Unit67 – A superb sonic device for the working musician
The Unit67 is a compact and fully analog device that has a highly versatile EQ set including a „Rangemaster-like“ mid control, a boost and an 1176 type of compressor – all in one extremely practical guitar pedal.
When we started working on this pedal, we wanted to be as unique as possible in today’s pedal world and that was no easy task.
Imagine getting THAT sound you have in your head from just one pedal. You know that playing feel when you play through a loud or overdriven amp, when every note comes out easily and you can play effortlessly? Well, that’s what the Unit67 is all about, only you don’t have to play LOUD or with an overdriven sound to get there.
It doesn’t matter what your playing style is, how loud you want to play or whether you use any other pedals in your signal chain. The Unit67 is a versatile multi-functional tool which will improve almost every tone to the next, harmonically rich level. Unit67 gives you an exciting new playing feel and response which you’ll immediately love.
Connected in between your guitar and amp, the Unit67 becomes an extremely powerful and handy tone shaping tool. It’s also very versatile in terms of pedalboard position, you can place it anywhere you like it and it will work its magic 🙂
1176 type of compressor,
EQ set with the Range (Master) mid control AND High output Boost
Based on a clean (and semi-clean, read more) boost, which is the foundation for many guitar setups, we’ve implemented a very carefully tuned combination of fully analog features in the Unit67, useful to a wide range of musicians and playing styles. Also, our goal was to make it the simplest and most practical for the user.
A boosted sound in itself is great, but you can get much more of it. Sustaining notes are often a big helping hand to guitar players, so we decided to implement the next great feature of the pedal: a Compressor.
After serious development and inspired by the unique sound and feel of the 1176’s design, we’ve created our very own low noise compressor circuit for this pedal. It is transparent and it has a parallel compression circuit (blend), so you can add a right amount of sustain while retaining pick dynamics with just one simple knob (Sustain). Yes, you have DryBell’s take on the mighty 1176’s engine in this small box!
You can find more about how we developed Unit67’s 1176-like compressor feature HERE!
Of course, that was not the end of the Unit67’s journey. We’ve implemented additional controllability: an EQ set that consists of low and high controls and also a very specific sounding “Range” control.
The Range (Master) control will help you cut through the mix and will enrich your tone with the glorious sparkle often associated with the old classic Rangemaster. In situations when you’re using darker toned amps or guitar pickups, “The Range” will always add a harmonically rich sparkle to your tone.
Combined with a touch of sustain and boosted just enough to give you THAT tone, “The Range” will give some serious bite to your sound which is another way to push you through the mix while playing lead.
Unit67 is a sublime combination of several effects working in perfect synergy!
The main idea behind it came from experienced minds in two different fields: Zvonch, the DryBell founder and an expert electronics engineer, and Kruno, DryBell team member and professional guitarist with many years of live and studio playing time. We’ve combined the best of both worlds and after thousands of working hours with the rest of our team to make this design perfect, we’ve created something very special for you to enjoy.
From the very beginning of the Unit67, starting with the first breadboard prototype, we were simultaneously developing and rigorously testing it with a ton of different amps, pedals and guitars and no matter what setup was used, it benefited from the magical touch of the Unit67.
Besides that, the learning time to get comfortable with Unit67 is virtually non-existent and within a few seconds of playing, you’ll find instant satisfaction.
With all that being said, it has been a challenging but fun two year journey for us and now it’s up to you to try the Unit67 for yourself. Prepare to be amazed! 🙂
We simply can’t explain everything that we’d like to explain about the Unit67 in this short introduction. You can read more about the pedal HERE.
Also, firsthand feedback (from our testing musicians, not customers) you can find HERE.
A gift for you!
Within each Unit67 box purchased directly from DryBell, you will find a nice gift for you – a handmade leather DryBell keychain pick-holder!
Try the Unit67!
If you purchase Unit67 pedal from the DryBell website or from the DryBell’s shop on Reverb.com, your pedal will be shipped directly from our workshop in Krapina, Croatia! Overseas delivery time is approx. 2-3 working days with insured shipping options – UPS (USA & Canada ONLY) or FedEx.
