• We would like to remind our members that this is a privately owned, run and supported forum. You are here at the invitation and discretion of the owners. As such, rules and standards of conduct will be applied that help keep this forum functioning as the owners desire. These include, but are not limited to, removing content and even access to the forum.

    Please give yourself a refresher on the forum rules you agreed to follow when you signed up.

First Impressions - Tech 21 FlyRig5

Scott Peterson

Global Moderator
Moderator
Finally arrived today after being delayed and that's never fun.

But first impressions as promised. The box is sturdy; this came in an Amazon box with some other things I ordered and the Amazon box was soaked due to something leaking all over it; luckily the FlyRig itself (and box) were unmolested. Whew.

When I first pulled it out, it's jarring how small it is. It is literally 1/2 as deep as a Tech 21 Character pedal and wide as three of them side-by-side. It's extremely small. The little pots are lit up when active and sturdy; the jacks and enclosure are first rate. As usual, Tech 21 understands how to create quality boxes. The size is remarkable for what this does.





The power supply is 12v @ 250mA. Mine measured out correctly in spec, I checked given some of the other new owners reporting issues.

Plugged in and had a go; it does everything it's supposed to do. I was a bit apprehensive given some of the less than stellar first reviews.

So I plugged into my Allen & Heath ZED R16 (firewire) and recorded the following direct with my 95 PRS Custom 22. Bridge humbucker is a Motor City Afwayu and the neck (for now) is a Seymour Duncan Jazz. I tried to play simple stuff with the volume knob up/down and show the different aspects.

Started with the Sansamp, then the Delay, then the Plexi and then the Hot. Settings should be visible in the photos; if not, I'll take a better photo.

Clip:
(*Note: you can download the full resolution FLAC format at SoundCloud if you prefer).

My thoughts:

It sounds good. Not going to set the world on fire and make everyone sell their amp; but everything it does, it does very well. I'm happy. This for exactly what I thought I was getting. The SansAmp section is very musical and has body. The Plexi rolls off well (*very important to me) and the added reverb and delay add depth and a sense of space that makes it feel bigger without making you sound buried in effects. The Hot adds a boost in front of the amp stages and works well but I like it at less than 1/2 up more as an added gain stage more than a Solo boost.

My goal was a small, efficient, simple dependable back up rig to my direct-to-FOH A rig. I've been using different stuff over the years in that role, defaulting to one of the first Tech 21 British Character pedals. So it's fitting that this fits that role well.

I'm pretty impressed given that it took me barely NO time to suss this out and find what I wanted from it. I've owned and used a lot of Tech 21 gear over the years; and it looks like I will be adding this to that list of gear too. It's a keeper. If you are in market for something analog (for the most part) and lacking menus - straight up grab-n-go backup or just a fast grab-n-go rig... this bears checking out. Highly recommended.

I'll do more over time and add some depth to this as a review; but that's it for now.
 

Sixstring

Axe-Master
Very interesting Scott, I also have been curious about this little pedal. So the demo was direct into a mixing board no cab sims of any kind?
 

boltrecords

Fractal Fanatic
So just to confirm, this can be run direct to FOh like the axe? I'm looking for a similar backup rig as my axe fx. So if like to be able to run direct to foh and also to my RCF monitor if possible.
 

NY Guitarist

Experienced
Thanks for the review Scott.

Going to give this a listen as soon as I figure out how to download the FLAC version, I'm not seeing how to do this even after signing in to Soundcloud. (newb here :roll)

Does this fit into the compartment inside your PRS case?
 

Scott Peterson

Global Moderator
Moderator
i think it sounds pretty good, thought the Plexi side sounded very usable.

I agree. Not going to light the world on fire or make people run to the exits to sell their amps or AFXII's but this is a usable and functional back up.

Very interesting Scott, I also have been curious about this little pedal. So the demo was direct into a mixing board no cab sims of any kind?

Yes. 100% direct just like the Axe-FX II.

So just to confirm, this can be run direct to FOh like the axe? I'm looking for a similar backup rig as my axe fx. So if like to be able to run direct to foh and also to my RCF monitor if possible.

Yes.
 

Sixstring

Axe-Master
For $250 this is a great deal for a small compact back rig or a spur of the moment deal where you don't want to bust out the Axe. How about the quality of the little knobs? They look like the weak link of the pedal.
 

Scott Peterson

Global Moderator
Moderator
Thanks for the review Scott.

Going to give this a listen as soon as I figure out how to download the FLAC version, I'm not seeing how to do this even after signing in to Soundcloud. (newb here :roll)

Does this fit into the compartment inside your PRS case?

Dunno, all my PRS cases are put away. I just carry this in my carry bag.

For $250 this is a great deal for a small compact back rig or a spur of the moment deal where you don't want to bust out the Axe. How about the quality of the little knobs? They look like the weak link of the pedal.

Seem robust enough. I'll let time and gigging do their job on it and report after some time with it.
 

Zwiebelchen

Fractal Fanatic
I feel that this is incredible value for money. A product that does exactly what it is supposed to without any useless extras. Congratz Tech 21!

Definitely gonna get one of these for backup. For this price, it's a no-brainer.
 

Hotplate

Power User
Seems fairly ideal for a backup rig if it proves sturdy enough. I don't currently gig but I always have a backup when I do. This seems like a perfect option. In the past, I had a small pedal board with nano-size pedals that cover about the same ground as this does and a Crate power block to run them into. Use an available house cab/amp or run direct. Never needed it though.. this seems even simpler.

Thanks for posting this Scott. Interesting..
 

The_Kid

Experienced
well I was looking for a used GT-8 or something similar as a backup for practices and shows, guess this will replace that idea. Thanks for the review. FYI, i'm trusting your opinion on this decision.... I'll listen to the clip tonight, lol.
 

musicman77

Inspired
I've carried a SansAmp stomp as a backup for some time now, but liked the idea of the Fly Rig with the added delay, reverb, and some additional tone flexibility. I ordered one a few days ago, and the merchant website said it was delivered today. Checked the front door and nothing was there. Confused, I went to retrieve the post mail from the mailbox, and low and behold, the Fly Rig was in there....and with plenty of room to spare. Neat little device; smaller than I expected, light, compact, feels sturdy, and after initial 5 minutes of sound test it's taking the place as my backup rig. Looking forward to try it out at rehearsal.
 

DNW

Power User
well I was looking for a used GT-8 or something similar as a backup for practices and shows, guess this will replace that idea. Thanks for the review. FYI, i'm trusting your opinion on this decision.... I'll listen to the clip tonight, lol.
Something like a GT-8 is a fairly different unit. The GT-8 has a whole bunch of amp models (a lot of them rubbish), a whole bunch of FX, a range of ODs, somewhat flexible routing, an EXP pedal (and option for another or a 2-button switch), assigns, etc. The FlyRig is a fairly basic, stripped right back type of thing. Going by Scott's clip, it doesn't sound half bad, but you're not going to have anywhere near the options of something like a GT or a POD. But it depends on what your needs are.

That said, I never had much luck getting a decent direct sound out of my GT-8 (into a tube poweramp and cab was fine), and it is what... 10 years old or something now. Modelling has moved a fair way since then.
 

Patzag

Fractal Fanatic
I was waiting for this to get released and ordered it. Waiting for it eagerly because I need something light to fly with. Great Demo Scott. Sounds exactly like what I need!
 
Top Bottom