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Electro-Harmonix B9 Organ Machine! So cool...

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by RiverDog, Jun 18, 2014.

  1. Sideways Jaye

    Sideways Jaye Tele-Meister

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    I just spent a couple hours with mine, and while it's not perfect, it's definitely a keeper. And yes, I played Light My Fire.

    if you play too guitaristically, as in strumming, you get a lot of *pop* on the attack, but I'm not having a hard time making the adjustment, as I play a lot of hybrid style partial chords anyway.

    In my opinion, it sounds best for chords with three, maybe four note voicings at most.

    Bass range voicings sound best if you only play the bottom three strings, treble voicings sound best if you stay on the top four strings. This is a generalization, but owners will see this.

    The biggest achilles heel is that, for whatever reason, it does not like a major seventh interval at all. if you play a major seventh with the root on the 6th or 5th string and the major seventh on the third or fourth string, it basically cancels out in an unpleasant way. So, I just dropped the root off major seventh chords.

    I'm looking forward to finding spots that this will fit in the band's repertoire, and, in the trio side project, it will get used a lot, possibly with looping, as well. Plus, I'm going to blow the jazz group's mind with it - although I'll only use it there on rare occasion.
     
  2. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    That's odd. What about something like xx5422 with a closed voicing?
     
  3. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Thanks for the initial review. It's quite helpful.
     
  4. Sideways Jaye

    Sideways Jaye Tele-Meister

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    Had to go to a gig. I'll try later. x3545x or 8x998x is where I noticed it.
     
  5. MrTwang

    MrTwang Friend of Leo's

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    Yes, regarding the Vox organ guitar, not only are the frets wired in to it, you also have to use a special metal pick with a wire attached to it (plugged into the guitar) so the note sounds as you touch the pick to the guitar,
     
  6. oramac7891

    oramac7891 Friend of Leo's

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    I'm still waiting on mine from sweet water. They called and told me that they are pending an additonal shipment.
     
  7. Del Pickup

    Del Pickup Poster Extraordinaire

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    I just ordered one yesterday from PGS. Can't wait to get it and see what it sounds like along with my Neo Instruments Mini Vent for the full rotary cab sound!
     
  8. Sideways Jaye

    Sideways Jaye Tele-Meister

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    Day two with the machine.

    Can't find a major seventh interval anywhere on the neck that does not cancel out in a distorted croak. Likewise, in reverse 7b9 chords don't really work with the root. It's not a big deal to me. I think rootless and smaller voicings sound best on this anyway. Goodness knows, even a two note chord sounds *massive* on most settings.

    Sounds better through a tube amp (surprise!).

    Still trying to figure out how to minimize some nasty pops on the front end of the notes on settings 3-6, and this occurs even with the click control and trying to caress rather than attack the string. I'm probably going to use fat and full most of the time anyway.

    More later.
     
  9. ThickShag

    ThickShag TDPRI Member

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    Sounds suspiciously like a Hog2
     
  10. Sideways Jaye

    Sideways Jaye Tele-Meister

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    Not familiar with a Hog2, but this thing is pretty damn convincing, full and rich sounding. Update, I switched from a P90 equipped guitar to a tele and a different cable and it's helping to attenuate the popping, which isn't really evident on most of the settings anyway. I think there's something about the click control I've yet to fully figure out.
     
  11. Jefe

    Jefe Tele-Afflicted

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    I was gonna say, maybe try different guitars & pickup types. Also, do you have any pedals in front of it? I wonder if certain buffers could be causing issues.
     
  12. Sideways Jaye

    Sideways Jaye Tele-Meister

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    Well, playing with it some more, I think you're supposed to exploit that pop, it's the key click they're after. Actually calls for a sharper attack in places. I think it will be useable some places and not others. Just got a killer sound for a Jobim tune and for Duke's "Caravan."
     
  13. Modman68

    Modman68 Tele-Holic

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    How is the sound bypassed? I ask because I am just now starting to wrestle with some tone suck using a v1 pog. I never noticed it until I got a new amp.
     
  14. Sideways Jaye

    Sideways Jaye Tele-Meister

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    I didn't notice in my home studio, but I'll let you know after I play a few tunes with it with the jazz group this evening. It probably won't be an issue in that context, though, as opposed to a louder, more guitar driven setting.

    When I use it with the soul group, I will either put it in a separate loop or set it up through a second amp, perhaps my Lunchbox mic'ed.

    Other than a hint of amp reverb, I don't anticipate using other effects with this. I'm using it to sound...like...an organ, and it's plenty full and rich as is. I've played a bit with mixing in the dry guitar sound, and don't really dig it that much.
     
