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Electro-Harmonix MEL9 Tape Replay Machine Guitar Effects Pedal 

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The polyphonic MEL9 uses the same extraordinary technology as the B9, C9 and KEY9 to transform your axe and resurrect the sound of vintage tape-based...Click To Read More About This Product

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OVERVIEW

Capture the sounds of the legendary Mellotron® for guitar, bass or keys.

The polyphonic MEL9 uses the same extraordinary technology as the B9, C9 and KEY9 to transform your axe and resurrect the sound of vintage tape-based keyboards. It pays homage to nine of the coolest Mellotron® sounds: Orchestra, Cello, Strings, Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone, Brass, Low Choir and High Choir. It works on guitar without modifications, special pickups or MIDI implementation and tracks bends, slides, even whammy dive bombs!
You can also put it to work with your bass down to the open A string as well as keyboards. The MEL9 includes independent Effect and Dry volume controls so you can create the perfect mix at the Effects output with a Dry Output jack to output your input signal at unity gain. The Attack control sets the volume swell speed. As it’s turned clockwise the notes fade in more gradually, while the Sustain control adjusts the release time after a sound is stopped. As it’s turned clockwise, the fade out time increase

FEATURES
  • Features 9 Mellotron® sounds: Orchestra, Cello, Strings, Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone, Brass, Low Choir and High Choir
  • Works with guitar, bass (down to open A string) and keyboard
  • Tracks bends, slides, even whammy dive bombs
  • Independent Effect and Dry volume controls
  • Dry Output jack outputs your input signal at unity gain
  • Attack control sets the volume swell speed
  • Sustain control adjusts the release time after a sound is stopped
  • Dimensions: 4.0 (w) x 4.75 (l) x 2.25 (h) in.

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Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
Electro-HarmonixMEL9 Tape Replay Machine Guitar Effects Pedal
 
4.1

(based on 34 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (18)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (9)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (3)

79%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Good selection of effects (13)
  • Compact (11)
  • Responsive (11)
  • Excellent sound quality (10)
  • Versatile (8)

Cons

  • Poor sound quality (3)

Best Uses

  • Performances (13)
  • Home studio (9)
  • Amateur recording (6)
  • Outdoor events / games (4)
  • Professional recording (4)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (4)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (12), Professional musician (7)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Electro-Harmonix MEL9 Effects Pedal

This pedal is a weird animal and you have to adapt your playing to the pedal.

First off, don't expect to play fast and complicated with it; it has tracking Read complete review

This pedal is a weird animal and you have to adapt your playing to the pedal.

First off, don't expect to play fast and complicated with it; it has tracking
limitations like any other Guitar Synthesizer. However, consider an actual
Mellotron - you couldn't play fast intricate parts on a Mellotron either, just
because of the action and tape-to-head mechanism.

Play with this pedal as you would expect to play an actual Mellotron.

Also, you may have learned songs a certain way but when you use this pedal
certain fingerings produce a better experience, so, you won't be playing parts
the way you may be used to if you were just using a straight guitar.

I used to play Court Of The Crimson King using a root D chord, then, using my
middle finger to play the C bass note while relying on open strings to produce
my harmonies. That application didn't fair well with the Mel9.

Even full bar chords on the E and A strings don't always work well with certain applications. I find that simple triads, typically on the D, G and B strings produce a more convincing and well-controlled sound. Try to stay away from chord structures that mix open and fretted tones.

Also, be careful to make your chord changes clean and discrete. If you move your
hand down from something like the 9th fret to the 5th fret you get a sliding effect,
similar to using the Pitch Wheel on an actual Mellotron.

Although that is a nice feature, it will go against you if that is not what you were
intending to do.

You have to fool around with the pedal and re-invent ways to play familiar passages
in order to achieve a good balanced sound.

Also, if you want to toggle between straight guitar and Mel9 make sure to only use
the Effect Output. The Dry Output will always give you your untreated guitar tone,
independent of the knobs that blend the Dry and Effect outputs.

I like most of the tones; the only two settings that I am not too crazy about are the Brass and Sax settings.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Disappointed switch set to ON

Let's make this easy...either the unit was broken or it's unusable. Regardless of what setting I used, the low strings were OK but G-B-E all sounded the same...just a high...Read complete review

Let's make this easy...either the unit was broken or it's unusable. Regardless of what setting I used, the low strings were OK but G-B-E all sounded the same...just a high pitched whine. And your tone is out the window. Everything sounds thin and flat. I bought it hoping to replicate the "choir" sound from my Yamaha digital piano and it wasn't close. You might be able to use this for home recording but the fact that the unit doesn't sound good and the inability to save your settings makes it a no go for live performance.

Reviewed by 34 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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(8 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Superb!

