“Lo-Fi” is a term loved by many guitarists who grew up in the ’90s to the sound of early Ween, Sebadoh, Guided by Voices, and – of course – Pavement and even early Beck. It’s a word that’s only superficially pejorative: the “low fidelity” of the recordings and slight sloppiness of the performances (that’s what the terms refers to) reflected those musicians’ slacking attitude, but somehow ended up also becoming a “plus factor,” adding a peculiar character to their songs, while also implicitly conveying that truly great songwriting can’t be ruined by under par production values.
Caroline Guitar Company‘s Météore Lo-Fi Reverb won’t do all that to your songs, but the term “lo-fi” is definitely linked to this idea of adding character through grittiness (in this kind of the distorted kind), just like jeans brands to by selling us brand new, “pre-ripped” pants…
The pedal made the Tone Report’s “Best of 2016” list and so we thought we’d give it a closer look, or rather, listen.
The pedal has four knobs described by rather arcane symbols: the most interesting and unusual control – and the one that brings in most of the advertised lo-finess – is the one on the top right, named ‘Attack.’ This is an overdrive that affects only the wet side of the reverb. On the top left is the overall level knob, on the bottom left the feedback one (which affects the length of the decay) and on the bottom right the size of the reverb’s “room.” A switch placed in the center of the pedal allows to add brightness when necessary.
Another cool feature is the “Havoc” footswitch, which – when pressed – overloads the pedals creating swells and other cool, spacey effects.
Overall, this looks like a pedal that’s both useful as a regular reverb at subtle settings and creative for those songs where pushing the envelop is a must. Which is actually great because a lot of creative effects rarely can deal with bread and butter tasks.
But enough with words, here’s the Météore!
Caroline Mété, Builder’s Notes
Inspired by the ultra-modern line 14 of the Paris Métro and its sleek platforms of glass, steel and tile that add all kinds of cool sonic artifacts to the space, the MÉTÉORE™ (pronounced may-tay-or) is our take on reverb.
We’ve kept your original signal path analog and pure, while giving you overdrive and regeneration controls to take you from spring reverb sounds to something much bigger. The controls are very interactive with each other, and as per Caroline tradition, this pedal can get VERY loud. You know, something something power, responsibility, blah blah blah…