Depending on the time of purchase your package will be shipped the same or the next working day. We accept payments via PayPal and wire transfer.
Also, you can shop with confidence at any of our authorized dealers listed HERE.
So, order your Unit67 now, you won’t be disappointed 🙂
Your DryBell Team
P.S. If for any reason you are not fully satisfied with your pedal, don’t forget you can always return it for a full refund within 14 days of receipt. You can keep your DryBell pick-holder.
P.P.S. If you are one of those people who likes to read more about the product you are interested in, you will find some cool stuff about the pedal’ development in this article, a little bit about the DryBell, some technical details and how the DryBell Team created this whole idea.
DryBell Unit67 official demo
DryBell Unit67, demo by Pete Thorn
DryBell Unit67, 1st demo by Brett Kingman
DryBell Unit67, 2nd demo by Brett Kingman
DryBell Unit67, 3rd demo by Brett Kingman
DryBell Unit67, demo by Mike Hermans
DryBell Unit67, demo by Andy Martin
DryBell Unit67, demo by Andreas Angel
DryBell Unit67, demo by Mick Hayes
DryBell Unit67, demo by Alberto Barrero
DryBell Unit67, demo by Bjorn Riis – gilmourish.com
DryBell Unit67, 2nd demo by Andy Martin
DryBell Unit67, demo by Lance Keltner
DryBell Unit67, demo by RIG RIG RIG Gear Demo
DryBell Unit67, demo by Ed Pettersen
When you try the Unit67, please send us your feedback so we can publish it here! We are all very proud of this product and hopefully you’ll enjoy it as much as we all do!
American producer, artist and musician, best known for his association with Pink Floyd and, more specifically, its guitarist David Gilmour and former member Roger Waters.
“I’m absolutely loving the Unit 67.
I’m using it on my lap steel on the Us & Them Tour In Breathe, Great Gig In The Sky, Wish You Were Here, Deja Vu etc. I’m really enjoying how I can dial in the EQ, compression & boost in one place. Wonderful for slide.”
Stockholm, Sweden, guitar player
“I’ve got this pedal a couple of weeks ago and it has become the one pedal I wouldn’t play guitar without. This pedal is really three pedals in a very pedalboard friendly size, It’s a 1176 style compressor, an Eq with a rangmaster that you can use to crank the mid frequencies in a really useful way, plus a boost. I use this pedal first in the chain. The guitar is plugged in the Unit67 and all my other pedals comes after, even the fuzz. What I love about this pedal is that I can get a better tone out of all my guitars with the help of the Unit67. For example my Stratocaster often tends to sound too muddy in the neck position and that’s why I use the rangemaster to bring out more clarity and then I use the high and low knobs to adjust the sound so it fits different amps and cabs. The compressor is to my ears really transparent and when used around 50/50 dry/wet it just smooth out the notes a bit, giving you some more sustain while keeping the natural dynamic of your playing intact. The boost is also killer. My amps never sound bad even if I crank the boost really high. I do tend to hear that the highs get a little bit rounded off when I crank the boost. I mainly use the boost to boost my overdrive and fuzz pedals and that allows me to keep the gain on this pedals at very low values. It gives you more natural overdrive and it also seems to keep the hum and noise down. To me, this pedal is like a really good vocal recording strip. Much like the Universal Audio 6176 that is a 610 preamp with an Eq and an 1176 compressor. When you track vocals through a channel strip like this, you get a very good starting point for a nice vocal sound that later on can be processed with author effects such as different time effects or harmonic effects. The same goes for the Unit67. On the other end of this pedal you will have a very good starting point to chase your guitar sound after your likings. I can warmly recommend this pedal to every guitar player, no matter the style of music you play. The Unit67 will definitively stay on my pedalboard. Thank you DryBell for making this great tone shaping pedal!”
Salzburg, Austria, guitar player from the UK with 38 years playing experience.
“This is an honest review by a fully paying customer. I just received my first pedal by DryBell, the Unit67 (#139) and was at first a bit sceptical with all the hype that other reviewers have claimed this pedal to be.
All I can say is that it is all true!
