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Rating and Reviews: Electro-Harmonix Silencer

The Silencer is a sophisticated noise gate that delivers up to -70dB of noise reduction and is perfect for taming noisy pedalboards and guitar pickups.

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"Best Noise Gate I've ever used" submitted October 14, 2016

By Kevin B in Charlotte, NC
Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: Guitar 25 years
Music Style: Rock
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Overall: This thing works amazingly well, and for what it does I can't believe what it sells for. They could double the price and I'd still say it was worth every penny. It took a little experimentation to figure out the best place to put it in the chain and how to set the controls but once I got it dialed in it was perfect. It completely eliminates the hiss and static from the guitar and all the pedals but only when I want it to and without having to turn it on and off all the time. The controls are very intuitive: The Reduction knob controls how much it kills the sound, from all little knock back to clamped all the way down to nothing. The Thresh knob controls how little input from the guitar is required to open and close the gate, so it can be set to close the gate just by muting the strings or by rolling the volume knob all the way off and pretty much any setting in between. The Release knob controls how quickly it closes the gate, from instant shut down to slow fade. The best feature and the one that makes this pedal the most effective and usable noise gate I've ever had is the built in effects loop. To try to explain why this feature makes this pedal so effective I need to describe my pedal chain. It has the straight signal path which is: Guitar--> Compressor-->Tuner-->Noise Gate-->Chorus-->Delay-->Amp. Then it has the gate's effects loop: Noise Gate(send)-->Overdrive-->Fuzz-->Distortion-->Noise Gate(return). Putting all your noisy pedals in the loop lets the gate ignore them and focus only on the signal from the guitar to tell it when to wrangle those trouble makers back in line. If you just put this thing at the end of the chain you are not going to get good results. You'd have to dial up the Thresh knob so high to get it to deal with a distortion or fuzz pedal that when you went to clean or a mild overdrive the gate would clamp down on the signal between notes and chords. In that scenario you end up clicking the gate on and off all the time, which kind of defeats the purpose. I have mine dialed so I click it and forget it. The last thing I would mention is that this pedal doesn't produce any noise of its own and it doesn't click or pop when turned on and off. If I plug it in by itself and turn the amp way up and the volume on the guitar all the way down I can click the pedal on and off and hear no change at all. Same goes for when the volume is up, play a chord, click on the pedal and there's no change at all until the signal fades out and the gate closes. So it's completely silent with absolutely no tone sucking. This pedal has become as beloved to me as the compressor, you don't really notice it when it's on but you miss it when it's not. The ability to go from wall of gritty-distorted-fuzz-madness to dead-silent-like-your-amp-just-died then back to wall-of-noise is really satisfying to me for some reason.
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