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Gamechanger Audio Unveils the Bigsby Pedal - a Polyphonic Pitch-Shifter that Specializes in Reproducing Mechanical-Style String-Bending and Vibrato Effects

Chorus and VibratoGamechanger AudioHarmonizerModulationOctaverPitchPitch-Shifting+-
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2021GPXGamechangerBigsby700.jpg

So ever with the innovations - Gamechanger Audio have this time teamed up with Fender / Bigsby to craft a pedal based on that legendary guitar vibrato unit. The shape and concept of the device is a combination of an enhanced take on the Bigsby - to enable proper treadle control - and funnily enough a computer mouse controller - featuring a trio of those scroll wheels - here clever illuminated in red when the device is on.

 

Obviously Ganechanger have added significantly to the range and scope of the pedal - which includes extremes you could never reach on your mechanical Bigsby, alongside Modulation and MIDI Control.

 

I could probably to with a technical manual to properly analyse and document the feature set - which Gamechanger details as follows :


Features

  • Fully Polyhonic Dual-Direction Pitch-Shifting from Quarter Tone to full Octave
  • Signature Surfy Chord Bends and Smooth Vibrato Effects
  • Whammy-style Octave Squeals and Dive-Bombs
  • Instant-on from Movement of Treadle
  • Super-Fast and Wild Oscillations when Rate and Detune controls are maxed
  • Dry-Mix Knob lets you use the Bigsby as a Harmonizer
  • Auto Mode via Rate Control creates a variety fo Momentary Chorus Effects
  • EXP Out / FSW In Jack allows you to use the spring-loaded foot-controller to modulate any expression parameter of other pedals - with fully adjustable Depth controls - completely independent from the pitch-shifting algorithm
  • FSW In allows you to connect with any standard on/off switch to be able to toggle between 2 favourite Modes
  • 3.5mm MIDI In - allows you to control all aspects of the pitch-shifting via CC commands - including putting the pedal into Latching Mode, Creating and Saving Presets, and Syncing Rate Parameter to specific Tempos and Subdivisions
  • 500mA Current Draw 9V DC [-]
  • Unit is priced at €313 at launch - available for preorder now from the Gamechanger Audio Webstore

Controls

2021GPXGamechangerBigsbyDiag700.jpg

Controls Top - Rate / Detune, Blend / Tone, Depth Down / Up, Alt Button

 

Controls Rear - EXP Range / Low, EXP Offset / Hi, EXP Invert / MIDI Sync, Invert Impact of Treadle


Demo

close

Final Thoughts

Gamechanger Audio certainly know how to make smart, appealing and iconic devices - following on in a similar vein to their killer Plus Pedal Sustainer debut. They do though not necessarily tend to observe the rules of practical pedalboard accommodation - and as a result a lot of their devices are somewhat over-sized - including that great looking debut.

 

I can certainly see the appeal of the Bigsby Pedal - but I don't see someone like Steve Vai necessarily coming on board - there are all kinds of clever effects you can to with various mechanical Guitar Trems, and especially a Floyd Rose Trem - and I actually really like having a whammy bar on most of my guitars.

 

In the demo you have a hard-tail Tele - for which the Bigsby makes perfect sense, while I feel there are snap and twang tricks and techniques that you can't effectively achieve with the Treadle alternative. The Bigsby Pedal still has a lot of aces up its sleeve, while I'm not clear yet on how practical and usable it is. There are no provided dimensions and no proper size comparisons - so I don't know how much appeal this pedal will have for me. I liked the idea of the recent Light Pedal Spring Tank - while it's elongated dimensions make it very difficult to accommodate on pedalboards - and actually simply impossible to fit into my own rig at all.

 

The only Gamechanger Product which has been near perfect for me - and which I have - is the limited edition Yellow TMR Plasma Coil. I would have acquired the Plus Pedal were it more practical in dimensions - and I await to see how practical the Bigsby Pedal is before I make a final conclusion. It certainly looks quite promising, but for people who already use and like deploying a trem/whammy bar on their guitar/s I'm not overly clear on the appeal - at least not for me. I will of course reserve my final opinion until I know more.

 

What do you readers think - for sure it looks really cool - but is this something for you?

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Stefan Karlsson
Stefan Karlsson
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