• Robert Keeley Dark Side review

    Robert Keeley Dark Side review

    Wouldn’t it be cool to walk into a store and just buy David Gilmour’s tone in a box? Well, now you can! Robert Keeley’s Dark Side boldly promise to provide the full experience and magic of David’s classic mid 70s sound. Here’s my review.

    How do you present a signature sound in one single box? How can you capture not only the actual tone but also the feel of owning and operating something close to the original vintage gear? We’re talking about perhaps the most recognisable tone in the history of modern music and guitar playing.

    But you can always expect something special from Robert Keeley. The bar is high but few seem to really understand tone as much as him.

    The Dark Side is the second in a new line of artist inspired pedals. As the name implies, the pedal is designed to capture the essence of David Gilmour’s tones from Dark Side of the Moon, as well as Wish You Where Here and Animals.

    The Dark Side has two sections, fuzz and modulation/delay. They can be used simultaneously and the different modulation effects and the delay, is selected with a toggle switch. 

The rear features the usual in/out jacks, as well as TRS send/returns for additional pedals, expression pedal and for swapping the order of the fuzz and modulation/delay sections.

    The Dark Side is packed with an almost exhaustive amount of controls and I won’t go into detail on every aspect of the pedal here but rather give you an idea of how it all sounds. Please visit robertkeeley.com for all the details.

    Fuzz

    The fuzz is analog and based on the late 70s Op-amp Big Muff. A strange choice perhaps, since David never used that particular model, but the circuit has been seriously modified and the tone is perhaps closer to the early 90s Sovtek Civil War, with a thick saturated gain and that slightly throaty character.

    A 3-way switch allows you to choose between scooped, flat or full (boosted) EQ modes, similar to the mid range switch seen on many Big Muff clones.

    It’s got that unmistakable Muff tone but there’s plenty of harmonics present, with a raw edge and I have no problem dialling in some really nice silicon fuzz tones typical of the era. 

Delay

David Gilmour famously used a Binson Echorec during the Dark Side years and the multi head echo has been a popular offering among many makers lately. 

The Dark Side delay offer 12 different delays based on that classic Binson machine. David mainly used a single head but sweeping through the different stages, provides the full Binson experience with an impressive accuracy and authenticity.

    Clones offered by Catalinbread and Boonar has more controls, providing a more authentic circuitry, but with a hint of organic sounding modulation and the basic controls for time, feedback and volume, you can easily dial in some lovely and very musical echo with the Dark Side.

    Modulation
    The modulation section feature four different effects: flanger, phaser, rotary and Uni-Vibe. All of which are representative for Gilmour’s 70s tones.

    Select either flanger and rotary or phaser and UniVibe and use the blend control to either get the pure effect or, and this is very cool, dial in some new unique tones, like a Leslie with sweeping jet-like flanging.

    Flanger

    The flanger is undoubtedly based on the Electric Mistress that David used during the late 70s and early 80s. It sounds a bit dark and chorusy compared to the original, but some fine tuning of the controls takes it close to the ’76 Mistress, with that liquidy and slightly metallic flanging.

    Less mid range and low end and a slightly wider sweep would easily have made it one the best sounding clone of the original Mistress available.

    Rotary
    Rotating speaker simulators often sound more like a chorus or flanger than an actual Leslie cabinet. The doppler effect depends on the resonance and distance between the horn and the surroundings, so to recreate this with convincing authenticity is almost impossible.

    The Dark Side Rotary is designed to sound more chorusy than your conventional rotary. I assume that’s with David’s Yamaha RA-200 cabinets in mind, which indeed has more of that watery chorus character rather than the woody tremolo of the Leslie.

    It sounds really nice on slow speed and you can clearly hear the sweep of the horn and the low hum of the speaker. On high speeds, it’s definitely more chorusy but perhaps a bit too much and it sounds slightly detuned or closer to a vibrato.

    It would be very interesting though to have a dedicated mix control for the rotary. It would allow you to blend in the rotary “behind” the main chain of effects or, as David did, in addition to his Hiwatts, for that subtle rotary effect.

