02 Oct 2020
I am in love with this pedal. Get those classic Mutron style octo-coupler envelope filter sounds at a fraction of the price (and size!).
This being my first envelope filter pedal I had heard people say this type of effect can struggle to respond with low output pickups, and some may find they need a signal boost ahead of them to really make the filter sing. This had me worried seeing as I don't actually own a boost pedal - yet.
Once I'd found the sweet spot on the gain knob for optimum response, I tested it using Seymour Duncan Distortion humbuckers - Sounded great! Then the same pickups again in split coil mode - Still sounded great! Then the final challenge - The Dynasonic single coils on my hollowbody Gretsch - Amazingly, it still sounded great! And barely any need to adjust the gain to compensate for the lower output signal.
Of course there's a unique learning curve to getting the best out of an envelope filter. Once your musical ear and picking technique adapts to the dynamics however it's all fun and games from there.
If you want some real funky magic I recommend trying it on a clean setting going into a compressor; or go wild and place it after a good fuzz tone for thick and bouncy synth-like rhythms and impossible sounding wah-wah leads. It's also a fantastic tool for creating unique sounding ambient swells when you let chords ring out.
All that good stuff said; If the Neutrino has a downside it's the tiny recessed sliding switch on the side of the pedal that toggles the direction of the filter sweep. It's tricky to adjust even with the pedal in your hands and becomes inaccessible if it's anywhere other than on the very right hand edge of your pedalboard. Fortunately for the Neutrino that's the most likely place it will end up sitting in your signal chain. Otherwise leave a good few inches of finger room between anything to the right side of the Neutrino if you want easy access.
It's an amazing sounding pedal once you figure its quirky nature out, and as I said at the start of my review I'm in love with this pedal, and one thing love is about is overlooking the minor external shortcomings and seeing the beauty and potential that lives on the inside.
Far out, Man.