NPD - I'll tell you how the Horsemeat is prepared

andy474x

Knows the Drill
Joined
May 4, 2012
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Location
West Michigan
Well Done!

My Horsemeat arrived yesterday, but I didn't get a chance to plug it in until today (no feline/equine run-ins here, just busy).

First impression: Great pedal.

NOTHING like a Klon.

But, that's ok!

I ran it first into my Custom 50 and open back 2x12, and once I noticed what it doesn't sound like, quickly bonded with it. Really, what this pedal feels and sounds like is an amp in a box or preamp pedal, in the sense that it's best used into a dead clean amp. Very punchy, present, and amp-like. Reacted best to humbuckers, especially at more neutral settings. With my Silver Sky, I had to push the EQ further to the extremes to get sounds I liked, but they were good, maybe not as good as the humbucker tones though.

There are things I'll mention comparing it to certain isolated qualities of vintage amps, because they're a good reference, but overall I would say this has some modern sound and feel to it, too - not in a "metal" way, just in the aggression of breakup character and very full range frequency response.

With the voice knob at minimum, it's quite transparent, turning it up all the way moves into the territory of the bark of a vintage Marshall, it's really about the mid behavior with the voice knob. So, for example, going into my Custom 50, just talking about the sound of the midrange, goes from black panel Fender at minimum, tweed/brown in between, and early M amps at the max. Again, that's just a general idea of the midrange, there's a lot besides that goes into the sounds of those vintage amp types!

The bass and treble controls are moderately powerful. I recall hearing someone in the PRS demos mention they could cut or boost frequencies, and it feels that way. Definitely noticeable, but not extreme in their sweep.

So, if we want to talk more about how this is different than a Klon, personally a Klon type isn't a pedal I would put in front of a dead clean amp. They have a big mid honk, and lack sparkle and harmonics on top, really kind of a bland droning midrange sound. Of course, different story into a crunchy amp, because it boosts the cutting midrange frequencies, but doesn't add much to the sizzly and sometimes harsh highs. Pedals with a wider frequency response, especially more highs, can be harsh sounding into a cooking amp. Fortunately the Horsemeat doesn't get offensively fizzy into a driven tone - on the other hand, it's more of an overall level boost than a cutting mid boost. I ran it into the lead channel of the Custom 50, and the Sweet 16 set crunchy, and it did a nice job with both, but it probably wouldn't be the first boost I reached for. Just an added bonus that it has the capability. Lots of level available.

One thing that really impressed me, kind of going in reverse of that, was boosting the Horsemeat with a Klon type. I set my Tumnus up in front with a big level boost, and was very surprised at how well the Horsemeat held together. In my experience, most OD pedals flub out very noticeably and turn into a crappy fuzz sound if they're hit hard with a boost. The Horsemeat was absolutely rock solid, and sounded great boosted, and that's part of why I find it so amp-like. PRS really nailed it with the behavior of the clipping circuit.

Overall, I'm very impressed with the Horsemeat, very easy to get a great sound without making me think "oh, but if only it had more this or less that," it just dials in and goes. Nice variety of sounds with the fairly basic controls. Probably wouldn't recommend it for someone looking for a boosting OD or a softer vintage sound. I was prepared to be honest if I was underwhelmed, but this is a really solid pedal for rock tones, not to mention for a company that has never made pedals before.

Hoping to put it in front of a couple more amps soon, my SRRI especially, just to see what happens. Stay tuned!
 
My mates done a demo of it with al klone and a blues driver. It's obvious the circuit is nothing like a klon and they really don't sound similar. The blues driver however was much closer. I suspect if it was compared to a king of tone they'd be a lot of similarities in the tone.
 
Nice review! Looking forward to hearing your take on the other amp (Super Reverb?).

Tried it with the Super, and my Vibrolux - sounded very good, although maybe not as good as with my Custom 50 for the more M leaning tones, but probably having more to do with the amps themselves than the pedal. On the Fender amps, vintage style American voiced small-magnet 10's, black panel circuit, sounded good and transparent with the voice control down low. But with the voice control up, the boosted mid of the pedal kind of clashed with the scooped mid tendency of the amp circuit - which I would've though the mid boost on the pedal would compensate for the amp, but maybe it has to do with the frequencies the scoop and boost are at.

My mates done a demo of it with al klone and a blues driver. It's obvious the circuit is nothing like a klon and they really don't sound similar. The blues driver however was much closer. I suspect if it was compared to a king of tone they'd be a lot of similarities in the tone.
Yes! I agree.

It definitely reminds me much of my Wampler Pantheon, which is a Bluesbreaker/KOT inspired circuit. Similar sound and feel, but exchanging the presence control that the Pantheon has, for the voice control. Don't ask me to pick a favorite there, two great pedals!!!

PS - your avatar is giving me chills, what a top and the perfect finish to show it off!!!
 
Good writeup, Andy!
I'm hoping he tries it more, and amends the above, saying how that with the tone shaping provided, it is the greatest boost/od he's ever tried with the gain channels as well. :)

If not, I'll back burner that until after I get the comp.
 
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I'm hoping he tries it more, and amends the above, saying how that with the tone shaping provide, it is the greatest boost/od he's ever tried with the gain channels as well. :)

If not, I'll back burner that until after I get the comp.

I’d be happy to record some clips vs whatever other type of boost you want!
 
