There is a time in one’s life where that person enjoys learning, thus enjoys schooling. There is a time where that person is examined on their knowledge of said schooling and thus does not enjoy learning. There is a time during said exams in which that person only wants to play guitar passionately and soulfully as though their true love has died.
So I noticed I have recieved many hits lately on the whole Analogman vs Keeley issue. That is the beautiful thing about wordpress- it shows the searches and how people found your blog. Since I am in exams, and just need a moment to relax and blogging helps, this is a simple post.
I will NOT tell anyone who to buy from. After having several products of each company I can say each is excellent in their customer service, their product and their work. However, each approaches the effects a bit differently, in my opinion. Some did not work for me that have worked for others. Lets expand that thought slightly by mentioning each company:
Analogman: Run by Mike Piera, aka: AnalogMike. From what I can gather, AM started the “mod your TS9 to classic 808” trend. He was perhaps the first to take over the internet with the mods. He is also the first to really start to make good clones of vintage effects such as the Ross compressor (compROSSer), Orange Squeezer (Juicer, or 2nd side of BiComp), and the EH Small Stone Chorus (Analogman Chorus). He has a really good ear, and strives his hardest to make each effect sound great- the way it was meant to sound, or to make each effect sound less like an effect and more like what it is meant to be. His own overdrive pedal, the King of Tone, has a 2 year wait list and is ranked top as a truly transparent overdrive. It is designed to make any amp sound like it is ‘singing’- mimicking hot tubes.
And lastly, even though Analogman has done a ton of business, his effects remain pretty simple and have a handmade look. I think it looks neat!
Short note: Analogman strives for the most vintage sound, or the most true, honest sound out of his mods and effects.
Keeley: The newer guy, but also with some reputation maker effects. He has ‘redone’ many old effects and mods. His version of the Ross compressor (Keeley Compressor) is consistently ranked as one of the top compressors, and has many higher grade, military-grade parts to it. His mods ADD a lot of differing components and sounds to each effect. You will find bass boosts, special clipping mods, switches that switch diodes etc… thus one effect may have several different sounds within it.
Short note: He is a true “modder” in the sense that modifying typically means switching parts and altering the original.
As I once saw on a blog (TGP I believe), someone stated: “Keeley is great at souping up Boss effects, so I buy those from him. For vintage sounds I only buy Analogman, as I believe he is anal enough to get it right.”
Or other words, in my opinion, if you have a 1967 Shelby GT 500 Mustang and want it restored to its own glory- go see Analogman. If you want it to be fixed up and on the next Fast and the Furious movie- go see Keeley.
Analogman TS9: Well rounded, very smooth and fluid. Made to the specs of a TS808, but with a few higher quality parts. Analogman describes this as a sounding “less like an effect” and more like a classic tube amp turned up. It compresses and has a smooth midrange hump, with treble and bass not loud or overwhelming. Very creamy like in the sound.
Keeley TS9: Keeley does the chip exchange to make it classic 808, but adds a bass response so the mid hump is not as noticable. Its a bit cleaner sounding in my opinion, and sounds less like a TS9. However, on single coils this sounds pretty good. The bass response was too much for my Les.
Keeley also offers a “Baked” mod in which the gain knob is stuck at 8-20 or something like that. High compression and very very creamy. Does not sound like a TS9, but is a fun, new effect.
For further review of the TS9 and associated mods, see my TS9 post: Click Here
So in summation, I believe that the mods Keeley does sound great as a guitarist in his bedroom. Or a guitarist with just a bassist as it really rounds out the sound. I think its overkill for someone who is playing with a full band. Analogman fits me better, but try them out anyway. You will find a long list of pros whom use either and sometimes both! Ex: both Analogman and Keeley claim The Edge as using their TS9!
And my last point: The AnalogMan symbol is sooo much cooler than the Keeley logo. Its a “sun god.” Or the sun from the box of Raisin Bran that does the “2 Scoops” thing. Either way, it says “tone”. Shhh… you can hear it whisper…
In the coming posts I will do a special Boss DS1 mod discussion. While the Keeley TS9 did not impress me, the differences between the Analogman and the Keeley convinced me to keep both DS1 mods. I really like both of them!
In the end my man is Analogman. He just fits me well. So, I hope I did not come of too biased!