NPD- Empress Multidrive came from ebay broken! Fixed w/ update and review.

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by krfoss, Mar 15, 2018.

  1. krfoss

    krfoss Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2007
    Orange County, CA
    Short story: bought an empress multidrive used on ebay, but the entire distortion channel doesnt work. When I move the pots around I can hear some scratchiness, but no sound. I'm considering cleaning the pots with deoxit fader, but I cant completely get the board out of the box because the power adapter wont shift over enough.

    Anyone have any suggestions?

    Edit/ update:

    Crisis averted.

    I sprayed out and cleaned the pots using deoxit fader and the channel came back to life. I also sprayed out my mastotron pedal (bought used here in the classifieds) and it is performing now better than ever.

    So, the NPD is now back on and a positive experience.

    My problem now is whether I actually love the pedal. I like it... but do I LOVE it?

    Review thus far:
    The distortion channel, now that it works, is by far my favorite. Soloing that channel on the mild setting gets me close to a simple overdrive, and I can switch to crunch and get a stronger OD sound. My issue is now whether I like the sound better than the EBS multidrive which seems to have some more sparkly harmonics, and is far simpler than the Empress.

    The Overdrive channel, as some have said, isnt great. Its lackluster and chunky, and a little dark for my liking. The gain knob is pretty linear up until around 2:30 on the dial, at which point it JUMPS in aggressive sound. Again, getting a good overdrive tone the distortion channel is better.

    The Fuzz channel is ok as well. Its certainly better than the MXR, which has this strong high fizz sound (some may like it, obviously), but the Empress doesnt have the girth by itself that the MXR does. To this end, I mix the fuzz and the OD channel and get a really big and aggressive fuzz, which sounds great... but will I ever use it in my typically playing context (church)?

    I like the EQ section a lot and it makes this really versatile. If it didnt have the EQ option, it would probably be too thin sounding, but moving the bass up to 1:00 and dropping the treble to 11:00 thickens everything up and makes it a bonafide bass pedal.

    So, I like it. Its not the sonic orgasm I was hoping for, so you all may see it up for sale in time. As of yet, the EBS is still really nice, but I like the idea of dialing in two dirt sounds that can be switched easily with one click between chorus and verse, so the Empress gets major points here.

    If desired, I can try to record some sounds since there doesnt seem to be much in the way of bass audio reviews for this monster. That said, I'm remarkably lazy and may never get there.
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2018
  2. ddnidd1

    ddnidd1 Supporting Member

    Send it back.
    lfmn16 and cataract like this.
  3. Michedelic

    Michedelic MId-Century Modern

    You should be protected on this; there’s no excuse for this situation.
  4. ddnidd1

    ddnidd1 Supporting Member

    And if you do any work on the pedal the seller can refuse a return.
    CunniMingus and lfmn16 like this.
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    Primary TB Assistant

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