Spaceman Saturn V Review

 

Yowsa!  Big Bucks for Big Tones:  To Infiniti and Beyond!

Our Hearts go to to those in Houston along with ANYONE who has suffered any kind of catastrohpic tragedy…Strong people make for strong communities make for strong recoveries.

 

{Read in muffled Astronaut’s Voice transmitted from Mars through a heavily mid-banded 5; Speaker}:

Saturn V-“Houston…we may have a problem…I may need about 3 more of the Saturn Vs…just on my single board!  There are WAY too many tones available within the two knobs beset on the face of this gorgeous pedal for me to only have a single example to stomp on…My back is already aching is from bending over to adjust it from Lead to Rhythm to Lead again!  All in a single Song!”

Houston-“Copy that, Saturn V…but they are scarce here on Earth as they are up there…and you have a 1/200 Silver Limited Edition!  Check eBay…”

Saturn V-“Uh…Houston…”

And so it will go for anybody who is searching the skies for a simple boost and then subsequently discovers the Saturn V.  This sturdy vessel has been built with the care of an artist and the conviction of an architect looking to the planets yonder and imagining his or their being analyzed in awe and admiration many moons away…

Am I getting carried away?  Does this Spaceman pedals’s tone warrant the attention it demands or is it just hype that puts the prices into the…Stratosphere? (Sorry, had to.)  There is is bit to both sides of this in the boutique Universe which I will explain further, but lets take a look at the pedal before we do.

The Build

There are builds, and then there are builds.  If you have ever taken a look at the insides a Spaceman pedal, you likely already know:  these pedals are  beautiful without even plugging them in.  BEAUTIFUL.  This isn’t just a limo’s worth of lipstick though…yes, there are many little touches on the inside (take a look at the video closely) that not only set it apart from the usual boutique pedals but make it a sight to behold and marvel at (and really, a shame to have sitting face up with the backplate attached, atop of your pedalboard.)

It goes further than simple aesthetics:  It is a sturdy build. A solid enclosure combined with extremely high quality parts, the Saturn V could easily take a beating if you offered it, but you won’t (take a look at eBay again.  We can wait.)

Shoot the MoonSHOOT the MOOOOOON!

As nice amazing as the Saturn V sounds it doesn’t quite respond the usual way two knob boosters do.  You can set the controls for the familiar low gain/high output and vice versa, and even “50/50” but it will return tones that are not of it’s metier…It will offer awesome dirty and clean boosts, no question about that.  They won’t, however, be any indication of what it is truly capable of.  It is fairly hard to believe but this circuit requires a bit of tinkering with the controls to grasp what is excels at: thick, syrupy gain that is so responsive to controls and dynamics that you will find 5 knob distortions almost boring…this pedal is alive and flexible. With only two knobs!

This can be both frustrating and rewarding.  Don’t suit up and expect this to be an  was Mission: pull down the visor on your space helmet and listen with your EARS to make this baby launch into the sky.  Close your eyes and spin the controls to your heart’s content.  It is likely said than done but remember…there are only two knobs.

Clean(ish) boost…no problem.  Low Drive High Boost.  Dirty low gain drive…Roger, that.  High Drive and Low Boost.  It’s finding just where to set these exactly is…well…part of the Mission of a Spaceman pedal.  And part of the FUN.  Many have joked about how a…altogether now…two knob pedal…woudl require such an amount of adjustment, but it will yeild results.  Rich detailed gain that will make you forget you are playing a pedal.   Cutting, responsive tone that isn’t piercing or overly compressed.

 

The Satun V also happens to be a rare pedal in the boost category that just seems to make your amp more responsive to you r volume control than when plucked with any other pedal, or just with the amplifier wound up iself!  Back it off and you can get glistening clean tones when to fairly low gain, and turned loose it offers an amazing array of tones on a meteoric rise to full on burn…so bring your visor.

Boondogles…

Often in the world of gear there are hidden gems that are only undiscovered because of their low price.  Almost as often there is gear that is hyped so much it wouldn’t matter if it was worth twice it’s initial selling price:  it becomes over-priced, market demand notwithstanding.  Once in a while, however, we rediscover said gear that was selling for astronomical (sorry) prices only a few years ago but have come back down to earth (ugh…) making it more accessible to try again.  When you plug it in yo have to smile, not only at what it offers but how high prices get for something as trivial as a simple effects pedal.  This middle ground is likely where the Spaceman finds itself:  while it is beautiful and sold in limited numbers, it will likely be rediscovered when the next flavour of the month is being sought on the Brag Gear Page.  Of course, the little details that set the Spaceman pedals apart aren’t being duplicated by any other manufactures, and cloners, well, they seem to avoid things like beautiful enclosures (Centaur) sturdy PCBs (Cornish) and overall vibe (Spaceman!)

Spaceman, oh Spaceman!

Houston-…Mission Report:Initial Contact Made.  Build and quality live up to hype (if it ever really could) and tone…well, extra effort is required for this space walk, but by this astrounaught’s estimation, it delivers.

Alright, got to get back to the capsule.  More to come, as always, so keep radio communication open…We haven’t even gotten the DIP switches on the inside of the Saturn V!

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