This pedal has that “magic sauce” and vastly improves ones guitar sound. It makes playing a lot easier and accentuates any level of player. The notes just seem to jump out of the guitar!
The Unit67 is impressively noise-free and it is quite easy to dial in which cannot be said for a lot of other pedals out there.
I use the Unit67 as an “Always On” pedal. Just set it and forget it. I find that it does “colour” the sound but in a very positive way. When turned off, something is greatly missing.
I used to use a Tube Screamer for tone shaping but was never quite satisfied with the amount of compression it added even with the drive on zero and the lack of volume boost. One of the uses of the Unit67 is to use it like I would with a Tube Screamer but without the Tube Screamer negatives, a “large” mid hump and too much compression. The Unit67’s range & sustain controls are ideally voiced for this purpose and one can add and subtract as much as one wants and tailor it exactly to ones setup.
The “feel” & “body” it creates is just remarkable and the compression is not intrusive at all. It can definitely make things “jump out in your face” if so desired with the range control.
It retains clarity on both single coil and humbucker pickups just as well with clean, dirty & high gain tones. It never sounds mushy regardless of the setting. One can turn off the compressor or vice versa the Rangemaster/EQ if so desired but I find the pedal sounds best utilising all its functionality at the same time.
It equally suited to all types of guitar players regardless of style.
Sustain & feel for days…. Everyone should have one!
The shipping, the communication (thanks Martina), the packaging and quality of the pedal are first class for such a small company located in Croatia. And the personal touch, a handwritten “thank you” note is a rarity these days.”
Lutherville, Maryland United States
“It really is the ultimate utility pedal. I have always played way more clean tones than any overdrive and this swings me even further into the clean camp.
You can take the boominess out of a blackface, give a single coil the girth and attack of a humbucker with the eq+compression, and just overall make things better (strat bridge people pay attention). I was a little worried having all these controls would have me constantly tweaking things but it’s really not like that at all.
Also to those that might worry that the small mini pots make it hard to dial in sounds and be precise in adjustments, forget about it! The range of each eq control is wide but not so wide as to have large unusable sections at either extreme. I’m especially grateful that the high control don’t only affect the the very top range sparkle like some high controls do, it seems to actually affect guitar centric frequencies. The range control in particular is fun to crank with boost of course.
It’s a great pedal to boost overdrive/distortion pedals in a controllable way. Being able to contour the boost and add compression allows you to play to the boostee’s (yes) strengths, not just clean boost all frequencies and hope that your OD pedal can work it out. Sure you could use a TS or klone for that, but this is more versatile.”
Bari, Italy, guitar player and producer
“The first thing I want to tell you is “Thank you!”.
Thank you for two main reasons:
- the first is the support. Regardless of whether it is related to technical aspects or logistic ones I always got replies in few hours with detailed information that never needed further clarifications.
- the second one, the most important, is the product. I see you are a small company that put a lot work, passion, knowledge and effort in few products but they’re all masterpieces in any aspect.
I’m a returning customer, I already had (and I still use) the Vibe Machine V-2, and you know what? I didn’t need your Unit67, I already had a “similar” compressor, I didn’t need a booster, neither an EQ. But, I follow you and I wanted to read the full story behind the new pedal. And I was amazed…It may sound crazy, but the long story motivate me to buy the Unit67. I got it in 1 working day (thank you) at my office and tried it at night for the first time. I was tired, not enough time to spend playing, but what immediately impressed me is that it worked out of the box giving my guitar a significative improvement in tone without tweaking the knobs.
The days after I had a chance to try it more extensively and I can spot some strengths that will make it stay on my pedalboard, as a fundamental part of my new/revamped tone:
- The compressor. I had more complex ones (I mean, more knobs), but this works well at any level of sustain and input, there are no unusable tones here, no extra levels that compromise the attack or liveliness of the notes. It is just how a good guitar compression should work. Moreover it is extremely quiet. Where some others gave me noises, i.e. high gain channel in my Mesa/Boogie Mark V, the Unit67 works great. I can keep it always on and switch the channels with no problem.
- The Booster. It is so effective, I can use it just to rise the level for lead parts, or to push the overdrive and make it more aggressive when I need it so. I’ve tried with a Tubescreamer and a Blues Breaker and they all work great together.
