Pocket full of sunshine – Magnetic Effects Solar Bender

As before I borrowed this pedal from Marc at Northern Stompboxes. This review should be unbiased. I didn’t pay money for the pedal and neither have I been paid to write this review.

Here’s what I put on my notes when I first stomped foot on the Solar Bender:

Spluttery, synthy, looks cool.

And I could leave it there, it would probably tell you all that you need to know about the Solar Bender. I like it. It sounds like a very usable fuzz. Its not outright dirt and neither is it weak and unnoticeable.

What do the knobs do?

The level is as you would expect the amount of effect present within the sound. The bias when it is down low is more sputtery and broken up, with the bias dimed the Solar Bender sounds very synthy. I liked the bias in all places within the range of the pot. There are many tones to be had from the Solar Bender. To me the attack knob seems to increase the treble, the higher the number the more treble is present.

The Solar Bender plays very well with other pedals. I tried it with a tremolo, a rotary and a boost. It sounds fantastic with all of these. The Solar Bender is quite deceptive. First impressions are that it will be quite a poppy tame pedal but in actual fact it can produce very heavy grungy tones.

The Solar Bender looks fantastic. It has a lot of usable tones and its a hand made pedal in a tidy enclosure. There are many positive aspects to the Solar Bender, and only a few negatives. The only negatives I can thing of are that the pedal enclosure is quite tall which could make it a bit awkward next to smaller pedals. And the top mounted jacks are a bit awkward on my pedal board, but for most people it would be a good addition. I’ve mentioned these points before on a previous post about Magnetic Effects pedals.

If I didn’t have a fuzz already, and a couple of overdrives the Solar Bender would be up near if not at the top of my list of pedals to get. I can’t let this obsession with dirt pedals get the better of me just yet, because if I purchased every dirt pedal that I liked I would only have a board full of dirt.

In conclusion:

Pros –

  • Looks ace
  • Plenty of useful toans
  • Well made
  • Hand made in the UK

Cons –

  • Top mounted jacks not useful for everyone
  • Quite a tall enclosure
  • Could be considered expensive compared to some other similar pedals (Fredric Effects Green Russian for example)




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