    Phaser
    Again, based on the MXR Phase 90 that David used on the 1974-75 leg of the Dark Side tour and the recording of Wish You Where Here. Not much else to comment on other than it’s hard to get any closer to the orange box than this!

    Uni-Vibe
    The Uni-Vibe is undoubtedly more associated with Hendrix and Trower than Gilmour, but what would Breathe have sounded like without it? In fact, when touring with “Eclipse”, an early work in progress version of Dark Side of the Moon, in 1972, the Uni-Vibe was featured on almost all of the songs.

    The Dark Side Uni-Vibe sounds surprisingly analog, with a beautifully tweaked character and feel. That crisp top end, with the dark throb is easy to dial in and it sounds equally focused and authentic on high speeds, which is needed for songs like Any Colour You Like.

    So, to sum it up, I think the fuzz sounds really great. Easily among the finest Big Muff clones on the market and I like the fact that you got the 3-way mid range switch, allowing for a wide range of different tones from the era. Including fairly convincing Powerbooster-ish overdrive when the gain is backed down.

    The delay, phaser and Uni-Vibe also sounds really impressive and with a bit of tweaking, the flanger also does the job. The rotary is OK but in my head, I will always compare rotary simulators with the Strymon Lex, which is perhaps not fair. As mentioned above, it would be interesting to have a dedicated mix control for this one.

    My main issue with the Dark Side is the fact that you can’t have a modulation effect and the delay selected at the same time. They share the same circuit and can’t be used simultaneously.

    You can add stand alone modulation pedals with the send/return jacks in the back but as much as I love the fact that you actually can do that, it kind of makes the Dark Side less of a Gilmour-in-a-box. Delay is essential to all of his tones and it would be cool to have everything integrated in one box.

    But I must say that I’m surprised and I’ve had such great fun exploring this pedal. Overall, it sounds great and I would have had no problem using it as a part of my rig or in a recording setup. It’s a super cool pedal for jam sessions or a trip to the cabin, when you just want to bring your guitar, a small amp and little else.

    The Dark Side is also an excellent start for the novice pedal collector and Gilmour fan. You got everything at your feet. It sounds great and you can expand, with more pedals and connected them to the Dark Side.

    See robertkeeley.com for more details and reviews.

118 Responsesso far.

  1. Colton knowles says:

    Hey Bjorn thanks for the review! I am curious on the dark side, how would you say the fuzz compares to say a Vicks audio rams head? Basically am I better off going with an independent fuzz and modulation pedals or will the dark side hold its own with others, kind of looking for the gilmourish rating you see on the gear page. 7/10? 10/10? Where would you put this one compared to other fuzzes and mods? Thanks

    • Bjorn says:

      The fuzz sounds really great. It’s similar to the Vick 73 with the mid switch set to flat. Everything sounds nice but the main issue with the pedal, is the fact that you can’t use modulation and delay simultaneously. It’s a fun pedal and most of the tones sounds really nice but if you want versatility and perhaps a bit more accurate sounds, you’re probably better off with a handful of stand alone pedals. Comes down to how you’ll be using the pedals and how picky you are.

  2. Jared says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    Reading your review and checking out the Keeley website. Looks like the limitations on the delay is kind of a non-starter for me. It seems a little rediculous: 1. Delay is the one constant in David’s sound. 2. They can’t figure out how to separate the delay from the modulation circuit?!!! Or do they not think its necessary? Either way, I had high hopes for this thing, but one shouldn’t have to make a choice between modulation and delay. DOA. And it looks like V2 exacerbated the problem.

    Anyway, is there something like this – with universal delay – that mimicks Davids sound from 70-72?

    • Bjorn says:

      Not if you want everything in one pedal. Still, for those early tones you basically just need a fuzz and a analog echo or tape simulation.

  3. Rafael says:

    Can you play breathe and shine on you crazy diamond with this pedal??

    • Bjorn says:

      Well, I did play Breathe in the first clip so, yes. Shine On might be a bit harder since the Dark Side doesn’t have an overdrive and the fuzz is a bit too much for that song.

  4. Gordon Norman says:

    I liked it. Was thinking of getting one. I just have to find the cash. You can buy a guitar and amp for this money! Do I really need one? Thats the question.

