In this video we’ll be looking at three fantastic Electric Mistress clones and compare how they sound and stack up with both clean tones and high gain distortion.
Which is your favourite? Please comment below and let us know!
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What muff pedal are you using in the second half? Is it a Moon?
EHX Green Russian reissue.
Thanks for this review. I just wanted to add that if anyone has an Electro Harmonix Deluxe Electric Mistress 90s Reissue and they are experiencing a volume drop when engaged, there is an internal pot adjustment that can get it back to unity or slightly above. Cheers.
Bjorn hope all is well! I’ve decided that you need a Viking Namesake. Let it be known: you are now “Bjorn the Bender!” You are an incredible player but you are also an incredible Bender of strings! It is a very unique art form that you have mastered…
This was another Amazing review of three unique and interesting phasers. By The Way I also now own two of them. Thanks to you, The ELady has been on my board for over a year and after the recent Past FX three pedal review, Boom the Elastic Mattress has landed! From your review I quickly noted the markings on the pedals and ran to set them up to try. The Elastic Mattress is very different from the ELady with the added Chorus tones you don’t get from the ELady. In fact if you turn the Color all the way to the Left it is an incredible Chorus pedal by itself. The ELady does, to me, have a pretty noticeable volume drop which makes it hard to add or subtract the pedal during a song. The Mattress doesn’t drop And has a pot inside for volume adjustment. Also the bright switch is linked to another inside pot to set the brightness to taste.
Overall they are all good but I liked the tones and depth of the Mattress!
The Retro Sonic offering sounded good but I thought a bit murky in comparison.
Bjorn I owe so much to you for my tones. I currently have 6 pedals you recommended along with my Laney Cub12R too.
Thanks a million!
Walter H. ???
Thanks for your very kind words and for the nickname! I love that!
I said Phasers oops they are Flangers, ? sorry…
I appreciate your hard work and comments “Bjorn the Bender”
I’m looking into buying the Chorus Ensemble next from Past FX. Verlie is a joy to work with and very helpful like You always are. Maybe you can get one to demo for us soon? Thanks
Walter H. ???
I hope to do one soon :)
Thanks Bjorn. I was thinking it would be great to have EM comparison a while back and now it’s here. Yay! I think in the mix especially with added vintage delay that tend to mush things a bit higher frequency presence is a good thing. However in Elastic Mattress there is a sense of not having enough mid-range which is the main part of that woosh character unless trying it with EQ pedal and delay and see where it will sit. Mooer is actually pretty good to keep enough of low, mids, and highs there and you can almost hear a softly rolling but string woosh across the whole tone. Again in the mix and with delay added it may be a bit too much because there is no part of the audio content that is coming across less treated. With the Flanger, the low mids are treated more and highs are coming through more transparent so it’s almost like you have a mix of clean and low-mid woosh which is good if someone is looking for more subtle effect, and perhaps if the highs carry more dirt overtones it may stick out better with the original dirt character intended with the delay and in a busy mix however it requires an eq to bring out a bit more high-mid or taming low-mid frequencies. One good thing with Elastic Mattress is that it sounds a bit more in the realm of old Gilmour tone dirt pedals and generally the vision of the producers back then for brighter mixes or how it turned out through the reel tape saturation for what we hear now. One thing I was thinking is that since the time shift impacts higher frequencies much more that let’s say low mid frequencies, ideally it should be a dual engine processing with less time shift domain for highs and more time shift domain for lows to carry close to equal amount of impact to creat sort of similar percentage of body of a full wave cycle going back and forth. Not sure if there is such a unit. Thanks again. ??
I’ve been using the Electric Mistress since I got my big box Deluxe in 1999. It’s the one pedal or effect I can’t live without and I feel that it’s become such a big part of my sound and not just something that I use to replicate a certain Gilmour tone. The Mistress is not perfect. It never was. Like so many of those early effects, it has its unique character and a lot of imperfections. But to me, that’s what makes the Mistress so great. There is no pedal that sounds like it and once you tamper with that too much, then it’s simply a different pedal.
Bjorn, have you had the opportunity to try or use the THORPY FX Camoflange or the PAST FX Reticon Flanger pedals (the latter based on those elusive and well travelled Reticon chips!)? If so, it would be of interest and value to hear your comparative views on those models too …
I have a Reticon on the way. Thorpy has so far refused not send me a Camoflange.
This is really timely for me, because I’m considering buying the elastic mattress.
How would the Thorpy Camoflange fall in this comparison? I own one, and it’s never left my board since I got it, but I’ve never 100% ‘bonded’ with it.
Also, I love the tone of my E Lady, but it noticeably drops volume when I kick it in. Is there a way to counter this?
And do you suggest these flangers in the effects loop, or in the front end?
Thank you so much for any suggestions, and thank you for your priceless contribution to my tone over the last several years.
You have no idea how much your site has educated me.
Thanks for your very kind words Phoenix! I’ve never tried the Camoflange, so I can’t tell. As soon as they decide to send me one :)
The ELady has less top and presence, which crates a bit of a volume or output drop. It’s more perceived than actually a level thing. You could put it in a loop with a booster or mixer but my best tip is to accept that this is the nature of that pedal.
Using the effects loop depends on how you set the amp. I run all of my pedals in the front end but my amps are clean or cleanish. Some modulation pedals, delays and reverb often sound better in the loop, when you crank the amp.
Thanks so much Bjorn,
I wish Adrian would send you a Camoflange, I’m surprised he hasn’t.
Maybe I should take a chance and just get the mattress. Or maybe wait until you test the reticon chip version.
Do You recommend the mattress as a electric mistress option if I don’t plan to o buy a big box vintage mistress?
My amp is a Bludotone South Saturn Delta. 100 watts with a very sweet clean and a pretty heavy cascading gain section. So I keep reverb, delay, and ‘mistress’ in fx loop.
On another Electro Harmonix side note, have you tried the nano DMM?
I replaced the Belle epoch deluxe I’ve had on my board for years with it, and I love it.
The blend and level controls, which the BED don’t have, let me dial in the delay exactly how I want.
All the best to you Bjorn.
Unless you collect vintage pedals, I would avdice against buying a vintage Mistress. Those units are close to 50 years old now and you can’t expect them to perform as they once did. Even new in the late 70s, they were noisy and they have a nasty volume drop when engaged. It’s kind of the nature of that fantasticly unique effect but add 50 years to the bad circuit and you might end up with a pedal that’s unusable. All three that I’ve shown here, and probably the Thorpy as well, are nailing the classic tones perfectly and without all the issues.
Phoenix: I too have the ELady and love the pedal but not the Volume Drop! I added the Elastic Mattress and No more volume drop and, I think, a much better tone. The ELady filter switch is useless to me where the Mattress produces a very usable effect when you flip it to filter making it a more versatile pedal…
Walter H. ???
Thanks for sharing this.
I really like the swoosh (jet) sound of the elec lady.
Looks like I need to try the mattress.
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