25 Nov 2017
Mooer 008 Cali-Mk3
Take this agent 008 Cali-Mk3 from Mooer Audio(brought by a friend).Mooer has 10 specially develop agent in total.These agents are highly trained to imitate the targeted subject.The mission of this 008 in particular is to impersonate the accent/eloquence of a person/thing from 1317 Ross Street Pentaluma.I'm guessing the 007 mission is the UK.I don't know.Anyway first impression from me was what the F, its so F little.How things have become F smaller by the minute.Tinier/thinner looks to be the standard nowadays.Could be the near future as well where I imagine myself walking into a jamning studio asking about the gear and rate.The reply would be "We have many amps here.10 in total.Mesa,Fender,Marshal,ENGL just to name a few,use as many you want at no extra charge and it's just RM10 per hour".Okay then let me try all 10 and since we're here do you need help moving all 10 amps to the room? "No need bro,you take this basket with these colourful 10 boxes in it and plug it to which ever return in/power amp+cab in the studio."
The controls on the 008 are adequate,you have Gain,Level and 3 parametric EQ.The knobs are the pots itself.Will these hold overtime? Would it be like any other electronics gear today where you just buy a new one when it had given up the ghost? I should say yes? However I was intrigued by its ability to remember both clean and dirty setting independently.Nothing new here as my previously Korg 105od had it too but this 008 beat the Korg by lightning speed.There's no holding down any button for 4 second because apparently in this age 4 second of delay could compound in future to be months of guitar practice time wastage.With the 008 as soon as you set the knobs e.g. clean tone then stomp the foot switch and that's it,done! Next you set the dirty channel then stomp it again it goes back to the earlier preset clean.This is much better than my shared EQ on my amp.Small and smart like Mooer motto.
But later I was told there's one feature requiring holding down the soft lighted LED button.It brings out cab simulation mode.It sounds like a un-entertaining speaker box from some where else.Perhaps it's trying to simulate a 12 inch speaker and given my combo speaker is too hence maybe that's why.Could plugging it to a 6/8/10 inch combo would give the rightly impression of a/quartet of 12 inch? I don't know and I can't tell what speaker size or configuration its trying to fake.Maybe something from Pentaluma too?
My first impression about the 008 tone was like star struck.The distortion is heavy at first go but you see here's the thing about high gain.Sometime it difficult to tell the differences because it's all high gain and I was brought up by a lot of high gain.There's the high gain that I'm used to then there's this new high gain for a review and then my curiosity about another real deal high gain somewhere out there. So playing riffs here serve nothing but confusion,self excitement about knobs and despair.Playing single notes in both clean and dirty reveals something about the tone especially on the mid frequency.It's some sort of undesirable tonal characteristic but largely overshadowed by the bunch of good ones together.So for me there's no choice but stomach all of it into my ears.Either my ears isn't engineers ears or I fiddled the knobs wrong.So I pass the guitar and have my friend play through it.I got to go to the john.
I'm in the toilet at the same time listening to the 008 tone.During my business suddenly aha! Quickly after I'm done I waited my turn to interrogate this 008 agent thoroughly this time.The clean tone sounded like it has a compressor pedal in it activated by default.In single notes clean play especially on higher register I could hear thumps coming from the picking.For clean or double stop it sounded firm and good but when it comes chords plucking,the 008 is flawed.It's a turnoff for pluckeroos like me.The string notes seemed audibly hindered by some sort of permanently embedded binary compressor limiter without letting the notes spit freely and decay naturally.It doesn't have that raw edgie free flow tone.This as far as I know an ability that only a straight forward solid state/thermionic valve amp can provide.No denying the aforementioned tones are not cheap(most time).The fact that its conventional built with conventional size component inside that has no hifi quality precision with tolerance that sometime are all over the place not to mention it has to deal with the after effect of heat,high/low pass filter,high current,high voltage,ripple etc that's going on inside while I pluck the A chord on my comfy chair.I bet those same components wouldn't pass quality checks at Mcintosh.
To conclude I'm an direct amp kind of person I personally don't find it a hassle to tweak my amp EQ knobs because to start with,it's a real deal.Most of the time I leave it untouch for years because it's fine in both clean/dirty.It has a beginning and end.Meaning what I feed into my get amp is pre amplified and amplified out of the combo speaker then and there.Unhindered,responsive and true.With the Mooer 008 Cali-Mk3 its just the beginning.You need to complete the journey with suitable power amp(e.g. the RETURN IN of your amp),right impedance speaker,right size and cabinet configuration.Something that some would find as an exiting adventure/grief.I on the other hand choose to remain to lean/bend down/step the foot switch of my solid state used St Wendel amp.For the passed 17 happy years now.
Is this a good product? Convenient wise,yes it is.Tone and price wise are best judge by the eyes an ears of the wallet holder.What I can only provide in this entry is only my opinion.
Posted by YusTech