SMG Review: T-Rex Engineering’s Twister 2 Chorus/Flanger

T-Rex Engineering is a Danish company that has been providing the guitar community with high quality effects, power supplies, switches, controllers, and more for over a decade. Their recognition as a significant industry player is validated by worldwide sales and a client list that includes Carlos Santana, John Mayer, Mark Tremonti, and Steve Lukather, to name a few. T-Rex originally released a combination stereo chorus and flanger in a single pedal called the Twister. The pedal was well received but rather than settling for ‘good enough’, T-Rex, with the help of user feedback, gave the unit a facelift, updated the hardware and software, and unveiled it as the Twister 2.

THE OUTER SHELL

The pedal’s tone-twisting technology is housed inside a lime green aluminum casing that measures a bit wider than standard stompboxes. A small but rugged switch toggles between Chorus and Flanger with five dials controlling behavior: Depth, Regen, Tone, Rate, and Level. The on/off footswitch is industrial-grade sturdy. A spring-released knob for setting Input Gain is inset into the right side of the pedal. The remaining features include a standard 1/4″ input jack, two 1/4” jacks for mono or stereo output, a 9V DC jack, and 9V battery compartment.

TWISTING TONE

In optimizing the level going into the pedal, I adjusted Input Gain to insure I was getting a rich signal, just shy of distortion. Starting with the pedal in Chorus mode, I set all controls mid way and gently strummed my EMG DG-20 equipped Strat, letting the effected notes ring out and wash over me. The sound was serenely lush, but begged for some good ol’ knob twisting. Adjusting Tone controls higher frequencies, but it felt more like an expansion knob as the sound opened up overall with a clockwise turn. Rate adjusts the speed of the sweep. At the minimum setting, it’s slow and dreamy with a quality that I felt more than noticed consciously. At its max setting, it gets very shimmery, but avoids going overboard and remains usable. Depth controls the intensity of modulation from nearly unaffected to rich and full. Regen is reserved for Flanger mode and as such, offers little in Chorus mode, though I thought I detected a touch of added sparkle when turned up. Switching to Flanger mode, my amp went cosmic with a more pronounced warbly effect. Tone, Rate, and Depth behaved similarly as in Chorus mode, but the result differed as I achieved everything from a more intense chorus-like effect, to a deep, harmonically intensified vibrato, to an eerie rubber band-like journey through space in which notes seemed to interact with each other sympathetically within the pedal itself – trippy! With Regen, I modeled the sound based on how the other controls were set. I was able to dial in a unique range of character from classic flange frequency sweeps to a wacky Slinky effect that responded sensitively to pick dynamics. As if that weren’t enough, the pedal has two outputs for twisting in stereo! Talk about a true sonic soundscape!

THE FINAL WRAP

The greatest quality of the Twister 2 is the way in which its effects are felt, more than heard. I required a little adjustment in my expectations as many chorus and flanger pedals are in your face as an effect, rather than melding into and becoming part of your sound. The pedal will twist your tone into something other than what you put into it – you give up transparency, and I had to turn the Level knob up higher than I would have liked to gain parity in volume between its on and off state, but aside from those exceptions, I was pleased with the fantasy of sounds produced.

STREET PRICE – $279

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