Keeley Electronics Dark Side

Floyd Explorer
Keeley Electronics Dark Side
Price: $299

In the multi-verse of effects, Robert Keeley’s gizmos are a thing of beauty – particularly those that provide multiple sounds. Guitarists hankering for fuzz, delay, and modulation will dig the Dark Side, which mimics the sounds of Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour.

The fuzz is based on a 1977 op-amp analog fuzz with a 24-bit DSP engine. It mirrors the Big Muff circuit with the capacity for variations using Level, Filter, and Fuzz knobs for volume, tone control, and gain, respectively. A three-position EQ-voicing switch (Flat, Full, Scoop) offers more control. The delay and modulation effects use 12 Binson-style syncopated delays and four modulation sounds – flanger, rotary, phaser, and univibe. Level, Blend, Depth, and Rate knobs offer more flexibility; Delay cannot be used with modulation, but the button on the top of the unit allows the user to switch the order of effects.

The Dark Side shines, packing many malleable features within a small package. The modulation effects are rich and lustrous, and while the fuzz is an acquired taste, it can be dimed to achieve highly usable sustain, boost, and saturated grit. The delay is warm and flexible, but it’s lacking when used on the fly for live performances without a tap tempo. Aside from this, Keeley has created a super-cool musical product, invaluable for getting the most from a single enclosure.

This article originally appeared in VG’s September 2022 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.

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