I have had a little time to spend with the M13, so I guess it’s time to share some thoughts. First impressions are that this thing is very cool. I haven’t messed with all the sounds yet, but a lot of them sound great.
First of all, the delays are awesome. There are a bunch of different ones to choose from, and they’re all very tweakable. I’m very happy about the inclusion of the Lo-Res delay from the DL4. I owned a DL4 for a couple of weeks, and the Lo-Res delay was my favorite sound on the pedal. Unfortunately, it was accompanied by an unacceptable volume drop, so it had to go. The M13 seems to have corrected this unfortunate situation.
Anyway, I used it at church on Sunday and it was really easy to dial up a few basic delay tones that worked really well. I set up two delays in series (tube echo dotted eighth > analog echo w/mod dotted eighth) and it was perfect for the U2/modern worship thing. I initially had the mix set too high, but it was easy enough to tweak on the fly.
The M13 has an effects loop, which enables you to place external stompboxes within the effects chain. On Sunday I didn’t have this set up, so all of my distortion pedals were in front of the M13 which didn’t work out too well. Because of this, I decided to try out a couple of the M13’s overdrive pedal tones. I ended up using the tube drive model, which is supposed to be designed to sound like the Chandler Tube Driver. Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised to get some totally usable tones out of it. Granted, the digital models aren’t as organic as the analog counterparts, but it’ll work in a pinch. My main gripe is that the digital overdrives don’t really clean up with the guitar’s volume control or a light pick attack. Since Sunday, I have rearranged my board a little and put the od/distortions into the loop. It sounds much better this way.
I really like using expression pedals with this thing. There are obvious uses like wah, whammy, and volume control, but you can assign the expression pedal to manipulate any parameters that you want. It can be as simple as using the exp pedal to control the gain setting on your overdrive pedal. However, you can use the pedal to change every setting on any given effect. In the heel down position, you could have a dry digital delay setting with low repeats, moderate feedback, and no modulation. The toe down position could be a very warm self-oscillating delay with infinite repeats. Of course, as you sweep back and forth, you get a blend of the two delay sounds which gives you a lot of flexibility in controlling your tone. Right now, I only have one expression pedal but I will be picking up a second in the very near future.
In short, I am pretty pleased with the M13. I have decided to sell my Timeline delay pedal as well as the Rocktron MIDI controller that I was using with it. If you’re interested, let me know…