Careful with the axe, Eugene!
After watching the excellent EHX product video several times over, I just had to have this pedal: The three indivudal effects of the Epitome can be used separately, but also interact to create out-of this world soundscapes.
Used individually, the built-in Holy Grail Plus reverb section of the Epitome is now replacing my old Holy Grail pedal, but also adds more control options: The old pedal only has an intensity "Reverb" control, which isnow labeled "Amount" on the new pedal. The additional "Blend" control works as advertised, but a new push button "Shimmer" has been added on the Epitome. And does it ever shimmer! More later on this one.
Next in line is the Electric Mistress section (Flanger and Chorus). I thought they were just icing on the cake, since I mostly play Blues and Americana -we don't wear Spandex and compared to me, Eddie VH is a youngster anyway and I already gave a 'Hendrix' style swooshy pedal on my board. But behold, the Epitome Chorus and Flanger sections do come in handy occasionally. In this respect, the Epitome was able to teach an old dog some new tricks, mainly because of the incredible range and excellent sound qualities of these effects.
The third section is the micro-POG and honestly this was the main reason for me to shell out the money for the Epitome: The dry signal from the guitar, plus the Octave down and Octave up can be adjusted (mixed) in many useful ways: a few tunes I love to play actually call for a 12-string guitar and now I can approximate that sound on stage. For recording, you are well advised to at least rent a Rickenbacker 360-12. Even the smart Epitome can't beat the real thing, but it is polyphonic and the tracking is excellent. That's it? No way!
Mix and match all the settings on these three built-in modules and you're not far from Pink Floyd, Frippertronics, or an 18 string guitar, or an (so-so) organ sound. Maybe I have to tweek the Eitome some more to get better sounding organ sounds from my Strat and Tele, but it's always been next to impossible to beat a Hammond anyway.
The good, the bad and the ugly about the Epitome:
It's a tone experimenter playground with a compact footprint, has excellent effects-shaping capabiliites and with the help of the "Shimmer: button you have several routing otions, the pedal replaces three larger pedals, but you cannot save any of the settings... Bummer. EXH includes a badly printed little manual and a few blank templates that you can mark with your own settings, but give me a break! This is the digital age and the omission of just a little memory would have made this ingenius pedal a true winner. No, it doesn't help that the manual is printed on red paper: The templates in the manual can't be photocopied well enough -red originals always come out dark-grey (remember high school?). Unless you have a technician on stage twiddling the Epitome knobs, you look like you're taking a big bow after each song (while you are really only adjusting the settings...)
If you are crazy like me, you'll like the cool Epitome wedge panel graphics, start tweaking and put it on your pedal board. If you're into ready made factory presets you will ask for your money back!