- The EQ. it is designed perfectly, even at extreme settings you’ll never get unusable tones, you can add that touch of more highs or low to balance your tone but you’ll never enter in the “muddy area”
- The rangemaster is a plus. Never had one, tried this one with my Fender Strat and it came out of the mix with clarity and definition as I never heard it before. You just need to past 12 a bit to hear an incredible improvement.
In conclusion, I never use words like “magic”, “transparent”, “articulate”, I mean, some concept you can’t really touch and/or quantify, so I won’t use them talking about the Unit67. But, it surely gave me more options to fine tune my tone in a way I didn’t even imagined, with a short learning curve and an incredible, audible, concrete improvement!
Sterling Heights, MI, USA, guitar player
“I received the Unit67 on Friday and I absolutely love it. I’m a 35-year guitar player and honestly have never had a compressor in my rig. The compressor is amazing, I love the boost and the EQ too and how they all work together – very smartly constructed. It’s shocking to me how lifeless the tone is now without the Unit 67 engaged… and this was tone that I really loved prior to getting the Unit 67!
So thanks for creating a real deal guitar-player’s and tone-lover’s pedal.
This one will definitely be always on for me.”
Bromma, Sweden, guitar player
“Since I am a long time fan of DryBell and their previous efforts the Vibe V-1 and Vibe V-2, I was happy for the opportunity to write a review of the new Unit67 pedal. First things first. This is not an effect pedal. It’s much more. It’s your main tone shaping tool that will enable to get you just about anything you would want in terms of guitar tone. The pedal contains a range control, low and high eq, boost and compression. On top of that an on – off switch for the eq and a high low switch for the compression. All five of the controls are very effective in the sense that a very subtle tweak has a lot of impact.
The range controls the midrange. Turning this control will find you that sweet spot similar to what you would get if you set a wah pedal in a favored position of tone. This like all the controls is very effective. The same goes for the high and low tone controls. Very effective and just a tiny turn on the knob makes a lot of difference. All the tone controls can be bypassed with a switch, but really – why would you want to do that?
The main big knob is the boost. At around 10 it is neutral not adding any gain or any other altering of the tone. If you turn the boost up it will add gain to the tone and gradually break up the tone. It works together with the compression.
The compressor is not a MXR Dyna Comp or the newer Xotic SP. I.e. it does not add the squeeze thing that you expect from either of those pedals. Instead the emphasis is on sustain without altering the pick attack too much. However it does this very well. You can also choose two intensity levels of compression, high or low. Both works nice.
So to add up. The DryBell Unit67 is not just another pedal but an extremely versatile tone tool. It will work with just any guitar and any amp and make your favorite guitar and amp sound even better. I have only tried it for about ten days or so but I am confident it will remain on my board for years to come. I suggest that you try out for yourself, you will not be disappointed.”
Best regards Göran
Gilroy CA, USA, guitar player
“I bought the Unit67 after watching Pete Thorn’s review on YouTube. The first thing that surprised me was how fast DryBell delivered it to me. I live in California and they are in Croatia. I had the pedal in less than a week. I’ve had too many pedals to count rotate in and off my board and I really don’t like complicated dials, dip switches, functions, etc. I want to plug in adjust and go. The Unit67 is possibly the easiest pedal to dial in, with the biggest sonic impact, that I’ve ever used. It literally makes everything sound better…….crisper, fuller……that sound in your head that you have never been able to dial in live is now at your fingertips…..really!
I know this sounds too good to be true, I thought the same. This is the most impactful pedal I’ve ever purchased. It’s been on my pedalboard for a month now and it will stay there.
Thank you DryBell!!”
Jyväskylä, Finland, guitar player
“When I first got the Unit67 I only had a chance to test it with the ZT Lunchbox Jr with the headphones (at night when my family is sleeping). But instantly it was obvious that it would be a permanent part of my pedalboard.
