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SOUNDCHECK

GUITAR WORLD

PLATINUM AWARD EX

CELLENCE

Engineer in a Box DRYBELL UNIT67 By Chris Gill

THE KEY TO getting great live guitar

tone is by following a similar approach to what an engineer does in the recording studio: using a high-pass filter to cut excess bass, adjusting key EQ frequencies and applying high-quality transparent compression to tighten up the overall sound and bring it forward in the mix. By combining a Rangemaster-style treble booster, versatile EQ section and compression based on the revered Urei/ Universal Audio 1176 compressor/limiter, the DryBell Unit67 provides the sweetening functions of expensive studio processing gear in a compact, stageworthy stomp box format. FEATURES Because the DryBell Unit67’s boost/range, EQ and compression sections

are highly interactive, the pedal is considerably more versatile than using separate treble booster, EQ and compressor effects. The top control panel is simple and self-explanatory, featuring a large Boost knob, four mini pots for Range, Low, High and Sustain and two mini toggle switches for EQ on/off and High/Low input level. The Boost knob adjusts gain from -7 to +22.4dB; Range adjusts a midrange sweet spot between 1 to 2kHz; Low boosts or cuts low frequencies by -15.8 to +9.3dB; High boosts or cuts high frequencies by -13.2 to +7.2dB; and Sustain dials in the mix of dry and compressed signals. Bypass is buffered with a high-headroom, ultra-low noise circuit to consistently maintain signal quality. The pedal operates with a 9- to 18-volt DC power supply.

CHEAT SHEET STREET PRICE: $289 MANUFACTURER: DryBell, drybell.com The Boost and Range controls provide sound similar to a classic Rangemaster Treble Booster with the added versatility of Low and High EQ shaping. Whether adjusted from fully dry to fully wet, the 1176-style compressor delivers transparent compression that maintains pick attack and articulation.

THE BOTTOM LINE: The DryBell Unit67 delivers high-quality EQ, true 1176 compression and classic Rangemaster-style treble boost to deliver studio-quality refined tones for less than the cost of separate boutique treble booster and compression pedals.

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PERFORMANCE While the Unit67’s

effects on a guitar’s tone are distinct and notable, they do not drastically alter your rig’s personality but rather bring out its best attributes. The Boost control provides a clean boost function, but it subtly rolls off treble and bass at higher settings to avoid harsh overtones, producing rich overdrive devoid of nasty sizzle and clarity-killing woof. The Range and EQ controls sculpt and sweeten the tone while also maintaining a consistent balance across the guitar’s entire note range. For example, as the midrange is boosted the sound does not become narrower but rather more present and lively, with a more assertive and prominent voice that still allows bass and treble notes to be heard clearly. The Sustain control consistently maintains the clarity of pick attack, providing dazzling transparent compression that can be dialed in for smooth, seemingly endless sustain or dynamic percussive effects where notes fade more quickly but remain tantalizingly fat. These are the kind of tones that used to require an investment in thousands of dollars of studio equipment plus years of know-how to dial in, all wrapped up in a compact, easy-to-use and sensibly priced pedal.

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