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Tech 21 Leeds Character Series - Bass Clips and Impression

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Robertron, May 20, 2011.

  1. Robertron


    Feb 12, 2010
    NewYork, NY

    Here are some bass clips of the Tech 21 Leeds, along with a picture of my dirty carpet and Jamman. :smug:

    Leeds by Robertronn on SoundCloud - Create, record and share your sounds for free

    As always, try to use good headphones or speakers with good bass response.

    With each clip I try to sample my clean fingerstyle tone, my tone with the Leeds engaged still fingerstyle, and then Leeds with a pick tone. I apologize for the fret buzz and sloppy technique. I don't know if you can tell by my choice of riffs and sloppy playing but I was watching Scott Pilgrim while I was doing these clips.

    --The first four tones, "Thick Crunch", "Gilmour-Style Lead", "Full Stack", and "Leeds Bass" are the four suggested settings found on the sheet that comes with the pedal.
    Each of these tones tend to be more high-gain and trebly, with the exception of "Full Stack". While "Full Stack" is still a rather high-gain setting the tone is much more smooth overall

    --The "Lo-Gain" and "Lo-Gain Bassy" tones are two tones I like to use.
    It's a shame that the suggested tones are all high-gain tones because this pedal is capable of some very pleasing tones even with the Drive turned down.

    Here is a link to the Tech 21 Leeds manual. You can find details on the pedal and on how the knobs interact, and you can also see the sheet on page 3 with the knob positions for the four suggested tones.

    According to Tech 21, on the character knob:

    "Settings below 12 o'clock yield clean, classic Hi-watt-style tones.

    Nearing 12 o'clock brings you into crunchier territory associated with '70s Who-style tunes such as Who Are You, Baba O'Riley, and We Won't Get Fooled Again.

    Above 12 o'clock accentuates upper mids for Gilmour/Floyd-style leads.

    Full up may cause your mate or your lead singer to flee the premises, which could be desirable in certain circumstances."

    -I've never played a Hi-Watt so I can't compare this pedal to those particular amps. Tech 21 is spot on when they say that below 12 o'clock on the character knob yields more clean tones. With the character knob at or below 12 o'clock the tones smooth out and have less treble.

    They say above 12 o'clock accentuates the upper mids. To my ears and from my experience using this pedal in a mix this is also pretty accurate. I usually turn the character knob up to about 1:30 for Geddy-esque, agressive, trebley tones.

    --I often find myself between 11 o'clock and 2 o'clock on the character knob for the tones I like. Turning the character knob too far counter-clockwise results in tones that lack definition, and turning the character knob too far clockwise results in tones that are a little too bright and brittle for my tastes.

    --As for the speaker sim defeat button, I rarely use it. I never disengage the speaker sim because I prefer what the simulation does. I will say, though, that with the speaker simulation disengaged the pedal creates tones that lack the same trebley character you'll find with the simulation engaged. The pedal also tends to sound louder with the button disengaged.

    --Overall I really like this pedal. At first I was worried the pedal wouldn't perform very well because the tones I was getting early on seemed more guitar-centered, and often the pedal still does to me. After some EQing, mostly turning up the bass a little more than suggested, and getting the character and drive knobs to cooperate I found a lot of great tones. It's also very easy to dial in tones consistently, something I've heard is a problem with other Tech 21 Character pedals. *ahemvtbasshemhem*

    The pedal works very well in a mix. While the MID knob may not be centered around the most beneficial frequency band for bass, both the MID knob and Character knob help tune the pedal to different amps and mixes ensuring you'll always be heard.
  2. Matt Dean

    Matt Dean Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    SF (North) Bay Area
    I like!
  3. alexa.


    Jan 31, 2011
    You don't say?
    Thick crunch totally reminds me of the movie, wonder why :p

    Also, tnx for the clips!
    Do you have problems with it not being dynamically responsive?
  4. bigchiefbc

    bigchiefbc Supporting Member

    Oct 9, 2006
    Rhode Island, USA
    Nice clips. I usually have mine set somewhere between clips 5 and 6. It really is great for low-gain dirt with a high-mid clank to it.
  5. Robertron


    Feb 12, 2010
    NewYork, NY
    I definitely looked to the movie for some riff inspiration. :ninja:

    The only time I have a problem with the lack of dynamic response in the pedal is going from clean to engaged with the pedal, but at home. I always end up using a really aggressive right-hand technique with my band, so in that situation I just have to set the Leeds to be at unity with my loudest clean playing and it's fine.
    The high-mid clank is a good clank too. It isn't so loud that it consumes your tone and defines it, and it's easy to dial in and out.

    I feel like I need to add some clips. I think there's some ground I haven't covered.

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