix Small Clone might seem like a one trick pony at first glance. It is true that is not steeped with diverse features, but if utilized correctly, it is capable of delivering versatile sonic results. Its properties are pretty typical for the pedals of such ilk, so it has all the essentials needed for producing different chorus effects. This unit comes in a metal chassis which has colorful surface. Here, the combination of purple, black, white and silver creates an ambience that is very appealing visually. The circuit itself is analog, which means you are guaranteed to receive that beloved chorus from ‘80s. It also has a True Bypass switching, so that your tone does not get sucked when the pedal is disengaged. After all, nobody wants their sound to lose its characteristics, am I right? Electro-Harmonix Small Clone can be powered either with a 9V battery or an adapter. If you choose the former, you will not have any problems, since there is a battery compartment and accessing it is just a piece of cake. But if you want to utilize power supply, then you will have to get your hands on positive tip DC adapter (not the Boss style one we are all used to). This is a minor issue and I am sure most of you would not care about it. As for the inputs and outputs, we have single jacks for both. Electro-Harmonix Small Clone is quite straightforward and does not require too much scrutiny in order to be understood completely. Sometimes such simplicity is the key to creating ethereal pieces.
As you have already guessed, control section does also follow the whole theme of simplicity and ease of usage. Just when you thought things couldn’t get better! It is even hilarious to call this part a section, since all we have here is the set of a single knob and a switch. That’s it. You will have to figure out the functionalities of these two and mess around with them in order to receive the desired results. And trust me, there is nothing complicated with them either. They could even be configured without the manual or any assistance. But since we are here, let’s see how they affect your sound and what exactly they can adjust.
The knob I was talking about earlier is Rate. This tiny fella alters the speed of chorus and modifies how fast the drops and rises occur in the frequency range. This way you can change the character of your chorus meticulously and tailor its parameters to your preferences. The other switch we have here is Depth. It adjusts the amount of the effect and lets you choose just the right amount of intensity and saturation. Even though these two switches do not scream full control, they are more than enough for any needs. It takes just a couple of minutes to figure out just how precise this unit is. Do not think about the quantity and let the unit dictate its qualities.
Electro-Harmonix Small Clone really shows off its versatility once you plug it in and start listening to all the sounds it offers. Yeah, it has only two controls, but it is still capable of creating diverse shades of chorus, each of them with its own distinctive essence. That is probably what makes this unit so renowned among modern musicians and that’s how it earned its fame back in the day. When you mess around with the Depth switch, you have the ability to move from subtle, shimmery chorus to more steeped warbles. This is a very easy way to change the end results and achieve various choruses with a single pedal. As you decide to alter the settings of Rate, you get to go a bit extreme and achieve chorus mayhem (yes, that is possible). The higher settings of this knob might not be suitable for every taste, but some of you might find it really useful and cool. On the whole, Small Clone is as versatile as two control pedal can get and offers fantastic tones with ease of usage.
To sum up everything said above, Electro-Harmonix Small Clone is one of the best deals when it comes to the chorus pedals. It has everything you would need and a bit more. It is flexible and simple and can be configured in a matter of seconds. It will substitute your older chorus pedals, since once engaged, nothing else matters. Its sound speaks for itself and its design stands out among its siblings (if that is something you care about). Small Clone is relatively affordable and can take you back in ‘80s with ease. Experiment, play and explore – that’s all you will need with this one. Good luck!
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