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  1. #1

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    I've never been much of an effect pedal guy. I've bought a few over the years, but I always ended up selling them a year or so later after hardly using them. I'd been interested in this Carl Martin Quattro thing for at least a couple of years – it was supposed to be like 4 high quality stompboxes (compressor, dual overdrive, chorus, and echo) in a single AC-powered and output-buffered unit – but I never was able to find one in a store to try. About 2 years ago, I bought a VOX ToneLab ST on a whim. I almost sent it back, but with some not-too-difficult tweaking, I was able to develop a number of good patches. However, I found it somewhat awkward to use in a live context. (Note: all this applies to rock/pop with my Tele clone and ZT Club amplifier, not to jazz; for jazz, it’s just my 335 clone and my Henriksen.)

    The Quattro is quite pricey – they seem to sell at most places for $685 – and that (plus the fact that I’d never actually seen one) always kept me from pulling the trigger. But I recently sold some stuff I wasn’t using for $250 and found it on Amazon of all places for $650, so for an actual expenditure of $400 (typical GAS rationalization, I know) I finally went for it. It arrived yesterday, but I didn't get to try it out until 3 hours after I got home - and then for only 30 minutes! That's OK, though, because it took me all of 5 minutes to nail down base settings for everything. It’s easy to tweak and completely intuitive. It seems pretty transparent with everything off as well.

    Pricey, yes, but I’m done! It adds a few key high quality effects to my sound, rather than simulating someone else’s sounds. I am not an effect aficionado - and those who are may find stuff to complain about with this unit - but for me It's supremely convenient and easy to use, sounds great, and has everything I need and nothing I don't!

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Well, I see that a lot of folks have read my post - but no one's replied to it - so I will!

    I figure there are two ways to use this thing. First of all, the chorus and the echo don't have volume controls - they're just the same volume as the un-effected sound. But both the compressor and the overdrives do have level controls; they can be set higher than the the rest of the sounds to use for solos. (The compressor can be used very effectively as a clean boost as well.) But I can also set those levels to match the un-effected volume - no boost from the pedal - and just ride the volume control on my guitar to control my volume for rhythm and lead.

    I've already got my standard settings for live performance dialed in using an overdrive or the compressor to boost volume for solos at present, but I plan to experiment with the alternate approach (or maybe a combination of the two) outlined above. I'll probably also experiment with more extreme settings, but only for use in recording situations where I might be looking for an unusual one-time sound.

    Anyway, I still don't think it's particularly applicable in a traditional jazz context, but I like it a lot better for pop/rock in terms of both sound and ease of use than any of the digital modelers I've tried. As I said, I've never been much of an effect user, so I can't really compare it to having a bunch of individual pedals ... and 9-volt batteries ... and patch cords ... and a board to mount them all on ... and a switch to 'truly' bypass the whole mess. Oy!

    Oh, and did I mention the blue LEDs? They're really bright!

  4. #3

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    I suspect the reason you haven't gotten any replies is simple. That's one expensive peice of hardware! Plus having to buy an amp on top of that. It's beyond my finances for sure. I got the tones I wanted from a couple pickup changes and a MicroCube into PA systema. Weird maybe but it worked.

  5. #4

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    Yeah, I agree. It is expensive. But if you were to buy 4 or 5 good pedals ... And it is much better than Roland's built-in effects in the Cube series (I've owned a MicroCube, a Cube 30, and a Cube 60) as well as better and much easier to use than the VOX ToneLab ST I used to have. (I've used a MicroCube into a PA, by the way - very effective!)

    Anyway, I didn't expect everyone on the board to rush out and buy one in order to validate my own rare extravagance - I own 5 guitars, 2 amps, and now the Quattro at a total worth of well under $6k (less than some people around here have paid for a single guitar) - but I guess I did expect an inquiry here and there. By the way, I forgot to mention that it's got an effects loop and dual mono outputs too, neither of which I'll ever use.

    There's a pretty good demo on Youtube if anyone is interested:
    .

    So, I'll answer questions if they appear, but I won't beat a dead horse anymore otherwise.

    P.S. After further experimentation, I'm sticking with the 1st method presented in my 2nd post (leaving the guitar's volume wide open). I already liked my tones in this context. Now I have convenient and high-quality popular effects to add to them in a cover band situation.
    Last edited by Tom Karol; 06-24-2011 at 09:18 AM. Reason: Added just one more sentence!

  6. #5

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    Thank you for your thoughtful reply. After re-pondering your posts, I'd say you're right. The Carl Martin IS somewhat expensive but it's a lot less than many guitars or amps. And a person's sound is a huge part of what they do.

