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mcnach

Cheap tiny envelope filters: Donner Dynamic wah / Eno TC-61

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£22 delivered, tiny, and it sounds pretty damn good.

Downside? Not that versatile. But that's all. If you just need the occasional quacking from your bass and don't want to spend much, or take up too much space on your board, I think this is a pretty good one.

On bass it works very well, it doesn't lose the low end or get extreme... it's very easy to get a good fast 'wah' out of this with bass. I haven't found a *good* demo online... but if you listen to RHCP's 21st Century, it's easy to get that kind of sound:

 

On guitar... I love it for leads where it smoothens the attack. Like this:

 

It's not going to replace my Soundblox BEF, but it's a pretty cool little pedal. A lot of the cheaper envelope filters get too honky or lose all low end... not this one! You don't get a lot of different sounds, you can't do down-sweeps, you can't make the sweep time change a lot... but what it does it does well.

Edited by mcnach
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And I've just ordered the Eno TC-61, which can do up as well as down-sweep... watch this space.

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I'd be interested to know how you get on with the TC-61.  I'm a fan of that downward "bowww" sound, but probably wouldn't find enough uses for it to justify spending a lot.  So a cheap pedal with a reverse sweep could be appealing. 

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17 hours ago, Beer of the Bass said:

I'd be interested to know how you get on with the TC-61.  I'm a fan of that downward "bowww" sound, but probably wouldn't find enough uses for it to justify spending a lot.  So a cheap pedal with a reverse sweep could be appealing. 

 

Same here.

I like the old SA BEF for all kinds of filter sounds... but you need to tweak to change sounds. The idea of having a couple of little cheap pedals, each with its own 'preset' is very attractive. 

The Donner is really cool on guitar. I like it more and more. I love those leads like at the beginning of that video, very smooth Satriani-esque in a way... and the Donner Dynamic Wah works very well for that, especially with a stratocaster, but my P90 Les Paul style guitar also sounds great. 

On bass is a bit limited compared to the BEF, but I like it a lot. It's not easy to get those long decayed dirty sticky sounds like in Sir Psycho Sexy (with an overdrive), but it produces good sounds nonetheless, and it keeps the bottom end, which many others lose, or boost the midrange crazily and just sounds too different from the non-effected signal.

Let's see how the TC-61 works out. It's supposed to arrive in a week or so.

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17 hours ago, Beer of the Bass said:

I'd be interested to know how you get on with the TC-61.  I'm a fan of that downward "bowww" sound, but probably wouldn't find enough uses for it to justify spending a lot.  So a cheap pedal with a reverse sweep could be appealing. 

 

We used to play a version of "Ghostbusters" with Sea Bass Kid... the downsweep filter was perfect for it. Maybe we'll bring it back :D

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The Eno should be here within the next couple of days. Meanwhile, did I say how nice the Donner one is? 

Now, I've just ordered the Valeton Katfish too. Well, I was having trouble ordering new tyres and I thought the best way to ensure my card was still working was to order something else, like a small FX pedal. It is only logical, right? 😛

I should just get the Joyo Wow Wah as well and be done with the lot, like I did with overdrives :D

But seriously, the Donner is a pretty cool envelope filter, on both guitar and bass. Don't let the price put you off (as in, too cheap)

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I'd be keen to hear your comparison of these filters. I didn't think there was much in the way of decent sounding (on bass) 1590a sized envelope filter, but it sounds like you've got a few promising ones on the way 

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41 minutes ago, Bo0tsy said:

I'd be keen to hear your comparison of these filters. I didn't think there was much in the way of decent sounding (on bass) 1590a sized envelope filter, but it sounds like you've got a few promising ones on the way 

 

It's very difficult to judge from videos, because most are just demo'd on guitar, and many quite badly.

The Donner is definitely a decent one. Not as versatile as my old SA BEF, or as burpy/gurgly as the old Proton I used to have, but it has a nice range of good sounds in there, for bass. On guitar I have no issues with it whatsoever. It's very nice.

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ive got a Donner Tuner. Somewhere in there is a joke about post gig Kebabs lol.

These generic Chinese companies are putting out some impressively priced pedals, and makes me laugh at the DG etc stuff when i see those prices. My two Joyo OD's are the best ive every used. Both cost less than £100 total.

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I had the Donner version which I sold after being convinced that it was "cheap & nasty"...limited yes, but for £20 odd quid you shouldn't expect the world. 

As DB5 suggests "These generic Chinese companies are putting out some impressively priced pedals".

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1 hour ago, TheGreek said:

I had the Donner version which I sold after being convinced that it was "cheap & nasty"...limited yes, but for £20 odd quid you shouldn't expect the world. 

As DB5 suggests "These generic Chinese companies are putting out some impressively priced pedals".

In the end, they'll stop being cheap 'cos they'll be...

image.jpeg.f3e4034eb518dcab8208f9d8a557871e.jpeg

...I really think so.

