Pigtronix is one of the leading boutique brands that always blends the lessons of the past with innovation. Of course they try to catch up with newer trends and incorporate everything today’s world is demanding. Yet, they do not forget the appraised vintage technologies, circuitries or components and utilize them in their modern stompboxes. This way customers get the ability to play with the best of both worlds and have an open mind when it comes to the sound and music. Such attitude is especially valuable nowadays when so many brands are emerging on the market and competition is becoming more and more fierce. Products shall stand out in order to win the hearts of musicians and maintain their leading position. The pedal we are talking about today, EP2, is an updated version of the delightful EP1. Not only does it have some additional features, but it offers newer touches that will be really interesting for phaser aficionados. Its sophisticated character will quickly draw your attention and once you take a risk and purchase this pedal, you will be stuck in your bedroom for days. If you want to own something intriguing and full of various features, then you have to keep on reading and find out all-encompassing information about it. Let’s begin!
If versatility can be tangible and actually touched with bare hands, then Pigtronix EP2 must be its embodiment. I wish I were being dramatic but I am not. This thing is one of the most diverse devices I have ever encountered. This baby combines envelope filters with LFOs in order to deliver harmonically rich phase shifting. This way you get countless options to choose from and experiment with during your performance or practice. The envelope filter can move up or down and does also have the staccato function: this means that the filter shuts as soon as it recognizes the gaps between the notes (envelops usually close gradually) and emits a pop. Envelope and LFO can be utilized simultaneously or separately, depending on what you want to achieve in your sound. This way you can combine them in an interesting manner and create unique patterns with each performance. Additionally, EP2 is a true bypass unit that does not color your tone when disengaged. This means that you can safely turn this one off without worrying about your sound getting sucked or ruined. The coolest features of this one are hidden behind the connections. You get the ability to plug in the EF Trigger jack and, thus, employ envelope modulation directly with the audio signal. Sweep Pedal input lets you connect an expression pedal and create the combination of foot-controlled phase and wah. Speed Pedal is also for expression pedal, but this one can be in charge of the effect’s rate and will bypass on-board Speed knob. This magnificent unit requires an 18V adapter in order to get powered and start operating. We shall not forget that EP2 has a very rugged body that is built like a tank and will last you through years of abusive usage. As you can see, this fella is rather unique and versatile, but let me warn you that we have even more ahead of us.
When I looked at the control section for the first time, I almost got a heart attack, as I had no idea what was what and the layout seemed quite confusing. But then I opened the manual and started scrutinizing everything, tweaking different knobs along the way. That is when I figured out that this baby is intuitive and all of its encoders are there for a reason. Let’s see what we have here.
- Sensitivity – adjusts the amount of signal that is required to open the envelope and is responsive to your picking attack;
- Depth/Blend – alters the amount of LFO modulation. When in Blend mode, Depth is basically a Mix knob for blending envelop with LFO;
- Center – determines the center frequency of LFO. Depending on the position of the Depth knob, it will underline high or low frequencies;
- Speed – varies the rate of the LFO;
- Resonance – adjusts the amount of feedback;
- Staccato – emits popping sound every time the envelope closes;
- EF Sweep – controls the direction of envelope movement;
- Blend – activates the Blend mode in which phasing is taken care of by Envelope and LFO simultaneously;
- LFO Smooth – decreases Resonance in LFO mode;
- Invert – determines, whether the phase shifting has Low Pass (+) or High Pass (-) effect;
- Engage Footswitch – activates or turns off the pedal;
- EF/LFO Footswitch – lets you choose Envelope or LFO modes.
Now, the sound of EP2 from Pigtronix is something that will drive you crazy with its ambience and multi-layered character. What I mean is that as you mix and match all the controls you receive very harmonic, swirling modulation that covers different territories in the frequency spectrum. Staccato effect is amazing, especially for those who employ fast picking with their bass or high-output guitar. Sensitivity control lets you tailor your sound to the picking attack which can be really interesting with lower settings. The ability to determine the direction of the envelope movement puts tons of control right in your palm. The overall character of this pedal can be described with simple words: swirling, psychedelic, and unique. Pigtronix EP2 has such a broad range of options that you will be in shock for a while before you acknowledge its diversity. You do have to kneel down and tweak many different options to fully understand what this pedal strives to achieve, but you are definitely going to find countless amazing sounds along the way.
In conclusion, Pigtronix EP2 is one of the most interesting phase shifting pedals out there. It has some bells and whistles that set it apart from the crowd and just force you to give it a try. I am completely sure that you will have a wonderful experience with this one. Plug it in and let the envelope filter reveal its full potential. Good luck!
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