Jahkal 07/23/2014

Tech 21 Fly Rig 5 : Jahkal's user review

« For studio? Yes. Live? It depends. »
3

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It's a pedal with a built-in Sansamp, meaning a preamp with speaker simulation, plus a delay, a Plexi simulation and a 21dB boost.
It's analog, with very sensitive controls, all of which have a real impact on sound.
I use it live with a mixing console. So the Sansamp and the speaker simulation must always be active.

UTILIZATION

Very easy setup, if you know how to dial in an amp. Unfortunately, it has no memory, so settings can't be recalled
The controls are a bit small for live editing, besides being very sensitive.
Simple and clear manual with sound examples.

SOUND QUALITY

The Sansamp part is great. You really have the impression of listening to a very good tube amp, some of which don't even sound as good as this pedal, at least, to me.
And it has a reverb, which many tube amps don't.

The clean sound is quite all right. Increasing the drive you can get a light and very nice crunch.
Everything is very responsive to the volume pot on the guitar.
I use it with a Mexican Telecaster. The Sansamp part is truly interesting. But that's something I already knew, since I have already used similar Tech21 products.

The Plexi sound is very... Plexi. You can really hear that fat Hendrix tone. A simple F#m7 on the 9th fret and, voilà, Foxy Lady is in the house!

But that might be it's biggest defect. The sound is huge, apocalyptic, and a bit muddled when strumming the lower stings. Furthermore, the mixer input level is not very high.

The delay is convincing and you can even get a chorus, depending on the settings.

The boost... boosts, but it lacks a bit of oomph when the Sansamp + Plexi are engaged. I think it's more convincing only with the Sansamp.

OVERALL OPINION

It's a good all-in-one pedal. However, it doesn't quite suit my rhythm playing.

This pedal has a big personality, but in my view as someone who is not good enough for solos and plays rhythm guitar in a band, it's not sharp enough, it's too fat, with lots of lows.

It will probably do the trick for a '70s-like band with only one guitar player, but not for me.
You really need to test it under the conditions you are going to use it. At home it was very good. I tested it live with another guitarist and I wasn't really convinced by it.

I'm actually looking for an amp head in pedal format. On paper it's pretty convincing. In reality...I'll keep my AMT M2, which sounds really good.