Iron Ether Appreciation Society

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Jared Lash, Oct 7, 2011.

  1. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2006
    Northern California
    I've never been one for TB clubs but with the million or so of them floating around, how has IE not already gotten one?

    It is a fantastic time to be a pedal junkie, with so many small builders putting out amazing pieces and bigger companies (EHX, MXR, etc) pushing their boundaries and even offering a bunch of bass specific pedals. And yet, even with a world of options available, I find that Taylor's pedals are dominating my pedalboard.

    The Xerograph is an amazing 2/4 pole low pass filter that provides super deep dub bass or a perfect swept filter for synthy sounds. And the deluxe version as an envelope follower which has quickly become my absolute favorite filter.

    The Oxide is hands down the most versatile and useful fuzz I've ever tried. Gated, synthy sounds, vintage buzz or fat aggressive tones are all in there and easy to dial in.

    I can't say enough good things about the FrantaBit. It's a true digital sample rate reducer/bitcrusher that can also do the ring moddy, analog version of sample rate reduction with a flick of a switch. And all of the expression options are very well thought out. I've told Taylor a few times that he absolutely hit a homerun with the FrantaBit's features and control setup.

    The Nimbus is a flat out great, no frills bass reverb. The high pass filter keeps it from soundy muddy in a mix and the controls are simple but hugely effective. To me the most amazing part about the Nimbus is that Taylor designed and implemented his own algorithm for it. In a sea of reverbs using off the shelf DSP units it's pretty amazing to see a small builder with both digital and analog skills like what is on display with Iron Ether products.

    I don't own a Cygnet but have had a chance to try one out. I think very highly of the Empress Tremolo and I would put the Cygnet on equal footing as they each have their own killer features. For the Cygnet those would be some very cool waveforms (I dig random especially) the width knob to sculpt the waveforms. Most importantly it has a multiplier mod that lets you modify the rate while staying in tempo. So cool. I will be buying one soon.

    The only pedal in the IE line that I haven't owned or tried is the QF2. It's an analog, multiband distortion that is tuned either for guitar or bass/keyboards/drums and based on effects wizard Craig Anderton's original Quadrafuzz. I see it and the FEA Labs (another company I respect greatly) Dual Distortion as being the most variable pedals available for sculpting a dirty tone for any occasion.

    Best of all with Taylor's pedals they are as compact as possible, often employing top mounted jacks, all with 9V power supplies, the very slick relay based true bypass and of course the awesome aesthetics. I really can't say enough good things about Iron Ether's products.

    Just as a note, I have no official connection to Iron Ether other than being a huge fan and having the utmost respect for Taylor's designs and business practices. Above and beyond that I just think he's a great guy and have enjoyed all my communications with him. He's got a vast amount of electronics knowledge and is always courteous and helpful.

    So let's give a little love to one of the most innovative effects builders out there today.
  2. Smurf-o-Deth

    Smurf-o-Deth ¡No me gustan mis pantalones!

    Oct 2, 2007
    The state of denial.
  3. DeltaPhoenix

    DeltaPhoenix Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2011
    I am loving the QF2. Someday I'll get another Xero Deluxe and Oxide. On a side note, I own a Univox U-1011 105 watt tube head that used to be Taylor's so that definately has some cool points, I think.
  4. eekmeg


    Aug 15, 2008
    Taylor is indeed a genius with design and execution of his pedals. I have a xero deluxe and an oxide. Both are versatile, intuitive, well thought out and kick major @$$. In the commuincations I have had with him, he knows his stuff and is above and beyond helpful.
  5. Valerus


    Aug 4, 2005
    Austin, Texas
    I'll pass on a number, but I gotta say my Nimbus has been amazing since the first time I put it on my board. The pedal instantly took my Boss RV-3 out of the picture.
  6. shroomt

    shroomt Supporting Member

    Jul 4, 2009
    Philadelphia, PA
    I'm in on this one. He's an amazing builder and great with customer service.

