Ibanez ES2 Echo Shifter

The Ibanez Echo Shifter  combines true analog sound quality with digital-like flexibility. It features things like a Tap-Tempo footswitch, Oscillation switch, Feedback control, Modulation, and a Depth control. I found this pedal to be a lot of fun and I really dig the vintage aesthetics.

The 3 knobs up top are Feedback (controls the number of repeats), Mix (mixes between wet and dry signal), and Depth (for controlling the rate of modulation time). The center fader is for the Delay Time parameter and simply governs the amount of time that the wet signal is delayed in regard to the original. The Oscillation switch increases the internal feedback gain so that the effected signal oscillates easily. I would have liked to have seen this be a momentary footswitch, but it’s a cool feature nonetheless. The Modulation switch activates modulation of the effected signal. The FX switch at the bottom turns on or bypasses the effect and tap tempo allows you to tap in your song tempo for synchronized delay fx.

In practice I found the repeats to be a little on the dark side of the spectrum which is to be expected from an analog-style delay. With the Oscillation switch turned off and the Feedback turned up pretty high the amount of repeats is dense but not chaotic. Once switched on, chaos ensues in a hurry and the repeats build to a cacophonous sea of distortion. I found that turning the modulation switch on adds a pleasant chorus to the delay repeats. With the feedback and depth set at about 12 o’clock you get a very chorusy delay tone. What makes this pedal super flexible in a live setting is the Tap switch. You can instantly tap your rhythm and the delay time conforms-keeping you in sync with the band.

Ibanez have made a very “sexy” and nostalgic sounding pedal with the Echo Shifter. Extra credit goes to the Oscillation and Tap-Tempo switches. The repeats are dark but pleasant. Great vintage-style delay that won’t break the bank. – Gus Green