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EHX Nano Clone and Stereo Clone Theory - REVIEWS!

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by JanusZarate, Nov 1, 2006.

  1. JanusZarate

    JanusZarate Low End Avenger

    Feb 21, 2006
    Petaluma, CA, USA
    All right, as promised... I've tested out the newest Electro-Harmonix chorus pedals! They came into my local shop a few days ago, so I went in this evening and gave them both a try. I came home with one - I'll get into that in a sec.

    So... first up is the Nano Clone.


    It's a tiny little pedal, with just one knob. The chorus depth is preset, and Based on comparing it to the Clone Theory and playing back my old Small Clone demo clips, it sounds like the Nano Clone is using a depth preset similar to the depth switch when pushed UP on the Small Clone. So basically, it's lush, organic, and as wonderful as the original Small Clone.

    Here's the drawbacks I noticed:
    - No depth switch means no "subtle" chorus - but we don't need subtle chorus anyway :D
    - It's a bit "hissy." At first, I thought it was just the pickups on the Fender MIM Jazz I was using to test the pedal, but in addition to the jazz coil noise, it has its own hiss.

    So, overall... it really is essentially a small version of the original, minus the option of mild chorus.

    Now, the Stereo Clone Theory. I took this one home for lots of reasons.

    The Clone Theory has three knobs - Mode, Depth, and Rate. Depth and Rate are self-explanatory if you've worked with chorus before. Now, the Mode knob is special.


    The pic above isn't very clear, but if you look at the three options on the Mode knob, the last two are a light blue text, the same as the Depth knob text. Everything else is standard white text. The manual explains why: The first chorus mode (CHR 1) is a preset-depth chorus, about the same as the Nano Clone. The Depth knob doesn't work in this mode. Adjust the Rate knob to taste, and it's good to go.

    The second chorus mode (CHR 2) allows you to adjust the depth to your liking, and allows you to do everything from subtle chorus to over-the-top
    (more so than the Small Clone, to my ears).

    The third mode is Vibrato. In this mode, the dry signal that normally gets mixed with the wet signal (for the chorus effect) is not present, so you just get that warbly, slightly "detuned" effect that vibrato is famous for, without the underlying dry signal. Adjust depth and rate to taste, and you're set. I haven't found much use for this mode yet, but I like it regardless, and may find an application for it soon. It seems like it could be really useful for me at low-rate settings.

    In all modes, there's hardly any hiss; it sounds "cleaner" than the Nano Clone did.

    When I brought the Clone Theory home, I plugged it in to my GK 2001RB, and the "hiss" noise was minimal. This leads me to believe that either the amp at the shop, or that Jazz bass, may have made that Nano Clone sound hissier than usual. Well, that, and they're analog pedals - bound to have a little noise one way or another.

    However, in terms of features, hiss, and style, the Clone Theory wins on all counts. This was everything I'd hoped it to be.

    In regards to the stereo function, I don't have a way of trying it out. I read the manual, and it says the stereo output is 180 degrees out of phase with the main output, to allow for a "panning" chorus effect of sorts between two amps. Sounds great, but without a second amp, I won't know how great it might be. Nevertheless, I doubt it'd be bad.

    My board is complete once again!

    Final Verdict: I approve of Cloning :D

    P.S. I'll try to post some demo clips of the Clone Theory when I find time. For now... if you're a Small Clone fan, consider this as a replacement if you want more control and flexibility on the chorus extremes, as well as a nifty vibrato option, a convenient preset chorus option, and the ability to go stereo! If you want to save cash and don't need any extra gizmos and knobs on your pedal, the Nano Clone would work fine, I'd imagine, but I'd be sure to test it out with your rig to make sure the hiss isn't an issue.
  2. squarewave

    squarewave Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2004
    Iowa City, Iowa USA
    Great reviews. Thanks. Could you tell us the dimensions of the Clone Theory? I don't know if I can fit the larger one in the only remaining spot on my board.

    Also, do you know if the stereo pedal outputs the same signal on both right and left when in the off position. I'd hate to lose one amp when switched to mono (off) mode.

  3. JanusZarate

    JanusZarate Low End Avenger

    Feb 21, 2006
    Petaluma, CA, USA
    Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that! According to the manual, it says both outputs are hooked up to the input in bypass mode. So yeah, they'll both be running fine. What I'm not clear about is if the stereo output will still output a signal that's 180 degrees out of phase with the main output when in bypass mode.

    As for dimensions... 3.5" x 4.5" x 1" for the Clone Theory - same as the SansAmp Bass Driver, Aphex Punch Factory, and other pedals with similar chassis sizes.
  4. Taylor Livingston

    Taylor Livingston Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    Oregon, US
    Owner, Iron Ether Electronics
    I doubt the left and right bypassed signals are out of phase, but if they were, this would actually be a good thing, as it would give your clean sound a "wider" stereo image (a purely psychoacoustic effect).
  5. The BurgerMeister

    The BurgerMeister musician.

