As the name might suggest, Echo Fix specialises in tape echo, selling replacement parts for vintage units, making detailed reproductions of them too, but it has now made a play for the reverb pedal market with the EF-P2, a high-end stompbox containing a real spring circuit and a host of player and studio-friendly features.
Looking at the unit, the first thing that might strike you is the VU meter on the front of the enclosure and the display to the right of it. This admittedly looks cool but it serves a useful purpose. In the viewing window you can see the internal springs, which will light up blue when the input signal pushes them.
For a more accurate reading on how your electric guitar’s signal – and indeed the pedals you have placed in front of the EF-P2 in the signal chain – is driving the springs, refer to the VU meter. If you want your reverb to be completely clean, make sure your signal is peaking at 0 on the meter. Thereafter it will start to break up and you will have a little drive on it, which in and of itself might not be a bad thing.
Controls are arranged across the top of the pedal and from left to right you’ve got Spring Drive, which controls the amount of your input signal is driving the springs, Bass and Treble boost/cut knobs, and Reverb Volume, which acts as a mix control, adjusting the level of the reverb relative to your dry signal.
The EF-P2 is 100 per cent analogue. There are two footswitches, one for bypass, the other for direct on and off operation so you can easily use it in the studio as an outboard effect. We have made it this far without saying the word ‘surf’ but there is simply no getting around it.
If you are serious about studio quality spring reverb to get that surf guitar drip, the EF-P2 has got to be in the running. But it’s more than that. It might be a boom time for all-new digital reverb algorithms but there is something eternal about the sound and texture of real springs.
Yes, as the manual here warns us, they can be susceptible to noise. They can pick up a little hum around some electronic devices. But it’s a small price to pay for a sound that is pure Americana, and one that can be tailored to suit your guitar’s pickups, your rig, or guitar amp.
The Bass and Treble knobs yield a remarkable degree of control over a reverb sound that’s not just for surf. Country, blues guitar, rock ’n’ roll, rock and jazz can all use a little of that spring – an ambience that can be set bright and splashy or darker and moody.
The EF-P2 is equipped with soft-relay switches, is buffered bypass, and takes 200mA from a 9V DC pedalboard power supply. It is priced £275 and is available now. For more details, head over to Echo Fix.