“ Manufacturer: Korg / Type: Effects Pedal „
The Korg Pandora PX4d is a personal multi effects processor which can be used for both guitar
and bass guitar. In one little box you get the benefits of a mini headphone amp for silent
practice, 158 effects and plenty of other extras to keep your practice sessions interesting.
The PX4D is designed to be used as either a headphone amp or could be used in line with
an amp as an effects processor for practice or playing live but in reality I would find it a bit
fiddly to use during a live gig.
The PX4D is a small plastic cased unit measuring roughly 76 x 112 x 27mm so it's small
enough to fit in a jacket or gig bag pocket. The unit has a back lit LCD screen which is
clear and easy to read and there's also the option of turning the back light off to save
on batteries. There are 2 options for allowing for high or low output instruments and
a built in chromatic tuner which can be used in mute mode for silent tuning if required.
There are 1/4" input and output jacks for your instrument and headphone/line cable
and a 3.5 mini jack aux in socket for MP3 players etc.
The unit takes 4 AAA batteries which last me roughly 5-6 hours so rechargable batteries
are the best option although there's also the option to buy a separate AC adapter. Mine
didn't come with a manual as I bought it 2nd hand but the PX4D is easy to get the hang of
with a bit of playing around and probably I've discovered more this way than if I'd had to
trawl through the manual for every setting.
The user interface consists of easy to use dials and buttons which are easy to use during
practice or rehearsal but it would fiddly to use and the dials too easy to knock onto another
setting while you are playing so I find it easier to stick with a foot pedal multi effects unit for
gigs. This does come with a clip for attaching it to a guitar strap which is ok for practice but you
have to remove it so you can see to change settings. My only slight complaint is the side dial has
no position marker and it's the easiest one to accidentally move when you're playing although
this was easily solved by marking it with a tippex pen which makes it easier to get back to the
setting you were on.
For personal practice or a quick backstage warm up the PX4D is perfect. There's an aux in
which allows you to connect an MP3 player which allows you to play along with tracks but
the PX4D phrase trainer also allows you to record a piece of music to a loop and allows
you to slow it down by up to 50% which is helpful if you are trying to learn a tricky
part of a track by ear. In my experience if you slow it down that far the resulting loss of
quality renders it pretty much useless but it does work reasonably well at 10-20%.
The PX4D also has a function that allows you to remove the bass from a track although
it doesn't remove the actual bass guitar it removes a certain frequency range. This means
on some tracks it is fantastic leaving you with a bass free track to practice to but on others
it's pretty much useless so the bass cancelling feature is really a case of trial and error.
The key transpose feature also lets you change the key of the music which is useful if you
want to practice a track in a different key from the original.
When it comes to effects KORG have packed 158 options into the little plastic box of tricks.
There are 100 preset and 100 editable user patches. The patches are numbered with 00 - 69
being guitar preset patches and numbers 70-99 are presets for bass although I've found
there's a few of the guitar ones that are also fun to play around with on a bass as well as
a guitar. There are plenty of options to suit most styles of music and each patch can be
edited and saved as one of the 100 user editable patches.
Within the effects there are several classic amp and cabinet models for both guitar and bass.
Guitarists can have everything from feedback, wah and distortion through to jazz
synth and octave effects with everything in between. There's also the option to change your
pick up sound so a single coil sounds like a humbucker or vice versa plus artist sounds ranging
from the Shadows to Slipnot. For bassists there's the option of 6 Stu Hamm presets plus
everything from blues and jazz through to slap, fretless and synth. Depending on the group
the effect is in you can use up to 7 effects at once and save your favourite settings as user
For practice use the PX4D comes with 100 built in rhythms with various beats available
covering everything from basic metronome, rock, metal and blues through to reggae,
Motown,jazz and funk and you can adjust the tempo to suit yourself. There's an option to
have a simple bass line playing over the drum track and you can change the key of the bass
or turn it off completely. The range of simple and complex time patterns are great for any
guitarist or bassist who wants to practice their time keeping and improvisational skills.
Overall this is a great unit for home practice and rehearsals although for me personally it
doesn't work too well for live gigs. For any would be guitarists or bassists this would probably
be a more useful buy than a 10 or 15 watt practice amp for home use although it does cost
a bit more than the lower end practice amps the extra features make it worth it.
The current new price is around £95-£105 but they do turn up frequently on Ebay and
various music forums 2nd hand for £45-£60 so it's worth looking around before you buy.
There's also a new mini version available with slightly less features which costs around £75.