  15. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    This pedal has got me checking out other pedals on the EHX web site, like the HOG2. It can do organ sounds, but the price is an effective barrier for me.
     
  16. klasaine

    klasaine Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I might look into one those?
    I have a bit of a phobia about 'seeing' guitar and hearing organ.
    Maybe just for recording - ?



    True dat.
    But it's pretty easy for a school band director to get frustrated with guitar players. I remember when I was in high school with my SG copy and playing Ritchie Blackmore licks over the changes to 'Lil Darlin'. I got the stinkeye big time from my Glenn Miller era, alto sax playing band director.
    And he was right!

    If a guitarist is playing a bunch of minor pentatonic blues licks and bending all over the place ... while the rhythm section is playing the changes to All of Me or Yardbird Suite ... then I too would tell him or her to quit bending.
    *And I tell guitar players that all the time when I teach *jazz* improv workshops ... "bend all you want, but make it sound like Howard Roberts or John Scofield - NOT Eric Clapton". If they don't know who or what I'm talking about - then they don't get to bend (until they listen and learn - yes, I'm a hard a$$).

    Of course jazz guitarists bend but they do it while they're still playing 'jazz'.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2014
  17. Sideways Jaye

    Sideways Jaye Tele-Meister

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    First gig report with the B9

    I used the B9 on several songs with Jazz Collective #9 last night. Judging from the reactions, I certainly didn't overuse it and the other players thought it sounded good and not cheesy, which is great.

    I was very conservative with the volume, which made it hard to hear at times, but generally, the sweet spot for the pedal seems to be stuff you play from the 3rd to the 9th fret. Going wheedly-deedly way up high on the skinny strings doesn't really translate.

    I got the best reaction from the simplest things I played: ostinato bass lines (think Killer Joe), sustained three note voicings and sparse, sustained single note lines. The longer you hold a note, the more the organ character emerges. It's made me realize I need to listen to and cop more from the soloing styles of Jimmy Smith, Jack McDuff, John Patton, etc. I'm struck by how few notes they played and how much they hang on notes.

    The soloing style that seems to work best is to play in one or two bar phrases, holding the last note and forming a three note chord to resonate around it.

    I play guitar and bass in an informal duo - sometimes adding drums - with another guitar bass player, and I think this will really shine in that context.

    I'm missing two gigs with the soul band this week for a funeral - fortunately we have a killer player available to sub on keys/guitar/bass when we need him. So, I won't get to try it with the soul group until the 19th, and I'll report then.
     
  18. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Great report, Jaye, but please tell me you don't "wheedly-deedly way up high: too much on a jazz gig :lol:
     
  19. Sideways Jaye

    Sideways Jaye Tele-Meister

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    I certainly try to avoid it. It was something of a joke, but, at least at the volume we play at, parts I played above the 10th fret seemed to "thin out."

    The (upright) bass player played around with it on break, playing In-a-gadda-da vida on the continental setting. When I returned from break, I started playing something not realizing the setting had changed (I pretty much stuck with "full and fat"). The trumpet player later remarked that he dug the "steel drum" sound I got on it.
     
  20. backalleyblues

    backalleyblues Friend of Leo's

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    OK, my first impressions after playing with it for an hour last night...

    1) it tracks MUCH better on the bridge pickup. Seems to like to hear the fundamental more clearly than anything else-neck pickup was a bit of a mess, tracking-wise

    2) Technique is much more important than a dirt pedal. Clean, crisp strumming worked nicely, as did pick and fingers for particular voicings. You do have to pay attention to making sure you pick all notes together when doing pick and fingers, otherwise, one note will tend to dominate.

    3) I'm finding that to sound more organ-like, I'm using different voicings-as an example, a cowboy chord A I would change to (low to high) x-0-2-2-2-5, and I might play only the top 3 strings. I also found that if I play a low E or A, it will hold as a pedal tone while I play a melody or chord sequence on top.

    4) There is some touch sensitivity, though you'll never mistake it for an OCD pedal! Again, clean technique is your friend here.

    5) You might want to put a volume pedal after this pedal (if you don't have one already) and a compressor in front of this pedal, to control the dynamics better-volume for swells, and compressor to feed the pedal more evenly.

    6) It doesn't track pitch bends well, but slurs and slides seem to track ok. I'm working on getting the big "wipe" sound that you often hear going up to a note.

    7) My fave sounds so far are the first 4, with the Jazz and Gospel currently the ones I like most. Gig time may dictate going to setting #1 (Big Fat) more than anything. House Of The Rising Sun is actually doable with this pedal, just have to play different inversions of those chords!

    Overall, I'm digging this pedal... a lot!!!

    Franc Robert
     
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