  5. Marcel says:

    Hi Bjorn, I just have found this site – AND IT IS PERFECT! I am finding here lot of inspration and nice reading, thank you for this.
    I have a question, I own Monterey and now thinking of getting Dark Side and I am not sure which version, V1 so I can insert Monterey after the Fuxx on DS or V2 without this feature? Would you have any recommendation please?

    Thank you and keep positive :)

    Marcel

  6. Alexis says:

    Hi Bjorn!

    I bought this little gem a few days ago, it is a Dark Side V2 and so there is no insert input on it. But it sounds really good!

    However I have a strange issue with my model, when rolling down the fuzz at 0 and with fuzz and modulation engaged simultaneously, I have a huge feedback coming from the pedal. It happens only with flange/rotary and phaser/uni-vibe modes, I don’t have this issue with the delay mode. So I can’t have the fuzz used as an OD with the modulation engaged at the same time.

    Am I the only one who have experienced this problem? Did you noticed something similar when demoing the Dark Side V1?

    Thanks in advance for your help and thoughts guys, as I can’t find any information on that I don’t know if this is a common issue with the V2 or just my model that is faulty.

    Cheers!
    Alexis

  7. crimson says:

    I think I am getting old …
    First I replaced my ssl5 with an cs69, later I switched from my muff to a rat-clone to a tube screamer, I replaced my phaser with a univibe and now i lean towards my es 335 Ibanez because i started to dislike the vintage frets on my strat. The Ibanez is so much easier to play. And most of the time I don’t do that gilmour-stuff anymore – it’s time for blues and jazzy blues. Well … ;-)

  8. John says:

    I just got mine today. Strat into Dark Side into 71 Super Reverb….it took me 5 minutes to dial in a tone for the solo in Time. No noise whatsoever and the Fuzz is a beast.

  9. Fred says:

    Hi Bjorn, thanks for your great job and great reviews, very helpful for everyone here :-)
    It has been already mentioned that Robert Keeley’s Dark Side V2 has got everything required in a single box for great Gilmour tones except a complement overdrive and perhaps a second delay, since we can’t use the delay with the modulations. Question please : What would you think of The Dark Side pedal + TC Electronic Flashback Delay + FullTone OCD overdrive ? Would this be a good choice to cover most of DG classic tones ? What about pedal such as the Buffalo Patriot or the Rat2 compare to the Fulltone OCD ? What other great pedal would be missing ? According to your practice experience, what would be the best chain order ? MANY MANY THANKS.

    • Bjorn says:

      You can’t go wrong with the OCD. Awesome pedal capable of nailing a wide range of tones. As far as I know, the V2 doesn’t allow you to add pedals within the chain anymore, so you might want to track down a V1 for that. You want the OD before the modulation and delay.

  10. Fugazi says:

    Just got my Dark Side a week ago after reading your review. It’s flat out great! The in-between sounds on the modulation side are really cool. I also think the u-vibe setting is as good as I’ve heard anywhere. The Muff is a really clear, bright tone but is a Muff all the same.

    Two quick questions – I have version 2. can I still put effects in a loop inside the pedal? How would I do that? I’ve been using my ElecLady and my Alter Ego to make up for the delay and mod not runnign at the same time.

    Also, where in the chain should I put this? After compression or after overdrives? Thanks for any reply. Love your site Bjorn!

    • Bjorn says:

      I don’t think you can assign other effects anymore. Check out their site for details. I’d place the Dark Side after compressors and maybe add a stand alone delay, so you’ll be able to use the modulation side of the pedal.

  11. Rob Simmons says:

    Just picked this up and it is a great pedal, would not have heard about this except through you. Hey got a question. What is the song that opens a lot of your videos? I have tried to Shazam it and it won’t figure it out. I would like to get it if it is available.

  12. J says:

    Bjorn,
    Fantastic site! FYI I was looking on Keeley’s site and noticed the Version 2 is out now:

    “DARK SIDE V2
    You spoke and we listened! Make America TRS-Free Again. Okay, we heard you, you can’t switch order on the fly during a gig. You never used the TRS cable to insert effects. You just tossed the cable aside. You all said YES when we said effect-order switch. New units have a simple push button switch to change the order! Sweetwater has the first stock available of the new units. Mike Hermans did a new video with the effect-order switcher.”

