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The Carl Martin Rock Bug - Fantastic studio/live tool! Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 12th September 2018
Gear Head

The Carl Martin Rock Bug - Fantastic studio/live tool!

Hi folks,

I just picked up a used Carl Martin Rock Bug pedal, and am blown away by how good it is. I needed a simple, direct, preferably analog guitar amp/speaker cab simulator solution for recording situations where I can't use an amp in the room and am taking a direct line from my guitar into the recorder for monitoring purposes.

Having previously owned the Two Notes Torpedo Studio for this purpose paired with my nice handwired tube heads, I've heard the best that current digital with IRs can offer in this regard. Gotta say, though the tone of the Rock Bug isn't quite at the level of a Milkman Creamer into Torpedo, for simple studio monitoring purposes while tracking live with my pedalboard, it's bloody fantastic and feels better under the fingers than the tube amp>Torpedo solution. It takes pedals like a good Fender clean channel, has a balanced DI out with lots of output gain so you don't need to waste a preamp on it, and tonally pairs perfectly with my Telecaster and Gretsch.

With the Torpedo, there was always a digital feel - certainly wonderful tone and very useable given what I was trying to accomplish, but I didn't want $2000 wrapped up in a track I was only using for monitoring purposes (I always reamp the direct guitar signal, split before the Rock Bug, after the session through my amps with real mics/preamps).

Anyway, for those who don't want to go down the IR road, the Rock Bug is it! Great price, great build, and great tone. Oh, and its headphone output actually sounds good! Unlike that of the Torpedo Studio sadly. Also has RCA inputs for a CD player or ipod for jamming purposes. Amazing! Finally, makes a killer live amp backup in a pinch. This demo is what got me interested in the pedal in the first place:

I have no affiliation with Carl Martin- just want to give some kudos where it's due. I posted this review on thegearpage also - surprised this pedal isn't talked about more. Value for dollar is quite high here...
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