Pros

  • Sounds like the real deal

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Gigging
    • Practice

    Comments about Electro-Harmonix MEL9 Tape Replay Machine Guitar Effects Pedal:

    I've always loved this sound, from the Beatles to The Moody Blues to King Crimson to early Genesis. This offers a faithful reproduction of the Mellotron's sounds at a fraction of the cost, and it works with electric guitar, mandolin, acoustic guitar, bouzouki, and much more. Single notes or chords. One needs to be mindful of the setting and the registers these were intended to be used at, for example if one sets the unit to cello and then attempts to play something high on the B and E strings, it will put a sound out but it won't sound (as much) like cello as it would playing on the lower strings, but that can offer some new and unexpected surprises. The orchestra and choir settings offer a lot of possibilities when used with an acoustic instrument with the 'dry' turned up to about three quarters and the wet dialed down to a third or less. I suspect I will be using this a lot going forward

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

    (7 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Electro-Harmonix MEL9 Effects Pedal

    By Crimson Kid

    from Philadelphia, PA

    See all my reviews

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Brings the sound of the Mellotron to your guitar
    • Nice blending / attack features
    • Very convincing Mellotron modeling

    Cons

    • Must change sound settings manually
    • Some getting used to
    • Some tracking difficulty

    Best Uses

    • Recording and Live playing
    • When you need a Mellotron but don't have one.

    Comments about Electro-Harmonix MEL9 Tape Replay Machine Guitar Effects Pedal:

    This pedal is a weird animal and you have to adapt your playing to the pedal.

    First off, don't expect to play fast and complicated with it; it has tracking
    limitations like any other Guitar Synthesizer. However, consider an actual
    Mellotron - you couldn't play fast intricate parts on a Mellotron either, just
    because of the action and tape-to-head mechanism.

    Play with this pedal as you would expect to play an actual Mellotron.

    Also, you may have learned songs a certain way but when you use this pedal
    certain fingerings produce a better experience, so, you won't be playing parts
    the way you may be used to if you were just using a straight guitar.

    I used to play Court Of The Crimson King using a root D chord, then, using my
    middle finger to play the C bass note while relying on open strings to produce
    my harmonies. That application didn't fair well with the Mel9.

    Even full bar chords on the E and A strings don't always work well with certain applications. I find that simple triads, typically on the D, G and B strings produce a more convincing and well-controlled sound. Try to stay away from chord structures that mix open and fretted tones.

    Also, be careful to make your chord changes clean and discrete. If you move your
    hand down from something like the 9th fret to the 5th fret you get a sliding effect,
    similar to using the Pitch Wheel on an actual Mellotron.

    Although that is a nice feature, it will go against you if that is not what you were
    intending to do.

    You have to fool around with the pedal and re-invent ways to play familiar passages
    in order to achieve a good balanced sound.

    Also, if you want to toggle between straight guitar and Mel9 make sure to only use
    the Effect Output. The Dry Output will always give you your untreated guitar tone,
    independent of the knobs that blend the Dry and Effect outputs.

    I like most of the tones; the only two settings that I am not too crazy about are the Brass and Sax settings.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

    (3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

     
    3.0

    I would not buy this unit again.

    By Delvis

    from undisclosed

    See all my reviews

    Verified Buyer

    Comments about Electro-Harmonix MEL9 Tape Replay Machine Guitar Effects Pedal:

    I bought this for recording and it does have latency issues. On some chords it lags milliseconds. The stomp switch is hard to press and depress.
    For the price I expected a superior performing product.

    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Guitar Mellotron Madness!

    By eeL

    from Cordova

    About Me Professional Musician

    See all my reviews

    Ask me a question

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Compact Design
    • Excellent Sound Quality
    • Good Selection Of Effects
    • Responsive
    • Superior weirdness!

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Home Studio
      • Performances

      Comments about Electro-Harmonix MEL9 Tape Replay Machine Guitar Effects Pedal:

      I play a weekly acoustic/eclectic gig at a restaurant where few patrons actually care about what I am playing, as long as it's not too loud. I bring different acoustic/electric guitars every once in a while just to keep it interesting - for me, mainly. After some positive notice after I brought my Godin via Roland GR-20 guitar synth, I wanted to replicate some of the "pleasing orchestral sounds" using an acoustic, non-hex-equipped guitar. After some research, voila! The EH Mel9. I'm still playing around with the sounds, but after the first gig with it, I believe I found what I was looking for. Strange, unearthly orchestral voicings quite similar to the wobbly tape loop sounds emanating via the original Mellotron of the late-'60s are definitely possible... now, to master "In the Court of the Crimson King"...!

      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      the Mel-9 has added a new shade of color to my ballads.