    Looks like delay can’t be used with modulation still, but this is a nice improvement in case you want to mention it in your review.

  13. Brooks from Texas says:

    It’s been a Gilmourish Christmas at my house this year. Since I was especially good this year I received a Keeley Dark Side pedal #00523. As well as a Mooer Electlady, Catalinbread Echorec, a new TC Electronic Polytune and anot Erie Ball volume pedal. I’ll be off to my local music store on Tuesday to pick up a new Voodoo labs pedal power and then the tone tweaking will begin. Merry Christmas Bjorn and everyone on Gilmourish.com

  14. Greg says:

    Hey Bjorn,

    First, let me be the next in a VERY long line to thank you for your time (reviews), and compliment you on you playing (inspiring). Well done Sir!

    As for the Keeley Dark Side, I have a question. I have read quite a few comments online regarding Keeley’s Monterey pedal regarding with its added “hiss” element. I’m equally interested in both pedals (to say the least), so would like your opinion regarding studio and/or live work with these workstation pedals. Your findings – do the effects exhibit more hiss than average?

    Thanks!

    • Bjorn says:

      Thank you, Greg! I haven’t tried the Monterey so I can’t tell but I didn’t notice any his from the Dark Side. Obviously, when you crank the fuzz it will be noisy but all the modulations and delay were quiet.

  15. William Thompson says:

    This may not be what the pedal was ever intended for, but do you think a bass could have some fun going through this? I’m really looking for a fuzz pedal that I can mess with for bass and synths as much as guitar. Finding the right fuzz sound is important (and this fuzz sounds pretty good), but all the extras make me want to possibly pick up this one or the Monterey.

    • Bjorn says:

      Well, yes I think you will have some fun with this and a bass. You might also want to check out the EHX Bass Muff, which is based on the old green Sovtek Muff. It goes extremely well with a bass.

  16. fabio says:

    Hi Bjorn, can you give marks for each of the sounds Dark heard? Vibe, rotary, flanger, phaser delay fuzz …

    Which pedal you recommend to combine to make a complete chain? Thanks
    Fabio from Venice – Italy

    • Bjorn says:

      I think the review explains it very well. To compliment the pedal, I would go for an overdrive and perhaps a second delay, since you can’t use the delay with the modulations.

  17. Tennessee Jedi says:

    Hey Everyone
    Ive just ordered the darkside and was wondering if anyone could share their settings ?
    Great site
    Thanks
    Tom

  18. Tom Dennis says:

    i just got the dark side and yes it is cool was wondering what all the settings were so it would be a good starting point for us just a thought

  19. Ian says:

    Hi Bjorn, thx for the great review, Recently sold a heap of gear to fund a pro level pedalboard around a Gigrig G2.
    Im going to get a Skreddy Little miss sunshine phaser, Drybell vibe or Moonvibe and a Fuzz (not sure which one yet, maybe Wampler Velvet ), and Electric Lady.
    By going down this obvious more expensive route compared to DSOTM pedal, I am assuming il end up with better Floyd tones ? Or is there something about the Keeley that I would be missing out on ? cheers Ian

    • Bjorn says:

      I think the Dark Side is a great starting point and perhaps also something you’d want in a bedroom setup or something similar. As much as I think it can hold up in a gig situation, you’ll obviously have more tone and perhaps also more accurate tones, with single pedals. It also comes down to taste. I think the Dark Side has some really nice tones but you might prefer other versions of those some tones.

