Based on the old oil-can delays that utilized a rotating drum of electrolytic oil, the Adineko offers some serious vibe. Labeling it as a delay is certainly reasonable, but you should know that the Adineko is almost a multi-effect since it offers pitch vibrato and some reverb-esque sounds as well. This isn’t a perfect, dotted-eighth, tap-tempo delay machine, this is late-‘60s garage awesomeness in a box. And it’s worth noting that while original oil-can delays were good for only slapback, Catalinbread stretched out the amount of delay time available. I for one am thrilled that they elected to be historically inaccurate on this front.
The easiest way to get started with the Adineko is to dig through each of the controls one by one to understand the big picture. Let's start at the top-left and work our way over. But before we do that, it’s worth noting the gear I used when exploring the Adineko; I ran it mainly through a Carr Sportsman and an old Fender Vibro Champ with a Reverend Tricky Gomez P90, a Reverend Pete Anderson RT, and my trusty ol’ PRS S2 Mira semi-hollow.
The Reverb control is what you would call the feedback control on a standard delay pedal. In this case the repeats don't occur at a constant rate. Even if you are only using one of the delay channels, the individual repeats still speed up and slow down as they did on the original units (the fluid wasn’t known for being precise). As a result, the repeats sort of reflect off of each other and gravitate toward reverberations versus straight echoes. When you take the reverb control much higher than noon the pedal starts to self-oscillate. Settings between 1 and 2 o’clock create a nice slowly building bed of ambience behind what you play. Once you get past 2 o’clock, the self-oscillation gets pretty intense—a good thing if that is what you're looking for.
The Viscosity control governs a makeshift vibrato effect—at least that's probably the easiest way to think of it. A good way to hear this section of the Adineko is to set the Blend all the way up and the rest of the controls all of the way down. Doing this, you can hear the subtle pitch fluctuations that it creates. If you really crank the Viscosity you'll hear some pretty extreme pitch fluctuations. Set like this, there’s a pretty cool chorus pedal built into the Adineko. Taking the Balance, Timing, Reverb and turning them all the way down, then putting the Blend control at about 10 o’clock and the Viscosity at about 9 o’clock yields a beautiful chorus effect that sounds better than many chorus pedals I've owned. While on these settings, go ahead and crank the Blend and Viscosity all the way up and you can hear just how seasick this thing can get.
The Timing is exactly what it sounds like; it covers the time it takes for each echo repeat to occur and it works for both the fast echo and the slow echo. As such, this knob is extremely interactive with the Balance knob.
Blend is another easy one. It goes between 100 percent dry signal when turned counterclockwise to 100 percent wet signal when turned fully clockwise.
And finally, that brings us to the Balance knob—it shifts between two delay lines one short one, that's all the way left and one long one that's all the way right. In between, you have a perfect blend of the two. Depending on how you set the Balance knob, you can dial in some really interesting rhythmic patterns.
At face value, the Adineko might seem like kind of a “weird” pedal but at more subtle settings it's pretty damn classic sounding and toneful. I was able to quickly incorporate it into my “small” pedalboard that I use for roots rock and Americana kind of sounds. I found that it was perfect for adding slapback, reverb, and just the tiniest bit of vibrato all at the same time. I could then just make subtle adjustments to the Blend to determine how subtle or intense the effect would be. The vibrato doesn't really become apparent until you let the notes sustain. And unlike a lot of delay pedals, it sounds great before or after dirt pedals. In this case I had a Boss Super Overdrive running into the front end of the Adineko and Catalinbread’s Formula 5 on the backend.
My settings for my base “set it and forget it” tone are Reverb at noon, Viscosity at 9 o’clock, Timing at 11 o’clock, and Balance right between 10 and 11 o’clock and Blend to taste. At these settings, I never wanted to turn the thing off.
What We Like: The Adineko brings authentic tones of an effect many of us have never had the chance to play in a small, well-designed, and reasonably priced package. It’s another Catalinbread delay pedal that I didn’t even know I needed or wanted.
Concerns: This isn’t just an average delay pedal. It has a sound of its own that won’t necessarily work for every genre or playing style.