      By BL

      from Perham MN.

      About Me Professional Musician

      See all my reviews

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Excellent Sound Quality
      • Responsive
      • Versatile

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Events
        • Performances

        Comments about Electro-Harmonix MEL9 Tape Replay Machine Guitar Effects Pedal:

        I play a 5 string fretless bass and the Mel-9 has added a new color to my ballads. I was impressed that I could even get the low A on my E string. The STRINGS setting is a favorite. I would recommend the Mel-9 to a fellow player.

        (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Great product

        By Woody

        from Left Coast Oregon

        About Me Experienced

        See all my reviews

        Ask me a question

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Compact Design
        • Excellent Sound Quality
        • Good Selection Of Effects
        • Responsive

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Performances

          Comments about Electro-Harmonix MEL9 Tape Replay Machine Guitar Effects Pedal:

          I'm using the mel9 with my bass guitar to add chordal backing during guitar solos. It works really well with the upper strings of my 8-string bass for chords,runs,etc. Sounds fabulous to replicate the keyboard parts of "Kashmir" with a 3-piece band!
          I love the orchestra,string quartet,and choral settings right off the bat. The flute,and other woodwind settings don't seem as good,but i may just need more time to figure how best to utilize those sounds. I would probably have preferred more choral settings,(female voices,as the mel9's are definitely male-or is that just because i'm using a bass guitar to trigger it?) It tracks well,and seems to do ok even in registers lower than the Low A. I am going to try running my keyboard,and a guitar through it at some point,but overall i think it is a terrific pedal.

          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          Versatile but not perfect

          By Greg

          from Humble, TX

          About Me Experienced

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Good Selection Of Effects
          • Responsive
          • Versatile

          Cons

          • Some Effects Better Than Others

          Best Uses

          • Amateur Recording
          • Events
          • Performances

          Comments about Electro-Harmonix MEL9 Tape Replay Machine Guitar Effects Pedal:

          This is a very versatile and cool pedal. I play electric guitar in a small praise band at our church. We have a piano, bass, acoustic guitar and drums. It often falls to me to fill in some other the other sounds that may be indicated. This pedal, along with the EH C9 Organ Machine gives me quite a varies palette from which to paint the music. The Orchestra setting fills out large passages very well, similar to a synth pad but with a brighter sound. The Cello setting is excellent on the low strings. It is very convincing. The Strings setting does a good impression of a string pad with chords; single string notes in the right range approximates a violin. The Flute setting is okay and gives you a unique sound but doesn't quite capture the flute sound. I was not impressed by the Clarinet and Saxophone settings, again something different but not a very good approximation of the actual instruments. The Brass is a little better and does sound "brassy" with the right settings but won't take the place of an actual horn. The two Choir settings do pretty decent with 2 and 3 note chords utilized like a synth pad.
          The response and tracking is quick. It's so quick that you have to really watch the extra movements on the strings lest you change the pitch inadvertently. Even taking your fretting fingers off the string will result in a pitch change unless you mute the strings simultaneously. It takes some finesse to get the sounds clean but the learning curve is pretty mild.
          Overall an amazing pedal that I would recommend when a lot of different instrument sounds are needed in a limited personnel setting.

          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          Buy this if you like classic sounds.

          Comments about Electro-Harmonix MEL9 Tape Replay Machine Guitar Effects Pedal:

          Really good tracking. Very versatile setting options. Inspirational pedal, got lots of great ideas already. Affordable and high quality.

          (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

           
          1.0

          Disappointed switch set to ON

          By Raz

          from Richmond VA

          About Me Experienced

          Pros

          • Compact Design
          • Versatile

          Cons

          • Not Responsive
          • Poor Sound Quality

          Best Uses

            Comments about Electro-Harmonix MEL9 Tape Replay Machine Guitar Effects Pedal:

            Let's make this easy...either the unit was broken or it's unusable. Regardless of what setting I used, the low strings were OK but G-B-E all sounded the same...just a high pitched whine. And your tone is out the window. Everything sounds thin and flat. I bought it hoping to replicate the "choir" sound from my Yamaha digital piano and it wasn't close. You might be able to use this for home recording but the fact that the unit doesn't sound good and the inability to save your settings makes it a no go for live performance.

            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Cool Pedal

            By Stroker

            from Tx

            About Me Professional Musician

            See all my reviews

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Excellent Sound Quality

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Home Studio
              • Performances
              • Professional Recording

              Comments about Electro-Harmonix MEL9 Tape Replay Machine Guitar Effects Pedal:

              Very inspiring pedal. Can get sounds like Zeppelin or the Beatles. Fun to play with and sounds great. I use two amps and sent the effect to one amp and the guitar to the other.

              Displaying reviews 1-10

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