      • Ian says:

        thx for the reply Bjorn, yea I decided to go individual pedals, just bought a Vibe Machine 2, and may pick up a Patriot, Vicks 73 ram or P19 yet, still deciding based on ur clips which is a great resource for us that can’t demo them personally.. cheers…and thx again

  20. Nicholas Love says:

    Based on your review and clips, I picked up a Keeley Psi Fuzz, which is a op amp/germanium muff similarly voiced to the one in the Dark Side Pedal. While it can’t do the silicon fuzz sounds that the Dark Side can, it does the high gain Muff sounds of the Dark Side pedal extremely well. Keeley seems to be able to nail the vintage vibe of classic Muffs, while at the same time having a new and fresh take on the circuit. Very harmonically rich. For anyone else that, like me, doesn’t need the modulation features of the Dark Side but would like his take on a muff, I highly recommend it. Picked it up on sale new for only $112.50 USD

  21. KEITH says:

    Hey Bjorn, are you guys in post production? No movement on Gilmourish, figure you must be VERY, VERY busy. Best of luck, eagerly awaiting for your return for my education!!; :)

    Peace, and thanks for ALL you do, KEITH

    • Bjorn says:

      Ha ha, busy as always and a bit too much these days. Finishing the album as we speak and trying to do a few more reviews and features as well :)

  22. macias says:

    it is possible to buy this great box ?

  23. Brian says:

    You just made my favorite solo with the chorus to Us and Them I believe in your video. Spot on as always! I had initially dismissed this pedal with the lack of separate mod/delay and late 70’s Muff as the Fuzz but I’m now thinking of getting it solely for the modulations and stick it between my TD-X and GE-7. Those 4 sounds would cost about the same in separate pedal format unless I went with Mooer/MXR stuff. Would the rotary sound fine in that position as it wouldn’t be last in chain?

    • Bjorn says:

      I think that would go very well. Although David had his rotary cabs after the whole pedal chain, in combo with the amps, a leslie pedal can easily be placed amomg the other modulation effects.

  24. Fernando Usle says:

    Hi Bjorn, excellent review!

    I’m thinking of getting this pedal, and I have the TC Electronics Flashback Pedal, other than this two (and eventually a Compressor) which other effect do you recommend me to get? So I can have a basic, but full setup of Gilmour’s tones.

    Thank you very much!

    Fernando

    • Bjorn says:

      Sorry for my very late reply, Fernando. You might want to get an overdrive. The Dark Side fuzz can be tweaked for some nice overdrive tones, but a dedicated overdrive, like the Boss BD2 or Fulltone OCD, will give you more authentic tones.

  25. Andreas says:

    Especially for a beginner like me, this review was very helpful and I think I will go for that box PLUS an additional delay. Does that make sense and if so, which one would you recommend to be combined with the Dark Side? Will a BOSS-DD3 do or should I look for something else? Many thx in advance for your feedback!

    • Bjorn says:

      Any delay would do I guess but in terms of value and tone, I think it’s hard to beat the TC Electronic Flashback.

      • Andreas says:

        Thank you ao much for your fast response and of course I will follow your advice. I found out that there are different types of that pedal, even a mini which would better fit to my board. Is that one comparable to the normal version?

        • Bjorn says:

          The mini has the 2290 digital preset as default and you can load tone prints into it for other sounds. The standard version, has more presets and the tone print feature.

          • Andreas says:

            So with the “Dark Sinde” before and as I am a bloody beginner, for me the Mini will be more than good enough. :-)

            Thank you again for your advice!

            I just made a donation and hope you keep up this page for a very long time!

  26. Aaron says:

    I recently bought one of these, at first I thought it was a bit of a toy, and an indulgence, but after two band rehearsals with it I love it! The Fuzz is great as are all the modulation effects, although the Flange isn’t wide enough for my liking. I really like the fx-loop port, I pump my Thorphy Muffroom CLoud and the whole set-up goes nuts!!

  27. Nice review. I got my ‘darkside’ a few weeks ago, and initially thought ‘why did i buy this’? But have since grown to love it and its part of my live rig! I think the only flaw is the flanger is a bit weak, but the fuzz is awesome as is the delay. I love the fx loop in the pedal. So you can always feed in another delay or fuzz. In fact, i love the pedal so much i i ,ediately bought the Keeley ‘loomer’, hopeful the muff stage on that is based on a Triangle not an op-amp! Cheers from Australia

  28. Ian says:

    Hi Bjorn, many thanks for another excellent review!
    When you mentioned the flanger needed some tweaking/fine tuning to try and get it to sound a bit closer to the Mistress, what were the settings you used in the clean flanger parts of your demo?