    I'm lucky, being able to get my sound relatively simply - and inexpensively! Good luck in your quest for what you are seeking.

  7. #6

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    Cool!

  8. #7

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    I know no one seems to care about this - that's OK (really). But I'm posting an update anyway!

    1. I tried it with my A/E hybrid (Crafter SA) and Henriksen JazzAmp 112 last night and was very pleasantly surprised. I used the compressor as a clean boost (compression on zero), the chorus as an acoustic simulator (speed on zero), and the echo set subtly as an alternative to reverb. The overdrives worked too, but I wouldn't use them in this context. And I still have no need to use it for Jazz with my semi-hollow.

    2. These things normally seem to sell for $685. There was a place that had it advertized for $623, but they were 'out of stock'. So I got it from Amazon for $651 - received it 9 days ago. Yesterday, I saw the same listing on Amazon (I know - why was I looking?!), but the price was now $611! I sent them an email (they don't make it easy to do) asking what was up and do they have a best price guarantee and am I entitled to a refund or credit. They politely replied, "No!". I then replied that I would not send the unit back and then reorder it (I guess I could, but it works great - I want to keep this one, and I'd have to pay return shipping), but that I would probably avoid buying from them in the future (useless bluster, I know). Live and learn!

  9. #8

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    Just what you've all been waiting for - still another unsolicited update on my new Quattro!

    I used it for the first time on a gig last night in a 4 piece band supporting a rock-oriented singer-songwriter. We played outdoors in a gazebo on a town green - cool (except that it was 90 degrees and humid - strings felt like they were coated with glue)!

    I used a Tele, the Quattro, and a ZTClub amplifier. It worked great! I've played with these folks before, and they've always liked my sound, but they reacted very positively to my new palette of colors.

    I started out with my now-standard 'subtle' settings: compressor as a clean boost (compression on zero), chorus as an acoustic simulator (speed on zero), and echo in rockabilly slapback mode. The overdrives were set on country crunch and sort of a Claptonesque 'woman tone'. I only needed an occasional quick knob tweak here and there as the night progressed. And I had no trouble seeing the brilliant blue LEDs.

    By the way, to reference a related thread (Strumcat's 'Good FX'), I too had been intrigued by the TC Electronics Nova System (another Danish company - what's up with the Danes and multi-effects?). It's a little less expensive and has more/programmable functions, but its owner's manual is 48 pages long; the Quattro's 'manual' is less than a page. I guess I'm just an analog guy in a digital world!

  10. #9

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    I had the opportunity to try a Quattro in the past, but instead of going into an amp I went direct to PA. My main core sound is an Ethos TLE which I placed in the fx loop of the Quattro and then out of the Quattro to a Carl Martin Rock Bug and then to the PA. The Ethos has a great speaker simulator as well so the Rock Bug(speaker sim) was another item to try(just because) Either way I was really impressed and happy with the sound and dynamics of the whole rig. I received a lot of compliments on the tone from people in the audience as well as the sound person.

    The Quattro's effects have a very organic quality and lots of headroom so it responds to dynamics very well. It has all of the effects that I require, although reverb is nice especially for running direct. I will eventually get one of these but as has been mentioned it is pricey (and worth it IMHO) I haven't had the funds available just yet.

    Dan

  11. #10

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    I use a Line 6 M13. Not as high-end in name as the Carl Martin, but I love it and it does everything. I too could do what I needed in 5 minutes for some good sounds, but to learn all of what it can do requires a lot more time.

  12. #11

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    I'm glad you like your Line 6 M13 - I don't really know much about it - but I think we're talking apples and oranges. The CM Quattro is not a digital modeler - it's just 4 high quality analog stomp boxes housed in one AC powered unit. My only previous experience with a multi-effects unit was the VOX ToneLab ST I had. It was a great value - I got it new with a 20% off coupon for $160 - and I was able to dial in a wide variety of great sounds with it. But I found it somewhat awkward to use in a live context. The new ToneLab EX, the Line 6 M13, and the TC Electronics Nova system all have a 'stomp box' mode, I believe, which should address that issue to some extent.

    So, I'm not saying, "I got this one. Everybody should get this one. Nobody should get anything else." (I thought about getting one for over 2 years before I pulled the trigger.) As I said in my original post, "For me it's supremely convenient and easy to use, sounds great, and has everything I need and nothing I don't!"

    (By the way, I don't intend to use it for direct recording - the VOX was good for that - as my son has an MBox, ProTools, and every darn modeling plug-in he could find!)