    I love a lot of the independent boutique pedal makers but Taylor is definitely leading the pack!
  7. Shish


    Sep 17, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    I have Xero and Oxide and I owned Cygnet, QF2 and FrantaBit.

    Xero is the best filter I've tried. It is one of my favorite pedals ever.

    Oxide is pretty good fuzz. I can't say it absolutely better than my Wolly Mammoth clone but it's more versatile and I like the features. It's also very cool when goes after other fuzz/synth/dirt/anything with strangle switch on so you just add high fuzzy harmonics to main tone of pedal that goes first.

    Cygnet gone pretty fast. For me it was hard to tune and not as transparent as I wanted.

    QF2 is cool but it was not my thing. The best tone for me was with all Q switches off and blend fully clockwise so you don't have any fuzziness. So I turned to somewhat simpler distortions.

    FrantaBit was a disappointment for me. Well. I could sit an hour just playing with knobs and having fun but there were no sound for my music (and I'm very far from traditional bass sound usually :)). I guess I'm just ring mod guy not true bit crushing.

    Nimbus is the only pedal I haven't try and since I'm happy with Strymon Blue Sky I don't see it happening soon.
  8. I do not own an IE pedal yet, but intend to do so when I come to the point of rebuilding my pedal boards after selling off my pedals due to unemployment. However, in the past Taylor has always been extremely helpful in answers questions, even before IE was officially started. And now in IE, he is the leading edge of bass pedal evolution.

    Taylor is a class act, and IMHO the appreciation should not go out to IE, but to Taylor himself.

    So kudosTaylor- may IE grow and you become a very, very wealthy man and at the same time maintain your happiness.
  9. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    I do plan to buy either a Xero Deluxe sometime in the nearish future, and/or a Bubble Chamber when it comes out.
  10. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2006
    Northern California
    To me the two are synonymous. True, Taylor now has someone helping him with pedal builds, but in my mind Taylor will always be Iron Ether.

    While I love that there are great boutique builders doing improved versions of classic circuits (Muff, Fuzz Face, Orange Squeezer, Phase 90 etc) and doing a great job of it, what I love most about IE is that they are really bringing some fresh ideas to the table.
  11. Yeah, I look at it that way too. But not everyone does, and the distinction between them is nice.

    Who knows, some day Fender may offer Taylor a few $million for his designs and he may retire happily
  12. NeroJazz

    NeroJazz Supporting Member

    May 2, 2011
    Iron Ether pedals can be described on way - flawless.
    They do what they do, with no hassles or extra bells & whistles to be desired.

    My Oxide, Xerograph Deluxe and Nimbus are the only pedals I've ever had that I've been completely satisfied with.

    Thanks Taylor!
  13. takfar


    Dec 21, 2008
    I really like his pedals. The Xerograph Deluxe is the sweetest filter I've ever played, and has a permanent place in my board (I'm still struggling a bit with a LED issue, but Taylor has been very helpful in trying to diagnose the reason from afar). The Frantabit is very fun, and even if I haven't found a way to insert it in my band's music, and thus haven't been carrying it in the board, it's a keeper for me.

    I'm very interested in trying out the Oxide and QF2, but those will have to wait until I have some extra dough lying around. Most of all, I'm very very very curious about the synth pedal he's developing (which he says should be out sooner rather than later). Can't wait to hear some clips of it.
  14. Wud


    Apr 11, 2009
    Big mad props to the man, and his machines.
    Glorious stuff
  15. Taylor Livingston

    Taylor Livingston Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    Louisiana, US
    Owner, Iron Ether Electronics
    Wow guys, I really appreciate all the great comments. :)

    I should say in return that, since creating Iron Ether I've found all of you (I'm pretty sure I know who each of you are from memory, even though sometimes it's tough to connect the real names to the TB handles) and really all of IE's customers to be very cool, creative, friendly, and smart people, and I have enjoyed the interaction every bit as much! Having worked in other industries (not music-related) where that can't be said, it's cool to know that there's something about the things we make which attracts such great customers.

