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Painy

One Control - Hookers Green Bass Machine

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I recently received this little pedal in the post and last weekend managed to give it a run out at a gig.
First thing I noticed, before even plugging in, was the excellent build quality. There are plenty of these micro pedals on the market and it seems that most of them are at the more affordable end but this feels very much a premium product. The controls in particular have a nice resistance when you turn them but are still very smooth indeed. I also love the rich metallic green colour with the gold lettering.
Another difference from almost all the other micro pedals on the market is that this actually allows you to run it off a 9v battery should you want to where everyone else's only seem to allow them to be run plugged into a mains supply. Somehow One Control have managed to cram all the circuitry into just the top 1/3 of this tiny little enclosure.
Now I've seen and heard demo clips on YouTube of this pedal so I already had a fairly high expectation of how it would sound. When I plugged it in at home after receiving it to test it out though it wasn’t really what I expected at all. Just to explain, a big feature of this pedal is that the designer claims it doesn't require a blend to retain the low end that is normally lost when overdriving bass as the inherent EQ'd sound of the pedal is designed to compensate for this already. Should you want more lows though there is a trim pot on the side (fortunately accessible without having to open the pedal up) that allows you to boost the lows even further. As soon as I clicked the pedal on I thought the speaker was going to leap out the front of my little practice amp there was just so much low end. Rather than the warm but articulate overdrive I was expecting this was a thick, Subby, synth-like and almost fuzzy sound – even with the treble on full.
Fortunately though it seems the trim pot was already set on full and after turning it right down it was a little closer to what I was expecting. After a bit of experimentation and very subtle tweaking of the trim pot I soon found a sound that kept all the lows intact but without over-blowing the bottom end.
Once that was set I had a bit of a play about with the main controls and was very pleased to find that the full range of both the treble and drive controls yielded a good variety of very usable sounds.
The treble control seems to act like a tone control on a bass/guitar so cut only rather than any kind of treble boost but this makes sense as excessive highs can often sound fizzy with bass distortions (typical wasp in a tin can sound). As I generally like a bright and articulate bass sound though I ended up keeping the treble on full. Drive sounded great all the way from a very subtle break up when digging in at the low settings through to a much fuller, distorted overdrive on full but I found a nice sweet spot for what I was looking for at around the 12:30 point.
There I was getting a nice smooth drive with really strong harmonics giving good note definition and a full, warm, rounded low end but all with a nice, subtly aggressive bite.
All well and good at home but – as is always the case with all things bass tone related - it's all about how it sits in the mix. So, after having played around at home to find a sound I thought would work with the band I took it to last week's gig to put it through its paces. I'm happy to say that it didn't disappoint. No problem with the lack of a blend control here – it sat loud, proud and fat in amongst the 2 guitarists drums and vocals with no problem at all. I also found it played very nicely alongside my other drive pedals when I wanted to push it over the edge by layering it up during big song endings etc.
Overall though it just has a really sweet, creamy sound which is exactly what I've been looking for and it still sounds fantastic in a band situation. These things are always subjective obviously but personally I love this pedal!


 

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19 hours ago, Painy said:

Overall though it just has a really sweet, creamy sound which is exactly what I've been looking for and it still sounds fantastic in a band situation. These things are always subjective obviously but personally I love this pedal!

Excellent review. And great that you're so delighted with the pedal!

Hopefully it will also put to bed the view, that some folk seem to harbour, that there is any loss of low end with this pedal :) 

Are you using the pedal at 9V or 18V (or somewhere in between?)

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One Control pedals are built by magic elves. I don't know how else to explain how they can cram in so much into a 1590A enclosure and still have room for a 9V battery!

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4 hours ago, Al Krow said:

Excellent review. And great that you're so delighted with the pedal!

Hopefully it will also put to bed the view, that some folk seem to harbour, that there is any loss of low end with this pedal :) 

Are you using the pedal at 9V or 18V (or somewhere in between?)

I'm running it at 9v (Harley Benton Power Plant Jnr so no 12 or 18v option).

With the trim pot turned up there's actually quite a significant low end boost if needed but even turned right down the low end loss was still less than a lot of drive pedals I've tried using a blend control.

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4 hours ago, dannybuoy said:

One Control pedals are built by magic elves. I don't know how else to explain how they can cram in so much into a 1590A enclosure and still have room for a 9V battery!

When I sit it next to my Ashdown Lomenzo Hyperdrive it's definitely a bit of a head-scratcher!

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27 minutes ago, Painy said:

I'm running it at 9v (Harley Benton Power Plant Jnr so no 12 or 18v option).

With the trim pot turned up there's actually quite a significant low end boost if needed but even turned right down the low end loss was still less than a lot of drive pedals I've tried using a blend control.

You'll be buying one of my Ciocks DCs off me next :D although that Harley Benton does look like amazing value! (And to be fair I didn't find running the HGBM at 18V made much of a difference, so no need to upgrade your HB just yet!)

What pedal board have you got and does the HB fit underneath? Pedal board pic time methinks! Please feel free to post that on the Pedal board PSU thread too, if it does :) 

 

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I've found the HB PSU to be really good. Completely silent even though a couple of the pedals are daisy-chained as it only has 5 outputs and plenty of juice to run everything on the board at once if I wanted to.

Not a Pedaltrain type board though I'm afraid - it's all above ground.

Here it is anyway such as it is :)

 

IMAG1169.jpg

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