Updated May. 31, 2022

MAS Effects Expanse

The MAS Effects Expanse is the most ambitious release to date by this one-man builder based in Lockport, IL. It’s a very tweakable, harmonic tremolo with an added ambient reverb/delay.

This is a pedal that’s not immediately intuitive but that will satisfy creative guitarists for its wide sonic palette.

It’s comprised of two circuits: the tremolo and the “Expanse,” which can be turned on with the left footswitch and has its own level knob relative to the tremolo, while the Blend knob mixes the overall wet signal with the dry one.

A crucial role is covered by the Outer Space toggle, which configures the two circuits this way:

DOWN: Harmonic tremolo only. EXPANSE is disabled
MID: Adds expansive reverb
UP: Adds echoing feedback

The tremolo’s character is controlled by Velocity (rate) and Width (depth), but the latter can also control the length of the delays when the Expanse is set to delay.

There is also a Warp toggle, which does the following to the tremolo side:

DOWN: Classic harmonic tremolo
MID: Slightly more pronounced, with different frequencies on the high and low pass filters, and more resonance
UP: The low-frequency oscillator (LFO) not only pans between the filters but also shifts their frequencies. The WIDTH knob has a much bigger impact on the sound than in other WARP settings as it also shifts the resonance

Another interesting thing about this pedal is that it has two Expression inputs that allow for simultaneous control of the Width and either the Expanse or the Velocity parameter.

This looks and sounds like an interesting creative pedal, we added it to our article about the best tremolo with reverb pedals and to our category of creative pedals.

MAS Effects Expanse, Builder’s Notes

This harmonic tremolo gives you a huge range of tonal possibilities. It can be used as a standalone tremolo, optionally with with some layered on reverb, or you can dial in some complex textured delays and feedback to create dreamy soundscapes. And of course you have everything inbetween

Expression jacks
Separate jacks let you simultaneously control WIDTH and either EXPANSE or VELOCITY with any expression pedal, including the Expanse-themed expression slider, or the regular MAS Effects Desktop Expression Pedal.

Controls
WIDTH
Sweeping range of the tremolo (on bottom 2 OUTER SPACE settings)
or Spacing between echoes (on upper OUTER SPACE setting)

VELOCITY
Speed of tremolo sweep

EXPANSE
Amount of atmospheric ambience

VASTNESS (Unlabeled upper-right knob)
Amount of space added when pressing the VAST EXPANSE foot switch
(Interactive with EXPANSE. e.g. Higher EXPANSE settings make this more responsive. Experiment to get a feel for it)

VOLUME
Overall effect level. Gives up to 2x boost to compensate for the perceived drop in volume from tremolo

BLEND
Mixes dry and wet signals

OUTER SPACE
Sets the mode of the pedal:
DOWN: Harmonic tremolo only. EXPANSE is disabled
MID: Adds expansive reverb
UP: Adds echoing feedback

WARP
Selects between different voices:
DOWN: Sensible and beautiful harmonic tremolo
MID: Slightly more severe, with different frequencies on the high and low pass filters, and more resonance
UP: The low frequency oscillator (LFO) not only pans between the filters, but also shifts their frequencies. The WIDTH knob has a much bigger impact on the sound than in other WARP settings as it also shifts the resonance

VAST EXPANSE (foot switch)
Temporarily pushes the EXPANSE beyond EXPANSE its limits. Its added amount is controlled by VASTNESS

BYPASS (foot switch)
Tap to toggle between engaged and bypassed (true bypass). Hold to temporarily toggle, the release to switch back

Internal Trimmers
• An internal trimmer sets the ceiling of the EXPANSE knob.
• Another sets the LED brightness, which can reduce power consumption if needed.

Technical Specifications
Power supply
9V DC, 2.1mm center negative (not included). No internal battery clip.
Power consumption
70mA to 110mA depending on LED brightness, set with an internal trimmer. By default it’s around 100mA and you can safely plug it into a 100mA port on a multi-port power supply.
Bypass
True bypass, relay controlled with a soft-touch switch. Hold to temporarily engage/bypass.
In / Out Jacks
1/4″ mono (TS)
Expression Jacks
1/4″ stereo (TRS)