"I received the TLE on Thursday which was great because I had a chance to get into it a bit before my gig. Simply put… you’ve already heard all the superlatives via your other reviews. All I can say is that those reviews were spot on! If I were ‘Mr. D’ I might be a little upset that somebody had figured out how to replicate his sound for $400! Calling this a “pedal” doesn’t do it justice- it is an overall sound shaping tool as others have described. I used it at home with my JVM and on the gig with my Bogner Shiva- with identical great results. It will be the BEST $you have ever spent on a piece of music gear! But you’d best get on this list!" Dick Bauerle
"I received my Ethos TLE two days ago and I'm still in Shock. This isn't a 'pedal' even though it looks like one. IMHO the Ethos TLE is one of the finest 'Musical Instruments' I've ever seen or heard.
The sonic purity, range of tone & lush voice make it impossible for me to call this a mere 'pedal'. It is one of those rare instruments that can inspire you to new heights and has given this 'old dog' a much needed kick in the backside. Robbie...you're a genius in my book. A tone guru of the highest order. I mean every word...Simply Amazing.
I tried the Ethos direct into my PA today (Good sized Mackie 4 way system) and again I was blown away how it sounded. I know now how it'll sound direct in a studio situation. Kudos again for a superior product."
"The Ethos is pretty sick y'all. It took no time at all to dial in a voluptuous clean sound.
The Sabre's clean channel is pretty smokin' but with the Ethos I was
definitely coaxing some tones reminiscent of Volker Strifler...just fat,
pregnant single notes and chimey, sustaining Fender-y type tones.
Sparkley and full...a very rich tone that I became addicted to immediately.
I didn't buy the Ethos for the clean tone. In fact, I wanted to wait and get the
single channel version.....glad I didn't wait because the clean tones are fab and
come as a huge surprise.
I didn't get the gain channel dialed in as easily...took a few songs and a little
tweaking but...wow! What amazing tone this thing has. I didn't try to dial in
any specific "D" tones. Rather, I just went hunting for something for me to use.
The OD tones are very smooth and immensely playable...giving me a greasy,
silky feel to work with that let me play with less effort....encouraging me to
lighten my touch.
Boost engaged was total rock n roll....if that's what you want. I was worried
that the Ethos might be too polite to rawk....wrong!
The controls are so damn deep there are tones all over the map. You might even
find "bad" tones if you try, lol.
Can't wait to try it for one of the main reasons I bought it...straight into a PA.
It definitely passed the 1st test with flying colours, as they say."
Mighty Guru, Senior Member www.thegearpage.net, 10-02-2007
"After what I can only describe as ANTICIPATION I recieved my Ethos pedal from Robbie at Custom Tones.
First off the Pedal arrived packed meticulously with a handy "Getting Started Template" that is great
to get you up and running. Nice Touch!
I tried the pedal with a Top Hat Super Deluxe. This amp crosses boundaries of Fender/Vox/Marshall
but is all in all a fairly clean to low gain amp. It has an awesome rich tone on its own and was a good
baseline amp to try the Ethos through.
I have owned so many boutique pedals it is almost embarrasing. Most have come and gone. Pedals
once owned include Zen, Klon, Keeley TS9, Matchless Dirt Box, BJF Baby Blue, Pink Fuzz, Model R,
Original Fuzz Face, MJM Fuzz Face, Blues Devil, Pro analog, Jetter Blue, Retroman Fuzz and
Boosters,,,etc etc. You get the drift.
Pedals I still own, Cornish G2, SS3, Zendrive 2, Jetter Red, and BSM Spectrum and Majestic.
So I have a fairly Good baseline to go from. The Ethos just floored me. I was starting to think
the hype was not to be lived up to....Wrong. This pedal shames everything else I have tried.
I will say the G2 is a different animal and still ranks as one of my favorites.
The dynamic articulation and thick yet totally clear throaty growl of this pedal is astonishing.
This pedal does indeed capture that essence of the what we all want....Ford, Carlton,
Santana,, etc. It is there and done superbly. The added bonus is the Bosot feature which
bypasses the mini toggles and yeilds a great rock tone with a bit of mid scoop for great cut.
The versatility of the EQ and the mini switches is also superb and allows this to work with
a huge array of different amps.
The Cleans offer the same amazing versatility and sit pretty close in the Fender camp and
have a great, dare I say more HiFi sparkle.
This is a short review but great products usually do not need much more than that.
My Recommendation...Get one, you will not regret it." Reverb (Rick L.) from thegearpage.net
Before I start raving, let me tell you how it came about. I met Rob when he came to my studio and asked me to
drive a couple of his overdrives. He
showed me one of his earlier dual channel overdrives and the Ethos.
Rob started with the earlier unit, showing me
how versatile it was. I have to say, it was amazing. I had never
heard an overdrive with its
capabilities. I knew at that point, Rob “is the real deal”. He fired up his Ethos
through my Fender
Vibrolux (with no reverb). I was more
than impressed. Now over the years I’ve
many amp emulator / overdrive units, including the Zen drive. I will say, up to that day, my favorite was
Zen. It’s very simple and has a tone I like.
Now I’m not a Dxmble expert, but I’ve always been impressed
Robben Ford’s tone. Lets not take
anything away from his touch, but when I played the ETHOS I think I
learned some of Robben’s “magic”.
First off, when using the clean channel there is a very natural presence, which makes the guitar sound as if it’s
jumping out of the amp. This is great for getting those rhythm guitar parts to move forward in a mix. Note:
The gain on this channel is volume only with no overdrive.
The overdrive is not like anything I’ve ever played through. It is extremely touch sensitive, meaning you can
crank the gain (drive) and dig in for great sustain, yet back off with your pick and get a clear bell like sound.
This is so foreign to me that it’s taking me a little time to dial in.
The boost has a preset amount of gain over the drive channel. This is just right for those times you need over
the top sustain. Note: There are only two adjustments for the boost. One is the tone knob on the side of the
Ethos and the other is the presence on the drive channel. I set the boost tone first, using those two
adjustments, then dial in the drive channel tone and finally adjust the clean channel to my liking.
This is not your “run of the mill” overdrive. It has lots of tone adjustments, which translates to incredible
flexibility. Be prepared to spend a little time playing with it and you will be “blown away”.
I hope this gives folks an idea of what Rob and his Ethos are about."
"Got my box. It sounds great. Why? Great eq that works well with single coils
(fender telecaster), mini humbuckers (les paul deluxe), humbuckers (trini lopez),
touch and volume sensitive distortion that cleans up when you back off, the ablility
to get nice tone at a reasonable volume level, and not much junk on your notes
when doing double stops or chording with distortion. I haven't had a chance to
record direct with it yet but I will soon. All in all a nice package (I think the
boost channel lifts the tone stack and gives a more midrange sound, its not
a huge volume jump, but that changes slightly with your distortion settings).
One last thing, I like what you can do to the treble on this box, there are many
options with the treble, pres, brite, and hi-cut knobs and switches."
Peter Linton, Lead Guitarist for Merrie Amsterburg (See Links Page for more info about Peter)