Roland AD-50 Double Beat Pedal
This is a highly sophisticated battery-powered wah-wah and fuzz pedal and is part of a comprehensive range of pedals from the Japanese Roland Corporation that is marketed in the U.K.
The pedal is exceptionally sturdy and the top case is cast and the fittings are added later. The unit consists of a pivoted pedal to control the degree of wah-wah signal distortion and this operates on the well-tried principle of geared potentiometer movement. The wah-wah effect is switched in and out by a metal foot-switch placed underneath the pivoted pedal. Thus a firm stamp on the pedal can turn the effect on or off. The section of the pedal is located beside the pivoted section as the fuzz unit. This has a steel on/off switch to bring in and cancel the effect and three controls for governing the fuzz sound. These are a three position tone selector switch, a rotary output lead control and a rotary sustain control. In addition, a standard jack socket is mounted on each side of the unit for connection to the instrument and guitar.
The pedal worked well with a high degree of both fuzz and wah-wah effects. We only had two major criticisms and these are that the guitar to pedal jack socket is mounted on the left side of the pedal and the output socket positioned on the right. Thus the guitar lead has to cross the body of the usual right-handed guitarist and potentially gets in his way. It would be extremely simple for Roland to reverse the position of these sockets. Second, we found that the fuzz on/off switch was difficult to find in a hurry although with use it got a lot easier.
It was difficult, we felt, because it was located only one inch away from the pivoted pedal which demands a certain degree of toe-delicacy to locate it.
Our praise for the pedal covers many points. The battery operated unit is automatically switched on when a lead is plugged into the input socket and we feel that this is far more sensible than a couple of pedals we have seen which use the output socket for this purpose. This way the pedal can be left plugged into the amplifier before it's needed and is only switched on when the instrument is plugged in.
We also found the degree of tone control on the fuzz excellent. The symbols over the three tone position are a sine wave, a square wave and a pointed wave and these really describe best the tones available. The first position offers a degree of sharp sustain to the main signal. The second position produces the standard distorted "fuzz" signal and the third position produces a thick electronic kind of fuzz.
Perhaps the most useful fuzz control is the output level, as this allows infinite control over the fuzz level as against the normal signal level and this completely eliminates that annoying signal jump when switching to or from fuzz. The sustain control offers a wide range of sustain time and also affects the speed with which feedback builds.
Battery access is easy and the manufacturer claims a working life of 200 hours for each battery.
Retail Price £45-00