Very easy to use. Very noiseless and effective comp, very usable eq and powerful boost, no need to say, and as I expected. I’ve bought the Vibe Machine V-2 when it was released and it’s been on my pedalboard ever since. So when I ordered the Unit67 I already knew it would be a quality pedal and designed for serious use. At first I placed the Unit67 after the oct/fuzzwah/vibe/OD/boost pedals. I thought it would become an ”always on” kinda thing, and it sounded very good that way (still with Lunchbox Junior & headphones). And then, after a few days I finally had a chance to test it with my tweed deluxe, and everything changed.
The Unit67 by itself sounded so good with the amp, so I started to think about the purpose of the OD pedals on my signal chain. I had been using OD pedals to get the needed distortion in the situations when I wasn’t able to crank up the tweed, because it got so loud. So I bought an attenuator and placed it between my amp and the speaker to lower the output volume. Basics really, and I’ve already known it, but I think the Unit67 (and the attenuator) finally pushed me to figure it all out in practice. So my pedalboard now is Octron3 / Ibanez Double Sound FuzzWah (tbp mod, pot replaced) / Vibe Machine V-2 / Unit67. Now I can dial the sound I want from the amp (at any output volume), make it clean up with the guitar volume pot and use the Unit67 to boost the leads. The Unit67 does it perfectly, without noise or without disturbing the nature of the tweed deluxe. I tried different boost and OD pedals with the same setup, but the Unit67 it is.
For boosting leads I set the boost almost at noon and sustain at 10 o’clock. I don’t want to compress too much, just make the leads sing a bit. From the eq I set the treble at 1 or 2 o’clock and leave the bass at noon, range at 2 o’clock. That works for me with my tweed deluxe.
I also found very usable, nice, hollow sounds when I turned the range knob down. Those sounds may come handy when seeking overdub guitar tones or cleans. I’m sure there are many different ways to use this pedal in different situations, but that’s how I use it on my live setup. Great pedal!!
When I ordered the Unit67, I thought it would help me to make my pedalboard gizmos sound better, but actually, it helped me to get rid of them. ??????“
Below is some firsthand feedback from our testing guys: Silvio, Miro, Borna and Tom.
They are not our customers (of course, we couldn’t have actual Unit67 customer reviews before the release of the pedal ?), but these guys have been using this pedal in real situations on different stages and setups for some time now, so you can read and experience firsthand impressions of using the Unit67. Biased reviews? It’s up to you to decide. We just wanted to share with you the most useful feedback we’ve gathered so far from our personal experience.
Zagreb, Croatia, guitar player, photographer & videographer
“So, I should probably introduce myself first. I am not a professional musician nor any kind of sound engineer. I am just a guy behind the camera in the DryBell demo videos. Sometimes a videographer, other times photographer and on some weekends I get to play the guitar with a local country band.
I was lucky enough to have known Zvonch a long time before he ventured into this pedal building science, so the whole journey was a great thing to witness.
From the first pedals he built for some friends, Wah-Wah modifications (I still have one of those Wahs in my collection) to the first serious, serial production pedals. This guy was always extra analytical and ecstatic to expand his knowledge and to find new solutions. I’ve really enjoyed being around the workshop, watching all the bits and pieces come together, just like numerous sound testing sessions with various amps and pedals, discussions and of course, barbecues.
The Unit67. This new pedal is something else.
Several years ago, when Zvonch mentioned the idea of making a pedal like this, my words were: “That might be the only pedal I’ll ever need”.
It’s not a modulation pedal like the Vibe Machine but, an “all-around sound enhancer”…for lack of a better word at this point. It’s a combination of a clean boost, compressor, EQ, rangemaster and whatnot. Another small pedal with tons of features and huge cohones!
Even Zvonch and his team couldn’t decide how to describe this pedal and somehow it became the Unit, because it is just that. The “67” I guess, represents all the timeless sounds that ring in our heads since then.
A few weeks ago, Zvonch sent me a sample pedal to try it out. I’ve tried some pre-production models and I was blown away even then. I’ve also heard enough of the pedal while filming a new demo. But, the nature of the pedal is very much in the feel of playing a guitar, it changes the playing response. So, it’s a pedal you can hear and listen to but you have to play through it!!!
