Sporting a red-sparkle metal enclosure and shiny gold knobs, the Triskelion Harmonic Energizer TK-01 ($349 retail) takes its cue from vintage units such as the Maestro Parametric Filter and Systech Harmonic Energizer, allowing you to boost a particular frequency to the point of depravity for a plethora of tones ranging from beautiful to ugly to beautifully ugly. The TK-01’s simple control layout sports an Energy control, which dials in the amount of boost, while Variant Mass selects the frequency to be boosted and a Boost button shifts the bandwidth of the bost to a higher-frequency range. Amplitude controls the pedal’s overall output level, and the Engage function shuts off the TK-01’s gain so the pedal can be used strictly as an EQ pedal, not a booster. There is also an expression pedal jack in case you want to work the TK-01 like a nitrous-fueled wah pedal.
The TK-01 has a lot of tonal tricks up its sleeve. Far from being just a freaky tweez box—think Frank Zappa’s ridiculously peaked midrange tones on Shut Up ‘n Play Yer Guitar—the TK-01 is also capable of producing warm, round, “woman” tones or glassy crystalline textures. Wired between a Telecaster and a Deluxe Reverb, the TK-01 did everything from drive the amp into singing feedback (musical, on-demand feedback is one of its specialties) to delivering a searing, yet understated, “notched wah” tone à la Michael Schenker. I was also afforded some pummeling lowend fuzz tones that, when paired with a Gibson SG and Marshall 50-watt head, were simply devastating. But once you start messing with your guitar’s volume and tone controls, pickup combinations, and picking attack, the sheer number of tones the TK-01 delivers is mind-blowing. Whether you want paper-thin slabs of single-note splat or funky lo-fi textures that that sit perfectly in a live or recorded mix, it just takes a little patience to find the right combination of settings. The TK-01 is a killer tone tool for studio or stage, giving you frequency flavors from subtle to wild to “WTF?”
Kudos A unique effect that can be as crazy or as subtle as you want it to be.