So I may have lied just a little bit about being done with the distortions… but only a little. The Tech 21 Liverpool isn’t just another distortion or overdrive. The pedal is a Vox AC-30 in a box. I bet you’re interested now!
Most guitarists who use pedals lean towards the Fender or Vox amplifier because of the clean tones that allow for effects to be heard clearly. The downside is Fender and Vox have distinctive responses and therefore leave some guitarists with the need to have both in their rig (this is a pain if you run stereo like me!). Enter the Liverpool. With the Tech 21 pedal you get a fantastic amp simulator that turns any amp into the AC-30 after a bit of tweaking to the tone knobs. Further if you happen to have to use a solid state amp you can gain the warm characteristics of a tube amp by running this last in your chain. I had to do this once for a quick jam session, worked great stacked with a fuzz and really made the solid state sing!
Apart from getting a Vox in a box, you also gain a DI modulator for those times you want to record directly into the A/D converter. I haven’t had to do this to date but I’ve seen many demos showcasing this feature, which Tech 21 is most known for.
SInce I wrapped up my Board A in my last post, you’ll obviously conclude this is on Board B, with the modulation effects. That is a correct assumption. I would have originally had this on Board A but didn’t have the room to sit this next to the RAH. interestingly enough having the Whammy in front of this pedal works great for getting some Edge tones. Which leads me to my next point.
As many people know the Edge uses the AC-30 quite heavily from The Unforgettable Fire through to their current albums. It’s almost impossible to get any type of Edge sound without the sparkle of the high end section of a Vox. The Liverpool can really get you to that Edge tone, but of course there are a number of little things you’ll need as well but that’s a completely different discussion.
Regarding the new album, the Liverpool didn’t end up making the cut. This pedal for me serves a very specific purpose and that’s to get that Edge tone (and Lanois tone if you want to keep track). I really wanted to avoid having that specific sound on the album and that’s why it didn’t get used.
Should you have this pedal on your board? I would say yes. It has a number of ranges and can really diversify your amp tone without having to have an A/B switch and a $2,000 adder amp.