The new Crazy Tube Circuits Sidekick Jr. takes there Sidekick pedal, shrinks it, and adds even more functionality for a total Reverb, Delay and Modulation solution for fly rigs, compact boards, or just anyone who needs top quality effects in a compact format.
The Sidekick Junior uses digital processing for the time-based effects, but all the filters, mixing and buffering is all analog, and it shows. What impressed us out of the box is the tonal neutrality of the Sidekick Jr. You'll hear the effect, but you'll also not hear the tone of your instrument change. Doing A/B comparison between the effect on and off showed that Sidekick Jr. leaves the core sound your rig untouched, which is a big thing for us.
The Sidekick Jr. modulation side takes their inspiration from classic 80's BOSS effects that have been the benchmark for countless pedals (specifically the CE-2, DC-2 and BF-2). While most players often already have a Chorus pedal, the bonus of the Sidekick Jr. is the inclusion of Flange and Dimension effects for even more flexibility.
The Delay Section has both a "tape" and digital delay setting and a very simple control format, which is just fine with us. The tape section is based on a "clean" tape emulation, and for those looking for a grainy, wobbly effect the Sidekick Jr. won't really cover that. But we liked the relative precision of the tape mode and lack of heavy coloration to the tone. The digital delay setting is more crisp and tracks with digital accuracy without sounding synthetic or clinical. Lastly the Reverb section is fully featured with six possible emulations and is based on the studio-grade Alessis rack units of the 80's. There's a lot to unpack in the Reverb section, and again we were impressed how the Sidekick Jr. adds the effect without coloring the tone of the instrument itself.
Because the Sidekick Jr. it a three mode effect with two footswitches, there are limitations to the switching options. While the Reverb and Delay channels are fully independent, the Modulation section is paired with either one and can't selected stand-alone. This issue is solved with the accessory XT switch (see below for explanation). This is a smart solution as the XT switch takes up hardly any real estate, can be located anywhere, and three buttons on a box this size would be a challenge to operate.
The Sidekick Jr. crams a lot of functionality into a small box while maintaining an easy to understand and straightforward control layout. It's effects are quiet, high quality and don't sound digital...unless they are supposed to. When compared to the cost of high quality individual effects it's a bargain -- even with the optional XT switch -- and the capability of each section is powerful enough to satisfy most players. Saving space without compromise, Crazy Tube Circuits has raised the bar for compact multi-effect units.
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In order to provide full flexibility in the smallest enclosure possible the Sidekick Jr. offers a unique smart switching setup. As per standard onboard function, the delay and reverb effect sections of Sidekick JR operate independently from each other and the modulation is assignable to any of these sections. With the addition of the XT footswitch (available separately) the modulation section becomes totally independent and can be switched on/off on its own. The XT Footswitch is a passive latching switch exactly the same as the one offered as an accessory to the Unobtanium, but has the Sidekick graphics.
Sidekick JR is also the first CTC pedal to feature a power-up bypass/engage pre-set function for the onboard footswitches. That way you can select which state your pedal will go to when you plug the power supply. This function comes in especially handy to people that use remote pedal switchers/loopers as they only set the state of the pedal once and then operate from the controller.Specs and Features:
Modulation / Delay / Reverb effect pedal for guitar, bass or synthesizer.
Each effect section can be engaged independently and all three effect sections can be used together simultaneously.
Hybrid mode of operation. digital time-based effects, analog mixing, buffering and filtering of wet and dry signals.
Modulation controls: depth, speed, algorithm selection switch, operation assign switch.
Echo / delay controls: more (mix), tail (feedback), time (delay time 40-800 msec), algorithm selection switch.
Reverb controls: mix, excite (reverb parameter – different operation for each algorithm), algorithm selection switch, algorithm bank selection switch.
Two onboard footswitches to engage delay, reverb. Modulation operation assignable to any of these footswitches via onboard toggle switch.
Power-up bypass/engage preset function for the onboard footswitches.
External accessory - XT footswitch (sold separately), connected via a standard TS instrument cable, isolates modulation effect operation from the onboard footswitches. Connection of XT footswitch bypasses onboard modulation operation assign toggle switch.
Click-less true bypass design via high quality relays for each effect section (unless the internal reverb buffer bypass option is selected).
Power Supply: 9V DC, 2.1 mm x 5.5 mm, center negative (not included).
Current consumption 210mA.
Dimensions (W x L x H) : 69 x 125 x 58 mm.
Made in Greece.