Great Eastern FX launch the XO Variable Crossover

Frequency splitter and dual effects loop for guitar and bass offers new way to combine and shape effects

Great Eastern FX launch the XO Variable Crossover

Frequency splitter and dual effects loop for guitar and bass offers new way to combine and shape effects

Great Eastern FX Co. have unveiled their latest creation, the XO Variable Crossover. A marked departure from the company’s existing range of boutique overdrive and fuzz pedals, the XO is an intriguing device designed to squeeze new sounds out of your existing effects.

As the name suggests, the XO is built around an active crossover that splits the input signal into separate high and low frequency bands. The high and low halves of the signal are then fed to two independent send-and-return effects loops before being mixed back together.

This means that you can apply effects to just one part of your signal at a time – a tremolo rumbling away on just the low end, for example, or a shimmery reverb on just the highs – or you can use different effects on the high- and low-frequency portions simultaneously. From blending two different flavours of drive to combining modulation and delay effects running at different rates, the scope for sonic exploration would seem to be limitless (depending on the size of your effects collection, of course). You can also ignore the returns altogether and use the pedal to send the high and low bands to two different amplifiers.

“When we describe some of the sounds and combinations of effects that are possible with the XO, they can be hard to imagine,” admits Great Eastern FX Co. founder David Greeves. “These are things that most of us have simply never tried to do before. We’re used to thinking about effects in terms of pedal order and wet/dry mix, perhaps even left and right in a stereo setup, but thinking in terms of low and high frequencies is really a new frontier.”

But, he says, the experience of using the pedal is much less daunting: “Once you start playing with the XO, it’s such a fun and inspiring device to experiment with. We’re still finding new ways to use the pedal and we fully expect to be surprised by what our users come up with. You can get into some pretty far out and experimental territory with it, but the XO is also a really powerful tool for tweaking and refining more conventional sounds. And for bass, the ability to process the high and low frequencies separately means that no guitar pedal is off limits any more.”

Surprisingly compact given its six in and out jacks (a main input and output, plus high and low sends and returns), the XO features a number of useful controls alongside the main Crossover Frequency knob, which moves the split point for the high and low bands up and down. There are switches to change the frequency range to suit either guitar or bass, to put the high and low bands in and out of phase, and to swap the high and low sends over. This last feature allows you to try the pedals placed in the high effects loop on the low frequency band and vice versa, without having to unplug and re-patch any cables. The XO also provides a global wet/dry mix control and a return balance control to adjust the relative level of the two returns.

The XO is available now direct from Great Eastern FX Co. and from selected dealers worldwide. It’s priced at $279

About Great Eastern FX Co.: 

Based near Cambridge in the East of England, Great Eastern FX Co. is the brainchild of veteran guitar journalist David Greeves. Formerly editor of Guitar Buyer magazine and a contributor to various UK-based guitar and studio recording publications, David launched the company in 2021 with the aim of delivering original effects that are equal parts functional and inspiring. This approach is summed up in the company motto: ‘Serious.Fun.’ 

Bass Magazine   By: Bass Magazine