TC ELECTRONIC ALTER EGO V2 EFFECTS PEDAL

Amber Technology | 1800 251 367 | www.ambertech.com.au | RRP: $349

We recently checked out the TC Elec­tronic Alter Ego X4, a vintage-vibed delay unit occu­py­ing the same foot­print as the mam­moth Flash­back X4 Delay. The Alter Ego X4 is a larger pedal that’s per­fectly designed for stage use, but per­haps you don’t want a sin­gle pedal such a foot on your ped­al­board. Per­haps you want a more con­ven­tional com­pact delay pedal that’s still packed with vin­tage tone. Well, my friend, meet the Alter Ego V2 Vin­tage Echo.

EVERYTHING OLD IS NEW AGAIN

The Alter Ego V2 Vin­tage Echo is built into the same style enclo­sure as the Flash­back Delay, Hall of Fame Reverb and other ped­als on that ilk. It fea­tures nine exclu­sive deal sounds crafted by TC Elec­tronic and Pro­Gu­i­tarShop based on spe­cific iconic vin­tage delays (some of them quite rare and not usu­ally found among the usual gang of sus­pects of analog-inspired dig­i­tal delays). There’s every­thing from sweet sat­u­rated EchoPlex-style repeats to the mag­netic drum delays of the leg­endary Echorec, an exclu­sive mod­u­lated take on TC’s own 2290 delay unit and more. There’s also a TonePrint mem­ory slot so you can down­load a pre­set via USB or smart­phone (hold your phone up to your guitar’s pick­ups, hit a but­ton and the pre­set will be sent as dig­i­tal chat­ter through your gui­tar to the pedal) — or you can make your own with a desk­top pro­gram on your com­puter. There’s also a looper mode, with 40 sec­onds of looping

There are four knobs: time, feed­back, level and mode. And a sub­di­vi­sion mini-toggle lets you select quar­ter notes, dot­ted eighths or a dual delay com­bi­na­tion of both. There are stereo inputs and out­puts, so you can dis­creetly process a stereo sig­nal or split a mono sig­nal into stereo delays. And like all TonePrint ped­als, you’re given the option of true or buffered bypass depend­ing on your sig­nal pro­cess­ing needs. And the dry sig­nal stays all-analog.

AM I REPEATING MYSELF?

The Alter Ego V2’s tones are incred­i­bly warm and ‘non-digital.’ A lot of care has gone into mak­ing them as funky and dis­tinc­tive as the orig­i­nal units they’re based on, and this means some of them will have an accept­able level of grit and growl, or war­ble and flut­ter: what­ever is most appro­pri­ate for the sound being mod­elled. But the option of stereo oper­a­tion really opens the unit up to wider exper­i­men­ta­tion than would be pos­si­ble with a vin­tage unit. Nat­u­rally it sounds great in an effects loop whether you’re run­ning a clean or a dirty tone, but one of the real joys of this pedal is when you plug it through a clean amp’s front end to really warm up the tape-style delays. The 2290 reverse mode is plenty of fun for psy­che­delic sounds, and the model based on the BOSS DM-2 is uncan­nily sim­i­lar to my mem­o­ries of the orig­i­nal. There’s a great Space Echo mode too which is per­fect for Devin Townsend-like back­ground spaciness.

ECHOES OF THE PAST

If you’re after clean, electronic-sounding dig­i­tal delays then you really owe it to your­self to check out the Flash­back or Flash­back X4 because they’re just loaded with mod­ern sounds and they deliver them in a really clean way. But what really makes the Alter Ego V2 kick butt is the way it cap­tures the smears, smudges and arte­facts of old-school pre-digital delay units. Many play­ers will want both types of effect in their rigs, but if you’re after one delay that can do it all — up to about the early 1980s — the Alter Ego V2 is a must-try.

Hits and Misses

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Authen­tic tones

Stereo ins and outs

Lots of con­trol over each sound

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Expres­sion pedal con­trol would be cool.

Specs

  • 9 exclu­sive delay modes cus­tom tuned by Pro­Gu­i­tarShop and TC Electronic
  • 11 delay types includ­ing looper
  • Audio Tap­ping
  • 7 sec­onds of delay
  • 40 sec­ond looper
  • Stereo in & out
  • True Bypass
  • Analog-Dry-Through
  • Delay Time, Feed­back and Repeat controls
  • Spillover on/off
  • Easy bat­tery access
  • Small foot­print
  • High qual­ity components
  • Road-ready design

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