The TVS line of sound processors has emerged from a number of years of research into the sound of original tube-based echo units such as the famous Meazzi Echomatic series. The multi tap echoes from these vintage units is characterised by a warm, singing quality that, up until now, has not been available from the modern day solid state equivalents. In addition, the whole character of both the direct and echo sounds depends upon how hard the units are driven, ranging from quite clean at low drive levels to quite compressed and distorted at high drive levels. We have found that this comes from the way that the circuitry affects both the dry (or direct) signals as well as the way the echoes (or wet) signals are produced and mixed back. Our TVS products have been designed to reproduce this sound, with particular application to guitar inputs. They have been developed using the original recorded sounds as the point of reference as well as measurements from many of the original vintage echo systems. They all use valves (tubes) in the direct sound path and are available in two versions.
The top of the range TVS3 uses analogue delay lines to produce the echoes and a unique method of replicating the magnetic recording characteristics of the original echo units. However, unlike most other analogue echo units, it also offers complete programmability of the echoes. It is supplied with over 60 patches already installed, which cover all of the operating modes of the original Meazzi Echomatic I and II and some Binson, Echoplex, Roland Space Echo and Echolette patches. Updates will be provided for additional patches as they are developed in response to user feedback. The result is a completely self-contained unit which gives you the sound of a drum or tape echo unit but without the hassles of drum or tape wear and recording/replay head maintenance, and with the additional benefit of simple and instantaneous patch selection so important for live performance. It can also be operated in a “clean” mode that removes the magnetic recording characteristics for a more modern sound.
The TVS3 has four rotary controls on the front panel: drive level (which affects the overall timbre); global echo level; global echo feedback and a mode to switch for true bypass or to bring in a bass cut filter (to give the sound on many of the early Shadows recordings). In addition there is a backlit LCD display and three pushbutton switches for patch selection and programming.
Modification of the patches or programming of new echoes is via a USB link to a PC/laptop using a program supplied. Up to 100 patches can be stored. The delay, amplitude and feedback can be independently adjusted for each of the five possible “heads” or echoes. In addition, the amount of wow and flutter can be adjusted globally and the mode switched between “vintage” (with full magnetic recording characteristics) and “clean” (no magnetic saturation effects and wider bandwidth echoes). A Screen shot of the TVS3 patch editing program is shown below.
The TVS3 pedal allows remote patch selection and patch pre-selection using up, down and load footswitches that copy exactly the push button functions on the front of the TVS3. A large LED display indicates the patch selected. A patch pre-selected is indicated by the patch number and illumination of the decimal points on the display. For more dramatic indication of patch pre-selection, a blinking high intensity led can also be enabled. With the footswitch in place, patches can be changed using both the buttons on the TVS3 and the footswitch, and both the TVS3 display and the footswitch display follow accordingly. It comes with a 5m lead with secure screw fastened plugs at each end.
The TVS1 is a lower cost model and operates only on the direct signal. As such it has to be used in conjunction with a separate unit such as an Alesis or Zoom to produce the echoes. However, it also overcomes the problem that the inputs of some echo units (such as the older Alesis Q2/20 or Zoom RFX 2000/2200) are not optimised for guitar inputs, often making the sound quite dull unless they are otherwise modified. While the echoes are of course just those produced by the Alesis/Zoom/Atlantis/Amtech/eTapHW (supplied by the user) with whatever patches are used (e.g. EFTP or others as available on sites such as Echotapper), the overall sound is much closer to that heard on recordings produced during the vintage tape/tube era. The TVS1 has two controls on the front panel; one to adjust the drive level (which affects the timbre) and one to switch in a bass cut filter (to give the sound on many of the early Shadows recordings). The level of echo etc. is set by the outboard echo unit.
The TVS1, and TVS3 are supplied in similar enclosures and both operate directly from mains power. The TVS1 can be upgraded to the higher spec TVS3 at some later time, should that be desired.
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