Sunday, November 22, 2009

Electro Harmonix Memory Boy (first thoughts)

I'm a huge fan of EHX's analog pedals.
First, I bought a 1980 Small Stone phaser, then a new Small Clone chorus.
My next move was supposed to be the outstanding Deluxe Memory Man analog delay, but it's a bit too pricey for my taste.
So when EHX released cheaper, cut-down versions, namely the Memory Toy and Memory Boy, I couldn't resist anymore.

I'll probably do a little review at some point, but I can already post some experiments I did yesterday.
These are extracted from a new song I'm currently recording. They combine all three pedals.


João Pinheiro said...

Did you get a chance to test the Memory Boy alongside the Memory Man or the MXR Carbon Copy?

I'm on the market for a delay pedal for my guitar rig and I was considering the MXR Carbon Copy. The Memory Man is an amazing pedal, but too expensive for me at the moment. The new Memory Boy/Toy pedals could be a great option, but I'm not sure of how they compare to their big brother or to the MXR Carbon Copy.

Thanks! :)

khoral said...

I couldn't test for myself but saw a couple of Boy vs Man videos on youtube and satisfied myself that it was close enough.
Notably this one :

The Memory Man probably sounded a bit better on a direct comparison, but for most purposes I doubt the listener would actually tell the difference between the two in a musical context.

I think the Toy is a bit limited in regard to the Boy... for just a little more, you can have more modulation options, which are great for the more crazy sounds. While it makes sense to get Boy instead of Man and save a reasonable amount of money, I don't see the point in getting the Toy.

To answer the question (or not!), the Boy is to my opinion the best buy if you're looking for an analog delay.
The MXR sounds gorgeous as well and has a longer delay (600ms against 550ms for the Boy), but again, it's pricier and I tend to think that in a full-blown song the difference would be hard to get.
What makes a difference, though, is the modulation on Boy, you can really do insane robotic stuff with it, that you couldn't do on the MXR.

João Pinheiro said...

Thank you for the reply. :)

Yes, the price difference between the toy and the boy is so small, I can't understand why they even released the toy, unless is has something quite different in it. I read something about the toy being better for self-oscillation, but all of these internet comments have to be taken with a grain of salt. :p

One of the most interesting things I see in the Memory Boy is the possibility of using an expression pedal to control the modulation, so you can actually simulate the speed-up effect of a leslie speaker! The 50ms different between 550 and 600 isn't very noticeable, so my main doubt resides in the tonal difference between the Memory Boy and the Carbon Copy.

The Memory Boy gives me a lot more options and possibilities, but I'm a big big fan of the Pink Floyd kind of delay sounds, so I have to see if I can get that out of the pedal. What do you think?

khoral said...

Beats me, about the Toy...

Well, the MXR sure is great, but my preference goes to the Boy. It's equally vintage and Pink Floydesque, but with better modulation.
Most of the demos I saw online were quite conservative in that respect.
If I have the time tomorrow I'll update this post with more experimental Boy work.

João Pinheiro said...

I'll probably end up going with the Buy. It's both cheaper AND better value, since it gives me a lot more options. Does it come along with a power supply or do I have to buy it separately (as with almost all pedals)?

khoral said...

Mine came with the power supply, so I can only assume it's the case everywhere

Oh, and a dvd presentation of other EHX pedals... that's neat

João Pinheiro said...

Nice! That means that I can't order it from the USA or the UK though :p Different plugs :p

khoral said...

True, I bought mine right here in France.

Philippe said...

Excellentes pédales. J'en possède également quelques-unes sur lesquelles je branche le Prophet 08, le Nord Lead 2X, le Moog Little Phatty II et occasionnellement l'Andromeda. Wouah... Le résultat est terrible !!!

J'utilise les suivantes :
Stereo Memory Man with Hazarai
Cathedral Stereo Reverb
Stereo Polyphase
Stereo Polychorus

Par-contre, si je peux te suggérer un autre effet encore plus redoutable : le T-Resonator de JOMOX. Un filtre fascinant qui te permet d'atteindre des sommets en matière de création sonore. Les sons bizarres qui en sortent sont hallucinants surtout utilisé avec le Little Phatty ! En plus c'est de l'analogique.

khoral said...

Justement, je m'intéresse à leurs reverb aussi...
Je n'étais pas très porté sur les effets, et puis j'ai voulu acheter une Small Stone pour reproduire les pads de Jarre période Oxygène, avec le Prophet...
Il y a le Holy Grail pas trop cher.

Le T-resonator, oui oui, j'ai vu ça, c'est franchement intriguant comme effet.
Tu as ça?

Philippe said...

Pareil, je dois l'avouer, c'est également le son d'Oxygène qui m'a fait craquer un jour pour les Electro Harmonix ;-) La Cathedral Reverb est top car elle sonne très "spring reverb", donc très analogique même si elle est à 100% numérique.

Oui je possède le T-Resonator de Jomox. Je ne m'en lasse pas, c'est de la folie ce truc ! Le Moog filtré par ce petit boîtier, c'est quelque chose, crois-moi ! C'est sûrement l'un des achats dont je suis le plus satisfait.

khoral said...

J'ai ressorti mon vieil ampli Fender que je n'utilisais plus depuis une dizaine d'années, because vie en appartement, et la spring reverb est devenue pas mal bruyante et sale.

Est-ce que tu aurais des exemples audio originaux du T-resonator?

Philippe said...

Hélas non, et en plus en ce moment j'ai désinstallé tout mon matos car je me prépare à déménager dans 2 mois. Quand j'aurais tout réinstallé dans mon nouvel appart, j'essayerai de t'enregistrer quelques sons bruts du Little Phatty puis filtrés par le T-Resonator.

Si j'oublie d'ici là, rappelle-le moi, n'hésite pas à me contacter :

A+ :-)