DryBell’s Vibe Machine has been one of my favourite UniVibes since its release a few years back so when they launched the new Unit67 I though “this looks very interesting!”. Here’s my review.
The Unit67 is surprisingly refreshing offering something new based on old and classic circuits. I’ve never seen anything like it anyway. It’s a compressor, EQ and booster in one pedal and I have to say, it sounds damn good!
In fact it’s probably one of my favourite pedals, which is a huge kudos I guess as it’s been out for only a couple of months. It’s really one of those pedals you just want to leave on all the time and as much as I’ve said that before about other pedals, this is really one you want to leave on all the time!
So, the Unit67 is based on that classic 1176 studio compressor. Super smooth and transparent compression, controlled by a two mode input toggle (Low +4dB gain, lower compression and High +10dB gain, long sustained notes) and a master control for the compression controlling the amount dry/wet.
The big volume control controls the amount of clean boost, which is quite considerable. This feature alone is capable of driving the front end of your tube amp into smooth overdrive.
The third feature is the EQ section. Unlike most EQs or tone controls, this is based on the old Range Master treble boost.
Range adds more mids based on the Rangemaster, lows more lows and high adds a bit of sparkle. Unlike your typical EQ, the Unit67 ads more grit and presence, much like those old treble boosters. It’s always hard to describe how an EQ actually sound but the high control in particular, opens up the tone and adds a lot of presence that makes your guitar cut through effortlessly.
I’ve pretty much stuck with the first setting I tried. Volume at noon, EQ on with all the controls slightly above noon and the compressor in Low mode, with the sustain slightly above noon.
This adds a slight boost to your tone and everything else sounds better, without actually doing much. It’s subtle but you can feel how the sustain is improved and how the guitar seem to pop out of the mix, without sounding overwhelming.
Like any other compressor, I’ve placed it first in my chain allowing it to interact with the pickups and driving both the front end of my dirt pedals and amp. But really, you can place this anywhere depending on what tones you want and where that tone sculpting is needed.
For me it’s a leave on all the time pedal although I often use it to boost a solo or a certain part of a song. It adds character and sparkle to a tube amp, adds a bit of boost and presence to an overdrive and tightens up a Big Muff adding a bit of mids and compression.
It seems that most of the reviews I’ve seen are pretty unanimous. The Unit67 is a huge surprise and a much welcomed tool or tone enhancer. Definitely one that will be on my board for a very long time!