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073 | Koogo PFL-1 Flanger: A Closer Look at this Affordable Analog Flanger Pedal | Transcript

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Scott Schwertly:
Hello, and welcome to episode 73 of the Sonic Renegades podcast. We're exploring renegade pedals that have changed the music landscape. Up for today's discussion, we have the Kugo PFL-1 mini flanger pedal. This thing is a monster of a device in a compact size, and we're looking forward to unpacking it on the other side.

Hey, everybody, Scott Schwertly and Eric Wilson of Siren Pedals with you today. Hope you are have an amazing one. Well, we are excited to talk about the Kugo PFL-1 mini flanger pedal. This was actually recommended to us by our friend, Sean. He's been following the Sonic Renegades podcast really since the early days. So thank you, Sean, for recommending this pedal. And also Sean actually was kind enough to actually send us one, so really appreciate that. Hat tip to Sean for this great recommendation and also just for sending this pedal along, really do appreciate it. So we're excited to explore it and share with you guys what we think about it in today's episode. So yeah, excited to actually have a flanger pedal in the mix. I don't think we've really covered a lot of flanger pedals here on the podcast.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah. Flanger is one of those effects that I actually really enjoy. I'm a big fan of bands like Turnover and Title Fight, and just kind of bands like that, that actually ended up using quite a bit of flanger, a phaser, things like that. So really excited to talk about this one and take a closer look at it.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. It's great timing, because just a few weeks ago, we actually did a whole blog post on, "What is a flanger pedal and what you can expect to get with a flanger pedal?" So if you guys want to read up more about that, check out our blog, we've got more information about flanger pedals in general. Yeah, and I'm also a huge fan of flanger. I typically, I know I'm a little bit older than you Eric, so my brain typically goes towards Pink Floyd and a lot of the work from David Gilmore. I know he used the electric mistress from electro harmonics quite a bit. I also think about classic songs like Barracuda from Heart. So yeah. Shocked, given our love for flanger that we haven't covered it more here on the Sonic Renegades podcast, but I'm glad recovering one today, so should be fun.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah. Well, and I feel like flanger typically gets a, it gets a bad rep as a old guys effect or just for like the eighties hair metal bands or whatever, what have you. And you can really use flanger as a cool effect if you just kind of make it really subtle and really slow. And then it's more of just a over intensified chorus than it is like that cheesy sound that people typically think of when they think of a flanger.

Scott Schwertly:
Exactly. Yeah. That's a great way to describe it. And yeah, maybe through an episode like this could be a little bit of a rebirth of flanger, so. Well, if you guys are not familiar with this specific pedal that we're talking about, again, we're talking about the Kugo PFL-1 mini flanger pedal. So it is a mini pedal, so it's definitely small real estate. It doesn't take up a lot of space on your board. And this is created by a company called Kugo. If you're not familiar with them, I believe they're actually an Amazon FBA business, so fulfillment by Amazon is what that acronym stands for. Again, FBA. So given that they're an Amazon FBA business, I believe, they should be, they are, based out of China. And I think this one actually released in April of 2019.

