NPD - Quaverato Harmonic Tremolo

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by TokyoPortrait, Oct 11, 2020.

  1. TokyoPortrait

    TokyoPortrait Friend of Leo's

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    Hi.

    So, I’ve been finding myself using tremolo more and more. As well as just plain liking the effect, it works well to add parts that stand out as a little separated when layering loops on my lopper. I like it for similar reasons on home recordings.

    I’d been using the Donner Golden Tremolo, a copy of a clone of the Demeter Tremulator. It’s alright actually, with a bias knob to change the waveforms from less to more angular, and an inbuilt make-up boost that adds a nice flavour. Even though I’ve moved on, I still actually rate it.

    But, I’d been wanting something more flexible, with greater variation with waveforms, the ability to set the make-up volume, etc. And especially a tap tempo, because I want to be able to change it easily. Not to match song tempo, but more to easily and quickly shift it to something different - broadly speaking, I like tremolo faster if the song is slow, and vice versa.

    Also, since watching Joey Landreth on That Pedal Show back in August 2017,.* harmonic tremolo became intriguing and something I wanted too.

    Researching the fairly large range of choices available, I came across the Zeppelin Design Labs’ Quaverato harmonic tremolo kit. Having just built a Fuzz Face clone, I fancied trying my hand at something more demanding. The Quaverato as a kit is a lot cheaper than many comparable options too, even with shipping to Japan. Fancy pants boutique-ish pedals can be quite expensive here.

    Like someone else here on TDPRI said, it took a little while from ordering to it actually being shipped. Then, to compound that, because of current unmentionables, USPS ended up sticking it on a slow boat to Japan, via Russia, rather than the semi-speedy 5 - 10 business days shipping by air I’d paid for. Ordered August 7th, arrived September 26th. Oh well.

    This has become too long, and probably boring. So, I might do the rest as a second post.

    Pax/
    Dean
    *

     
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  2. TokyoPortrait

    TokyoPortrait Friend of Leo's

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    Hi again.

    So, anyway, it arrived, and I built it over a couple of days, (mostly) following the astoundingly precise & very useful, step by step instructions. I took my time and double checked everything as I went and didn’t rush, as with so many components, troubleshooting would be a nightmare. It worked right out of the gate, so that was good.

    It sounds really good overall to my ears. It does colour the tone a little, but in a ‘transparent’ kind of way. It’s definitely still the guitar’s sound.

    As it has a harmonic tremolo option, it splits the signal into high and low bands. Internal dip switches for the high & low pass filters allow you to set the frequencies for each. Internal trim pots let you set the gain of each (plus another for overall gain). I like the amount of control these give over the pedal’s harmonic tremolo behaviour and also its general tonal balance. After trying various combinations I’d read about on the internet and also my own tweaks, I actually settled back on the factory recommended crossover frequencies. I did lift the treble volume a little to suit me. It really does give you a lot of possibilities to set it up to suit your gear. Impressed by that.

    It has all the controls I wanted, and more. Too many to go into here. Importantly though, it does both regular tremolo (‘In Phase’) and harmonic tremolo (‘Out of Phase’).

    It’s worth mentioning the ‘Spacing’ knob though, which I believe is pretty unique. Essentially, changes the ratio between ‘volume up’ and ‘volume down’ time. Longer up times & shorter down times for example, and vice versa. Set in the middle, the volume rises and falls equally. Importantly, this knob affects the wave form differently depending on what kind of waveform is selected with the Wave Shape knob and also whether you are in regular or harmonic mode - this means the pedal can do bias, optical and harmonic type tremolo. So, bucket loads to play around with here.

    Also fairly rare I think, is the Harmonic Mix knob. This changes the degree of depth of the modulation for either one of the frequency bands. Dialled progressively left, the high frequencies modulate increasingly less while the bass frequencies just stay modulating at the regular amount as set by the Depth knob. Dial it to the right and the opposite happens. This can be very useful / interesting.

    Overall, it’s been a fun trip. I’m still figuring things out. There’s enough variation and different forms of interaction that it can take a while. For example, yesterday I couldn’t figure out why it wouldn’t do what I wanted it to do, and then, “Doh, I need to be ‘in phase’ for that,” and so on.

    I’ve discovered that harmonic tremolo is really nice for just subtle colouration. You get this slightly but not quite phasing, slightly but not quite vibrato thing happening, and this can add just a little texture which is noticeable but not obtrusive and really interesting and really nice.

    Okay, too long again, Here’s some ‘it did happen’ photos.


    Quaverato 3.JPEG

    Quaverato 5.JPEG


    Pax/
    Dean
     
  3. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Congrats, nice build. I owned this pedal, sold me on harmonic trem in general.
     
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  4. tubelectron

    tubelectron Tele-Afflicted

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    A very presentable unit here ! Congratulations... :cool::cool::cool:

    With large possibilities, too - probably a bit "over the top" for me, since I use tremolo on Soul and Rock'n'Roll, à la vintage style... :oops:;)

    I have built my unit - with much less features - using the Surfy Trem board (from Surfy Labs / Sweden), which sounded good but proved to have an unacceptable failure : a wide wobbling of the speaker cone at high volume, very dangerous !

    I added a steep slope high pass filter to cut the extreme low frequencies to solve that issue. The video below shows it :



    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Its main interest is that does the Amplitude or Harmonic tremolo just at a flick of a FSW, as demonstrated on that short sound sample :



    [​IMG]

    -tbln.
     
  5. Telecastoff1

    Telecastoff1 Tele-Afflicted

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    I like Tremolo, but use it sparingly and the simpler the better for me.
     
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