Evil Twin

"Addictive, smooth and sophisticated British phaser"

 

 

 

The Evil Twin phaser rack effect module compares to the Lovetone Doppelganger pedal.  Lovetone pedals like the Doppelganger were made in small quantities in 1995 - 2001.  They are noted both for their high quality and their "break the rules" designs.  The Doppelganger is a complex phaser/vibrato pedal that takes some time to figure out.  But once you get the hang of it, you get some of the smoothest, coolest phaser and vibrato tones available.  Originals are worth seeking out, even with their four-digit price tags.  Our GT Evil Twin makes this amazing effect available again with a much more affordable price.

 

Description

Lovetone built a selection of outstanding, high quality boutique pedals in the small town of Henley-On-Thames from 1995 to around 2001.  During that time, they managed to set the pedal business on its ear with their imaginative designs sporting lots of controls.  Their Doppelganger was no exception.  At its heart is a 4-stage optical phaser.  What's unique is that the phasing is controlled by two separate LFO circuits, along with a variety of controls for the wave and tone.  There were two versions of the Doppelganger, the second adding an extra slow control and square wave control to LFO 1, along with a direct out jack.  Our GT Evil Twin compares to the second version of the Doppelganger.  It has the same great audio circuit, but with a few tweaks to simplify its usage and complexity without losing any of its sonic goodness.  The Doppelganger has been used by numerous artists including The Edge, Jimmy Page, members of Radio Head, Kirk Hammet, Johnny Marr of The Smiths, and others.  The originals were pricey for their time, and the low production quantities and their popularity make them pretty expensive, although not too difficult to find, today.

With the dual LFO design and numerous controls, the range of phaser/vibrato effects you can create defies description.  With the possible exception of when the Rates are set to their highest, almost every combination of settings could reasonably be used.  There aren't a lot of "spacey" or "seasick" settings to avoid.  It is tempting to describe most of the available tones as "subtle", but that's not quite right.  They can be very distinctive and obvious.  You won't get those extreme, over-the-top phasing sounds, or the jet whoosh, though.  It might fit in best with music that is slower and has some space between notes to allow this effect to shine - blues, country, ballads, folk, pop/classic rock, psychedelia ala Pink Floyd should all be great.  However, you'll need to carefully note your favorite settings so you can get them back.  For phasers, this one is pretty quiet as long as you don't allow too much noise into your input signal.  The sound is obviously going through some filters, but the result is very pleasant and "clean-sounding", giving you the feeling you are definitely playing a quality effect.  You can probably overload it and get some distortion - maybe you want to, maybe you don't - but it "plays warm and clean".  It's similar but different from a Univibe (our SwirlOVibe), but you might use it for the same types of music and in a similar manner.  A very cool and addictive effect, for sure.

While our Evil Twin gives you all the tonal options of the Doppelganger, we have made changes to some of the connection options to better fit into our rack-based line of modules.  Even after these changes, the Evil Twin is still one of our most complex and widest modules at 3" with a dozen or so controls. Here are the details.

The Doppelganger has Dry and Effect Out jacks, making it "stereo" when the effect is in use.  Really though, it is just dry (out of phase) and wet paths.  There were also jacks for expression pedals to control the speeds of each LFO.  And there were switches to control whether the signal went through the pedal when it was on or off, and whether it went through an internal buffer or not, and a related feature that we'll get to in a moment.

We've dropped off the Dry output.  You can get that functionality by putting an ABY splitter (ABY) in front of the Evil Twin to give you the wet path through the effect and the dry path from the splitter if you want "stereo".  So nothing is really lost, you just do it differently.

We also dropped the jacks for the LFO expression pedal controls.  Adding the extra jacks on the front panel and extra connectors to the board both cause space (module width and board size) problems.  The module is already 3" wide, after making changes to keep it reasonably compact.  However, if there is enough interest we could probably make the expression pedal jacks available with a bit of work.

We also left off the "buffer only" option.  The buffer is still there and it is still used when the effect is on.  But if you want a buffer when the effect is off, then we offer several different buffer modules to choose from.  The buffer in the Doppelganger circuit is the same as the one in the Klon Centaur, which is the same as the one we offer in our MultiBuffer module with the TL072 op amp option.  So again, nothing lost, just done differently.

