056 | Guyatone MC3 Micro Chorus: A Closer Look at this Two-Knob Wonder | Transcript

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Scott Schwertly:
Hello, and welcome to episode 56 of the Sonic Renegades podcast. We're exploring renegade pedals that have changed the music landscape. Up for today's discussion, we have a discontinued chorus pedal. This is the Guyatone MC3 Micro Chorus. It's hard to find, but if you get your hands on one, you'll absolutely love it. We'll see you on the other side. Hey, everybody, Scott Schwertly, and Eric Wilson of Siren Pedals with you today. I hope you're having a great one.

Today, we've got another chorus pedal. This is one that I got my hands on about a week or so ago, and I absolutely love it. I heard about it. I was actually doing research for our YouTube channel. I was going to be covering how to capture the magical tone of Jonny Buckland. And I found that Jonny actually has this pedal on his board, and it got me interested, so I looked into it, got myself... Got my hands on one, and man, I love it. This is a great chorus pedal. Unfortunately, it's been discontinued, so they're not readily available, but if you can get one, yeah, it's a great addition.

Eric Wilson:
Well, yeah, and I was... I mean, I even stopped on Reverb just before we even started this podcast, and they're still pretty cheap, like for something that's discontinued and rare. And honestly, that sounds so good. Like, it's a very simple two-knob chorus, which, I mean, I've said it many times, I love simple pedals. I just want it to do its one thing, and that's it. But yeah, it just sounds really great. And honestly, it doesn't take up a lot of space, so that's a pro for it too.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah, it's super easy, like you said, the two knobs, so this just has a Depth Knob, and a Rate Knob, and it's really easy to dial in what you're looking for, and I've been absolutely impressed with it. So I actually, shockingly, got mine, brand new. I bought it from a company in New York, just on their online version, or on their online site, and got mine brand new for about $100.

And I think it was... I think mine's actually from 2009, maybe, but don't quote me on that. But, mine was brand new, it's just been sitting there in their store for years and years. In fact, I ended up talking with the guy on the phone, and he's like, "Yeah, I've had this thing for a long time. It just never sold. And, but it is brand new." But anyway, excited to get it.

As you mentioned, Eric, if you jump on Reverb, you can find a used one maybe for like 70 bucks, 60 bucks, 80 bucks, so not going to break the bank if you're looking for a nice chorus option. If some of maybe the more expensive versions out there just aren't your thing, this is a good one to grab.

Eric Wilson:
Well, yeah, and I think even like, I probably would prefer the tone of this over some of more expensive units on the market, because this... For some reason, this reminds me quite a bit of like an old Boss CE-2. Now, like rented, I don't own one. So like, I've only played it a handful of times, but that's kind of what the tone reminds me of whenever I plug into this thing, which is good, considering those are a lot more expensive than these.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah, I've been super impressed with it, and I've been kind of comparing it to that as well. In fact, I've got a Boss MD-500 on my board. And I was comparing this pedal to some of the options that are on there, everything from the CE-1 to their prime chorus option. And man, it was a tough battle choosing which one I would actually prefer to keep all my board, because it just has its own little special place, and it's got this really warm tone to it. And it's hard to... And again, you guys will hear this in the demo today, but it's hard to sort of describe it other than it's warm, and it sounds like just a nice, warm, analog core sound, which... Yeah, I mean, it's... Yeah, I absolutely have enjoyed it.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah, well, and that's one of the things when I was reading, and looking on forums, and even in my own experience found that a reason why people gravitate towards this chorus pedal is because it does preserve your low end, and a lot of chorus pedals that are based on like the 80s tone, and the 80s music cut out a lot of the chorus, or cut out a lot of the chorus. They cut out a lot of your low end to create clarity. And that just kind of goes back into the sound of the 80s. Like, that was the sound of the 80s is cut a little bit of low end, because the guitar doesn't live there kind of thing. But being able to have that low end just creates a really nice organic tone.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah, this thing is really just... It's a jam. You know, the fact that it does what you just described, Eric, just really makes it different from the rest, and the fact that it's so affordable, even as a discontinued pedal, it's a great addition for any board, particularly for those that are connoisseurs of that chorus tone. So for those of you that are new to the Guyatone brand, if you've never heard of it before, it's actually an extension... A brand extension, an entity of a bigger corporation, which is the Tokyo Sound Company, which has been around for quite some time.

So all you really need to know there is that what you're dealing with here is really Japanese engineering. Again, this pedal is discontinued, but its roots, again, go back to Japanese manufacturing. And the circuit in this particular pedal is based on the Panasonic MN3207 analog IC. Again, I know that's probably going to go over some people's heads that are not DIY folks or pedal builders out there, but again, it's roots, definitely based in Japanese engineering and manufacturing.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah, well, and I think that probably explains the similarities in tone to the Boss CE-2. Now, I don't know everything about that pedal, I'd love to get my hands on it, and open it up and just kind of look at it a little bit more, but that would explain why I feel like it sounds very close to that.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah, for sure. And I know a lot of people will actually... As we've already talked about... A lot of people prefer this pedal over that one, but the fact that it's even in the same conversation is a compliment enough. So yeah, it's a great, great option, again, for those that, again, are looking for just a new core sound, particularly that warmer tone.

Now, as far as people that actually use this pedal, I mean, we've talked about Jonny Buckland starting off. I couldn't really find a ton of artists and musicians that have this on their board. Again, it's kind of its own separate niche, but I love bands like Coldplay, and the Jonny Buckland [inaudible 00:06:49] is good enough for me.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah, I mean, I couldn't find any others as well, but I mean, I think that's the great thing. I feel like that's another reason to buy it. Like, nobody else is using it. Pick it up, you can be the guy who uses it. We could be talking about you someday.

Scott Schwertly:
Exactly.

Eric Wilson:
Probably not, but whatever.

Scott Schwertly:
And the great thing too is, not only is this affordable, but it doesn't... The footprint is really small. It doesn't take up a lot of space on your board. Like we talked about, it's simple, it's easy to use, just with the two knobs there. And yeah, I mean, you get a lot in a small package. So if you guys are curious about what this thing actually sounds like, we're going to get this connected and give you guys just a taste of what it's all about.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah, I'm going to go ahead and plug in with my strap to the chorus pedal, and then through my board, and then into the Iridium.

Scott Schwertly:
Perfect. Well, I'm excited to let you guys hear what it's all about. I know there's not a lot online about it, so maybe this is your first time to hear the Guyatone MC3 Micro Chorus. All right, we'll see you guys on the other side.

Eric Wilson:
All right, that was the Guyatone MC3. It's a great sounding chorus pedal. It's still pretty cheap, even though it's discontinued. And yeah, I would 100% recommend picking this up. I mean, there's no reason not to.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah, I love this thing. I'm so glad I found it, and was made aware of it. So yeah, I'm glad we were able to cover this one today on the episode, or on the podcast.

Well, there you have it, guys. And again, is the Guyatone MC3 Micro Chorus. Join us next time, we're going to... Since we've been talking about Jonny Buckland today, we're going to kind of stay in that realm. Even though, Jonny plays with a RAT, and a Fulltone OCD, a company called Vertex, which I'm sure you guys are familiar with. Vertex has the Dynamic Distortion pedal, which kind of gets you into that Jonny Buckland world. So we will be covering that in the next episode, so excited to go back into the world of distortion.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah, I'm excited for that one. I haven't played one of those in a while, so it'll be nice to get to play one of those again.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah, definitely, so excited to cover that one. Until then, have a great day, have a great week, and we will catch you in the next episode.

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