I’d be happy to record some clips vs whatever other type of boost you want!
Hey Andy,

I have successfully used a bunch of boosts and ODs with my Archon (and previously with the Custom 50 and 2 Channel H). They all provide different flavors and are mainly used as solo boosts. (Edit, although also used as lower gain tones on the clean channel, as applicable) I've used Fulltone FD3 and Catalyst, Barber Gain Changer and GCX, Timmy, Love Pedal Amp11 and Zen Drive Black Magic, SHO clone (a favorite tonally, but noisy by design), Xotic EP and others. I can get GREAT solo tones out of any of them and it's just a matter of what flavor I'm after. That's why I was surprised that something that can go clean to crunchy, but with open crunch and B and T controls... it would seem it could be dialed for great tones.

Of the above, I LOVE the Zen Black Magic (does something to the lower mids that is GREAT!), the Timmy kills, the Gain Changer is killer and the Fulldrive 3 is as well. The EP is great, and so is the Amp 11 (supposed to be very close to a Timmy). With some of them, I"m boosting mids. With some I'm boosting treble. Timmy for example, I'm cutting some bass and boosting some treble.

I know Paul said they never even opened up a Klon but wanted to design something new that was a better version or whatever. I've come very close multiple times (Tumnus, Tumnus Deluxe, Dude, etc.) to buying a Klon type pedal but never have. I guess I was hoping this was going to be that "great with clean, crunch, gain and high gain" type pedal. Some of the clips make it sound more like a Timmy than a Klon... But a Timmy is GREAT!
 
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Of the above, I LOVE the Zen Black Magic (does something to the lower mids that is GREAT!), the Timmy kills, the Gain Changer is killer and the Fulldrive 3 is as well. The EP is great, and so is the Amp 11 (supposed to be very close to a Timmy).
It's not that I disagree with a word of this post. However, it's all a matter of context, beauty of tone being in the ear of the listener. The context of anyone's 'this works for me' post is essential for the reader to decide if they like the types of tones you like.

This is why clips are wonderful evaluation tools.

What works for one player with the same guitar and amp may not work for another player. F'rinstance, I have a lot of tones that I 'hear in my head'. However, none of my favorite tones involve EVH, SRV, Satriani, Steve Vai, Tony Iommi, Billy Gibbons, Brian May, David Gilmour, Jimi Hendrix or any number of other musicians who are admittedly wonderful players and totally worthy musical icons. I love Pete Thorn's playing but I turned down an offer to get one of his amps at a discount. His tone doesn't work for me, though admittedly, I might be able to dial in a great tone on one of his signature amps. Maybe. I'm happy with my amps. I said no thank you.

I may love their music - but don't find their type of tone works for my hands, my brain, or my music. That's not a criticism. It's just not the way I want to hear electric guitar,

Again, I like (and in many cases even LOVE) their music; I simply don't want to cop their tone. So definitely, post clips, and give us an idea of your tone. The last clip of yours was so musically impressive that I didn't even listen for tone! Your playing is that good. :eek:

Your tone may be fabulous for what you do. Whether a pedal you like or dislike works for anyone else is dependent entirely on their brain, hands and playing style. I ought to add that you may hate the tones I prefer. I'm fine with that! No tone is for every listener! :)
 
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Again, I like (and in many cases even LOVE) their music; I simply don't want to cop their tone. So definitely, post clips, and give us an idea of your tone. The last clip of yours was so musically impressive that I didn't even listen for tone! Your playing is that good. :eek:
Les, I understand and agree with everything you said above. That's why I like pedals with some tonal control. Into a bright amp, I may use the Timmy the exact opposite of how I use it now, for example. But your base line tone, and then what you want when you do kick the pedal on may be completely different from mine, and what I'm after. So totally get that when discussing this stuff.

Andy uses a Custom 50 a lot, which I had and sold (probably should not have, but did get the Bogner in trade). That amp has a lot of mids and bottom like the Archon does so even though the Archon has more gain, I found that similar pedals worked well with both when I had both. Further, the pedals would be dialed similarly with both... again, Timmy boosting treble and cutting bass for a solo boost, with some gain and some level boost as well.

I quoted the line above to say, first, thank you again for the kind remarks. And second, I'm still not really sure I have A tone. I still change things literally every time I turn an amp on. For example: The last 3 times I played the Bogner, I had it in 70s mode, but last night played it for over an hour in 80s mode. I played the Archon twice last week. One night with the gain never over 9:00 and one night with it at 11:00 (and any Archon owner will tell you, 9:00 is classic JCM800 type gain... maybe plus a little. 11:00 is another level... true high gain. I adjust the pedals to what I'm doing that night while I'm playing them, and go.

And lastly, I DO like to copy or get close, to some of the tones of the icons. If I play an Ozzie song, I want to sound like Randy or Zach or Jake. When I play a Van Halen song, I want something close to Eddies tone, etc. But if I had a gig tomorrow night of doing originals, I'm comfortable enough with all theses varying factors to pick a cab and set the Archon where I'd want it and that would be "my tone." It's just that when I'm playing lots of stuff, it never stays in one place for long.
 
I’d be happy to record some clips vs whatever other type of boost you want!
Andy, do you have a Timmy? The clips I heard let me to believe it was closer to that than to a Klon. Klon is known for big mid push. Timmy is not AND pulls bass before the OD circuit and puts it back later so the bass doesn't mush out... which is something Paul hinted at in one of the videos I saw about the Horsey. But that's why your remarks made me question some of the clips, because the Timmy works extremely well with the H, Custom 50 and Archon.
 
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