4.5 (1 Reviews) The Super Bender is a harmony, pitch shift and detune effect that is fully user-programmable, allowing for up to four octaves of polyphonic pitch shifting in a single sweep of the pedal.
First off, I have to say the in my guitar rig the pitch shift pedal is probably the number one most important aspect of my effect chain; I use it constantly. I've tested out almost every variety ever made (except the DropTune from Morpheus), and the Super Bender really blows everything else out of the water.
What's interesting to me is that it seems to actually track better when you play multiple notes of chords than when you play single notes - essentially the opposite of a Digitech Whammy (especially the WH1 and WHII). The chord voicing is so clear that you could almost convince someone that you were playing chords on a six string bass, or that you have a capo on the tenth fret, depending on which way you're bending. The tracking is also much better than the old Whammys, but not quite a instantaneous as the new Whammy, which gives the Super Bender a kind of "in-between-ness" in terms of the old versus new Whammy tone. Personally, I love the tone of the WHII the most; the new Whammys sound a little too "straight" and synth-ish for me. I like the warbling tone of the slightly latent tracking of the WHII, which the Super Bender has somewhat succeeded in mimicking. The tone is spacy and ethereal without sounding contrived, and the extremely wide sweep of the pedal allows for much more precise and minute pitch alterations than any of the Whammy series pedals. The reason I gave it a 9 for sound quality is that when the effect is on, there is a slight signal boost due to the fact that the AD/DA conversion compresses the midrange to a rather large degree. It's not at all tone-sucking, but it does make you have to work a little harder to pull off extreme dynamics. On the bright side, it'll make harmonics ring like bells.
In addition to the stellar tone, the user interface of the Super Bender is also fantastic. You can set the pedal range to literally anything you want, from just one semitone to two octaves down and two octaves up (yes, you can have it sweep through all four octaves at once!), and even the depth of the detune mode is user programmable. Plus, you can save your settings in ten preset slots that you can quickly scroll through. And it's true bypass! The only reason I didn't give a 10 in ease of use is that you have to scroll through the presets with a knob, whereas I'm used to the WHII where you use a button - much easier to change modes on the fly - but it's really no big deal since you can make such specific presets that I don't think I'll even need to switch modes during songs anymore (amazing!).
Basically, if you're like me and you've been sitting around since 1989 wondering why no one has improved on the pitch shift pedal since it was invented, this is what you've been waiting for. And, the fact that you can pick one up for half the price of a new Whammy, or a quarter of the price of a WH-1, makes it a pretty appealing piece of gear.