Mike Morgan (soviet records), Fraser and I are Standing around at the MCA after performing the night before with Cameras watching Seekae dominate the stage – totally upstaging us after might I say a really fun Cameras /w Red Ghost performance for Creative Sydney. This guy walks up to shake our hands, turns out it is Christian Moraga co-founder of cubisteffects. Instantly Mike and I man-crush on Christian and his effects modification / circuit bending work he reknowned for. I think he was a bit shocked that we already knew who he was!
Like two little fanning-out schoolgirls we excitedly tee up with Christian to do some work on our effects pedals, namely our line-6 DL-4’s which so many guitarists have come to love… and hate… but hopefully love once again after it has been cubistafied.
Cubist effects charge a pretty good price for what you are getting, some say the work they do is a bit pricey but for what you get in return it’s invaluable. Christian will take your stock effects pedals and make them better in every way he can.
The line-6 DL-4 is a very popular pedal, it is used by so many musicians as it is such a practical delay device, it has many features but at the same time ensure’s it isn’t too daunting in its operation. There’s delay emulation, a sample and play looper function and the ability to tap tempo at any time and save up to 3 presets which can be easily accessed at the press of a single button, oh yeah you can hook it up in stereo and use an expression pedal with it too. The device doesn’t come without some flaws however and Cubist effects set out to fix and improve on them:
1. When you engage the delay, there is a slight volume drop: this is probably the biggest most noticable problem with the pedal which has deterred many from buying it. It’s such a shame this wasn’t picked up during line-6’s testing before the launched the product as I’m sure the fix is fairly simple. Cubist effects replace some components to eliminate this issue.
2. Those stiff clicking springy stud buttons are clicky and annoying… Christian rips these out and replaces them with the soft-touch style. No more click click click!
3. The LEDs are replaced with the super-bright ones… does nothing to the sound and I don’t mind if this mod is done or left without but I admit it looks way cooler and allows you to extend your muso-penis so that when people peek at your pedal board they go: “ohhhh ahhhh that DL-4 is modded!”
4. expression mod: You could pay $$$ and buy an expression pedal to plug into the expression port at the back of the unit and then find some extra space on your pedal board…. or you could just let Christian drill one into the side which is permanently attached to your DL-4 housing and big enough to still control with your foot.
5. Where’s the feedback dial on this thing? Nope, Line-6 left one out but Cubisteffects are gonna put one back in. All delay pedals should have a feedback dial, this lets you route the delay’s output back into the input creating more lush layers, noise and well… feedback.
There’s lots of other mods you can get Christian to do for you for this pedal but I’ve just opted for the top 3.
Now on to the CS-3. I picked up this old (crappy) BOSS pedal at the OzProg.com classifieds forum as Mikey from Arcane was looking to part ways. It was in pretty good condition and turned on, but it’s compressed sound isn’t so great. It’s not the way it compresses which is wrong, it’s the quality of the components used which lets it down. Engaging the pedal makes this terrible hissing sound and greatly deterreorates your guitar’s tone. Testing it side-by-side with my Diamond compressor there’s a huuuuge difference, the CS-3 simply doesn’t cut it. However, I knew all this before I bought it second-hand 🙂 I played it once, then put it back in its box and shipped it off to cubisteffects. Christian replaced all the components with hifi-quality parts to rid of the noise and add to the sustain.