Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 140

VG APPROVED GEAR

PEDALIN' TO
THE PAST

The EHX Cock Fight and Key9

W

hen it comes to sweet retro tones, the
wizards at Electro-Harmonix (EHX)
have been busy again, turning out a fresh pair
of wonders just dripping with '70s and '80s
vibes. One of these, the Cock Fight, reproduces
the vintage tones of cocked-wah pedals, while
the Key9 is the latest in EHX's impressive line
of keyboard simulators for guitar.
The Cock Fight is well-named - a feisty
pedal scrappin' for action. The idea is to
replicate the classic tones of Tony Iommi,
Michael Schenker, Brian Robertson, and
Slash, players who knew how to deploy a
conventional wah as a booster for solos,
setting it in a single position and letting its
powerful EQ and boosting qualities make
solos and riffs even hotter. Similarly, Jeff
Beck used a wah with cleaner textures to
make licks from his Blow By Blow era funkier
than anything else.
The Cock Fight's powerful EQ control
manages the sweep of
the wah effect, but
rather than using
their foot, the player
can pick the desired tone. There
are also Tone and
Volume controls,
but the genius of
the Cockfight is
that the EHX folks
also put a full-blown
fuzzbox in there,
allowing the user to
go to Marshall-town
via the Drive knob.
Ot her goodies
include a Bottom
knob for extra bass;
Cry/Talk tone filter
and Pre/Post Fuzz
toggles; and a Bias
control. Pre Fuzz
yields a warmer vintage crunch, while
Post is abrasive and
decidedly modern
grit. Bias is even
wackier - turn it

up for a full, beefy flavor or down for that
sputtering, dying-battery sound. For a more
conventional wah approach, just plug in an
expression pedal. The Cock Fight is a killer
pedal and a blast to play with.
The idea behind the Key9 is to let guitarists add electric-piano sweetness to their
grooves, replicating various Fender Rhodes,
Wurlitzer, and Mallets bringing to mind
John Paul Jones' tremolo-laced piano on
Led Zeppelin's "No Quarter." The "Eighty
Eight" setting is a dead ringer for the Doors'
"Riders On The Storm," and there are Organ
and even Steel Drum settings, among others,
Price: $148 (Cock Fight); $295 (Key9;
both list)
Info: ehx.com

VINTAGE GUITAR

140

December 2016

for creative guitarists whose bands need
more atmospheric texture.
Each setting comes with two level controls: one for the Dry guitar and the other
for the wet Keys. CTRL 1 and CTRL 2 knobs
control preset effects like tremolo or phase
shifter. There's a different combination for
each simulation. Another amenity on the
Key9 is a Dry guitar output to differentiate
the signal from the wetter Keys out.
Keep in mind that the Key9 will sound
different through different amps and PAs,
and is geared more for cleaner tones. That
said, the box's tone is impacted by picking
technique, attack, and pickup settings, resulting in a fairly broad palette of keyboard
textures. Better yet, there's no "triggering"
involved, as with a guitar synthesizer - this
is all your actual playing.
The Cock Fight and Key9 will expand
your guitar's range without much effort. The
Cock Fight will be popular with everyone
from rockers to funk stylists, while the Key9
is the ticket to vintage electric-piano sounds
with a certain amount of guitar flavor mixed
in. Guitarists in cover bands who desire
keyboard textures will particularly dig
this pedal, especially fingerstylists who can
play bass and melody notes in a piano-like
manner. - Pete Prown


http://www.ehx.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open

Contents
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - Cover
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - IFC
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 1
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 2
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 3
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 4
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 5
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 6
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 7
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - Contents
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 9
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Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 11
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 12
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 13
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Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 18
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Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 22
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Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - IBC
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