The oft-told tale of flanging
begins with a recording engineer using
a pair of tape decks to synchronize two
identical recordings, and then slowing
down the decks manually by touching the
“flange” of the tape reels. Tiny delay fluctuations
in the playback of each reel created
the swirling sonic soup that became
known as flanging. Whenever the fluctuating
delays synched up, it was called the
“through zero” point.
The Jack Deville Mod Zero ($250 direct)
uses all analog Bucket-Brigade (BBD) technology
to emulate the flanging heard on
records by Jimi Hendrix, the Small Faces,
and other classics of the ’60s. It also produces
chorus, vibrato, and Leslie effects.
A pair of Jack Deville Click-Less truebypass
switches toggle back and forth
between Chorus/Vibrato mode and Flange/
TZF/Leslie mode. The modes share all controls:
Volume lets you tailor the output of
the effect, handy for making up the perceived
drop in volume that modulation
effects can create. A Dry/Wet knob adjusts
the balance of the effect versus the dry
signal. It never achieves full dryness, but
for that you can just shut the effect off.
Depth, Regeneration, Speed, and Manual
round out the usual controls associated
with flanging and chorus.
The controls are extremely interactive,
allowing a wide variety of rich, warm
analog effects, but you might want to
write down the settings for any sounds
you fancy. I was surprised at how many of
the parameter combinations work equally
well for both modes.
I was especially impressed with the
variation on Leslie-type effects available
in both modes—echoes of everything
from “Badge”-era Clapton to SRV. As
is often the case with flangers, I found
some sort of distortion was needed to
really bring out an audible whoosh. The
distortion must also come before the Mod
Zero—not from a pedal after it or from
the amp itself.
The Mod Zero is not out to recreate any
specific vintage effects. Its stated mission
is to “bring a multitude of modern and
classic tones to your pedalboard.” From
this test, I would say, mission accomplished.
KUDOS Wide range of great sounding
analog flange, chorus, and Leslie effects.
Quiet operation. Long battery life.
CONCERNS No easy battery access.
CON TACT jackdeville.com