Electro-Harmonix Talking Machine Review

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EHX Talking Machine Pedal
EHX Talking Machine Pedal

The premise behind the pedal is it’s a filter effect that replicates vowel voicings and it does just that quite accurately.  With up to 18 different voicings to choose from there’s a lot of tonal potential.

The voicing knob allows you to select a particular voicing and coupled with the setting of the sensitivity knob you can control how the filter reacts to your playing as well as how the voicing enunciates or you can bypass the auto-wah completely and plug in an expression pedal for manual control.  Aren’t the possibilities just endless?

The white knob can toggle through and save up to nine presets which can be restored to factory settings on a whim if you’ve decided you’ve just ravaged the presets too heinously.  The white knob also acts as a button to activate the built-in fuzz distortion which gives all the knobs a secondary control regarding the volume, tone, gain, and LFO settings of the distortion.

It is worth mentioning that to toggle the distortion controls the preset foot switch MUST be held down otherwise you’re just going to be tweaking the regular filter settings.  I stress this because it can get pretty loud and if you’re a blockhead like me that has a tendency to underestimate the value of the manual then it can be a source of confusion.  Long story short I had inadvertently cranked the volume in this pedal to the point where I’m positive my neighbors heard it and I had no clue how to turn it down.

In addition you can also run a separate pedal chain with the Talking Machine’s send and return output and input jacks.  That will permit you to use the Talking Machine as a master control.  Pretty blasted nifty.

As you can see there are a lot of details about the pedal.  There’s a bit of a learning curve to it, but nothing too terrible.  It’s easy to use, but it can have a few surprises.  Read the manual and you’ll be able to really make the pedal shine to its fullest.

Rating: ★★★★★ – Build Quality – 5

Rating: ★★★★★ – Sound Quality – 5

Rating: ★★★★★ – Features – 5

Rating: ★★★★☆ – Ease of Use – 4

Overall Rating: ★★★★★ Overall – 4.75

 

 


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Kyle Smitchens

Kyle Smitchens is the Guitar-Muse Managing Editor, super hero extraordinaire, and all around great guy. He has been playing guitar since his late teens and writing personal biographies almost as long. An appreciator of all music, his biggest influences include Tchaikovsky, Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Steve Vai, Therion, and Jon Levasseur of Cryptopsy.

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