Spending a week with a White Rabbit (Stunt Monkey Pedals)

Hector Arcadius

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Ok, folks, here is my review of this amazing pedal that David (CheopisIV) builds and sells. Now, is that a world exclusive or what…?!:D


Let’s start by saying that I had been researching extensively for my first fuzz-box, mainly inspired by David Gilmour tones and (on a different side of the tonal spectrum) from modern hard-rock bands (like Monster Magnet). And reading up on the net, I was also advised that perhaps a Muff-type-of-pedal could not be the ideal for me, and perhaps I should consider a different distortion pedal. So, the description of David’s pedal (‘’fuzz / distortion’’) seemed to be the perfect place to start. I kept my expectations low and DID NOT think that the W.R. would be the exact / perfect pedal to get the tones I was after. How wrong I was!!!







KNOB DESCRIPTION:
1. Volume: self-explanatory. Let’s just say that it has enough volume available to blow the roof-top of your house. At 9 o’clock, it had already passed unity gain with the amp.
2. Gain: from gritty blues all the way to modern, full out distortion. Totally usable in all the range.
3. Tone: Another very pleasant surprise, extremely useful through the whole range, helps you match the pedal to your rig, without ever getting piercing or muddy.
4. And last but not least: the ‘’Sag’’’ knob: it controls the voltage that the circuit operates in. Much of this pedal’s magic happens here: at full-on position, you maximise the headroom of the pedal, minimising it’s ‘’fuzz’’ aspect and you bring it closer to articulate distortion. Back it off, and you introduce more ‘’gritt’’ to the sound. This feature is one of those that set the pedal apart from it’s competition.


Having watched David’s video / demo on the pedal, I knew the settings to start: Volume & Gain at 9 o’clock, the 2 other knobs at 12 o’clock. Side note: I was powering it with 12V from my pedal-board’s daisy chain. Step on it and …ARGHH! BLINDING red Led! Not to complain at all, I happen to absolutely love big, blinding leds! So, if you’re twisted as I am, then you’re gonna love it! :thumb:


The sound? Clear, articulate, loud gain, bordering OD / distortion (and not so much fuzz), perfect for a gritty blues/rock sound that is pretty familiar to us. Touch sensitive with lots of dynamics as well. I was so happy with the tones I was getting, that I spent the next half hour without even touching the knobs on the pedal, simply squeezing out as many tones as possible from the controls on my Fat-Strat (with an MHD pickup on the bridge).Having a pedal that sounds so good from the get-go, that you don’t have to constantly mess with the knobs to make it sound good, is what I call ‘’inspiring’’ and ‘’well-designed’’.


Rolling the gain on, at 12 o’clock, the tones are hard-rocking, always maintaining the clarity, making power-chords sound full and balanced and solos to jump out, on all pickups. In order to keep the 2 GFS Neovins (in the neck & middle position) from getting too dark (not the pedal’s fault, they just tend to do so), I roll the Tone knob to 9 o’clock and when I play in the bridge position, I use the guitar’s tone control. Everything sounds perfect and, equally importantly, it works as it should on the pedal.


Full on gain and I’m able to get sustaining lead sounds that are pretty reminiscent of Gilmour-ish sound-scapes. Surprised and extremely satisfied… Did I mention how well this pedal clears-up with rolling back the volume knob? Of course the MHD plays a great role in that as well, but, if it wasn’t for the W.R…. This is the kind of pedals that you can always leave on, even at maxed-out settings and control everything from the guitar. Rolling back the volume completely, it gets so clear that you can add chorus and start playing slow appregiated chords! And everything sparkles and shines…


Time for round No. 2: repeat process, but now I start messing with the ‘’Sag’’ knob on every gain setting. Man, does this open new tonal possibilities, or what? It makes the pedal so damn versatile, working together with the ‘’gain’’ knob, so that you can take it from blues-rock, classic rock, metal, modern pedal, stoner-rock… The pedal was only limited by me, not by it’s controls. Amazing!:applause:


The next night, everything was repeated with my Gibson Les Paul Studio (all mahogany) with BB Pros. Let’s just say that I’m not satisfied with the way the guitar sounds at the moment, and a pickup & harness swap is my actual next goal (gear-wise). Damn it! I could not get this pedal to sound bad! It was absolutely brilliant not only on the bridge pickup, but I loved so much the neck one, that I get really inspired and creative! It was the first time that I actually used the neck pickup of my Les Paul for rhythm stuff! Not a sign of mud, only punch & attitude! Again, surprised and extremely satisfied…


Just so that you can get a better idea: the amp used was a Blackstar HT-1R.



SUMMARY: This is one of the 2 best drive pedals that I ever had the pleasure to own. It’s in the same league with my Crunch Box and those who are frequent to the forum, know exactly how much I love my C.B. It’s not the kind of pedal that you buy in order to nail ‘’Insert favourite artist here’’-tone. It’s the kind of pedal you buy in order to find your-tone. I have to add here that both my guitars sound like themselves through it. And it’s the same for all my pickups in them. It does not cover-up anything in order to make it sound good. It just provides the tools to make the rest of your rig sound better. It offers more of what you want to add, be it gain, sustain, grit, brightness… Incredible stuff! I can’t wait for the next offerings from David. The man has a great pair of ears, for sure!

:applause::applause::applause:



 

bilbarstow

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Nice review, Hector ! I wanted one of these pedals from his development vids - now I REALLY want one.

:applause: :thumb:
 

CheopisIV

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Thanks for taking the time to write this up! Nothing makes me happier than someone else enjoying my pedals! :thumb:

I have to admit I've been equally mesmerized with it and have been trying all kinds of combos with reverb, delay, other dirt boxes before and after it... my favorite combo to date is

TS9-> White Rabbit -> DD3 -> Reflector -> Tone Grenade -> Amp

Now I really need to stop playing and get onto the next build!
 