    Many thanks
    Ian

  29. madcelts says:

    Hi Bjorn —

    How would you compare the fuzz on this to a Bufflo FX Evolution? I have an Evolution but not all of the other modulation stuff (I usually add that in my DAW), and I am wondering if the Dark Side makes sense for me mostly to get the modulation. Thanks! karl

    • Bjorn says:

      Two different pedals. The Evolution is closer to a Rat or Boss DS1, while the Dark Side fuzz has an unmistakable Muff character.

  30. Nick L says:

    Is the flanger as good as the Mooer Eleclady? I have one but had to have it replaced twice under warranty in about 3 months, so reliability is a concern. I also need a nice phaser, so if the Flanger and the Phaser sound great, it may be worth picking this up and having another great sounding muff to fall back on would be a nice added bonus.

    • Bjorn says:

      I’ve never had any issues with my Mooer pedals but I’ve read that people do experience problems. I think the ElecLady is no doubt the best Mistress clone on the market and much better than the current EHX models.

  31. Gera says:

    Sorry to hear about people trying to use your site as a scam.
    But let’s face it..gilmourish isn’t longer a site about Mr. Gilmour. It’s just about the pedals!
    I’ve been a fan since ” i can get a pretty much descent gilmour sounds out of my boos floor processor ”
    What about a post like ….best gilmour solos as a guitar guest…or gilmour as a producer or best gilmour songs as a bassist!
    C’on! there are 100 sites posting about the same gear but no other posting cool stuff about MR Gilmour like you used to do it!
    I hope don’t find my comment ofencive, just constructive criticism.

    Cheers!

    • Bjorn says:

      Thanks for your comment :)

    • Brad Roller says:

      I thought the recent reviews of his solo album and concerts, gilmour in a box, and an in depth analysis of his first solo album was very much about Gilmour….?

      • KEITH says:

        I’m as usual, 100% in agreement with you Brad! Hope you’re doing well.
        Take Care, KEITH

        • Brad Roller says:

          Oh yea dude! Doing great! Hope you’re doing well too! Its nice to see another long term member still coming here. Ive been here since 2006, you were here before weren’t you?

          • KEITH says:

            Hey Brad I think that you probably got here before I did. I think I started posting about 2009 or 2010 so comparatively I’m kind of a newbie. However my sense of timing is not very clear right now so I could have been here longer than that I’m not quite sure. I’ll suffice it to say that however long it’s been it’s been a wonderful experience and a great source of learning. Also, I’ve met a lot of great folks like you!

            Peace Brad,and Thanks BjornKEITH

  32. Craig says:

    Umm… where can I buy this – I want one

  33. Phil says:

    This sounds great! Worth a try I guess :)

    Now to something kind of off-topic but the article on the matter is 7 years old now so I thought I can get away with posting it here (also my first comment here. Found out about this site a year ago. Absolutely stunning work, Bjorn!):

    So I’ve been trying to do my best in replicating the “Dogs” tone from ’75 with the Phaser and Colorsound PB.

    My setup is:
    Squier Classic Vibe Custom Tele (looks just like Dave’s ’59 Custom) :D
    Fender Mustang (set in “British Watts”(Hiwatt) mode)
    (Mooer Yellow Comp)
    EHX Soul Food
    Mooer Ninety Orange
    (TC Flashback for the solos)

    I think it sounds quite good and is the best I can do with my gear currently available. Any suggestions for settings on the Soul Food?! Got it recently and sort of cant find the sweet spot…

    Also does anyone know what the outro chords are on those live versions? Dave is playing some picking patterns there and then there is a C (or Bb I think… when you tune the guitar to D) and that one after that I just cant figure out :D Its after the long “dragged done by the stoooooooooone” No tab on the internet has it right IMO…

    Cheers,
    Phil

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Phil! Thanks for your kind words! Glad you like the site. I recommend setting the amp up first. You want a fairly hot clean tone. It should be clean but set the preamp as high as possible, without it distortion. I’m not that familiar with the Mustang but try to keep the treble moderate and boost the mid range a bit. Add the Soul Food ontop of that for a bit of bite. The Soul Food should get you in the ball park but it does have a lot more mids and compression, compared to a Powerbooster.
      The chords sequence, in E tuning, starts with the long Bb, A, F, Em, Dm, Dsus2.

