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more EH16 first impressions

I wrote this a few weeks ago for the AH mailing list. Thought I'd send
it to LD as well. My conclusions are a bit different than what I've read
from others recently. For example, I can't stand the %##@ "set time"
loop thing. For that reason alone the EH16 is now sitting in it's box
and I'm still using the DL4 live. To each there own certainly.

For anyone who is interested here are my (Extremely subjective) first

1. Unit is painted flat black which is interesting as everything else
has been the shiny metal of the "old" units.

2. Switches on top feel plastic and cheap as hell. Most likely doesn't
matter but they feel cheap as hell.

3. Just curious: I looked for a serial # on the outside or paperwork
since it's a big shot "limited edition" Didn't find one. Presumably
there is one inside the unit but I don't feel like opening it up. yet :)

I read the manual a week before this arrived and haven't touched it
since so take that into account on these points:

4. The "click" volume is almost inaudible even at full volume. At this
early point I'd say that makes it useless and the LEDS will be the way
to go for the "bars" settings.

5. The Bars* setting (which is unique to this unit) seems quite counter
intuitive to me. I REALLY wish they had set it up so you start, stop,
and it loops automatically. As it is you are a slave to the beat of the
pedal which is the antithesis of how I work. Given the click track
doesn't have it's own output (as on the original) and is ridiculously
quiet (I'm really hoping there is a trim pot in there to change that)
this is even more difficult to work with.

*For those not familiar the pedal has a setting for "bars" (as in one
measure, two measures, etc) which makes you conform to the beat of the
pedal. If you don't start playing when the pedal starts or if you stop
before IT is finished there is silence in the loop.

As a looper it will take some getting used to and unless I'm mistaken
I'll have to pay attention to the %$#@ little leds blinking to the the
loop "right" rather than simply stepping on it and playing (like ANY
other looper I have ever used). I understand they wanted to do something
different but IMO this is serious setback to the 'sloppy' player. (ie
ME!). Who wants to check the %#@ pedal to see if your loop is in sync?

6. OK I sound all pissed off so here's the good news: F*** the looper,
the delay on this is WRONG in the best possible way. You can set it to
basically process and loop in realtime and totally destroy the original
signal in very interesting ways. The coarse/fine sliders really decimate
the loop. the speed depth is capable of some serious perversion. The
Input gain distorts the signal of a nice analog beat box quite well.

Now to be fair the old Digitech "Time Machine" rack units did similar
stuff and even the Korg Kaoss pad can destroy things via delay but this
*is* different. Is it $500 and hype different? Well, I suppose the jury
is out on that at this point. I AM glad I got one despite my above
bitching. It's a damn cool box.

So, after a few hours I'd say I see great  live potential for this box
but not at ALL as I originally expected. I'll check the manual now to
see if there's a way to override that fascist "bars" setting but as I
recall that is the whole point of the unit. Haven't checked the midi
sync but I can see where this would be a great studio tool where you can
sit around a mess with a loop over and over unit you get it right and
then sync other nastiness (via midi) to it.

It is CLEARLY not a reissue in the real sense. This is a VERY different
pedal. FWIW the original lofi grungy sound is totally gone. This is a
digital box through and through.  Not a bad thing as this stands on it's
own with  things the original couldn't do. I suppose I'll keep my DL4
ready for simple live looping use though.

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