    Apr 13, 2006
    Big Bear, CA
    thanks, boo! great reviews. i'm eyeing up the clone theory. i already have a chorus i love, don't get me wrong... it's just.... y'know....

    f***ing G.A.S.
  6. JanusZarate

    JanusZarate Low End Avenger

    Feb 21, 2006
    Petaluma, CA, USA
    There, there...


  7. thanks my friend I appreciate your time....a big help to us country bumpkins that don't have access to larger stores where we can test drive some of this stuff
  8. NickyBass

    NickyBass Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2005
    Southern New Jersey
    I had a similiar experience with the Nano Clone. There is enough hiss to notice when I'm practising. I'm sure it would be fine live, but kind of annoying. It would stop when the next pedal in the chain was engaged. Odd. I tried to hook it up to my pedal board, but it wouldn't work with an adapter. The Dr Q worked fine with the same plug. I will keep it, but ordered the EBS chorus and it is increadible.
  9. grygrx

    grygrx Lookout! Here comes the Fuzz!

    Dec 24, 2003
    Columbia, MO
    Nice review. I'm also in the "I like my chorus" by oooh ahh.. Clone Theory camp. This did not help.
  10. JanusZarate

    JanusZarate Low End Avenger

    Feb 21, 2006
    Petaluma, CA, USA
    Thank you, thank you! I'll be here all week :smug:

    I think I'm finally satisfied with my board, now that I have a chorus again. Although I'd really love to have an EHX Bass Micro Synthesizer. Oh, oh, and maybe a Micro Q-Tron. And maybe a nice tremolo or delay pedal.

    Damnit... my GAS isn't cured yet :crying:
    Matto1349 likes this.
  11. lowstar


    Jul 3, 2001
    one of the few songs that come to mind that use a vibrato-effect on the bass track is kate bush´s "night of the swallow" with the great and underrated del palmer on bass. it´s very noticeable in the chorus section when you listen to the harmonics. i think he uses a t.c. chorus in "p.m." setting (at least that´s what brings me very close).
    great bass playing on that album in general.
    well, great bass playing on ALL kate bush albums, actually.


    p.s. the pm mode on the t.c. sounds different from the vibrato mode of the ehx, though. at least my bad stone does. more of a oeeeiooeioeeei, compared to a more trem-like effect of the t.c.
  12. Nice! Will hace to get me a Clone Theory, it seems to do all I was hoping for as far as Peter Hook-chorus goes :)

    In addition, i would have TWO vibratos on my board since my CarlMartin Tremovibe has tremolo and vibrato as well...

    I use tremolo and vibrato a lot on slower, more suggestive, songs just to give my bass notes a little more "air" and movement...i like!
    Matto1349 likes this.
  13. JanusZarate

    JanusZarate Low End Avenger

    Feb 21, 2006
    Petaluma, CA, USA
    Hmm... I'll have to check that song out - I've never listened to any of Kate Bush's stuff before, I think.

    The Clone Theory's vibrato definitely has a "detuned warble" feel to it, at least on low rate settings. Cool effect regardless!
  14. I concur! I have always thought that as far as rock music goes, Del palmer and Peter Hook have some of the best bass tones that involve a chorus effect.

    (Chorus can sound very cheesy on bass alot of the time.)
    Matto1349 likes this.
  15. keb


    Mar 30, 2004
    A heads up on the Nano Clone (and Nano Muff) regarding power supplies!

    Read this thread over on Harmony Central, where Rick Stevenson of Electro-Harmonix explains what is happening.

    Summary: due to the way these pedals are wired (reverse ground), they will not work (nay, your entire pedal board won't work!) if powered with a daisy chain power supply. Batteries or a dedicated power supply are your only choices in the meantime.
  16. Cheers for the review Boo!! I have been looking at the clone theory recently, but havn't had a go on one yet. I will have to get my hands on one. Im currently using a Digitech Bass Chorus which is pretty sterile sounding IMO.
  17. JanusZarate

    JanusZarate Low End Avenger

    Feb 21, 2006
    Petaluma, CA, USA
    Wow... I hadn't tried the Nano Clone with the adapter, so I'd have never known!

    But yeah... the Clone Theory works fine in my daisy chain, so no worries there :D
  18. keb


    Mar 30, 2004
    Yeah it's a bit of a bummer. I already have a Small Clone, but I was kinda looking at the Nano Muff. I guess it's not truly the end of the world, as I could just throw a battery in it and pretend it's a vintage stomper without a power jack. ;) Or I could go for the Little Big Muff.
  19. Many power supplys (Cioks for example) offer possibilities for reverse ground, through special cables or switches.

    EDIT: after reading the HC thread.....doesn't seem to be that easy unfortunately...hmm. At least sounds like they plan to change it to version 2.0 :)
  20. NickyBass

    NickyBass Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2005
    Southern New Jersey
    That explains why my pedal board doesn't work with the Nano Clone. I thought I was crazy.

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