I’ve been playing with the Eden I90 chorus pedal for the last month. I wanted to really take my time and get to know it inside and out. I am glad I did.
I first became aware of the I90 at last year’s Bass Player Live. I was intrigued, mostly because I am a huge fan of Eden and everything I have ever played and owned from them has been phenomenal. I am very particular about chorus pedals. I like big wash and detuning, but I also want subtle… all the while keeping a solid fundamental sound intact. Up until now there have only been two chorus pedals I have ever loved and used for an extended period of time, a late-nineties Danelectro Cool Cat and a mid-eighties Boss CE-1. Both of these pedals are true stereo and built like tanks, but they are not tailored to bass frequencies and the effect is applied to all frequencies. Enter the Eden I90.
The I90 is a true analogue, bucket-brigade chorus. This is a must. I have yet to find a digital chorus which I like on my bass… even models. Bucket-brigade uses a series of capacitance sections which physically moves the signal down a series of capacitors to create the time-shift/delay (think of the human chain scenario for moving items, like say water buckets to fight a fire). To me, this seems equivalent to the difference between tubes/valves and solid state as electrons are moving from some physical space between the cathode and the anode within the vacuum. I like valves. I like bucket-brigade delay (of which chorus is a flavour). Whilst I’m on a bit of an electrical theory bent, I want to point out that the I90 uses a 15v power supply (supplied) instead of the typical 9v you see with most pedals. This is an important distinction as it might make it slightly less pedalboard-friendly, but the trade-off means that the I90 doesn’t have the same level of noise as units with less headroom. In fact, the pedal is dead quiet when on. This shows Eden’s commitment to the best possible sound, first and foremost, of everything they make. My previously mentioned stalwarts, the Cool Cat is 18v (dual 9v, really) while the CE-1 uses AC. Power is important.
The I90, ruggedly built in the same sturdy casing as the famed WTDI preamp pedal, sports 4 controls. You see the standard Rate and Depth controls, but the other Low Cut and Mix controls are really what lets the pedal shine for bass. Besides already being tailored to bass frequencies, the Low Cut enables you to control which frequencies have the chorus effect applied. This is a must have on a bass chorus for me as I tend to like only applying the chorus to frequencies above ~75Hz (open D); which lets me shift from solid low-end lines to more chordal or higher melodic parts easily. The Mix control is a dry/wet blend. I’ve found a lot of joy in playing with Low Cut/Mix combinations. I have never had this much flexibility over the where and how much of the effect is applied to the output. One other thing to mention is that, to my ears, the low cut is not a sharp cut-off. I still hear some chorusing below where I believe the control is set. At first, being that I am quite picky and maybe a little controlling, I found this to be a bit of a let down. However, after getting used to it, I am really, really pleased as it makes the transition between no effect and all effect a smooth transition. I have another chorus pedal, currently, where the cutoff is more defined and after switching between the two, I find the Eden’s shelf to be much more pleasing. So, mea culpa.
Long story short…
The I90 is a very smartly designed effect which would be a great addition to any pro setup. The I90 has a permanent spot on my board and my other chorus pedals are back on the shelf.
I’ve created some samples below (warts and all) using a few BassDbler tracks where I employ a chorus effect. I have a bypassed example, my default setting and I also ran through the four sample settings from the Eden site. The overall voicing of the effect compares favourably to the famed, vintage CE-1.