Hey everybody, it’s Brian from World Music Supply here again and today I am pleased to bring you some cool stuff from our friends over at Behringer. Behringer has been making quality products at the lowest price point possible since 1989, and they have always done their best to deliver products which satisfy not only your ears, but also your wallet. In today’s gear review I get to discuss three very useful, and surprisingly powerful guitar pedals, the TM300, the EM600, and the US600, and so, without further ado lets get this show on the road.
First up is the TM300 Tube Amp Modeler, which is a simplified more stomp box styled version of their GDI21, which is more or less the same box, but in a metal enclosure with a DI output. The TM300, like the GDI21 features 27 combinations of Mic positioning (classic, center, or off axis) how hot the simulated tube amp is running, whether its clean, high gain, or just plain flat out, and lastly, what kind of amp is being simulated.
There is the Tweed setting, which is obvious what it stands for, and for what it is, is not a half bad impression. It provides you with plenty of smooth and spanky clean tones, and when you run it in either the high gain mode or the hot mode you get that famous “tweed” amp bark with lots of mid range sizzle and low end thump. Then there is the British model, which yet again, for what this is, is a pretty good impression of its name sake. Running clean you get a slightly scooped out sound, with that boomy, dark clean that has made one famous British amp builder famous for decades. Running the Brit channel in either high gain or hot though, and this thing really does give you that classic plexy roar, which for the price is down right amazing.
Last up on the amp simulator is the California model, which is based on those boutique California amps that started hitting the mainstream towards the late 80’s to the mid 90s. Clean the Cali has a very round, and articulate sound, with just a hint of overdrive. This is great for country style playing, where you want to walk the fine line between overdrive and clean almost constantly. For its ability to do everything a guitarist could ever want an overdrive/distortion pedal to do the TM300 gets a solid 9 out of 10, the reason being is, it is still made of plastic which is off-putting to some people, in which case there always is the GDI21, with its metal enclosure.
Next up is the EM600 Echo Machine, which is a sort of do it all style delay pedal. It features more effects and options than you can shake a stick at, with three different global delay styles, Digital, with perfect repeats with a nice shimmering sound, Analog, with a very bucket brigade style sound, and a Tape mode which imitates the inconsistencies and the wow and flutter of vintage Tape delays. The effects that it can produce are varied and many, from a slew of different rhythm patterns, quarter note, triplet and dotted eights to multi tap delays and a few delay effects that most pedals just don’t have. These include things like sweep which slowly feeds in your sound as you keep playing, Ducking, which keeps your repeats from muddying up the signal, and reverse which works best when you either have the mix at full, or flat with the incoming signal, when on full, you really get a reverse delay, and with it flat, your notes ring over into their reverse versions, making the note have a very synth like feeling.
The benefits of a pedal with so many different delay sounds is sort of a double edged sword, as you will have everything you want, but you will likely be crouching down and adjusting it from mode to mode off and on throughout the night. However, a delay like this is a must for anyone doing anything from U2 style rock, Alternative style shoe gaze, experimental rock, or just someone whose fed up with having to truck around two or three delays just to have an effect even remotely like this. For its ability to do everything you want it to the EM600 scores a solid 10 out of 10, even with its plastic enclosure, a pedal like this just doesn’t come around often enough.
last up in today’s review, is the US600 Ultra Shifter/Harmonist, which is one of the coolest pedals in such a low price range that I have ever had the chance to mess with. The trick with this is, you have to know a little bit of music theory, like what key are you in, and what harmony will work with which part without sounding too “out” so to speak. Once you cross this tiny threshold you now have a ton of Brian May style harmonies at your finger tips, which is great if you are the lone guitarist in a band, or you have one guitarist who plays rhythm full time and you just need a bit of complex lead work, without the hassle that comes with trying to arrange it all live. There are a few other modes which are all either quirky and unique, or just fun in a different way than the harmonist section. This includes a very handy pitch shifter section that tracks chords very well, so playing full chords with a perfect 5th harmony, or an octave harmony is no problem at all. The other cool feature about this, is you can run an expression pedal into it, and operate this pedal like a whammy pedal, which proved for hours of fun.
There are three other handy modes, detune which is a pretty decent chorus sound, and on the upper level of its settings, a half decent leslie sound, which was great for some cool jazz finger picking runs. The last two effects are a little difficult to figure out how to use properly, there was the trem bar mode, which is like the whammy feature, but you can operate it with just the standard footswitch, and the flutter section which is a sort of vibrato dive bomb, which takes some getting used to, and takes even more getting used to, to find out where to use it. At the end of the day though this pedal has a slew of powerful pitch shifting effects, which will add tons of new content and power to anyone’s playing, and for that, the US600 gets a solid 10 out of 10.