So it's a fairly new pedal in the market. Given that it is an Amazon based business, there are a lot of people out there that love the affordability of these types of pedals. And for good reason, you do get semi decent tone and sometimes even great tone unexpectedly from pedals like this. So something like this really isn't going to set you back that much, usually about 30 bucks, I think that's what it's currently running for on Amazon. I've seen it as high as $45 in a few places. And if you want to get one used, I've seen it as low as about $10. So for 30 bucks, it's a great way to get your foot in the door or get in the world or set your foot into the world of a flanger. So, not too bad.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah. Well, and I think for the price, I mean, it's a great way to, like you said, try out different effects and see how you like them and stuff. Now, the only weird thing, whenever you buy super cheap pedals like this, is that they occasionally come with some very strange quirks and some things that may not be desirable, but I guess you might be able to call them original, or in other words might say, just not good. But it really does have that typical flanger sound just when you start messing with the controls on a little more detail and a little more extreme settings, it kind of gets into this weird territory, you start getting some really weird resonances. And I think that's one of those things where there's certain things when they do these budget pedals and kind of toss them together quick, probably clone a certain circuit and then just add a couple of things or whatever. They probably don't test it all the way through all the time and so there's probably just some little things that go a little bit overlooked.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. I mean, obviously that definitely happens with pedals like this that are mass produced. You're going to run into those little quirks or hiccups, but bottom line though, I mean, when you're spending $30 or even $10 used for something like this, they kind of claim this as you can get that vintage analog flanger sound. Yeah. I mean, you're at least going to get introduced to the world of flanger and it's should be suitable for some basic needs. And in that case, this is definitely a great buy, particularly if you are not sure if this is kind of a tone that you want to have or a tone that, you're not sure if it's exactly right for you. So it's a good way to, again, get your feet wet into this effect.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah. And so, I mean, with that, I guess we can go ahead and talk about the controls on it, because they are a little bit different than what I've seen on a flanger before. So you have a toggle switch and there's a filter mode and a normal mode. Filter mode kind of filters out some high ends, surprise, surprise. And then there's a color knob, range knob and then [inaudible 00:06:32]. So range. Kind of controls the depth of the flanging effect. Color. Is a bit of a tone control, so as you turn it to the right, you add in a lot more high end. And that's actually where you start getting some of the really wacky resonances and they can sound really cool. And then [inaudible 00:06:52], obviously controls the speed of the effect. So, and again, it's a mini pedals, so it's in a smaller enclosure, wouldn't take up a lot of space on your board. So if you're looking for a flanger that's not going to take up a lot of space, it's a good place to start.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. And we'll demo this one here in just a bit, but even as researching this pedal and learning what it was all about, yeah, I was surprised. I mean, there's actually a lot of coverage on this pedal on YouTube. So if you want to hear additional demos or soundbites of what this pedal can do beyond what we're going to cover here, go check those out. There's a lot of people that rave about this pedal for the affordable price. Thanks again to Sean for sending this out. I know he's a fan of this pedal and again, for good reason, it's super affordable and it'll get you those classic flanger tones that you're looking for, if that's your thing. So we're going to get this set up, get everything connected. Eric, what's the guitar you're going to go with for this one?

Eric Wilson:
I'm going to go ahead and use the tele for this one.

Scott Schwertly:
Perfect. Well, let's get this set up and we'll do that. And we'll see you guys on the other side.

Eric Wilson:
All right, that's the Kugo, PFL-1 flanger. It's a great mini flanger to kind of get you in that world for 30 bucks. It's a great place to start.

Scott Schwertly:
Absolutely. It's a perfect place to start, particularly if you're wanting to get into the world of flanger. Thanks again to Sean for sending this out to us, really do appreciate it. And on that note, if you guys would like us to cover a pedal that you really love or enjoy, let us know. You can send us an email personally @helloatsirenpedals.com and we'll add that to the list. So it's a growing one, lots of pedals out there, and we're trying to cover as much as we can week by week. So again, hit us up if there's a certain pedal that you'd like us to cover in the weeks and months ahead.

All right, well there you have it, guys. That is the Kugo PFL-1 mini flanger pedal. Join us next time. We're going to go kind of back in time a little bit, but also stay present tense, I guess. We're going to be covering the Ibenez WH10 Wah pedal. So obviously, this one was super popular from the nineties and eighties. Folks like John Frusciante obviously popularized it. And Ibenez actually just reissued it with their version three model, making it more of a present day discussion. So, that's what we're going to be covering in our next episode. So if you love the Red Hot Chili Peppers, if you love John Frusciante, you should enjoy this discussion as we unpack the Ibenez WH10 V3 Wah pedal. So until then have a great day, have a great week and we'll catch you in the next one.

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