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Z.Vex Instant Lo-Fi Junky review

This junkie's got us hooked

  • £208
The Junkie works some real magic on clean sounds.

MusicRadar Verdict

If you're a fan of crusty retro effects or cinematic soundscapes, you'll be addicted to the Junkie.

Pros

  • +

    Great selection of wigged-out effects.

Cons

  • -

    If you're after more traditional sounds, there are straight vibrato pedals that'll do the job better.

This pedal is based on the company's Lo-Fi Loop Junkie, with its old-school vibrato and chiming compression, which only applies its magic to the looped sound, not your real-time guitar signal. This is why Z.Vex has produced the Instant Lo-Fi Junkie (minus the looping).

Of the knobs on offer, the Comp/Lo-Fi control acts as a blend: to the left you get punchy clean compression (ideal for boosting your picking), and to the right you get lo-fi modulation; anywhere in between is a mixture of the two sounds.

The Tone control only effects the sound of the modulation (it doesn't do anything in Comp mode). On top, there's a three-position mini-toggle for changing the mod's waveform.

You get a sine wave (gentle sweep), triangle wave (more pronounced) or a square wave (straight up/down sweep).

The Junkie works on distorted sounds, but you'll get the most out of it on clean/semi-driven settings. We found our sweet spot (a dream-like warble similar to the sound you get from a stretched cassette tape) with the Comp/Lo-Fi control at about three-quarters with the sine wave modulation shape.

I'm a freelance member of the MusicRadar team, specialising in drum news, interviews and reviews. I formerly edited Rhythm and Total Guitar here in the UK and have been playing drums for more than 25 years (my arms are very tired). When I'm not working on the site, I can be found on my electronic kit at home, or gigging and depping in function bands and the odd original project.