    Addendum: I just looked at the M13 on Line 6's Website. It is purely a stomp box modeler - no amp or speaker simulations - just stomp boxes. Interesting!
    Last edited by Tom Karol; 07-18-2011 at 11:22 AM. Reason: Addendum

  13. #12

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    You're right, digital vs. analog is apples and oranges in a way. All in one unit the CM is about the only analog way to do it, and with reliable quality to boot.

    Most folks like playing around with different pedals, mixing and matching, especially if they're anti-digital. So an analog all-in-one unit would have a limited number of fans, but it's a great idea.

    In digital effects, I'd also say that the Nova system is the step up after the M13.

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by woyvel
    ...Most folks like playing around with different pedals, mixing and matching, especially if they're anti-digital. So an analog all-in-one unit would have a limited number of fans, but it's a great idea...
    I think you've hit the nail right on the head!

  15. #14

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    This has nothing to do with the Quattro itself; I just wanted to vent about Amazon's pricing policies:

    The Quattro's normal selling price seems to be $685. But, I got it from Amazon for $651, saving $34 ... or so I thought.* I received it on 6/20/11. On 6/28/11, I saw the same listing on Amazon, but the price was now $611. I sent them an email asking what was up and do they have a best price guarantee and am I entitled to a refund or credit. They politely replied, "No!". I then replied that I would not send the unit back and then reorder it (I guess I could, but it works great - I want to keep this one, and I'd have to pay return shipping), but that I would be wary of buying from them again. Then on 7/18/11 (today), I saw the same brand new item listed on Amazon for $500. Ouch! So, I sent them another email, this time telling them that I expected nothing but informing them that I would immediately cease buying from them altogether. Instead, I would buy from vendors who had a best price guarantee and therefore be willing to match any price Amazon posted within 30 days of purchase. Their reply was again polite but predictable: We've already got your money and we're not giving any of it back. We're sorry if you feel that you got screwed. We hope you give us another try. I told them to close my account.

    *Amazon has 2 different listings for exactly the same item: if they call it by its official name, "Carl Martin Quattro," it's $685 - period. But if they call it, "Carl Martin Multi-Effects Pedal," they can apparently adjust the price in any way they choose. I understood this when I bought the, "Carl Martin Multi-Effects Pedal."

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Karol
    This has nothing to do with the Quattro itself; I just wanted to vent about Amazon's pricing policies:

    The Quattro's normal selling price seems to be $685. But, I got it from Amazon for $651, saving $34 ... or so I thought.* I received it on 6/20/11. On 6/28/11, I saw the same listing on Amazon, but the price was now $611. I sent them an email asking what was up and do they have a best price guarantee and am I entitled to a refund or credit. They politely replied, "No!". I then replied that I would not send the unit back and then reorder it (I guess I could, but it works great - I want to keep this one, and I'd have to pay return shipping), but that I would be wary of buying from them again. Then on 7/18/11 (today), I saw the same brand new item listed on Amazon for $500. Ouch! So, I sent them another email, this time telling them that I expected nothing but informing them that I would immediately cease buying from them altogether. Instead, I would buy from vendors who had a best price guarantee and therefore be willing to match any price Amazon posted within 30 days of purchase. Their reply was again polite but predictable: We've already got your money and we're not giving any of it back. We're sorry if you feel that you got screwed. We hope you give us another try. I told them to close my account.

    *Amazon has 2 different listings for exactly the same item: if they call it by its official name, "Carl Martin Quattro," it's $685 - period. But if they call it, "Carl Martin Multi-Effects Pedal," they can apparently adjust the price in any way they choose. I understood this when I bought the, "Carl Martin Multi-Effects Pedal."
    Same name but not the same pedal! The cheaper one is the older version with tremolo and the more expensive one is the newer version with chorus instead of trem. Would be worth the price difference for me.

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Quabrumbel
    Same name but not the same pedal! The cheaper one is the older version with tremolo and the more expensive one is the newer version with chorus instead of trem. Would be worth the price difference for me.
    No, different name but exactly the same pedal - the one with chorus. But I'm done whining: I'm glad I bought it, and I would have paid the going price for it if I had to. And yes, I know Amazon doesn't care whether or not I remain a customer. As I said previously, "Live and learn."
    Last edited by Tom Karol; 07-19-2011 at 07:38 AM.