In the first few days I couldn’t put down the slide. Just a basic clean sound with a slight touch of a reverb. At first, all the settings on the pedal were set at 12 o’clock (middle). I felt no need to change anything and I was impressed even with this basic setup. Later, I started playing around with the boost, and this pedal has a ton of it. There is a nice little mark around 11 o’clock that tells you where the boost is neutral, but as soon as you push it up to 12, you can hear how massive the sound gets. And you are still at half of power.. lol. My Blues Junior loves this pedal and the Telecaster really shines through this setup. If you push your tube amp with this pedal, you will get some amazing overdrive tones with the endless sustain and with a twist!!!
There is also an EQ switch on the left that engages three key frequency pots. Low and high are pretty standard, but what is this “Range” thingy on the left? Well, this pot gives you direct supply of that specific mid-frequency that cuts through any mix, gives beautiful feedback and rewards you with some of the sweetest rhythmic “chk-chk” sounds. It works amazingly. Even at low volumes you can make the guitar and amp work in such a symbiosis so the feedback is always at hand. I am pretty sure Kruno was the guy in the DryBell kitchen who was in charge of finding the right frequency, or it might even be a cluster of frequencies, not sure about that. But I know for sure that it took some serious science time for Zvonch to extract that tone and capture it in a box. Throughout the whole making procedure, there was at least 5 other guitar players who were testing this pedal. They were testing it with different amps, combinations of the pedals and in totally different styles of music.
Sustain is beautiful even when it’s fully open, and the noise is almost equal to none. I have never found a compressor pedal with such a lack of noise. What kind of a witchcraft is this??? And there’s none of that annoying gated effect!!!
At some point, I’ve had to try combining the Unit67 with some other pedals. Of course, as soon as I put it next to the OCD I immediately shifted from Ry Cooder-ish slides to Mike McCready type of ecstatic fast leads to singing & screaming long tones and then backing the volume pot down to that “Jimi – The Wind Cries Mary” kind of clean, awesome for chords and still very punchy for all those fancy small notes you play with your pinky.
The Unit67 is like a Swiss army knife. I have used some compression pedals before, some better, some worse, but most of them were just one trick pony type of pedals that still lacked something. The same thing was with the Rangemaster boosters. Unreliable, some transistors worked the best on a certain temperature, in a certain time of year and with a massive help of horoscope for that day. Over the years I have had numerous pedals and different pedalboard setups. As the time went by, I just wanted to make things more simple, less troublesome. Zvonch knows I am too lazy to carry any pedals for the small bar gigs nowadays, and often I will go without any.
But the Unit67 is really something else. It supplies you with that Rangemaster type of high-mid frequency that helps the guitar sing, even in the middle position (both pickups), endless amount of boost and compression, EQ settings that can fit to any guitar or amp you can think of, and so on. You can either use only one of those features or combine them with your unique taste and liking, but most importantly – the whole thing sounds incredibly natural. That’s why the Unit67 is the only pedal I’ve used in the last couple of gigs and it will be the base tone for any pedal combination in the future.
You don’t need any other pedals to make the Unit67 sound good or better, it is the Unit67 that makes everything else sound better. You think that sounds cheesy? Well, how cheesy does the electric guitar sounds plugged directly into a cheap PA system? We had a small gig and the rule was: no amps allowed, the neighbors complain. I had to leave the Blues Junior to sit in a car and just went with a Tele and the Unit67. It saved the day. I managed to sound not too-embarrassing.. lol.
A couple more things. As I’ve said earlier, Zvonch is one of the most patient, thorough and analytical guys I have ever met. There was a finished product ready to be launched, almost a year ago. But Zvonch decided to give it one more go. Every single person that has heard the pedal was saying: “Why? there’s no need for that, this is already far better than any pedal in those categories, why push it further, is there even any “further”?!?!“ And he did, he pushed it even further, took it all apart, rebuilt it again and upgraded wherever he could. So this pedal is already a V-2, haha.
Hats off to him and the whole crew that have been intensively working on this pedal for the last two or more years. If I wasn’t there to film some of those procedures, I wouldn’t believe the volume of work it takes to build something so small but so great as the Unit67!”
