guitar world triskelion review
Guitar World's Chris Gill explains why the TWA Triskelion is an essential component for getting a great guitar tone.
The following article was originally published in Guitar World magazine in their September 2011 edition.
TWA Triskelion TK-01 Harmonic Energizer
By Chris Gill
The key to designing a great guitar distor- tion pedal is less a matter of making a circuit that distorts (that’s the easy part) and more about getting the EQ dialed in just right. Unlike most distortion pedals, which feature traditional passive or active EQ circuits, the TWA Triskelion TK- 01 Harmonic Energizer is built around a specially tuned filter that’s similar to something you’d find in a vintage analog synth. This filter lets the Triskelion dramatically shape the harmonic structure of the input signal and produce a wide variety of awesome guitar tones, making it much more versa- tile than your typical, run-of-the- mill distortion stomp box.
FEATURES - With its red metal- flake finish, gold knobs and glowing triskelion symbol, the Triskelion is one of coolest- looking pedals on the market. Control names like Energy and Variant Mass hint that the sounds lurking within are equally out of the ordinary. In fact, the Energy knob functions like a level control, while the third knob, amplitude, is similar to gain and is linked to an Engage switch that toggles the control in or out of the circuit.
But the Triskelion’s sonic magic lies in the Variant Mass knob, which also features a boost switch. This control sweeps across a broad range of tones ranging from deep, dark bass to sharp, penetrating upper midrange. The Triskelion also has an expression pedal jack, so you can manually sweep the Variant Mass control’s settings with an optional expression pedal, like a Roland EV-5.
PERFORMANCE - TWA has tuned the Variant Mass control’s filter sweep to cover an ideal range of great guitar tones. If you want massive distorted metal rhythm tones, they’re here, and they don’t get lost in the mix when you jam with your band. The Triskelion also creates fat, dynamic, honking midrange similar to Michael Schenker’s classic half-cocked- wah solo tones, and warm, full clean tones that can make a Strat sound gargantuan. With an expression pedal connected to it, the Triskelion becomes one of the most expressive and voice-like wah pedals I’ve heard yet.
The backlit triskelion symbol changes colors depending on where the Variant Mass control is set, which can help you determine if the EQ is dialed in to your preferred rhythm or solo settings. In fact, I found that Variant Mass made dialing in the perfect tone quicker and easier than scrolling through presets on a similarly outfitted pedal—if one actually existed.
The Triskelion combines a distortion/overdrive circuit with a unique filter EQ to produce a wide variety of awesome guitar tones.
The Expression pedal jack lets you control the Variant Mass control with your foot, allowing you to change EQ settings instantly or sweep the filter like a wah pedal.
THE BOTTOM LINE
The TWA Triskelion TK-01 Harmonic Energizer is a versatile distortion/EQ pedal that can give your guitar tons of character and possibly let you dial in that elusive tone you’ve always wanted.