This week something a little different.
Carl Martin have always made awesome effects pedals, great tones and really robust units. When I built my first board for function work it was pretty bug with most things on it, but I also had the forethought to buy a Quattro as well. This meant that for full blown over the top stuff it became the centre of my big board with then extra pedals surrounding it, or if I had a smaller gig I can simply take the Quattro off the board and use it as a stand alone unit.
The Quattro is essentially a multi effects unit, but what it really is, is a load of good quality Carl Martin pedals stuck together. From right to left there is: Compressor, Drives (x2) Vintage Chorus, Vintage Delay (with tap tempo). the reality is that you rarely need more on a pub/function gig, unless you are being very picky.
So to the sounds, think of this way, each part is a pedal in itself.
The compressor is great, the attack is nice and solid and the level can be set to whatever is needed. It is a lot like the Keeley 2 dial compressor. Not quite as good, but then the Keeley is a lot more money! It goes from the funk thing right throughout to Parisien Walkways amounts of sustain. If that’s what you are into!
The Drives are good too. the unit has 2 drives that are switchable. I have one of them set to a mild crunch/blues sort of thing and the other set to the ACDC full bore rock setting. Again the dials are easy to use and very self explanatory. The main issue is that the 2 drives share the same Tone and Level setting, so you can set one for solos. this can be got around by using a separate boost pedal or by using the volume pot on the guitar. If you are using the volume pot the drives respond really well, but when I have done this they have been set slightly higher.
After this you go into Vintage chorus effect. This is very nice and is a lot like an Electro Harmonix Small Clone. A really nice wave form and wobble to the sound and very adjustable. The dials are Speed and Depth so nice and simple, but allow plenty of variation. The speed maybe doesn’t go to the same level as a stand alone unit but is certainly enough.
Then there is a Vintage Delay. This is based on an analogue delay unit and is very convincing. It has Tone, Repeat an Delay dials allowing you to tailor the sounds and amount of each repeat, but it also has a tap tempo function which is perfect when playing with a band that moves in tempo or isn’t working to a click. Let’s be honest, what pub bands are playing to a click!
There is one other nice feature that Carl Martin have thought of and this is a send and return set of jacks just after the drives and the Chorus. Like I was saying for solo’s you might want a separate unit, and this is where you would put it. The send/return also allows you to put a volume pedal here so that if you are using the delay, at the end of a song you can turn all the volume off and nut e the guitar, but the repeats carry on for a time. It is little features like this that make me like Carl Martin effects so much, it has been well thought out.
Everything is a good distance apart, not so far that makes the pedal bigger than it needs to be but also not so close together that it gets confusing. each effect has a great, bright blue LED making t very easy to see whats on. The housing is as you would expect extremely solid and has a built in power lead.
I must admit that I haven’t used this pedal for some time now since going onto stand alone units and having several different boards for different things, however I have just plugged this in and it all still works and sounds great. If you are just starting out, or want something that is super portable then this might just be it. I will say that there are now a lot of great multi pedal systems, the TC Nova System springs to mind. However you will probably get a decent Quattro on eBay for a lot less!
Pros: Awesome tones / great design / Bright LED / Easy to use / Portability / Quite switching
Cons: Not quite as good as the pedals themselves