Zagreb, Croatia, guitar player & luthier
“I’ve known these guys, Zvonch and Kruno, for over a decade and knowing the complete background of the Vibe Machine story, I knew that their next pedal has to be a perfectly engineered and sounding device. When Zvonch told me that he’s planning to restart an old project and build a top quality booster but with the addition of compressor and EQ, I thought: “Nice, this could save me some space on pedalboard but I already have two compressors and many pedals for boosting my signal with whom I am very pleased”. However, things became very interesting when he gave me the Unit67 prototype for testing.
A completely new world opened up! I couldn’t stop playing!
The Unit67 improved every setup I could come up with. I have tried all the guitar-amp combinations that I have and in all those situations, the Unit67 gave me something extra in sound and feel. Even my 5E3 tweed Deluxe which has a killer sound without any pedal, sounds simply better with the Unit67. Best of all, you don’t need a lot of tweaking to set your desirable sound. The pedal is very simple and in just a few minutes I managed to understand what you can do with the given controls. My favorite control is RANGE which can take me in some inspiring sonic directions.
Well done DryBell!”
Zagreb, Croatia, guitar player
“I have known Zvonch for quite some time and have been a (minor) part of development and testing of the Vibe Machine and now the Unit67. Knowing that, here is my take on the Unit67.
When Kruno first told me that they were working again on a new powerful boost, I was skeptical at first. Usual questions, like, does the pedal world really need another boost? I assumed that they would take it to another level, but also thought that it’s still a boost, so it was hard for me to get excited about that.
Then the story unraveled. Yes, it’s a boost, BUT it will have EQ controls, something like a Rangemaster control, and a hi-end compressor. Well, that got me interested. 🙂
In the upcoming months the guys worked really hard and occasionally, Kruno would give me some inside info on the progress.
Then one day, Kruno came with the first prototype. At least it was the first for me.
He showed me how you can use the pedal, how the boost, eq, range and comp controls work, and then I tried it. It was really something to remember. As I said, I was skeptical at the whole concept, and now I’ve got it!
Soon I told them that the biggest problem they would have would be to try to explain how good the pedal was to someone who had not played it yet. Taking it from my experience. I’ll get to the whole “how good it is” part soon.
A few of us got our test pedals and we were told to play with them as much as we could while trying to detect any possible errors. I didn’t detect some obvious errors like crackling on the boost potentiometer while turning it, because I thought that’s how it’s supposed to work (like some drives, fuzzes etc.). I found out later (and it made sense in the context of Zvonch’s mania to produce perfect products) that it was an actual error (something with the first pcb circuit routing) and it’s on the list of things to fix. Nice.
I have a number of pedals and following trends, I bought an used Boss ES-8 switching system. I didn’t think that there was a need for special testing of the Unit67 on a switcher, but then something squealed like dying rat and to tell you the truth, I was happy that I had finally found something (since the task was to find errors). One of the issues I’d noticed was related to the available headroom that the Boss switcher has, and obviously the very high level of signal boost that Unit67 had at that time at certain settings (guess what the settings are 🙂). There were several iterations of fixing all of those issues, and I can tell you that Zvonch did not stop and did everything necessary to get it right. When I say everything, that actually means serious redesign of some parts of the pedal, buffer etc. This seriously prolonged the release date. I don’t want to go into the details and I think it’s better to look at the whitepaper describing the development process issued by the guys.
Then, one day Zvonch and the guys said that it was finished and that the new pedal was ready for testing. Ok…I took it home, tested for those errors that I’d noticed earlier, check, check, check…everything was ok! But…and this is a big but…in general, the pedal sounded much, much better. Sound was warmer, fuller and open but with more detail, basically you can add any (good) vintage guitar/Hi-Fi adjective in here. It was a big difference. With the V-1 of the Unit67 (no, it was not released) the sound was great and you could have one guitar, nice amp and this pedal would make it considerably better sounding, but with this V-2, it’s really something else.
