In a previous gear review, The Guitar Channel had you discover the excellent Phase Lag phaser from Anasounds, now here's a double test with two pedals of the same French manufacturer boutique shop: the Utopia delay and Cerberus overdrive pedals.
Anasounds website: www.anasounds.com
Cerbersus overdrive and Utopia delay - Video review
Overview of Utopia
The Utopia offers a very well done analog delay simulation that works great from a slapback (an echo very short often used in Rockabilly), to a long trail of repeats for a solo, including a single repeat for Albert Lee kind of licks (see demo).
What I liked about Utopia
- An excellent delay pedal easy to use
- A good range of adjustment
- Manufacturing quality
- The ability to modify the sound using the internal settings
What I liked least of Utopia
- Lack of effectiveness of the modulation switch
Overview of Cerberus
The Cerberus pedal offers an overdrive with three distinct modes offering a wide range of possible sounds in all cases with a very good response to the volume knob.
What I liked the Cerberus
- The sound quality obtained
- 3 very distinct modes of operation
- Manufacturing quality
- The ability to sculpt sound with the internal settings
What I liked least of Cerberus
- The level difference between the mode 1 and the other modes
Possible internal changes on both pedals
True to what they already did for the Phase Lag pedal, Anasounds offers several options to customize its pedal with settings that are accessible internally. Thus the Utopia it has 4 internal settings allowing for example to pass the max within 400 to 600ms but also to change the character of the repeats.
For the Cerberus, there are three internal settings (Roll Off, Tone, Asymmetric) to sculpt the sound according to your personal taste. We see in the picture below the 2 switches and mini adjustment potentiometer for frequency roll-off. Everything is explained in this site page of Anasounds.
With the Utopia pedal (190 €) we are dealing with a great delay pedal easy to use that has a very nice analog character with the reliability of digital. However, I have a little regret that the modulation switch degrades not enough the delay repeats for an even more realistic if desired.
The Cerberus pedal (210 €) 3 types of overdrive are used which gives great versatility to the pedals. The difference in level that is observed when going from mode 1 to 2 other is inevitable given the internal design of the pedal. I spoke in person with Alexandre, the designer, he told me that this catch level gap would mean adding another stage gain in the pedal which would change the philosophy chosen in the design of the pedal.
Truth is this level difference is only annoying when you are trying to find your sound and you then compare patterns from one to another quickly. When you are ready on a setting, you just need to adjust the level setting to get everything in order.
Ready to buy one of this pedal?
If you are tempted by one of these pedals (why not both!), you will be able to purchase online through The Guitar Channel affiliate link with Woodbrass.
Until the next gear review, continue to play the guitar!