Dec 7, 2011

The TWA’s Triskelion TK-01 is a pedal named after an occult druidic sign. If that sounds very metal to you, you won’t be disappointed by the pedal’s equally aggressive hard rock tones. Cryptically described as a “harmonic energizer modulation” effect, the Triskelion operates more or less as a standard EQ boost/distortion pedal. Its sound is inspired by the Maestro Parametric Filter MPF, a rare Bob Moog-designed 70’s effect used by hard rock bands such as Rush and Queens of the Stone Age. It has a highly sculpted and severe tone, which – medieval iconography aside – has a distinctly modern appeal.

The pedal has 3 control knobs: Energy and Variant Mass, which operate the EQ section and Amplitude which drives the distortion circuit. The Energy knob shapes the Q or severity of the parametric boost while Variant Mass sweeps the desired frequency. There is also a Boost button, which adds in subtle octave harmonics for a more shimmery tone. As stated before the Amplitude controls the amount of distortion, which goes from a fizzy medium overdrive to glass-shattering. If you’d rather just use the EQ by itself, the distortion can be bypassed by pressing the Engage button. Besides the standard input and output there’s also an insert jack for an expression pedal, opening up the possibilities for some extreme wah-wah effects.

For those new to using parametric EQ with a guitar, the effect lends itself best to lead or solo tones. Since the EQ works by notching out a specific frequency and actively boosting it, it tends to thin out and intensify the instrument, placing it into the foreground. The Triskelion’s assertive filtering blends best with darker guitars, like a Gibson Les Paul or SG, where rich humbucker pickups provide the pedal with a lush array of frequencies.

At $349 this box runs close to what you might expect to pay for a vintage EQ pedal. Mounted in a sturdy and shiny metal casing, and complete with a fully lit Triskelion symbol, the TK-01 aims to make a bold statement. Not for the purist nor minimalist, Triskelion is a “hear me roar” sort of pedal delivering extreme “through-the-radio effects” and shredding thrash solos.

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