“Part EQ, part filter, and part overdrive, it’s all there… a 100% analogue, all-in-one solution to crafting your core tone”: Chase Bliss’s Condor HiFi takes flight – is this your next always-on tone-shaper?

Chase Bliss Condor HiFi
(Image credit: Chase Bliss)

Chase Bliss has been doing Chase Bliss things again and launched the Condor HiFi, a guitar effects pedal that is part EQ, filter and overdrive pedal, but 100 per cent analogue, and perhaps 99 per cent guaranteed to be always on, all the time.

Eagle-eyed pedalboard enthusiasts might recognise this rare bird. The Condor has been part of the Chase Bliss lineup before. But this Condor HiFi flies in new and improved, deploying the internal power supply of Preamp MKII to juice the internal voltage to 30V, which in real times corresponds to headroom, and lots of it.

There’s more. The “HiFi” Chase Bliss speaks off is facilitated by OPA1662 op-amps – no, us neither – which promise “higher fidelity and lower noise”, and also a different clipping character. Basically, “giving you vivid character where you need it and absolute transparency where you don’t”. 

Which all goes to say that this pedal sounds better than before, and will make your electric guitar or whatever instrument you choose to use with it sound better than before – as an EQ-cum-drive-cum-filter ought to.

Chase Bliss Condor HiFi

(Image credit: Chase Bliss)

And speaking of nice things, those who own the original Condor can upgrade for just $49. Simply send the unit to Chase Bliss and they’ll fill the enclosure with the guts of the new Condor. Et voila!

But what does all this do? Well, use this as base camp for shaping your tone. You can use the drive section to dial in a clean boost, some grit and hair, or a more saturated crunch sound. 

The gain section interacts with the EQ to change the character of the drive. Chase Bliss suggests going heavy with the pre-gain bass control to really push the pedal, or to use the post-gain mids/LPF for giving your sound “resonant punch”.

There is a lot going on with the EQ. The Condor HiFi effectively splits the frequencies in your signal apart and applies EQ to shape each segment. That Mids control can apply 18dB of boost or cut to your selected mid frequency via the Freq knob.

And this being Chase Bliss, there is a cornucopia of options, dip-switches galore on the top of the unit, MIDI, CV and expression control is available, there are presets, and internal modulations that can be applied. Think three-dimensional tremolos and all sorts of weirdness. We might ordinarily forego the manual but make rare exceptions, and Chase Bliss is one of them.

Chase Bliss Condor HiFi

(Image credit: Chase Bliss)

There is also a resonant filter that speaks to the influence of synthesizer design, adding a unique low-pass filter that can further tweak your sound. It’s a lot of pedal, and definitely worth checking out the intro video above. 

Priced $399, the Condor HiFi is available now. With 1000 units in stock at the time of the launch, and another 1000 circuit boards for all those wanting to upgrade their original Condor. See Chase Bliss for more details.

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.