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My “SECRET-1″ Tone Demo/Review

17 Mar My “SECRET-1″ Tone Demo/Review

As my confidence with recording audio and video grows – given all the new technology I have been employing – my hunger for video production grows. Which I hope is going to be good for us.

What interests me much is continuous comparison, A/B among guitars, amplifiers, cabinets, recording techniques and much more. It’s really interesting and I do it a lot on my own.

I’d like though to start publishing more of what I do on my own. So here is a demo of the boost pedal I like the most, among all the ones I tried so far (Klon, MXR 10 bands, Ibanez original 1980s Tubescreamer. RAT and some others).

I am waiting on some other ones coming to me, such as the “box of rock” and two different boosts, a mid boost and a treble boost. Besides all this, you also know that I’m working on the Vega units. So a lot is to come, hopefully.

However, this pedal here is what really flicked the switch in my mind about 10 days ago, when I started to massively test Marshall-Tube-Amps-Input-Channel-Boosting for AC/DC “things”.

Please note: this video is circa 25 minutes long. Sit back, relax and enjoy the show!

secret one movie from SoloDallas on Vimeo.

I believe the reason is the fact that it sounds really good, credible, there is no “suspicion” in the tone I perceive when I use it. Not so with any other pedal. Which is also why I never used pedals consistently in my life. Always been a straight-into-amp kind-of-guy.

This has changed. I will always have this one with me, plus whatever comes out of the whole Vega Project (I suggest we call it the Vega Project lol).

So, after contacting the guys who make this – Luca & Guido @ CloeGuitars – we agreed that a discount could be made for the members of solodallas.com. So if you intend even to just get a price quote from them (English is welcome) please remember to mention you are a registered member of solodallas.com and please provide your user name for them to check. I’ll be posting this video on youtube as well, so some interested people may come from there, too. Non registered members will not get a discount. EDIT: Been told that some requests have already landed. Pretty cool, I like to be “trustable”. Now, the guys ask that anyone go directly to www.secretefx.com for price quotes, more info etc. Thank you!

Why this you may wonder? To make a network, I may answer you.

My ambitions for solodallas.com are high. I really want to conquer the web. I think we have a lot to give as a community and as single individuals. So, exchanging favors between businesses (as happens with Aracom and may happen with Metro and who knows what more) is – I think – the way to start. This could eventually also bring a stream of money to solodallas.com, hopefully, helping its survival without my constant injection of resources.

Let me state clearly that you do not have to buy this because I said so. There’s readers of all ages here at solodallas.com, and I fear that you among the younger ones may be inclined to do things just because people you trust tell you to. Please do not unless you are certain that you like what you hear here. Please also remember that Clean Boost pedals work well with (some) tube amps. I only tested this on Marshall amps (new and old). Feel free to bombard me with questions at any time. I’ll do my best as always to answer you.

The thought of suggesting something for purchase always terrifies me, as the last thing on earth I want is you spending your money on something you don’t need or don’t like.

Having said this though, I would re-purchase this boost immediately. Best boost ever heard/tried.

This demo was shot on a ’79 Marshall 2203 recently re-tubed and re-biased (all my amps are going through this process now) and finally converted to 220 mains. Cabinet is the now restored 1969 1960A with original Pre-Rola G12Ms 25 watts. This cabinet has instantly become my favorite one among all the ones I have (3). So much that I purchased a set of 4 more original Pre-Rola G12Ms from 1969 that I found for sale at the MarshallForum.com.

Guitars played – for no specific reason, just for variety – are the wrongly stated 1961 SG Standard (I call it a 1961 still in my mind but it’s a ’62, only minor differences involved), a 1969 Standard and a 1967 Standard with a Di Marzio pickup from the 1980s (I believe the pickup type is a Super Distortion).

Microphone used was just one (the usual large diaphragm condenser AT4047), on axis but off center, slightly below the cone centre and slightly on the right side of it. This not only captures much of the nuances happening inside the cabinet (terrific things go on internally on a 4×12 cabinet), but decreases some excess high frequencies coming from the centre of the cone, etc.

Little processing was done on post; mainly just reverb.

You will notice that the video starts with guitar audio coming in from camera only, for a few seconds. Then coming in from microphone only (correctly, as intended) for the rest of the video. This was due to a ProTools glitch which started for some reason delayed recording. Sorry for this.

The noise you hear when on camera audio (essentially on speech) is a fan that I run inside the lab when heat from multiple sources (computers, amplifiers, attenuator, 27″ computer screen, …) becomes simply unbearable.

You can’t hear it from the microphone, but you will hear it from the camera audio.

The sort of delay on the speech is due to different synchro of the speech audio coming from the camera and the one coming from the microphone. There is no delay added in pre or post to the audio.

Here’s some pictures for you:

SECRET-1 front and back (blue light on = unit is on).

This unit comes into a Military Box (real military gear) made of sturdy metal. Qualititavie construction. Black box underneath is not part of the product but only used as a photo shoot stand for the unit.

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Microphone position and 1960A vintage cabinet:

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A couple of 1970s Marshall 2203s (on top, 1979, used for this review; bottom, 1977)

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Fil "SoloDallas" Olivieri
sd@solodallas.com

We Are Rock 'N Roll People.

106 Comments
  • avatar
    luisito_les
    Posted at 15:52h, 01 May

    Hi Fil!!

    You said (and showed) on the video you used a Klon Centaury. Dou you remember how you set the pedal for a nice clean boost? i have an EHX Soul Food (a Klon clone) and Im using it with a Tweaker 15. Thanks to your video I have found a tasty sound.

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