Rocktron Tsunami™ Chorus

Rocktron really hit it with this one. I like it a lot. They modulate a delayed signal to vary pitch. Read their material at the Rocktron® site for their particular syntax. They have a very nice, informative web site. This is Chorus mode. Then they add a variant mode...ambience. This varies a delay from 5ms to 28ms and mixes with the signal. The pedal is good in mono, but really shines in stereo. If you seat yourself between two speakers and play, the sound is right before you. Very impressive engineering. This is true, as should be when both amps are set at an even volume. The nice thing is, as you adjust the pedal no movement in the placement of sound occures without adjusting the volume on one of the amps. So, a player has an easy reference to control the placement of sound, especially when playing live.

The left switch bypasses or allows the effect...a true bypass without blemish. The right switch allows the chorus or ambience mode to be used. As can be seen in figure 1 the switches are heavy duty. No weak material here. The pots are turned with banana knobs. Sweet. You also have an LED to indicate the unit is functioning or not.

The circuitry is housed in an aluminum housing built to last. Looks slick and will last. Don't think you'll tear this up stomping around abit.

This pedal is also extremly quite. You get a good crisp tone from the instrument. I had a hard time putting this away. I really enjoy the chorus mode. The ambience mode is good, but the chorus mode has several really neat sounds. Setting the rate all the way clockwise and width above 2 o'clock gives a nice wiggle to the trimbre of the instrument. Keyboardist and guitarist both will like this.

Rocktron is setting a new trend with their digital based effects. You really need to power these effects with a switching power supply. Their DC on tap is an excellent choice. Their are others available as well, but the DC tap is marketed with a daisy-chain kit and will handle 1500mA of current drain. That's alot of FX. The Tsunami uses 30mA and requires a 9v source. Rocktron advises a battery or a 9v 300mA source. They do not mention using the switching power supply, but I tried the Tsunami with a linear 300mA wal-wart with disappointing results. I used the DC on tap and, well, sounds got beautiful. I am usually abit of a skeptic on basics such as power supplies, but with the stompboxes relying on digital chips as much as they do a switch (Ha Ha) is in order for clean safe sound. Safe being to the digital chips. The switching power supply is also more efficient and smaller in many cases. They are also becoming more affordable. The affordable part is why many times, I prefer the older warhorses to these slick thorough breds...they just inherently tolerate more circuit abuse, i.e. noise. They had to, as transformers were all that was available to step down voltage. Rectification may have been done with a single diode, ect. Anyways, computer demands have changed all that.

The battery pack is located at the bottom of the pedal and is easily accessed. The power adapter plugs in at the right front corner. If you really cannot tolerate noise at all, well use a 9v battery. Yes, I know, they go dead quickly with some of the newer demands. That's why we have a noodle upstairs. Wire about 10 9v's in parallel, you'll last alot longer. You can regulate a 12v car battery in extreme cases...just takes a zener diode and a resistor to accomodate current and power demands. I'm laughing, but I read some folks review of power supplies and noise problems and well, if you really have to whine about your $200.00 power supplies noise problem, need to do your homework and solve the problem or live with it.

This is an almost "got to have it" pedal. Little pricey, but very nice. I will always qualify that saying "at least the one I had access to". I don't think anyone could ask for a quiter, clean stereo chorus...not that some others are not good, but this one is well, very good. Ya get a chance play through one, just do it and "e" me with what you think.



© 2007 Jon E. Bell