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Electro Harmonix MEL9 Tape Replay Machine

Pedal Effect for Electric Guitar, Bass and Keyboard

  • Generates different mellotron sounds from instrument signal
  • Instrument signal mixable with (effect) mellotron sound
  • 9 Presets: orchestra, cello, strings, flute, clarinet, saxophone, brass, low choir and high choir
  • Knobs: effect (vol), dry (vol), attack, sustain and preset choosing switch
  • Independent effect and dry volume knob for the effect output
  • Seperate dry output returns the clean signal unaltered
  • Fast tracking
  • No special pick ups required
  • Dimensions (W x D x H): 102 x 121 x 89 mm
  • Incl. 9 V power supply (EHX 9.6 DC-200)

Further information

Effect Types Mellotron

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Electro Harmonix MEL9 Tape Replay Machine 44% bought this exact product
Electro Harmonix MEL9 Tape Replay Machine
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17 written ratings Read all reviews
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For prog-rock lovers

Emilio Di Donato, 24.04.2017
I'm a huge fan of prog music.
I grew up with the keyboard sound of groups such as King Crimson and Genesis, and PFM (I'm italian). Only in recent years I undestood the important role of Mellotron in this music but, alas, i'm only a guitar player so the Mellotron was not wish list. When I heard of MEL9 i could not believe to my ears: i could play mellotron sounds directly from my guitar, without using any MIDI esaphonic pickups. I own several MIDI esaphonic pickups for guitar, including Roland GK-2 and Fishman Triple Play. Each one features some latency and some incorrect note detection, and needs additional hardware (PC and/or Sound Generator) to produce sounds, so I use them not so often. The great advantage of Electro Harmonix MEL9 versus MIDI esaphonic pickups is that it does not require any extra hardware to produce keyboard sounds. I still don't undestand which technology has been applied, but it works. I simply connect my guitar to MEL9, and as I play I hear tipical mellotron sounds coming out of MEL9 with virtually no latency.

I tried it with both electro-acoustic steel string guitar and electro-acoustic nylon string guitar, and the result is good on both type of guitars.

About the sounds: some sounds are really convincing, especially the "Orchestra" sound which we hear in many Genesis and King Crimson historical tunes. Other sounds are far less convincing, such as "Cellos" and "Brass".

On the negative side:
1) this pedal is raher pricey, so more sounds would be appreciated. Also I would greately appreciate an USB connection to PC for modifying envelope curves and timbre.
2) The pedal switch is very noisy, so when I turn it on / off in my room al low volume level, the acoustic "click" is too much loud for me.
3) The MEL9 is able to effectively convert only notes played rather loudly. In softer phrases, the converted sound is slightly out of tune.
4) The only way to switch between the presets is via the dedicated rotary knob. A dedicated preset switch would be appreciated, especially during live performances.


However all these negative sides don't prevent me to enjoy playing it very often, and I recommend it especially to lovers of classic prog music.
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Simply wrong!

Knut F., 14.09.2016
I know that it has not been possible to reproduce the authentic analogue sound of a Mellotron digitally. Everything was too clean, too straight, too digital.

It's amazing how these New York-based electro-harmonix guys got it.
- Whether flute, strings, choir ... all reminiscent of the real Mello numbers of the musical history.

All analogue "sound-quirky", which at that time developed by band slippage or stretching, by uneven, dragging transport, lack of dynamics, missing heights, etc. and still loved us, come full.
A whine and mud - just divine !!

A tip for use: Take strong output signals. An active guitar (eg acoustic with preamplifier) ??is better than a passive one.
A very good drive is also a keyboard - the keyboard line-outs directly into the whorl, the keyboard headphone output first into the Mel9 and then to the mixer.
This brings interesting sounds to the scene.
An organ with a Leslie effect, which also affects the mel9 chorus ... strong sound experience.

Basically, a 20-year-old toy keyboard is enough for direct control.

With previous guitar synthies, it often came to over-pointed squeals with powerfully hit chords. This does not appear (so far).
Derbe signals are not a problem.

The mel9 can separate the sounds: once the pitch 1: 1 on the one jack (dry), then the second effect on the other jack (effect).

Unfortunately, the effect of the effect plug after switching off the Mello sound is then again the guitar dry over, which is quite annoying, because the Klampfe nevertheless already supplied via the dry jack with its own effects and is set loud enough.
This then requires an extra switch, additional gestrampel and double concentration.

If one uses split inputs and preselector in a well filled pedal box, this relativizes itself naturally.

In summary,
- Amazing sound.
- Recommended for those who love the Mello sound, but can not imagine a "million-expensive and tons-heavy" original equipment.
- Not recommended for those who can not do anything with Mellotron and are looking for their fulfillment in clinically pure, digitally-tweaked plastic sound.
For you, a Mello sounded not really enough for chorus or flute ... but too oblique.

But: That must be so!
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€239 £214.23
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