While we're on these odd on/off/switching topics, we may as well cover Spectral Mode, too.  In this mode on the Doppelganger, the signal goes through the phaser, but the LFOs are turned off.  This is sort of like the Cancel mode of the Univox Univibe.  On the original pedal it was engaged even when the pedal was "off", also like the Univibe.  We have a Spectral switch which does the same thing.  In Spectral mode, the LFO functions are disabled, but the other tone-shaping functions are still active.  It's like a phaser without the movement, just the filter - sort of like the phaser is "stuck".  But it only works when the pedal is on, keeping your bypass clean.  Yeah, yeah, nothing lost, just done differently. 

The remaining controls should be familiar to Doppelganger users.

The second footswitch turns the second LFO on/off.  If LFO 2 is off, LFO 1 controls all four stages.

Rate LFO1 and Rate LFO2 control the speeds of LFO 1 and LFO 2.  If you have the second footswitch set for just one LFO, then the LFO 2 Rate will have no effect.

HF Span controls the depth, frequencies, and wave shape of the first two stages, which focus on higher frequencies.

LF Span controls the depth, frequencies, and wave shape of the last two stages, which focus on lower frequencies.

Color controls the amount of feedback, which goes only to the last two stages (LF).

Effect turns the dry path on/off, switching between phaser and a vibrato-like effect.  To us it doesn't really sound like a vibrato, or anything else we've heard.  If the LFO speeds are fast, maybe it's a bit more like a vibrato…  Not that it's bad, just not a standard vibrato.

Blend is the mix of wet and dry signal.  If you are in Vibrato mode, there is no dry signal so Blend acts like a Vibrato volume control.

AntiPhase switches between HF and LF being in phase or HF being 180 degrees out of phase.  This is pretty cool once you figure it out.  If you don't have LFO 2 switched on, HF and LF will be driven alternately.  The effect of this switch is best heard when the LFOs are at the same rate, or one rate is a multiple of the other.  Then you can easily tell the two LFO pulses are happening together or are alternating.  You can see it with the HF and LF LEDs, if the rates aren't too fast.  It's also easier to hear when you use the second footswitch to turn one LFO off.  Once you hear it, you'll know what you're listening for.  If the two LFO rates are way off from each other, they won't line up or alternate cleanly most of the time, taking away from the AntiPhase effect.

The LFO1 Slow/Standard switch makes only LFO 1 extra slow, especially on the lower Rate settings.

The LFO1 Square/Triangle switch changes between triangle and square waves for LFO 1 only.  The sound goes from smooth to choppy.

 

Configurations

  • Evil Twin - compares to the Lovetone Doppelganger

 

 

 

Buffers

Has an input buffer

 

Options

With around a dozen controls, there's not much need for additional options.

The old Boss VB-2 Vibrato pedal (our VibeKing) has a mode where the footswitch becomes a momentary switch to turn the effect on only as long as you held the switch down.  That might be interesting with the Evil Twin or other modulation effects.  To do that, you would need to replace one of the regular footswitches in your GT footswitch unit with a momentary switch.  It's an easy swap you can do yourself - no soldering.  A prewired momentary switch is available for low cost if you want to try it.

 

Front Panel

  • Dual/Single LFO LED (second footswitch)
  • Effect On/Off LED
  • Rate LFO1 (HF)
  • Rate LFO2 (LF)
  • Color (LF feedback)
  • HF Span depth, frequencies, and wave shape of the first two stages
  • LF Span depth, frequencies, and wave shape of the second two stages
  • Blend (wet/dry mix)
  • Effect Vibrato/Phaser switch
  • AntiPhase switch
  • LFO1 Standard/Slow speed switch
  • Spectral Mode on/off switch
  • LF rate LED
  • HF rate LED
  • LFO1 Triangle/Square wave switch

 

Rear Panel

  • Audio In
  • Audio Out
  • On/Off Footswitch
  • On/Off Override
  • On/Off Dual/Single LFO Footswitch
  • On/Off Dual/Single LFO Override 
  • DC Power
  • DC Power LED

 

Module Width

  • 3"
  • wing configurations not currently available 

 

Power Consumption (aprox)

20 - 40mA

 

Base Configurations

Part # Description List Price
MOD-EVILTWIN Evil Twin module $269

 

Options

 n/a

 

Parts

Part # Description List Price
MPT-EVILTWIN-CA Replacement pot, switch, jack, LED cable assembly $19
MPT-EVILTWIN-KNB Replacement control knob $2
MPT-EVILTWIN-PB Replacement power board $29
MPT-EVILTWIN-SB Replacement switching board $29