Mookakian

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Great review hector, i'll be sure to try one out soon :)
 

Hector Arcadius

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Thanks for taking the time to write this up! Nothing makes me happier than someone else enjoying my pedals! :thumb:

I have to admit I've been equally mesmerized with it and have been trying all kinds of combos with reverb, delay, other dirt boxes before and after it... my favorite combo to date is

TS9-> White Rabbit -> DD3 -> Reflector -> Tone Grenade -> Amp

Now I really need to stop playing and get onto the next build!

My pleasure bud!

''next build'': Has the Rhino inspired you enough to go for a TS-type of thing or you're sticking to the plans for a compressor? My guess is, that a comp into the WR would be equally interesting, as with the TS...:naughty:


Great review hector, i'll be sure to try one out soon :)
I'm glad that I'm passing GAS to you for the WR Tim, since your threads on pickups & pedals from time to time have been as provoking to mine... :D
 

CheopisIV

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For my next build I'm torn. I don't have a compressor yet so was planning on trying my hand at one, but I'm really loving the TS / Rhino type pedals and have been a secret admirer of the Blues Breaker pedals I've heard...also a few more schems have tickled my fancy, not to mention my love affair with a nice reverb... I need more hands and definitely more time :) I still have the last two White Rabbits to finish up!
 

2009LPGT

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Nice review Hector! Dang, should have went the trade offer Cheopis made me! :)

Sounds like a really nice pedal!

REVERB!!!!
 

SvdH

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Well i just put in an order for one based on your review! You diden't let me down on the TC repeater, so this ought to work out good since this seems to be exactly the pedal i was after :thumb:. Gritty distortion, fuzzy and allround awsome.
 

CheopisIV

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That leaves one White Rabbit remaining and looking for a home! :thumb:
 

Hector Arcadius

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Nice review Hector! Dang, should have went the trade offer Cheopis made me! :)

Sounds like a really nice pedal!

Thanks man. You really can't say that, because it all boils down to what tones each player is after, who knows, perhaps a WR wouldn't / couldn't be what you're looking at the moment. For me, it was a perfect timing.



Well i just put in an order for one based on your review! You diden't let me down on the TC repeater, so this ought to work out good since this seems to be exactly the pedal i was after :thumb:. Gritty distortion, fuzzy and allround awsome.
All right, bud! :thumb: I can tell you this: the WR and the Repeater work BEAUTIFULLY together, in more ways than one. You will have a lot of experimenting to do!
 

Hector Arcadius

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Update:



It seems that I'm finding some favourite settings on the pedal. Since I was using it with the voltage knob on less-than-full-on positions, I switched to a normal 9V power supply. BTW, that makes the led less bright (still pretty bright though!). I keep it 12 o' clock, which gives some ''grit'' to the tone. Gain knob also at 12 o' clock and tone adjusted depending on guitars.

This way, it gives me enough gain and a nice range of sounds to mess with, from bluesy to pretty hard-rocking (with attitude) and some ''hair''. Extremely musical and usable sounds all around.

So, I can leave my Crunch Box on a JCM-800-on-full-roar kind of tone :)dude:) and the Ram's Head clone on the (as expected...) gilmour-ish setting.



Wait! ''Ram's Head''...?! Ok, we will discuss this on another thread....:naughty: :D
 

gibsonguitar1988

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Great review!!!!! It sounds amazing! I'm still waiting for him to do his take on a certain green monster! :D
 

SvdH

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You're making my fingers itch Hector :laugh2:. Would there be a possibility to do some sound clips maby?
 

Hector Arcadius

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You're making my fingers itch Hector :laugh2:. Would there be a possibility to do some sound clips maby?


Oh, the sweet anticipation for the new pedal...:naughty:

Unfortunaty, no recording equipment with me at the moment... Last year, I think, I fried the mic input of my laptop with my Vox Amplug... :shock: :slap:
 

SvdH

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... Last year, I think, I fried the mic input of my laptop with my Vox Amplug... :shock: :slap:
I feel your loss! Fried my laptops usb-controller that way when i hooked up my mustang amp. But that was more a fault of me abusing the used cable a little too much over the past years :D

But well, then i'll just wait till it gets here and put up some sound clips of it. (If i'm ever going to figure this mic placement thing out that is!)
 

Hector Arcadius

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Since David is about to launch the new batch of White Rabbits (the new version comes with a toggle-switch, for more tonal options, as I have heard...:naughty:), it seems the perfect timing for me to revive this all thread.

I had minimised by board to 3 pedals all an all and the White Rabbit was one of the 3 that stayed. This speaks for itself. It has proven to be my perfect rhythm pedal, even though it can do some very syrup-y leads as well.

Changing the pickups & electronics in the LP has helped me a lot getting even more tones from the WR. I can add brightness from the Tone control ,for example and use the guitar's tone knobs to dial it out if / when I feel like it. Same with the Gain knob, I have maxed it out and control the dirt from the guitar's volume knob ('50s wiring FTW!).

Great pedal there folks! I have been looking around for the proper OD / boost pedal to pair it up with, to be able to drive it even harder for those moments. A keeper without a doubt.:cool:
 

CheopisIV

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Thanks for the kind words again, I'm happy you're still liking the pedal!

I've almost finished the new boxes so the only thing left to do is drill and solder. 4 turned out perfect, the 5th needs a bit of sanding on the clearcoat and hopefully will be up to my standards. WR II coming very, very soon...

I've tried an LPB-1 prerabbit for a nice driver but I still prefer a good ol' TS-9 or BD-2 to push it harder. Pushing the WR into a Reverb then into a Tone Grenade give me the best results, but it may just be my pride :thumb:
 




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