Vintage Guitar - March 2018 - open - 127
API Audio TranZformer GT and LX
utomated Processing Inc. (API) is bestknown for its high-end mixing consoles
for broadcast and recording, along with the
mic preamps, compressors, and EQs it has
been making since the '60s. The company's
discrete analog circuits are sought after for
their uncolored sound. The legendary analog
EQ and compression circuits in API channel
strips recently became available in simplified,
affordable pedals for guitar and bass players.
The TranZformer GT (guitar) and LX
(bass) are housed in heavy-duty custom
steel and aluminum 8" x 5" x 4" chassis
and weigh in at a stout four pounds. They
share a layout including chassis-mounted
PIGTRONIX MOTHERSHIP 2
The Pigtronix Mothership 2 guitar-synth
uses dual-concentric potentiometers and
has a three-way switch with presets for
Unison, Octave Up, and Interval, along with
controls for Master Volume, Glide, Fine
Tune, and Dynamics. It is wired true-bypass
and runs on an included power supply.
/4" input/output jacks with phase switches,
balanced XLR output connectors with
ground lifts, true-bypass footswitches
for the EQ and compressor circuits, and
external jacks for the included 18-volt
Controls consist of an output Level control, input Gain, a three-band Tone, and a
six-position Compressor knob. The boxes'
tone circuits differ in frequency - 200Hz,
1.5KHz, and 5KHz center points for the
GT; 100Hz, 400Hz, and 2KHz for the LX.
The compressor circuit's threshold is affected by the Gain control; the Compressor
control changes threshold from -15db to
-40db while adjusting makeup gain from
0db to +18db.
Tested with a Custom Shop reissue Strat, a
Martin acoustic/electric dreadnought, and a
G&L L2000 bass through a variety of amps
and speaker combos, the pedals lived up to
API's reputation - silky smooth and thick
with natural, sweet overtones while adding
zero out-of-phase clutter. The quality of
the Compressor circuit leaned toward that
of a rack-mount unit, with a smoother,
uncolored hi-fi sound that did a great job
of leveling output without squashing the
tone. The only significant tone change was
to top-end under heavier compression,
where it took a bit of the bite from the highs,
reducing harshness but maintaining a nice
amount of sparkle.
The API TranZformer GT and LX are
true studio-quality preamp pedals with
high-fidelity EQs and compressors that will
benefit any instrument. - Phil Feser
CruzTools' second-gen GrooveTech
Guitar/Bass Multi-Tool is made with
S2 steel with a polished-chrome finish and adds hex-wrench sizes (1/16"
and 5 mm) along with a ruler with inch
and metric scales. Its one-piece body
weighs about five ounces (140 grams).
KHDK GHOUL JR.
KHDK Electronics' Ghoul Jr. overdrive
has controls for Volume, Tone, and Drive
along with switches to select from three
levels of gain and headroom. Its Voice
switch selects between Bass or Body
presets. Wired for true-bypass functionality, it runs on external nine-volt power.
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