Mooer/Van Amps Blues Crab/Shimverb/ Sole-Mate

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Effects pedals have become a part of almost every electric guitarist’s arsenal – few play with a totally ‘dry’ sound. Pedal boards can add instant volume, change tone, timbre and the colour of the sound, all with a tap of the toe. We took delivery of a couple of the latest digital toe tappers from the Chinese manufacturer Mooer and a new all-American built reverb unit from Van Amps – the Sole-mate.

The great thing about the Mooer micro series units is that they can be easily slipped into a jacket pocket. Not having a battery inside the casing has made the unit extra small at 9cmx3cmx3.5cm, with two staggered quarter-inch jacks to either side and the controls set to the top plate. The metal casing has rounded corners and a thin rubber foot to the base to stop the unit slipping. By contrast the Van Amps Sole-Mate is a unit that at 25cmx15cmx5cm definitely looks as though it means business. Solidly built (although not at all heavy), it comes with ‘reverb’ and ‘direct’ quarter-inch output jacks to the back of the unit and ‘input’ and ‘auxiliary’ 1/4 inch jacks to the front. The top panel carries a ‘reverb in/out’ switch and an ‘auxiliary’ switch together with ‘output level’ and ‘dwell’ dials that sport classic ‘chicken head’ knobs.