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Heads up on the Empress Nebulus

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Michedelic, Dec 14, 2013.

  1. Michedelic

    Michedelic MId-Century Modern

    The official page: http://www.empresseffects.com/nebulus.html#
    Just picked this up for my guitar rig, it's been on the street less than two months. It's a true bypass mono 'one-at-a-time' modulation tool kit. So far no bass videos, but here's Andy putting it thru the six string workout:

    It could be a contender for 4-string(or 5 or 6, as the case may be); between the mix knob and the tone switch choices, there's little, if any, low end loss. It wouldn't be for everybody---it doesn't approach the more adventurous potential of the EQD Sea Machine or Iron Ether Polytope, let alone a Tech 21 Bass Boost Chorus(which is my current go-to), but as a straight-ahead chorus, it's got all you need, the 3 flanger modes deliver the goods, and you can get to phase shifter by way of the vibe settings(I gave it the "For The Love Of Money" test); the 'vibrato' sub-mode is true pitch fluctuation. It has plenty of tweakable features and extras(basic tremolo, for example)and the convenience of 8 preset stations, without having to be in multi-effect menu hell. A Swiss Army knife for all your modulation needs, in most situations, that is no bigger than three Mooer pedals in a row(before the space taken up by a couple of connectors). $250-$300 street/ebay price, fairly light weight. While it's nowhere near a Strymon Mobius, it's a good basic compliment to that pedal if you're going the multi-effects separates route.
    blindrabbit likes this.
  2. Michedelic

    Michedelic MId-Century Modern

    I'd add that Burgs does a bit more involved demo of the features...

    Also, there's an internal input gain level switch, if that's something to active pickup users.
  3. frankthetank727


    Jul 7, 2011
    I was able to play one of these at the Chicago Music Exchange a while ago and I recently ended up ordering one online. If anyone is curious, I can post back here once I have it and let you guys know how it works on my personal rig at home
  4. TinyE


    Jan 31, 2013
    yes please.
  5. millahh

    millahh Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2005
    Sorry for the threadromancy, but does anyone have experiences with this that they'd be interested in sharing? I'm very intrigued by this...
  6. millahh

    millahh Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2005
    Ok, fine...I'll find out for myself, since GAS got the better of me and I just ordered from Prymaxe! (the holiday discount code still beign in effect may have influenced my decision a bit)
  7. Alien8


    Jan 29, 2014
    Everything Empress is good quality, physically lightweight and full frequency, so bass players and studio users can really take advantage of them.

    I really like the unique feature sets they create like the memory in this one, and the patterns in their dedicated tremolo pedal. They may not always go as wacky as some of the other guys, but for the 90% get the job done stuff they do it with style.

    I'm looking forward to hearing more about this pedal an trying one.

    (Just an empress fan, no affiliation)
    blindrabbit likes this.
  8. millahh

    millahh Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2005
    I've got the MultiDrive, and absolutely adore it, so I'm an Empress fan as well. I saw this when I was digging around on their website, and was in disbelief that I could find hardly anyone with experience using it on bass.

    I'll definitely be reporting back once I've given it a spin. I've got high hopes that this will be the answer to my seemingly-unending quest for my ideal modulation pedal(s).
  9. millahh

    millahh Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2005
    Ok, first impressions:

    -Excellent build quality (no surprise there)
    -There is no phase reversal
    -Output at noon is truly zero gain
    -No bottom end loss
    -No other obvious EQ-related anomalies (e.g. the Phase 90 mid-bump), or weird gain spikes from the modulation that I've found
    -The LED above the preset switch is always on, always in time with the rate. I understand the utility, but since my "bass corner" in in my living room, it's a little obnoxious...so I unplug it when not in use. Maybe I'll fashion a little eye patch" for it at some point...

    Note: I run my modulation in parallel with my OD/Dist/Fuzz via a Wounded Paw Blender, so I can't really comment on "Mix" yet, as I run it at full.

    -The Basic and Multi are both about what you'd expect...pretty standard, not "cheesy", very easy to get useable sounds. Being able to control the LF throb means that the stability of the signal isn't sacrificed (unless you want it to be, of course).
    -The Chorus w/ tremolo mode is a neat toy, but probably of far more use on guitar.

    -The univibe mode gets that nice, phaser-y sound. Chewy, but not overpowering. I haven't pushed this mode too hard yet, to see if I can get "watery". I can kick my current phaser off my board now.
    -Vibrato falls into the "neat toy" category, as it's not terribly practical in most instances. That said, it does sound good (though I really don;t have a basis for comparison for this particular effect).
    -The rotary mode sounds about like a rotary...I don;t really have a good frame of reference for how it compares to anything else.

    Still trying to wrap my head around his one a bit. I really love getting a sense of movement to the sound using a flanger, but without it being really obvious. I haven't quite found that yet. All modes sound good, but I haven't quite found the settings that get me the "translucent" sound I'm looking for (if that makes sense). One interesting note is that the regeneration adds an almost vocal quality to the effect, which I haven't encountered on previous flangers. I think my sound is in there (based on the versatility I hear in the stock presets), it's just harder to dial in. Also, I wasn't able to get it to self-oscillate.

    EDIT: Having the regeneration on, but knocking back the highs (by setting it to "warm") tames the regeneration, and I can now get the subtle flange similar to the Boss. So I found what I was looking for.

    So that's the first take, based on about 30 minutes. I'll report back once I've had more time with it.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2015
    Raman, Driven Crane and blindrabbit like this.
  10. Any further impressions you can share now, 6 months later? :)
    millahh likes this.
  11. millahh

    millahh Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2005
    Sigh...lots of 70 hour weeks, my company getting bought and moving house...so I haven't even been able to spend much time with it. I feel like if I can get a good three or four hours, it will be great, but I just haven't had the time to be able to invest.
    Raman likes this.