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JHS Pedals The Milkman Tape Echo Delay Effects Pedal
Estimated Delivery:Apr 05 - Apr 12
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The Milkman Tape Echo is the result of a collaboration between Josh Scott from JHS Pedals and Tim Marcus from Milkman Sound. These two tonal titans joining forces was bound to result in something truly special and the Milkman Tape Echo definitely lives up to the lofty expectations. It may well be one of the ultimate utility pedals out there. This is not some semi-skimmed everyday supermarket pedal. This is the real deal. We’re talking full-fat, gold-top, full of creamy goodness.
The Echo The Echo
The foremost feature of the Milkman Tape Echo is in the name. The Milkman is, primarily, a tape echo pedal designed to be a vintage-correct, high-quality, slap/echo delay for textural use. It’s a really great, simple to use, yet very authentic sounding echo that harkens back to the sound and use of the earlier delay units. The original tape units, which began to pop up in the late-50’s to early-60’s, were primarily used to fatten the tone, add ambience, and a little texture and pop to one’s sound.
You’ve got four controls on this side of the pedal. The first is “Slap”. This controls the time between the delays. As you turn up the amount of “Slap” the time between repeats increases. Bear in mind this is intended as a slap-back delay tone and so is intended for a short time between repeats.
Next is “Mix”. This knob is used to control the amount of the pedal that is being incorporated into the signal path. You could think of it as a blend knob controlling the wet/dry amount. Turning the knob anticlockwise will increase the proportion of your dry signal. When you turn it clockwise, the amount of wet signal will increase, blending in the pedal effect into your signal path in a variable amount.
The “Repeat” knob controls the number of repeats that are delivered by the pedal. There is a limit of around four and a half repeats at the top when the knob’s round clockwise as far as it’ll go. When turned the other way, there is a minimum of one repeat.
Last but by no means least is the “EQ” control. This is an important part of the pedal as it powerfully shapes the character of the repeats to perfectly control their brightness. It can be seen as a variable time machine. As mentioned above, the pedal is based upon early tape echoes and that is exactly the tonality and behaviour you’ll get when the knob is turned clockwise to the fullest. There you’ll find the repeats take on a bright and gritty characteristic reminiscent of those old tape units.
However, when the knob is turned anticlockwise to the fullest the pedal moves forward in time a good ten or twenty years into the late-60’s, early-70’s. This is when a lot of guitarists started moving away from tape and towards analogue delays for their consistency, reliability and tone. These early analogue delays utilised bucket brigade chips and, as a result, could occupy a much smaller footprint and didn’t have any moving parts to wear or break. They also have a much darker, murkier tone which a lot of guitarists adore.
Having both of these tonalities available at the mere turn of a knob is a really powerful feature that allows you to find the perfect delay tone that fits with your rig no matter the circumstances.
There was another use that a lot of lovely old tape echo units were famous for and it has nothing to do with repeating notes. A lot of these old units had, somewhat unintentionally, absolutely killer boost tones. The sheer machinery that got these old beauties to run, when pushed slightly, added a lovely warmth and kick to the signal that a number of guitarists fell in love with. There are even guitarists that run old tape echo units in their signal path without any actual tape in the unit at all. They merely run them empty, just to get access to the sweet, thickening, warming effects that come from having that pedal turned on with a guitar signal running through it.
JHS has captured that elixir and poured it into the Milkman Tape Echo for access with a separate boost footswitch. This footswitch engages the miraculous, vintage boost tone modelled off those old tape units and can be used independently of the delay side of the pedal.
Much like the old echo units, the boosts tonality and behaviour is extremely amp-like. When the boost level is set low, at unity, the pedal will work to thicken, clarify and enhance your tone. Turn the knob further to the right and it can be used to push the front end of your amp and add that lovely warm, vintage grit to your rig.
The Last Drop
This pedal is udderly fantastic. It’ll make you want to keep playing ‘till the cows come home. It’s a perfect way to add some moo-vement to your sound and even provides 30% of your RDA of calcium and vitamin D!
OK, that might have been a bit of a stretch. But it is a truly fantastic pedal. It is made with JHS’s well renowned, very high-quality craftsmanship and a provides a really lovely, faithful tape echo/boost for any style of music. As mentioned earlier it really is an ideal one-stop-shop utility pedal.
Here at Bonners Music, you have the opportunity to try one of these great JHS effects pedals yourself. Just give us a call on 01323 636141 or better still, visit our showroom! If you can't see the JHS pedal listed that you are after just call 01323 636141 for availability and the best price.