    I always really enjoy when you send videos or clips, either showing off your use of the pedals or even if it's just some of your music. I'm grateful to have a personal connection to you guys and girls and your music.

    I do want to give credit to the others who are a part of IE - my co-worker Steffan has had a hand in nearly every pedal we made in the last year, and Don Stavely, who had a major role with the design of the QF2 and some upcoming things we're working on. Don is an extremely talented guy who was a head engineer at a major computer company for 25 years, worked in all kinds of crazy electronics fields including hifi audio, and both he and Steffan are very talented musicians to boot. My significant other has also been a huge part of IE from the start, and she did the swan graphic on the Cygnet as well as the squid/submarine art for that pedal that's not out yet. ;)

    There are so many other great builders/designers these days that I'm very grateful to be doing what I do at this time. Guys like Max at SFX, Frank at FEA, Douglas at Darkglass, Piotr at HEXE, Brian at SS/BS, etc. are really stepping up the game of effects design (and are cool folks) - I admire everything they do, and it's exciting to be a part of the current effects scene.
  16. Eric!

    Eric! Commercial User

    Jan 22, 2009
    America's High-Five
    Assembly/repair at Cusack Music and MojoHand FX
    I only have my (custom green) Xerograph Deluxe, and I have played the Oxide, Cygnet, and FrantaBit, but I've gotta say, I've never been more blown away by a single effect as I am by my Xero. I can jam with just it for long times. It's inspiringly good. It's the perfect modulation. I've always hated the locked-beat LFO driving any modulation, it gets boring and eh. Not dynamic enough. With the sensitivity knob, I can control the modulation both with envelope attack and the footpedal, and it's a lot of fun. Gets very deep. And the way it behaves with every other effect I've combined it with makes me so happy.

    I could go on about just the Xerograph, but there are more important things to be said! Taylor is an outstanding businessman and all-around dude. Super professional, too. He's got a great way of making sure the customer gets what they pay for (sometimes, even more), and is a perfect example of why I love boutique pedals over mass-produced ones (Boss, EHX, Delta, TC, etc..).

    And yes, big ups to the dudes behind the scenes!Doing a lot of work for little about humble! I recommend Iron Ether to anyone and everyone. Even if you're a budget-boarder (I sorta am..), it's worth saving the money up for something, because you're spending your money wisely. It's an investment, really. In your sonic capabilities and inspirations :D

    So, I'm as anti-club-on-TB as it gets, but if we're doin' this, GET ME A NUMBAH, YO.
  17. wolffman


    Oct 2, 2008
    Philadelphia PA
    Beta Tester: Red Panda Labs
    this made me smile. way to go taylor! happily using the xero and oxide
  18. M Sterling

    M Sterling Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2010
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I think everyone here knows how I feel about Taylor and the entire IE team.


    Xerograph is my favorite pedal ever, followed closely by Frantabit, Oxide and Nimbus. I am continually inspired by the amazing sounds they produce. I am soooo happy I found Iron Ether and that other likeminded people are catching on to what is happening on the small (ish) pedal builder scene. Hopefully the sounds that I create with these will motivate others to check out IE and share their sounds with us. Thanks, Jared, for giving us an outlet to show our appreciation and love...

    My Iron Ether pedal demos and soundclips
  19. Yeah gimme a number!

    It'll be my first club.

    I got one of the first Xerographs and it is the bomb!

    Soooo want to try Oxide and Xero env filter, nimbus, and esp. bubba chamber.

    ironetherrocks :hyper:

  20. Jean Baudin

    Jean Baudin

    Aug 27, 2003
    redwood city, ca
    Endorsing Artist: See Profile
    love the iron ether stuff. got the oxide, xero and frantabit and looking forward to future gadgets. kudos to taylor!

    And no # for me. :scowl: I'll keep this short - but clubs really ruined talkbass for me. they keep me out of the "bass" forum, practically every thread is a club... kind of why I like the effects section (more info, less clubs).