Aug 15, 2013

The Big Chill Tremolo pedal by JAM Pedals, out of Greece, is FANTASTIC! I don’t normally open my reviews with all caps but it’s that good. What makes it so good? I believe it’s a combination of doing some traditional things very well and a few unique and innovative features that I have come to find invaluable in my own set up. Jam isn’t really reinventing the wheel here. They are making the best wheel on the market.

It doesn’t take an overly complicated pedal to make a good one. The Big Chill super-tremolo has 3 selectable waveform shapes for its volume automating circuit. Selectable via a 3-way toggle switch they are Sine, Triangle and Square. There are 2 separate speeds, each with their own discrete speed knobs selectable via the left-most foot switch so that you can change from Speed 1 to Speed 2 on the fly with blue and yellow LEDs to indicate one versus the other. This makes it really easy to either change speeds dynamically for a certain track or have two preset speeds for use on tracks with different tempos. The Depth knob allows you to dial in just the right amount of tremolo. The last variation is the Chop switch, it essentially makes a super choppy and intense variation on the selected waveform’s effect on the signal. It’s like instantly turning the Depth knob all the way clockwise, but even a little more intense. It’s Choppy!

Where it gets interesting is when you start exploring the Expression Pedal inputs of which there are two. One for controlling the Depth of the effect, the other for controlling Speed 2. Both are very welcome and provide for the kind of expression one might appreciate in a live setting. Now, I may be a little bias because Tremolo is one of my favorite effects, but I think this is the ultimate Psychedelic guitar pedal. You can put it before other effects in your chain or after and it always sounds trippy. Two separate speeds togglable by foot switch is an amazing and highly creative feature. Expression pedal inputs for depth and speed make this even more dynamic and expressive! It’s as if they read my mind. If that’s not enough, they even included internal trim pots for Speed 2 and Chopper intensity. A tweaker’s delight. This is one of the few pedals I would dare to call perfect! Great job JAM!

TIP: I use the square wave chop on bass in a band I play with for super spooky choppy bass effects. It’s one of those effects you feel as the woofers push air.

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