Gearphoria Vol 6, No 5

66 GEARPHORIA MAY/JUN 2018 GEAR REVIEWS u Chase Bliss Audio Condor THE CHASE Bliss Audio Condor has been undersold in the hype department. It’s a white EQ pedal, and it was announced at the same time as the soon-to-be-released Thermae, which is blue and makes crazy noises. It’s easy to over- look the Condor. It says right on the front of it that it’s an Analog EQ, Pre-amp, and a Filter. But really it’s a wah, and a flanger, and a drive pedal, and an EQ and a boost... It’s hard to describe the Condor simply and accurately. Like all CBA pedals, it’s smarter than I am. Also, it kinda does ev- erything. It’s a Swiss Army Knife of a pedal. But one of the blades is that knife from Rambo III, and one is a blowtorch - no weird plastic toothpicks here. At its heart, the Chase Bliss Au- dio Condor is an EQ pedal, and the EQ is great. Like, studio quality, but very, very simple to use. And though it’s safe to call the Condor an EQ pedal, that doesn’t really do it justice. It’s a multi-effect born out of an EQ. So, rather than get bogged down on what each control can do, I’m going to try and keep it simple. The EQ’s mids are controlled by the interaction of the MIDS knob, The FREQ knob, and the Mid toggle. The FREQ knob selects a frequency from 150hz to 4KHZ. The Mid switch selects the shape, or “Q” of the mids - scooped, focused or narrow. And the MIDS knob will boost or cut up to 20db of whatever frequency has been selected by the Fre- quency knob. Low frequencies are controlled by a combination of the BASS knob and toggle. The BASS knob will boost or cut low frequen- cies up to 12db. The Bass toggle selects the amount of boost or cut that the BASS knob controls - Small, Moderate, or Big. The LPF knob sets the cut off frequency for the low pass filter and can be set to wide open with no frequencies being cut off, or it can be rolled on till virtually no signal can pass through. The LPF toggle allows you to select one of three different low pass fil- ters - Gentle (think standard EQ), Resonant, and Very Resonant. With the above controls it’s very easy to control where in the mix your guitar sets. But the Condor has a secret; it also has a drive circuit. For best results, set your amp on the edge of breakup, roll your guitar volume back, then dial in the EQ with the Condor. Roll in a touch of compression with the GAIN knob but keep it low, and keep the Condor’s VOLUME knob high. Now hit the DRIVE/ HOLD footswitch. The drive is pretty magical; it’s designed for stacking with other drive pedals, but roll your guitar’s volume all Multiple personality disorder Condor is a smart pedal with plenty under its unassuming hood BY WADE BURDEN