  34. bluestubes says:

    Hi Bjorn , I remember when you said , wouldn’t it be great if we could buy a Gilmour box with every effect needed . Looks like its beginning with the Dark Side ! All the best Stu.

  35. Grahame Smith says:

    Great review; thank you. Would you put this pedal ‘in front of the amp’ or in the effects loop?

    • Bjorn says:

      That depends on how you’re using the amp. If you rely on the amp for dirt, then the pedal should probably be placed in the loop. If you run your amp all clean, then the pedal is best connected through the frint input.

  36. KEITH says:

    Really cool, great, authentic sounds the delay, or mods, instead of delay and mods is disappointing, but with the TRS loops, add the Catalinbread and everything is there for Gilmour in two boxes :) playing is as usual, GREAT! Thanks for another great review, you’ve been knicking them down lately. There is a post from me for the M-1 , with some additional ranting that has been languishing for a little over a week I hope when you get a chance, that you like it. It comes from the heart, and was written because you are my friend, and despite my oersonal troubles, I always have my friends back.

    Much Love to all, KEITH

  37. Shane says:

    I have the Keeley Monterey and it’s fantastic. That said I 100% agree with you. I wish the delay and modulation were separate. It’s the only thing that kept me from buying it. Still might have to pick one up at some point though.

  38. David says:

    I fell in love with this pedal for its musical echoes and delay. This is, IMHO, a great beginning pedal for those chasing the Gilmour sound, it compliments other pedals well too, I use with a compressor and a boost and it’s just so close to the tone I was seeking. You can’t get any more of Gilmour in a box at what these units sell for.

  39. Hello Bjorn,
    Excellent article and impressive pedal!!
    You can’t have modulation effects and the delay selected at the same time.
    Did David Gilmour use modulation effects,(and overdrive and rotary),and delay at the same time,
    live or in the studio?

    • Bjorn says:

      Yes, David’s always using some delay.

      • Bjorn says:

        It’s a balanced jack for stereo (or mono). You can’t use your guitar cable but a jack often used for sound systems.

        • KEITH says:

          Just to add to your explanation Bjorn, TRS means Tip, Ring, Sleeve. Instrument cables have a tip, and a sleeve, providing a common, ( or ground), and a positive, which carriea the actual signal. On a TRS, having 3 separate poles,( or wires), does several things, it can be a common, with 2 separate positives, or channels,( like the mini jack on your phone). Or it can be used for a single channel iwith a balanced signal. A balanced signal basically sends the source signal through both wires, but with the polarity reversed. When you have duplicate signals, with opposite polarity, the peaks, and trough’s are reversed, and therefore cancel one another out. However, because the amp sees the sound source signal as one, it doesn’t cancel the source, but any noise like rf, unlike the mic, or instrument is cancelled out. Probably more technical an answer than was needed, but wanted to show Bjorn hiw much I’ve been studying tone, and noise issues because of his inpiring site. So, that’s TRS, or most of it anyway. Hope you don’t mind me expanding on your answer Bjorn :)

          Peace Y’all, KEITH

  40. Spencer Landreth says:

    Thanks Bjorn! Been waiting every day for your perspective on this one!

  41. Davethestratman says:

    A stunningly accurate review, based on my experience with it. One aspect you didn’t mention is the small footprint, which is a bonus with an already packed pedalboard! Also, no battery option may be a concern for many people. My biggest gripe though was that there are no instructions with it other than a small printed sheet that is not so easy to follow. I guess, for the money, I expected better. Still a very usable, high quality, pedal which will hold its value well.

    • Bjorn says:

      Yes, the footprint is a huge bonus. There is a small manual on their site but I think it’s pretty easy to figure out anyway.

  42. Clay Jenkins says:

    As always great review. Saw this a little while back and I was waiting on your review to pull the trigger. Rock on!

