Post Number: 2470
|Posted on Wednesday, June 23, 2010 - 4:28 pm: |
The very first impression on the EHX POG2 is that it is a very compact pedal compared to the original POG and considering all the controls on it. It comes with the wall wart power supply and is ready to go.
The pedal allows you to balance your "dry" tone with four created octave tones from two below to two above. In addition, there are three "effects" that can be applied in the form of delayed attack, a filter, and the ability to detune the octaves from the original. There are a couple buttons that alter the impact of those effects as well as the ability to save eight settings for easy recall.
I should be able to give you a set of first impressions on the capabilities of the pedal right now, but EHX was lazy and there are no tones set in the presets. One is blank and the other seven are an identical organ-like sound. As such, feedback on tones will have to wait for more play time.
I did try to set it with just the +1 octave slider up and no dry tone coming through. My bass didn't exactly sound like a guitar, but it was pretty close. Maybe my flats are a part of that picture as it did sound sort of like a jazz box.
In addition to the missing presets, there's one area where EHX really screwed up. On many pedals that have presets, you can take some action to select the preset to which you want to switch and then hit a button to change to that tone. Not so with the POG2. As soon as you touch the preset dial, the preset you were working with shuts off and the tone changes to whatever the sliders represent. If you want to perform a song that uses one preset for verse and a different one for chorus, you better have them set up side by side and some deft toe skills to go back and forth quickly. The design really should allow spinning the dial to pre-select the next preset which only kicks in when you step on the preset button. I traded messages with someone at EHX who acknowledges the mistake, though I didn't get a sense that there was any urgency to change it. Additionally, any change would involve trade-offs, and I'll have to wait to see where that goes.
More coming once I get to play with it a bit.
Post Number: 601
|Posted on Thursday, June 24, 2010 - 8:32 am: |
I see that you've already run into one of my areas of concern - ease of switching presets. Interested in hearing more when you get a chance.
I went back to GC, hoping that they had found the POG2 wall wart. No luck. But I did demo the Micro POG - simplified version of the POG: one octave up/down/dry blend. I thought the +1 ocatve had a definite, processed sound. Very brittle sounding, including finger noise. I did like the added sound, but it wasn't exactly what I thought it was going to be. FYI: I was playing a Stingray ("made with the finest tone woods") through a Mark Bass 2x10 combo. Flat settings on both pieces.
As a coloring test, I defeated both octave knobs, ran the dry level all the way up and switched the POG "on/off" several times while playing. There is a distinct difference in the fullness of the bass and the level of the signal when the POG is engaged. The Stingray sounded better in "off".
Play, play and play some more. Thanks for the information.
Post Number: 2472
|Posted on Thursday, June 24, 2010 - 10:23 am: |
I have a further update on the preset switching question. It looks like EHX has not come to a definitive decision to change it. The reply was that the "fix" will "probably" be implemented, but not for "at least 9 months." It might be possible for product to be sent in for update, but "Most likely the upgrade will be on new units only."
Quoted segments above are fairly represented from the response I received from EHX on my query.
My observation is that the best implementation is going to require a POG3 with at least one more switch button. Either that, or they would have to lose the feature of stepping on a button to advance the preset.
With the current pedal, the knob to select a preset doubles as the button to activate it. That knob appears to have some sort of plastic cap on it that probably isn't the best choice for stomping on. In their attempt to minimize the footprint of the pedal, they've really crippled it for use as a performance device. They really need a version with up/down bank switches or a heavy-duty wheel control in the style of a synthesizer pitch bender, a button to activate the selected preset, a preset/sliders button, and a bypass/active button. When you're messing around at home or in studio, you can take your time about switching or go through odd tones on your way between presets. You can edit out the odd stuff or stop and get reset before dubbing in the next segment of a tune. It doesn't work that way live.
Personally, I'd modernize the interface to do away with the sliders entirely. I don't know if this is possible as I don't know if there are analog guts in there to manage, but the sliders are a source of fragility for a gigging pedal. The typical digitally-managed interface would be more suitable for a pedal with presets.
I may play with it a bit more, but I'm most likely going to return it and wait until next year for an updated version to be offered. That will depend upon the results once I start getting into the sound comparison between the POG and POG2. If it's significantly better, then I will keep it and eat the upgrade cost for marginal improvement.
The ability to save and recall presets is still an improvement. If I move the pedal, I won't have to worry about returning the sliders to the ideal positions when I set back up. I also won't have to adjust a handful of sliders to switch between a dual courses tone and an organ sound. I May not be able to make the switch more that much more rapidly, but I will be able to go directly to the other tone more easily and consistently.
One last thought is that if you only have two preset tones you need to use, then you could set tone one in the even numbered presets and tone two in the odds. That would let you go directly between them without bringing the sliders into play. I suspect that I will have at least four. My plan is to have a full dual-course tone, an understated dual-courses tone, something organ-like, and an octave down. If I were to use any more than that, it would likely be variations on organ tones, maybe taking advantage of the slow attack effect. I won't get a feel for that until I've messed with it some.
Thoughts on tones yet to come...
Post Number: 2478
|Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - 3:59 pm: |
Gigged this thing on Saturday night and it was pretty nice, though not exactly what I was expecting. I was doing my preset setup and testing into headphones, using a headphone out of a preamp into a home stereo, or into a 100 watt 2x10 guitar amp. The tones I thought I had weren't the tones I got through my real rig, but I used an understated dual courses simulating tone for most of the night with good results. It was subtle enough that I had to turn it off and hear the difference to realize exactly what it was doing. I am very happy with that part of the result.
On the other hand, I didn't get to use much in the way of keyboard tones based on the setlists we ran through.
Overall, with the exception of the preset switching issue mentioned in previous posts, I am pretty happy with the pedal. On guitar with a little drive it sounds great, though you could easily bury the rest of your band if you're not careful. One other down side is that it is very difficult to figure out what the settings for your preset are once it is set.
I have my full rig setup in the living room at the moment and will be doing some work this week to get a more precise set of tones suited to my needs if they are available.