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Don’t forget to check out the video at the bottom of the page.
In addition to being one of the greatest players to ever pick up a guitar, Paul Gilbert is a crazy dude. He’ll shred your face off one minute and show you how to make fresh squeezed orange juice the next. He’s played songs while wearing a spacesuit. And he’s done instructional videos while stir-fry is prepared behind him. (footage not found)
So, when Ibanez started working on Paul’s signature Flanger, the Ibanez AF2, you know that it had to be something out there. For 30 Pedals in 30 Days, TheToneKing.com had a chance to check out Ibanez’s AF2 Flanger and see if it can capture any of Paul Gilbert’s eccentricity.
Ibanez’s Airplane Flanger 2 has a traditional Chorus Flange that is combined with a airplane effect that will have people ducking their heads. You have two modes. “Taxi” gives you a wide range of Chorus Flange tones. Controls include “Manual” which affects the delay time. “Speed” that will adjust the modulation speed from a frozen flange to rapid-moving underwater sounds. The “Range” adjusts the depth of modulation, slight warble or full on whoosh. And the “Enhance” knob changes the amount of feedback.
The controls add to the pedal’s versatility. Any classic or modern flange or chorus/flange effect is easy to obtain. Van Halen, Pantera, Heart, Jimi Hendrix, Queen, Lenny Kravitz, Black Label Society, etc. Whether it’s a slow smooth flange, or a rapid underwater effect, all of these famous flange sounds are accessible through the AF2.
Then, there’s the “Take Off” Mode.
This is where Paul’s eccentricity comes into play. The “Take Off” acts as a pitch shifter (up or down), jet sound, laser sound, and police siren all wrapped up in one circuit. The “Taxi/Take Off” switch toggles instantly between the two modes without clicks, pops, or changes in volume.
The “Take Off” Mode can be used for smooth dive bombs without the need for a trem or ear screeching wails without using a Whammy pedal. Or, if you just feel like getting freaking weird with it. You can pretend to laser blast your audience to smithereens or convince them that they’re being raided with the police sirens. This is where things get fun.
The size of the AF2 may also raise a few eyebrows. The thing is more than twice as big as most conventional pedals. While everybody else is working to make guitar pedals the size of cell phones, Ibanez and Paul Gilbert went in a completely different direction. But, there’s a good argument to be made for going that route. Visibility. Playing dark clubs has many pitfalls, the biggest of which is not being able to see any of your damn equipment. Unless you’re ready to splurge to don everything with LEDs, chances are you’re going to have a hell of a time seeing anything. Larger bright purple pedals, on the other hand, will definitely make it easier to tell the difference between your flanger and your lunch box.
To add to everything else, Ibanez and Paul have been kind enough to include some sample settings for the AF2 on the Ibanez Japan Website.
That way, if you’re not to savvy on the inner workings of flanger technology, you can just rotate a few dials and sound like the pros. The only way they could make this easier is if they included a Paul Gilbert clone with every purchase.
TheToneKing.com had a chance to have a one on one with Paul Gilbert at NAMM 2012, and he was one of the most humble, funny, and nicest dudes we’ve ever come across. If there’s one player that we know who just wants to play and have fun doing it, it would be Paul. And the Ibanez AF2 is a reflection of that. We here at TheToneKing.com found it impossible not to have fun with the AF2 when we checked it out for 30 Pedals in 30 days. It was like being in the same room with Paul Gilbert all over again.
For prices on the AF2 or any Ibanez gear, check out: Sweetwater.com
Official RD1C Give-Away Page: http://thetoneking.com/wp/gear-give-away/2013-2/randall-rd1c-give-away/
Randall Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/randallamplifiers
Unboxing Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=grh_J09mC4I
Official Full-On Demo & Review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WoltlEzcn48
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About the Author: Marc published his first novel Becoming in 2010. It’s a kick-ass book with monsters and dreams and stuff, and you should buy it. Since then, he’s written thousands of articles for TheToneKing.com, many of which have been picked up for circulation by manufacturers and other news outlets. His next book, Drugs and Pancakes, should be available early 2014 if his alcoholic editor can find time to work on it in-between destroying his liver and screaming about punctuation. He graduated from Roosevelt University with honors, which means that he’s not as dumb as he looks. He’s been playing guitar for over 25 years, which is almost twice as long as most of his students have been alive.