  43. Rick says:

    Very fair review as always Bjorn :)
    Had mine a few weeks now and really love the fuzz.
    A great pedal to throw in your case for a night round at friends or a jam session.
    A lot of pedal for the money.
    Cheers.

  44. patrick crum says:

    Thanks for this Bjorn. I’ve been eying this for a while, and was hoping you’d get your hands on one to review..

  45. Alexis says:

    Hi Bjorn!

    Thanks again for this excellent review! I expected you reviewed this one sooner or later.
    As I looked at this pedal several weeks ago, my only regret about it was, just as pointed in your review, that the modulations and delay share the same circuit, so it is impossible to have both effects at the same time. Quite problematic since David Gilmour’s tone is mostly defined by his use of delays. I wish Robert Keeley to have a deeper look at his work on this pedal and maybe release an enhanced version, with separated delay and modulations circuits. Despite this point (maybe I’m a bit too demanding guitarist :D ) each of the effects are really great sounding!

    I was wondering in which order David placed his fuzz and Uni-Vibe in the signal chain? I remembered you said that, in your opinion, Univibe sounded better when placed before fuzz, and I assume that in default setting the Univibe section of the Dark Side is placed after the fuzz section. Is it correct?

    I need your final advice on a last point. I was after a Univibe pedal (can’t decide between the MJM Sixties Vibe, the Electronic Orange Moon-Vibe, or even the Effectrode Tube-Vibe) and Binson Echorec type of delay (again can’t decide between Catalinbread Echorec and the Boonar). I own a Strymon Timeline and three of the Mooer modulation pedals (flanger, phaser and chorus, great sounding pedals and great value for money), do you think that the Dark Side is a good investment or would you recommend to get dedicated effect pedals (at least in my case)? Or would you recommend the Dark Side for a scaled-down setting (like practicing or taking it for holidays) and/or budget friendly setting?

    Thanks a lot for your work and advices.
    Cheers!

    Alexis

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Alexis! As far as sources goes, David had and still has, the UniVibe after the fuzz. Personally I think phasers and UniVibes sound better before the dirt. And yes, the default mode of the modulation effects on the Dark Side, is after the fuzz, but you can swap their order with an TRS cable inserted.
      The Dark Side is well worth checking out if you want a small setup. The effects are really nice and you can also add additional pedals with the send/return. That being said, for both size and tone I’d check out the DryBell Machine Vibe. Hard to beat :) I also think that the Boonar is, in my opinion, the best Binson clone on the market.

      • KEITH says:

        In your mention of the Vibe Machine, has Zvonch sent you a V2 yet? If so, my V1 is as it was the dat it came out of the box, so I’m wondering if you can shed sime light on whether it would be worth the money, and effort to replace my V1 fir the V2, and exactly what the actual difference in the overall authenticity of the two. I’m not really in need of bells and whistles, but if there is a really noticeable differece in the authentic uni vibe sound, I may be inspired to sell my V1, and order a v2. Do you have an opinion on this issue?

        Thanks Master, Padawan Keith :)

        • Bjorn says:

          I have one on the way and will have a review up shortly :) Haven’t had the time to check it out yet.

          • KEITH says:

            Can’t wait for that review Drybell amazes me,Zvonch isn’t going to make anything but uni vibes until he has perfected what he seems to be obsessed with. I imagine it’s going to be mind blowing, then he will hopefully make another perfect pedal, perhaps a flanger? He seems to want to do nothing but modulation pedals,and sure takes his time in his pursuit of perfection!!!

            Peace Bjorn, and the Gilmourish community KEITH

  46. Kevin Long says:

    Thank you for the review, Bjørn. Good insights and tremendous playing! So good.

  47. Jon says:

    I may have to add this to my list :) Great review/playing \m/ This and the Monterrey by Keeley look to be a lot of fun. Have you review the Strymon Mobius? Great site

  48. Dylan says:

    As soon as I first heard about this pedal, I knew a Gilmourish review was not far behind. Awesome demo as always :)

  49. Zac says:

    Just read this at the Keeley product page – “Without the plethora of information at Gilmourish, this pedal would not have been possible.”

    Awesome!

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