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Karol
    No, different name but exactly the same pedal - the one with chorus. But I'm done whining: I'm glad I bought it, and I would have paid the going price for it if I had to. And yes, I know Amazon doesn't care whether or not I remain a customer. As I said previously, "Live and learn."
    Yes, you have the one with chorus. But the one for 499$ is with trem. You can see it, when you enlarge the pic Amazon.com: Carl Martin Multi Effects Pedal: Musical Instruments

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Quabrumbel
    Yes, you have the one with chorus. But the one for 499$ is with trem. You can see it, when you enlarge the pic Amazon.com: Carl Martin Multi Effects Pedal: Musical Instruments
    $685: Amazon.com: Carl Martin Quattro Multi Effects Pedal: Musical Instruments

    $499: Amazon.com: Carl Martin Multi Effects Pedal: Musical Instruments

    Just seen that amazon got the features wrong! They say chorus but I'm sure you get the trem-version for 499.

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Quabrumbel
    They say chorus but I'm sure you get the trem-version for 499.
    No Q, you are still incorrect. This is getting us nowhere. With all due respect, this is my last response on the Amazon pricing issue.

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Karol
    No Q, you are still incorrect. This is getting us nowhere. With all due respect, this is my last response on the Amazon pricing issue.
    My intention was to do you a favour, saying that for your $651 you have gotten the better product than the one that sells for $499. Sorry for posting.

  22. #21

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    I appreciate your good intentions, and in disagreeing with your assessment I meant no personal offense. My apologies if you took it that way.
    Best regards,
    Tom

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Karol
    I appreciate your good intentions, and in disagreeing with your assessment I meant no personal offense. My apologies if you took it that way.
    Best regards,
    Tom
    Thanks and apologies for my silly insistence, but it's not MY assessment.

    Carl Martin Quattro old version $499:
    - Compressor
    - Overdrives
    - Tremolo
    - Echo

    Carl Martin Quattro new version $651:
    - Compressor
    - Overdrives
    - Vintage Chorus
    - Vintage Echo

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Quabrumbel
    Thanks and apologies for my silly insistence, but it's not MY assessment.

    Carl Martin Quattro old version $499:
    - Compressor
    - Overdrives
    - Tremolo
    - Echo

    Carl Martin Quattro new version $651:
    - Compressor
    - Overdrives
    - Vintage Chorus
    - Vintage Echo

    Sorry to continue with this part of it but I don't believe that Carl Martin offers the older version at all any longer and if Amazon does have any they are definately old stock as my best guess they were discontinued about 4 years ago when they brought the chorus version out

    Regardless it is still, to me, an amazing MFX unit as it is mainly an analogish board (delay and chorus I'm pretty sure are digital but who cares) Easy to operate, great tones and has most of the effects that I would need for most applications that I play

    Dan

  25. #24

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    Guys, please, let's put this thread to bed. I'll start a new one if I feel the need to further discuss the Quattro's admirable sonic characteristics.

  26. #25

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    New Quattro owner here (actually new owner of used Quattro v2 in perfect condition with warranty).

    I also had my eye out for these for a few years, watching and waiting to see a used one pop up. I have had it for a week now and it is excellent. CM does such a nice job on these.

    The compressor is quiet without humping, heaving, sighing, or heavy breathing like so many out there. The level has huge gain.

    Both overdrives are very transparent without fizz, fuzz, or other common artifacts. Both can range from clean to OD'd with only playing force, very dynamic and expressive.

    The chorus is "there" without making a spectacle of itself, understated, the chorus sound of depth and change without the heavy swirling, just right.

    The echo (delay) is very nice, ambient and natural.

    At first I figured it would take some time working with the settings (eleven knobs) so I just set all of them to the 10 o'clock position. After a week they are all still set that way - it is my favorite and I may just leave it like that forever

    Everything sounds perfect this way. It allows the compressor/level to add about +6db boost. Both drives are mild as I prefer, one picking up where the other leaves off. The chorus is only slightly noticeable, and the echo/delay is subtle and ambient. My amp provides reverb and tremolo if I want.

    I have modified a padded cornet case to contain it and cables for transport.

    I have been using it with an old Strat Plus with Lace sensors and a Deluxe Reverb. My archtop has been sitting untouched and jealous for a week.

    Glad I found this thread; the Quattro Club is a small one.

    P

  27. #26

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    I was wondering if any of you Quattro owners have had a chance to compare them with the other Carl Martin effects pedals?

    I happen to own a Chorus xII and the Hot Drive'n'Boost (v2) which I absolutely love. I have been thinking about selling those and getting a Quattro; if the chorus and overdrives sound as great as my current pedals and the delay and compressor match that sound quality, it might be the perfect pedal for me.