Other Equipment

Dyno/Billy Brain

1

Just curious what exactly these do? The description on the website makes them sound very enticing, but also kind of like a compressor? I have a Way Huge Saffron Squeeze that has a gain control, anyone have experience with both?

2

No experience with the Way Huge.

Tavo will tell you that it's the preamp out of a Space Echo, but it's really just a opamp boost with a low input impedance to make your pickups more sensitive. It's a pretty cool effect, but unfortunately for shoppers, it changes the feel of the amp/guitar interaction more than the sound, making it hard to judge from demo videos.

This is not a criticism of the pedal. They are well built and sound great, and the bass cut is very useful for hollowbody guitars. Much like a 5E3 is a simple but great sounding amp, this is a simple but great sounding effect pedal.

3

Just curious what exactly these do? The description on the website makes them sound very enticing, but also kind of like a compressor? I have a Way Huge Saffron Squeeze that has a gain control, anyone have experience with both?

– Chmason85

No compression or clipping circuit involved. The preamp of a roland space echo is as simple and generic as the one in most 70s japanese stereo headphone amps. Its the way its applied to a guitar's pickups much like a mic preamp is applied to a microphone in the studio. Ultimately the tactic end result is it becomes a catalyst to let the guitar hear your fingers more dynamically as a mic pre allows the microphone to better "hear" and transmit input with a particular color and texture. An actual RE-301 Space Echo needs a very long guitar cable to get the impedance right w the guitar. I made several improvements for a more audiofile response and better impedance matching. Nothing earth changing but a useful tool for live performance, which is what I do for a living besides producing amps and pedals.

btw.. I think Setzer knew all along that he'd stumbled upon a perfect coupler for his guitar and amp when he finally got the RE-301 space echo. It gave him the ability to control both clean and dirty response from his amp with his finger attack on the guitar strings.

So its about dynamics, its a dynamic enhancing device between you and the amp. nothing more or less, but its a game changer if youre a gretsch player.

btw.. Paul Pigat has actively performed w his compressor and the atomic brain for some time, he could share the interelation of this, particularly since he tends to use the compressor as an over the top boost so to speak.

4

I think i have all the brain pedals by now and they are all awesome. I've put them in unconventional parts of the chain to achieve different interactions and they work great. I prefer mine after the compressor (2nd in the chain) then into the drive and delay. I can't attest to the subtitles of how it changes sound (if at all) because my ears aren't what they used to be (thanks to ride cymbals) but i can tell you that it definitely adds a clarity to the sound and it will make an anemic amp sound great. The amp just seems more connected to your fingers when its on. I can't say why, i just can tell you how it feels to me I play a lot of different amps since i fly into gigs often and getting stuck with a lemon happens more often than not. The Brain has saved my bacon on more than one occasion. I like to goose the front end of the amp as well (i like pre distortion, not saggy power amp distortion) and it grinds out the 12ax7s very well. Contrary to popular belief, it doesn't add compression. Hitting the preamp tube might add a little but its not like a power tube which will compress when its being driven hard. Thus i used my compressor 1st in my chain (which is actually set at 0 compression and 10 volume) to give it the slightest squish and a bit of a boost. I find it works best with amps over 20 watts as well. Trying to get a good "pushed" tone out of a Super reverb or a twin is near impossible at a reasonable volume. the Brain can get you there without making your audience wince when you are playing.

5

I don't own a "Brain" (that didn't sound right) well not yet anyway. But I get the whole thing. I do have a Catalinbread Belle Epoch pedal which simulates the sound of an old Echoplex, including the Echoplex pre-amp. I find myself opting to set the Belle Epoch on "buffered" rather than "true bypass" so that the pre-amp is on all the time. It gooses the front end of the amp just a bit and you get a certain responsiveness, openess and tone that you otherwise could only get with the amp cranked. With the "Brain" you have complete tonal flexibility because of the bass and gain controls. There's trim pot inside the "Belle" for +/- gain but it's not very user friendly.


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