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On 13/10/2018 at 20:31, Beer of the Bass said:

I'd be interested to know how you get on with the TC-61.  I'm a fan of that downward "bowww" sound, but probably wouldn't find enough uses for it to justify spending a lot.  So a cheap pedal with a reverse sweep could be appealing. 

 

I received it... and I think it's going back.

For my liking, it loses too much low end. It works well enough on guitar, but it's clearly set for a treblier range than I'm after. It's not a huge amount of loss... but it's noticeable. It's a shame, as I really like the downsweep envelope filter sound but not many pedals out there do it. Certainly not in economical and small form.

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Right... so, the Donner Dynamic wah stays. I really like it. I love its size... it means I can easily squeeze it into any tiny board I may put together. It's not an effect I would use a lot in the bands I play with, so the envelope filter I prefer (my old Source Audio BEF) stays at home as it's too big to make sense and I'd rather use an overdrive and octave instead, when space is limited. But with the Donner, this has changed.

The Eno TC-61, unfortunately, is not for me. There is some degree of low end loss even with the range set towards its bassiest setting, and I don't want that. I wonder if there's some easy mod that one can do to adjust the range a bit lower... because the range is wide, it's just that it covers higher frequencies: clearly designed with guitar in mind. Being such a small pedal, I doubt any mods would be something I could do easily. I keep playing it trying to decide that the low end loss is not too bothersome... but I'm too picky with this.

I also got the Valeton Katfish. That thing is much smaller than I thought! It's only a little wider than the other two (a LITTLE) and the other dimensions are the same. And it sounds... very good. No low end loss, and transparent like the Donner: the bass/guitar still sounds like your bass/guitar. It as the same usual set of controls, just arranged differently to the Donner but it does pretty much the same. I think it can be a bit 'gurglier' but there's not much between them. I am keeping it because what's better than one small envelope filter? Yes, that's right! TWO envelope filters. Saves me switching things from place to place. If only one of them did down-sweep...

 

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20 minutes ago, mcnach said:

I also got the Valeton Katfish. That thing is much smaller than I thought! It's only a little wider than the other two (a LITTLE) and the other dimensions are the same. And it sounds... very good. No low end loss, and transparent like the Donner: the bass/guitar still sounds like your bass/guitar. It as the same usual set of controls, just arranged differently to the Donner but it does pretty much the same. I think it can be a bit 'gurglier' but there's not much between them. I am keeping it because what's better than one small envelope filter? Yes, that's right! TWO envelope filters. Saves me switching things from place to place. If only one of them did down-sweep...

Welcome to Valeton appreciation society! 

But it sounds to me you're in the market for an Aggie Filter twin, so that you can have both up-sweep and down-sweep and everything in between! 

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1 hour ago, mcnach said:

 

I received it... and I think it's going back.

For my liking, it loses too much low end. It works well enough on guitar, but it's clearly set for a treblier range than I'm after. It's not a huge amount of loss... but it's noticeable. It's a shame, as I really like the downsweep envelope filter sound but not many pedals out there do it. Certainly not in economical and small form.

Aww, that's a shame! Though I'm toying with going without pedals in my current band - the convenience is nice...

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2 hours ago, Al Krow said:

Welcome to Valeton appreciation society! 

But it sounds to me you're in the market for an Aggie Filter twin, so that you can have both up-sweep and down-sweep and everything in between! 

 

I used to have one, it was nice but didn't love it. I also had a 3Leaf Proton which was much more my thing, it also does down-sweep... but both those pedals are significantly more expensive than the Donner/Eno/Valeton/Mooers, and I just don't need something like that badly enough to justify the cost.

Maybe if I get another Donner and use it upside down? 😛

Valeton... I have a little OC-10 on its way to me as well... ;) I regularly use my MarkBass Octave, which is very nice and is the best tracking octaver I have tried (and I've owned a few... MXR, Aguilar, EBS, OC-2 and OC-3 of course... and many others) but I miss the 'dirty' vibe of the OC-2 I stupidly let go. The tiny OC-10 will go very well with the Donner/Katfish and the little Mooer Hustle Drive for a minimalistic yet funktastic little board of fun :)

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1 hour ago, Beer of the Bass said:

Aww, that's a shame! Though I'm toying with going without pedals in my current band - the convenience is nice...

 

I was really hoping I would like it... but I know that low end loss would annoy me in the end. Of course... I could use it with something like a Boss LS-2 to blend in a little clean bass to it. I used an LS-2 before to blend clean bass with various other effects, overdrives especially. It's a good option. But it defeats the purpose of creating a tiny little board.

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Actually I was the same re the Aggie Filter Twin - it became a little too civilised for my increasingly barbaric tastes...

Enjoy the value-mini board; it's sounding like a good mix of pedals. Look forward to a pic of the finished product.

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