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Iron Ether Polytope - Review

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by NeroJazz, Jan 17, 2012.

  1. NeroJazz


    May 2, 2011
    Since this is a new pedal and no one else has done a review, I thought I'd give it a go.

    A little background to get you started:

    I've tried many different chorus pedals over the years, in search of the perfect chorus for me. What really bugged me for a long time was the constant warble going up-and-down all the time.
    I loved the sound but hated the movement.

    Last year I stumbled across the Neunaber ChromaChorus, and Neunaber had a different approach to the traditional chorus sound - a slight static pitch shift.
    I bought it in a heartbeat and never looked back. Until Taylor whipped out his magic wand and....

    Presto! Iron Ether Polytope!

    A quad-voice detuner pedal with an LFO, high-pass filter and separate volume controls.

    At first this pedal looks daunting with 6 knobs and 2 switches, but it really is quite intuitive.
    The clean knob controls the volume of the clean signal.
    The voice vol controls the volume of the effected signal.
    The detune knob controls how much the signal is detuned. The range switch affects how much the signal can be detuned, thus widening the range of the detune knob. The Mod switch turns the LFO on/off and when the LFO is on, the detune knob controls the depth of the pitch sweep.
    The voices knob controls how many 'voices' are added to the detuned signal. Initially it's one voice up, then it gradually adds one voice down, the one more up and lastly another one down.
    The filter knob is basically a high-pass filter, which controls how much of the low-end is effected.

    The Polytope is a very interesting animal, capable of extremely weird sounds, massive detuning and a fantastic shimmering chorus type sound. I've had this pedal about a week now and I'm kinda getting to terms with the fact that I'll never use it to it's full potential.

    The massive detuning and the LFO is, for me, just too far out to be usable in a musical context. I know a lot of you guys out there are far more radical in your approach to music than I am, and for those of you, listen very carefully to Excanes demo, as it shows the full potential of the Polytope.

    Aside from the sonic annihilation that this pedal is capable of, it also can make a bass line come to life. By detuning it ever so gently, with a single voice added and the filter set high, a quiet solo line in the upper frets sounds like a slice of heaven . Adding more voices intensifies the 'chorus' sound, making it deeper and more lush, but still it maintains a very strong fundamental. The range of the detuning knob is very wide even in it's narrow mode, turn the knob after 1 o'clock and it detunes far beyond reason IMO. But in between 9 and 1 o'clock there is pure gold to be found.

    I love the fact that this pedal has separate volume controls, thus making it far more useful even on more hardcore settings.
    All in all, the Polytope fulfills classic modulation needs with great flexibility, and still has truck loads of sounds left to spare.

    The sound quality of this thing is as all Iron Ether, amazing. I don't know how he does it, but nothing sounds just like this, the ChromaChorus gets close, but Taylor made this just a liiiitle bit better. I e-mailed him last week to give my feedback and I'll tell you what I told him:

    An Iron Ether pedal has never disappointed me in any way and this is no exception. As long as he keeps making pedals like this, I'll keep buying them.​
  2. Jeff Moote

    Jeff Moote Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2001
    Beamsville, ON, Canada
    Excellent review! But you're not helping me avoid buying one... it's only a matter of time. :D
  3. MSUsousaphone


    Dec 4, 2009
    Lake Charles, La
    Endorsed Artist: Myco Pedals
    Nice review, man.
  4. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2006
    Northern California
    The Polytope kills with a fretless. KILLS.
  5. Valerus


    Aug 4, 2005
    Austin, Texas
    Man I want to check one out.
  6. CliffD

    CliffD Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 27, 2008
    San Diego/Seattle
    I've got three strikes against me:
    -modulation is my #1 effect
    -I need a chorus pedal
    -IE makes killer sh!te
  7. +1

    I've never been able to get into standard chorus pedals (the "warble" drives me nuts), so Detune is what I finally ended up with. Definitely want to give the Polytope a run.

  8. MSUsousaphone


    Dec 4, 2009
    Lake Charles, La
    Endorsed Artist: Myco Pedals
    I know....Nero's ChromaChorus is still wading through customs on it's way to me and he already has me wanting to flip it.
  9. Basehead

    Basehead Now with even more synthy goodness... Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2008
    New York NY
    Talkbass is a bad influence.....
  10. tigerbass


    Jul 28, 2006
    Crown Point, IN
    I haven't begun to scratch the surface really, but I'm getting there. It is the only chorus I've ever used where after 5 minutes I didn't end up playing "Come as you are" and unplugging it and immediately selling it! :D

    Try running it with fuzz. :eek: Astounding!
  11. Musicfreak1988


    Feb 2, 2005
  12. caeman

    caeman The Root Master

    Sep 17, 2008
    By bad, you mean 'good, right? You kids these days and how you change words around...

  13. Lol.

    Without Talkbass, I never would've heard about most of what's on my boards OR the Polytope... and I just ordered one last night. ;)

  14. Basehead

    Basehead Now with even more synthy goodness... Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2008
    New York NY
  15. +1!

    Doesn't help with waiting for my Polytope though. lol

    I liked your other pieces on your page too, so I clicked on Follow! :cool:

  16. MSUsousaphone


    Dec 4, 2009
    Lake Charles, La
    Endorsed Artist: Myco Pedals
    It really is a groovy pedal....and I LOATHE chorus and most modulations....like hate them more than I dislike Will Farrel or Brian Ching. Nero converted me to the Chroma Chorus....pretty cool little guy. A chorus sound I couldn't just tolerate but actually liked....then he kind of converted me to the Polytope. This is where it's at. I love the subtle sounds it has....the shimmery stuff. And yeah, it plays REAL nice with fuzz. Awesome pedal.
  17. caeman

    caeman The Root Master

    Sep 17, 2008
    I want this pedal AND a Faye Sing...at the same time on my board.
  18. NeroJazz


    May 2, 2011
    *mom yelling*

    Bad Nero! Bad Nero!

    Didn't I tell you not to make other people buy more pedals?!

  19. Reviews like that should come with a pack of Rolaids. Man...
  20. Hating traditional chorus pedals is why I went down other roads. I just do NOT dig the watery, warbley, unstable sounds of choruses with speed and depth controls. I turned to detuning as a chorus and am getting ever closer to the sound in my head, looking forward to seeing if the Polytope is the end of the road or not. I suspect it'll be what I've always been after!


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