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Review: Chase Bliss Audio – Warped Vinyl Vibrato/Chorus

Introduction:

A relative new comer, Chase Bliss Audio has a specific goal and philosophy. To give unprecedented digital control to original and creative analog designs. I've always been a fan of purely analog pedals that are digital controlled. This way you preserve what is best about both worlds. The precise control of digital timing with an all analog signal path. Sadly, there aren't near as many options as I'd like in this realm of effects. As a relative new comer, Chase Bliss Audio doesn't have a wide range of effects to offer yet. This is a case of pure quality over quantity, and has me excited as to what the future will bring for them.

Controls and features:

The Warped Vinyl comes in a small package, about the size of an MXR pedal. But don't let size fool you, as this thing is about as feature packed as they come. This is one that catches your eye as soon as you see it. At Rogue Guitar Shop, we don't have many pedals this size but with so many features. Controls are as follows; Ramp, Volume, Mix, RPM, tap division toggle, Depth, Warp, Left Wave Shape Toggle, Right Wave Shape Toggle, Bypass switch, and Tap stomp switch. There's also two sets of DIP switches on the bottom of the pedal. That's six knobs, four toggle switches, the DIP switches, and two foot switches! An absolute insane amount for this sort of small box. Yet nothing seems cluttered or crammed on there.

I have always been a big fan of vibrato pedals, but yet very picky with chorus. I tend to like warm, not overly shimmery sounding choruses. So I was very interested to see what I thought of the chorus mode on this pedal. The control set seems complicated, but it's surprisingly easy to figure out. Mix controls the ratio of dry signal to effected, from 100% wet to 100% dry. Most modulation pedals with a mix control use that as sort of the effect volume. Not so here, with an independent Volume control that has a lot of boost and headroom on tap. Thanks to the increase of the supplied 9v of power to 18v with an internal voltage doubling device.

Sounds/Applications:

RPM simply controls the rate of vibrato, it can be overridden by the tap switch. Depth controls how wide the vibrato goes, the higher you dial it the more intense the pitch bending. So you literally have three controls that influence how noticable the effect is. Warp controls the center point of the modulation. Clockwise it ramps up gradually and ramps down quickly. Counterclockwise it ramps up quickly and down more gradually. Left Wave Shape Toggle switch lets you control the shape of the first half of the wave modulation, Right Wave Shape Toggle the second half. The Tap division toggle lets you choose between 6 different sub divisions. The most unique control to me would be the Ramp control. Chase Bliss calls this the magic knob, and I agree. This ties right in with the dip switches on the bottom of the pedal. It controls the ramp up and down of any of the controls on the front of the pedal.

The dip switches allow you to do a number of things. From using them to influence how the Ramp control works, to even new sounds and features not accesable otherwise. Such as Bounce, which makes the parementers chosen via the other dip switches either modulate or ramp and hold. The Lo-fi switch enables a loss of fidelity and to me makes the pedal more synth like. To top it off, the pedal even allows you to save Presets! Anyway, there's already a whole heap of information for you, though I have barely gotten into it! I obviously couldn't wait to plug it in!

Opinions:

Upon plugging it in, I was very quick to dial in an extremely Hendrix style of vibe. So yes, this thing can do “normal” sounds. But that is not where the absolute fun lies in the Warped Vinyl. The fun lies in experimentation and dialing in tones and sounds you never thought possible. It really shined when combined with a fuzz face style fuzz. I was able to use the Ramp control and the dip switches to dial in some horn like sounds, pitch bending to almost human voice like sounds. It really shines in Chorus mode, as well. A ridiculous amount of chorus sounds at your feet. Just like the vibe, it can go from very normal sounding chorus tones, to wacky and insane things. I've only come across a few pedals that are as inspiring, complex, yet so easy to use as this one.

Final Verdict:

I dig it a whole lot, this is the kind of pedal that if you don't feel inspired after using, you might as well quit playing!

Rating: 9/10

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