Code Blue Effects Heartstopper Reviews 5

I purchased this overdrive, after much haggling, from Rock Block Guitars in Nashville,TN because I had had the opportunity to use a Code Blue at one of Nashvilles recording studios. After a couple sessions and seeing this huge blue LED just beaming across the room and, of course, the mandatory, obsessive tweaking, I had to have one...(Ever heard that before?)

I was immediately impressed with the cool blue color and "Flatlined Heartbeat" EKG lines on the face of the unit. It was cool enough to warrant more attention, so I plugged up and let go. The result was satisfaction guaranteed baby. I drove it through a clean boost with a pretty good high end shimmer to the raunch factor of a dimed TS808. I found a very transparent but aggressive tonality with true bypass and some serious range. I think it muscle a spot into the working musicians floorboard.

Standing, the unit was no problemo, and with it secured to your floor rig it would be ok too, but sitting presented a special set of problems as the unit skidded away from you during use. It needs feet or some sort of nonskid treatment to prevent your new "Heartstopper" from takin' the proverbial hike over to your fat footed bass players domain where a sure and sudden death awaits it.

OK, out comes the screwdriver and the determined look. (We're talkin' and communicatin' here, right?) I had to do it. I had to look inside and see what I could see. A big fat Carling 3PDT true bypass switch was the first thing that jumped out at me after getting the back off. Serious quality Switchcraft jacks, CTS pots and what looks like milspec resistors and caps. Oh, and lurking, pumping tone from the very heart of this thing was the Holy Grail of chips. The venerable JRC4558BB. I was salivating like an idiot savant at the piano.

Bottom line...Top of the line. I know that there isists, grasshopper, nothing new under the sun, but Code blue looks like they've taken a vintage, proven design like the TS808 and beefed up the suspension with milspec parts and true bypass, added a seriously bright LED that you can see from New Jersey,(which is pretty cool on a dark stage)and generally made something that was already good...Better. As artists, we need to acknowledge the ability of builders like this. The tone injected into my sound from the Code Blue is as critical to my music as my guitar is. Electronic musicians that we have become...

Keith Stalcup rated this unit 5 on 2005-04-11.

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