So, how does it sound?…really hard to describe. Take your favorite compressor, turn up the volume on your favorite boost pedal, add an EQ pedal to cut/add bass or treble and add a good variant of the Rangemaster to the mix. Now imagine there are no cables between all those pedals, no hiss, no need to power each one separately and you probably have some idea of the sound. I would sum it all up by saying that it makes all, and I mean all of the gear that I have, sound better and more interesting to play. I have a Fender Deluxe from 1965, Fender Vibro King, Vibro Champ, Bassman (1965), Cornell Romany and a Marshall Plexi 1987X. Whatever I played through with the Unit67, it took the sound that that amp had and made it better. I was skeptical (again) on how it would react in combination with the tweed amps. My Cornell is a low wattage version, but a friend has Fender Deluxe (5E3) custom shop reissue. We tried it, and again it made things better. This was interesting since usually boosters and compressor, or any pedal for that matter don’t sound good when used with already overdriven tweed amp. Usually the tweed component is all you need.
Other than the compressor that made me seriously think about selling one other standalone hi-end comp that I’ve acquired not a long time ago, there is one thing on this pedal that makes me smile -> Range control. It’s a control that gives you bite. It adds some mid and hi-frequencies that transform you into a guitar God when used with drive/distortion, and makes the clean sounds much more interesting to play. I’ve listed all the Fender amps that I have and this Range control makes them sound even better on their clean sounds.
So, to sum it all up. This is a pedal that you didn’t think you’d need, but if you have the opportunity to try it, please do. Set all the controls as you like ’em, add a compressor, eq it a bit, turn the range up and add a little boost. Play it for a minute. Now turn the pedal off and play it again. Stop your playing and then decide do you really want to continue with your life having a sound like it is with the Unit67 turned off. It’s simple as that.. 🙂 “
London, United Kingdom, guitar player
“Hi, I’m Tom. My involvement with DryBell started as an ordinary customer – I’ve always been a vibe pedal fanatic, and when I got my hands on the Vibe Machine V-1 I fell in love and wrote a rather long and passionate review. As a result of that review, DryBell approached me to ask if I’d like to get involved as a creative advisor and editor for their written content. That was 6 years ago and the rest is history! Lucky for me I am also a beta tester for their new pedals and so got my hands on one of the Unit67s before the mad rush. Tough job, but someone’s got to do it!
I’ve now done a few gigs with the Unit67 and a lot of playing at home and this is my experience so far:
COMPRESSOR: I had up until now been using a similar style compressor, but to have something that is simpler and mixed with all these other features makes it a very clever and convenient package.
On the lower input compression setting with sustain about 12 o’clock the compressor is truly sweet and velvety. I play a lot of funk and clean stuff so the compressor really helps give added sweet definition, particularly after things like Wah, although I can easily get lost (in a good way!) in the higher compression setting for a bit of chicken pickin’! but for me somewhere in between feels like home.
BOOST: The boost gives a beautiful push to your signal I tend to use it between unity gain and about 1 o’clock for a clean but big push. But the tones to be had up higher than that start to give you the grit and gain you would almost associate with an overdrive pedal. But for me less is more and I prefer a slight boost.
EQ: I have to admit that the EQ part of the pedal is probably where I spend more of my time. I’m lucky enough to have some very nice amps indeed, but this is like the icing on the cake as it gives me the ability to fine tune and finesse EQ parameters that are not necessarily totally adjustable on the amps themselves enabling me to sweeten, brighten or darken at will whilst retaining clarity and detail.
RANGE: Whilst the range feature is great at pushing mild overdrive in an amp or pedal into more heavy and aggressive melt down, it also has some less obvious hidden treasures at lower levels (for me, around 9 o’clock) it really delivering a special defined clean sound which I found very useful for spanky funk or country blues. When I’m using overdrive at low gain and then hit the Unit67, the option to turn up the range in the EQ gives the sound a real kick and bite, Hard not to! ?
I truly found the whole pedal completely intuitive to use despite its myriad features (I was sent the Unit67 without any instructions but didn’t have any issues getting to grips with it at all). I often think of it in terms of a mastering tool and as the guys say in the manual, it really doesn’t take you very long to find great sounds to fine tune your tone. So much flexibility and adaptability in one tiny box! Now I can take the black tape of my Beta pedal and let the world see what it is!”