In true guitar fashion, everything seems to go round in stages. Trends and fashions come and go only to resurface years later. Pedals have somewhat followed this path too. With stompboxes being the go-to for many years, rack and multi-effects units soon enjoyed some time in the sun before the focus returned to pedals for much of recent times. Modelers, smaller units and digital gear have all enjoyed success of late, and the multi-effects unit has also seemed to reappear. A few issues ago we played the T-Rex Soulmate Acoustic, which offered an all-in-one effects unit for both gigging and the home, alleviating the need for multiple pedals, messy boards and monster effects rigs. Similarly, the SoulMate offers plenty of options for the electric guitarist.
T-Rex has opted for five effects geared towards the electric player in this iteration of the SoulMate—Overdrive, Distortion, Delay, Reverb and Boost. Essentially offering five effects in a row, each effect section has a selection of typical controls with an on/off switch at the bottom. Further switches for Bank, Live and Tap are located at the far right of the faceplate, with the whole unit feeling rock solid. On the back panel there’s I/O for input, stereo outputs and an effects loop.
OD is quite organic, giving you slight breakup through to creamier dirt, while the distortion takes you to the next levels of gain—good for rock, metal and more saturated sounds. I really dug the delay section too, with the chorus adding some mod to your repeats for vintage/analogue tones.
The notion of an all-in-one electric rig definitely has merit, especially from a respected brand such as T-Rex. It’s ideal for practising, jamming, a quick throw in the car rig and can even be used as your main rig. The SoulMate has a good range of usable effects that really do cover the basics for most gigging guitarists. It should be noted that these effects are based on some of T-Rex’s more revered pedals, such as the Moller, Mudhoney, Replica and Room-Mate. For those of you trying to work out the cost-benefit maths at home, those single pedals alone might set you back the whole price of the SoulMate. Factor in the all-in-one design, onboard tuner and option for presets and you might be thinking the SoulMate is the solution for you.
Yes, some people will miss modulation and perhaps prefer that to boost, but it’s impossible to please everyone. The Effects Loop gives you the option to integrate other pedals into the SoulMate setup with ease. It’s easy to flick between Live and Preset modes, and the whole unit seems to operate quietly and smoothly. Points also for the included carry/gig bag and power supply. A multi-effect that can be your all-in-one go-to or integrated with pedals and bigger rigs.
Hits and Misses
All-in-one, user-friendly unit
Good tones based on some classic T-Rex pedals
Some players may miss modulation