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Another Dimension

Article from Home & Studio Recording, February 1986

The Boss DC2 stereo chorus pedal gives the same effects as the highly acclaimed Roland Dimension D but at a fraction of the cost.


Roland's original rack mounting Dimension D effect is a firm favourite with professional studios but it is now available in a pedal format. The Boss DC-2 puts this effect within reach of the home studio owner working on a tight budget.


The Dimension D has been around for several years now, but it is still regarded as one of the most subtle chorus effects available. Unlike cheaper chorus units, it's a true stereo device and incorporates a few electronic tricks not found in conventional chorus pedal circuitry to widen the stereo image. Additionally, the circuitry is very quiet in operation and this new pedal version has the advantage of a high input impedance so that guitars or other electronic instruments may be plugged directly into it.

Pedal



The physical design of the pedal holds few surprises, as it follows the well established Boss tradition and is in the form of a two part casting, with the battery and bypass switch mounted under the moving pedal section. The bypass switch operates a silent FET switch which means that the effect can be switched in and out of circuit without causing any clicks and there is provision to power the unit from one of the Boss mains units if you intend to leave the DC-2 powered up for long periods. A single LED serves as both an effect in/out indicator and as a battery condition indicator.

The pedal is painted a nauseous shade of mauve but I won't dwell on that. Like most stereo chorus units, this is a mono in, stereo out device and all the signal connections are on unbalanced ¼" jacks as you might expect. As the pedal is designed to work at instrument rather than line level, it will interface happily with home recording equipment which works on -10dBm signal levels but will overload if driven from professional equipment operating on +4dBm unless some attenuation is used on the input. If mono operation is required, a plug inserted into output A only will receive a mix of both channels automatically.

Like the original Dimension D, there are no user variable controls, just four preset effects, but these are so good that they will cover most eventualities.

Sound



The four presets give a choice of effects that get stronger from left to right. As this is a true stereo device, the pitch sweep component in one channel rises as the other falls and so the result is a sense of movement rather than the drunken slewing produced by some mono chorus pedals. This combined with a couple of inter-channel phasing effects gives a wide sound, even on the mild settings, and a flat mono input can be given a genuine sense of space. Both mono and stereo modes of operation work well but the extra sense of space afforded by stereo use means that I would always use it in this way if at all possible.

Used on guitar, bass or keyboard, the benefits of this effect are to create a rich produced sound but vocals can also be treated and some advocates even use their Dimension Ds to process drums, though I have never really found this to be particularly effective.

Apart from the smoothness and refinement of the effect, the low background noise of -95dBm (A weighted) means that it won't give you noise problems when recording, a specification achieved by the use of a compander based internal noise reduction system. Though no frequency response figures are given, the sound retains an edge and sparkle normally found on only the most expensive units.

Conclusions



The Dimension D was always one of my favourite chorus devices and the fact that it has only four presets does not seem to detract from its usefulness or its flexibility. This is due in part to the fact that it creates a deep spacial effect with very little of that cyclic churning associated with less sophisticated chorus devices. Though the DC-2 is less than half the price of a Dimension D, it is still quite pricey if you think of it just as a chorus pedal but its value in the small studio is immense and I consider it to be a very good buy. On the face of it, this pedal would appear to do essentially the same job as the Dimension D and the only real differences are in the operating levels and the lack of any kind of input level metering on the DC-2. The only question remaining is this. If you can get a Dimension D into a pedal this small, what else was in that 2U rack mounting case to fill up the extra space? This one's a definite goody so give it a try and then see if you can live without it.

The DC-2 costs around £135

Further details from: Roland UK, (Contact Details).


Also featuring gear in this article



Previous Article in this issue

Symetrix 525

Next article in this issue

How to Calm Hysterics in Op-amps


Publisher: Home & Studio Recording - Music Maker Publications (UK), Future Publishing.

The current copyright owner/s of this content may differ from the originally published copyright notice.
More details on copyright ownership...

 

Home & Studio Recording - Feb 1986

Donated & scanned by: Mike Gorman

Gear in this article:

Guitar FX > Boss > DC-2 Dimension C


Gear Tags:

Chorus

Review by Paul White

Previous article in this issue:

> Symetrix 525

Next article in this issue:

> How to Calm Hysterics in Op-...


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