TC Electronic Quintessence
With one of their newest offerings, TC have done something truly wonderful. For those looking for a standard sized, diatonic harmonizer, the only real option, for years, was the Boss PS-6. TC Electronic has entered the harmonizer game with the Quintessence, and have done so in a big way. This new pedal features a simple interface, beautiful sounds, next-level tracking speed. There are few, if any, harmonizers in its class that can match up. Do you want tight sounding harmonies in any key with a multitude of scale and voicing options? Then go get yourself one of these babies
External Control: TONEPRINT/MASH
TC did a great job designing this pedal. We love the key knob and its fewer options. While the Sharp switch makes finding keys easier than having to turn a knob through 12 positions, be careful to pay attention to the switches position. Ignoring can burn you. We also love the way the Harmony knob is labeled. Unlike its direct competitor, the Boss PS-6, you do not have to memorize each position on the knob and its function. The mash feature is easy to use, but sometimes that on/off switch can react poorly, as you can accidentally activate Mash easily. They fit A LOT onto this pedal's small face, but were able to figure out one of its most important features: The face of this pedal is easy to read!
Although there is the ability to customize with the TonePrint app, and a wide range of scales and voicings to choose from, this pedal is not as versatile as it may seem. If you were to compare it to the PS-6, you would be missing a few things. While it is true that the custom scales are more varies than just major modes, there is one key scale that is missing. There is no chromatic scale, which means that you cannot use this pedal for fixed intervals other than an octave up or down. Also, as with many harmonizers, the farther away the harmonized pitch is from the original pitch the lower the tonal quality. This pedal can only be used an an octave pedal if you utilize the custom TonePrint slots. That being said, this pedal can certainly do a lot. You can choose from many different scale types in the "custom" slot, you can have 3 customized harmonies (including delayed pitches), and you bend harmonized pitches with the Mash feature. While not the most capable harmonizer on the market, it can certainly do a lot.
Tonal reproduction: 4/5
The harmonized notes produced by the quintessence sound true to your original tone. However, there can be an element of sterility and a very slight lack of warmth. As with many harmonizers, the farther away the harmonized pitch is from the original pitch the lower the tonal quality.
Tracking speed: 4.9/5
This pedal has among the best tracking speed we have heard on any pedal. It is as close to perfect as you could ask for.
Live application: 4/5
For a harmonizer of its size, this is a wonderful pedal for live use. The ease with which you can read its face alone, gives it major points. The ability to customize one scale and three different voicings makes it quite applicable to a wide variety of songs within a given set. One of its few setbacks is actually a product of its high quality tracking speed. Since the tracking speed is so good, the harmonies can sound almost too perfect. This contributes to what may sometimes sound like a robotic end result. The harmonies are so tight in their rhythmic production that the final sonic product may come across as less organic than one would hope.
Both Tenor 1 and Bari 1 are clips meant to highlight the simplistic harmonies that are capable on the Quintessence. With a 4th down in Tenor 1and a 5th up in Bari 1 you can hear the rhythmic and tonal integrity as both instruments play melodies with power chords.
Tenor 2 uses a voicing of a diatonic 3rd above the note being played. This example really highlights how well the quintessence handles notes that are technically outside the key. Notice how the non-diatonic notes seem to fit beautifully along with the rest of the harmonized melody.
Tenor 3 uses an harmonized note a diatonic 3rd below the original note. However, in this example, the mix knob is turned all the way up so that only the harmony note can be heard. This should clearly highligh the quality of tonal reproduction that the Quintessence has.
Bari 2 uses one of the 3-note voicings (3rd up and 6th up). The mix knob is slightly below even so as to bring the original pitch more to the front of the mix.
Bari 3 uses the pre-loaded setting in the third TonePrint slot. This is a wacky one that shows how you can stretch the capabilities of the Quintessence
Exceptional dual-voiced intelligent harmony pedal with PolySense and innovative pressure-sensitive footswitch
Groundbreaking MASH technology turns footswitch into a pressure-responsive expression controller
MASH footswitch lets you easily pitch-bend harmonized notes up to the next interval
Choose between latching and momentary footswitch modes for perfect integration with your playing style
TonePrint-enabled to let you beam cool signature tones into your pedal with the free TonePrint App
Design your own harmonized interval effects from scratch with free TonePrint Editor for PC, Mac* and iPad*
Simple, easy-to-use controls let you focus on playing
Compact footprint fits on any pedal board
True bypass allows for optimum clarity and zero high-end loss when the pedal is off
Works flawlessly with guitar and FX loop signals
Optional buffered bypass mode prevents high frequency loss from long cable runs
Analog-Dry-Through maintains total integrity of analog dry signal path even when effect is engaged
3-Year Warranty Program*
Designed and engineered in Denmark
All product info from the TC Electronic website