Mooer Micro Pedals & Pedal Board Review - 20/02/2014


For many years stomp boxes have come in many shapes and sizes but most seem to conform to the standard format and size set by mainstream manufacturers.

However in recent times, a new format leading to micro pedals has arisen. Measuring approximately one by two inches this small footprint gives musicians quality effects in a miniature package.

This could be useful for many reasons, for example for those who travel frequently, play in places where space is a premium , or even for those wanting to maximise the number of pedals on their existing board.

Moving on today we reviewing Mooer’s compact micro pedal board populated with the following devices.

The Blues Crab, Flexboost, Mod Factory, Orange Phaser and the Echolizer.

Each pedal is built around a sturdy metal chassis, with a solid on/off switch and the usual input/output quarter inch jacks.

Controls are located on the top half of the pedal and are adjusted via plastic knobs. The pedals are so small that batteries are omitted altogether (although this could be useful in some situations) but a DC input socket is provided to supply standard 9 volt power to the device via a standard power supply with a daisy chain adapter.

Thanks to the true bypass feature the pedal is transparent when not in use

The pedals seem well built and laid out for easy use. The only two things I would change however would be to make the small control knobs slightly bigger and to change the text colour on some of the units to something with a higher contrast to make it a bit easier to read in low light situations.

Blues Crab

The Blues Crab, as its name suggests is a classic style overdrive pedal mainly for classic rock, blues and similar styles.  The gain control in the centre provides various levels of drive from smooth and slightly overdriven to a more raucous overdrive. “Level” provides the relative effect volume and “Tone” shapes the EQ. I tried the pedal with a Blues Junior valve amp and was very pleased with the results.

From clean it can provide a good crunchy overdrive and if your amp is already overdriven it can take this overboard for solos and heavier passages.


Flex Boost

The purpose of the Flex Boost is simply to give one more volume and drive on you current amplifier without colouring the sound. This can be especially useful when you cannot saturate you amplifier but require an overdriven sound.

Controls provided are “Gain” to adjust the amount of boost, bass to EQ the lower frequencies, Volume adjusts the relative effect volume, and Treble adjusts the EQ on the higher frequencies.

Testing on a Blues Junior proved various stages on gain available and on a Marshall

The pedal can provide everything from a relatively clean boost, to overdriven sounds normally associated with a saturated valve amplifier

Mod Factory

This tiny pedal incredible boasts 11 modulation type effects. These are;

Flanger, phaser, envelope phaser, chorus, tremolo, stutter, vibrato, univibe, auto wah, touch wah and and envelope ring modulator.

The effects are based on a DSP chip but sound authentic enough as to emulate a dedicated pedal.

As to controls the main knob selects the desired effect, “Level” provides the relative effect volume, “Rate/Sensadjusts the effect rate (speed) or sensitivity.  “Level/Tone” adjusts the relative effect volume, or shapes the EQ. These two controls are chosen depending on the effect selected. Finally the “Depth” control adjusts the range of the effect.

The effects vary, but one can definitely find a place within their own personal sonic palette to use these effects, as most are quite similar to the sounds they intend to emulate, others are an approximate facsimile of the same. Also note that with some of the effects there is a volume loss as to the original signal.

A handy guide to all the effects and parameters is stamped on the side of the pedal.

Ninety Orange   

Moving on the next effect on our board emulates a famous phaser pedal both in its orange colour and name.

Controls on this pedal are simple; one knob controls “Speedwhich is self-explanatory and a switch is provided labelled vintage or modern. This presumably gives us the sound of the original 70s phaser or it’s more modern contemporary counterpart.

The effect quality is very high and convincing. It also mixes well with the Blues Crab or Flexboost for heavier passages.

Echolizer.

Last but not least we have the Echolizer. This pedal provides an analogue like delay of up to 600ms. On controls the large knob labelled “Time” adjusts the delay time, the “Echo” control adjusts the relative level of the effect and the “Feedback” control adjusts the number of repeats.

Testing the pedal reveals sounds that are truly usable and analogue like with repeats that fades out for example and get darker as they decline as on a tape echo.

The effect also mixers well with overdrive and distortion if you wish to add a further dimension to your solo’s and riffs.


Pedal board and Carry Case

Housing the pedals Mooer has provided for our review, the Stomp Plate mini pedal board and carry case. This consists of a lightweight but strong aluminium structure with plastic ends. Velcro is used to stick the pedals onto the board, which are then connected with Z-type quarter inch connectors for audio, and supplied power via a 9-volt “wall wart” and a multiple connector daisy chain. The whole arrangement fits in a convenient padded carry bag.

The whole arrangement works very well, and the only “problem” I foresee is the power cables are not tied to the board in any way, this could be easily solved with a few cable ties to secure the cables.

Also checkout the M5 Firefly pedal case with is a rigid hard case with moulded spaces for the pedals and routing within the case for audio and power cables.

In Summary

This is the first instance in which micro pedals like these have been tested at the gear-review HQ and we are very impressed. The pedals are well built, sound good and are definitely usable as a micro pedal board or to complement your existing setup.

By Ernest H Slade

For further information please visit: http://www.mooeraudio.co.uk
or UK importer http://www.stringsandthings.co.uk/

For a Video Demo Please Click Here