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Jacques Kashmir

February 8, 2012
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Wringing something new out of a modulation pedal can be as difficult as writing a fresh-sounding 12-bar blues tune, but French stompbox maker Jacques Charbit has attacked the problem by combining three effects—Rotary (Leslie simulation), Tremolo, and Uni-Vibe—into a new pedal called the Kashmir ($199 retail/street price N/A).

The controls consist of Rate 1, Rate 2, Level, and Deep, along with a trio of minitoggle switches: Trem/Rotate, Sync On/Off, and Square/Sine wave. The tremolo has a warm, tube-like sound, and by switching to Rotate mode with the Sync switch on, you can get lush, Hendrix/Trower-sounding Uni-Vibe effects. Turning the Sync off in Rotate mode opens up a world of effects— including a convincing rotary speaker simulation by adjusting the Rate 1 and Rate 2 speeds to replicate the sonic interaction of a Leslie’s top and bottom rotors. By further experimenting with the Rate knobs and waveforms, I was able to produce everything from underwater sounds, à la the Stones’ “Let It Loose,” to complex polyrhythmic chop effects.

The Level control provides make-up gain for the psychoacoustic drop that can attend modulation effects, and can also be used to boost the output for Leslie-style grind when driving an amp. The pedal’s SI.RE.T. system (Silent Relay True-bypass) operated as promised, leaving the straight tone intact while providing pop-free switching. One caveat was the internal noise gate, which abruptly cut off the end of some long sustaining chords.

It is getting harder and harder to teach old effects new tricks, but with the Kashmir, Jacques has managed to come up with a novel approach to delivering a variety of classic modulation sounds.

KUDOS Excellent tremolo. Thick Uni-Vibelike sounds. Separate treble and bass "rotor" speeds for Leslie effects add authenticity.

CONCERNS Audible gating.

CONTACT jacquespedals.com

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