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Rating and Reviews: TC Electronic Nova System

TC Electronic's Nova System offers serious tonal shaping power. With an analog drive circuit and top-flight effects, this pedal can change how you play.

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"Not for everyone but I will likely love it for decades" submitted May 30, 2009

By a customer from althingstod.com
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Musical Background: Active Pro
Music Style: All over the map but mostly focused around vintage RnR & RnB
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Sound: What can I say, the sounds produced by this unit are so far above all of the compatition that I tried that the difference is laughable. The delays are amazing the modulation effects are not cloudy (unless you want them to be), and although I am a vintage spring reverb guy, I have turned off my amp's spring reverb. Thedrive section is what puts this so far ahead of the pack, but it is not flexable at all, in terms of type of overdrive and distortion. Don't get me wrong it is a great sound but I do not use it much because it does not fit the style of music that I play. Feature: This is both the strongest and weakest area for the Nova System. On the up side the switches are excelent and spaced nicely (I wear size 12 Vans on stage), and the editability of all of the parameters in the effects section is well above par. The add on of a expression pedal is a very nice perc. I have done so and it makes the unitl even more versatile. I have set one of my presets up to use the expression pedal as a gain control, when you add compression (which is the best compression I have ever seen for guitar) you can control your grit or distortion all along the spectrum with "0" volume change and tonal integrity throughout. On the down side; first of all there is NO wah in any way shape or form, nor is there any kind of fuzz. Like I said the drive section is nice but it is a one trick pony. It handles modern rectifier type sound fantasticaly but you simply cannot get a decent ratty overdrive or fuzzy distortion out of this unit. Also you have three presets per bank which are slow to change but the real problem is moving between banks. It is so slow and clumsy as to not be usefull during the corse of a song. This would not be a problem for me if there were more than three presets per bank but as it is it deffinately is a black mark on an otherwise excelent unit. Ease of Use: Here is where the Nova really falls down. It is not so much that it is difficult to navigate as it is that TC has its own (and in many cases better) ways of getting you from point A to point B, but they don't bother telling you what they are. This unit assumes a level of technical profeciency with gear that youngsters and people just moving into the digital domain are not likely to have. If you have patience and/or some technical background the richness of this unit is well worth the time it takes to master it but I would not recomend it as a birthday gift for your 16 year old wanabe rock star with ADD, or as a fathers day gift for the guy who still has his original 57 Strat and Princeton reverb and thinks that he would like to move into the 21st century wit his guitar rig but hasn't figured out how to shop on line yet. Quality: A+A+A+A+A+!!! Amazingly solid build and high quality sound. It isn't the prettiest of the croud of multi-effects but it is by far the sturdiest and best sounding. It does not do everything that I would ever want but in what it does it is in a class by itself at this price point. The only black mark here is for the quality of the screen. It scratches very easily and that will be a problem down the road making it hard to see some of the very small screens. On the other hand the ability to save presets and this units inabiltiy to do a lot of edit on the fly stuff make this no beig deal. Plue it looks like the screen would be easy to replace in that it is only a cover. Value: To be honest, if I had paid the old price I would have sent it back right away because of lack of features, but at this price WOW! As long as you are willing to do without a couple of things or add another pedal or two along with it this is the best out there Manufacturer Support: I have not had to deal with the tech support dept so I cannot say, but the TC web site is very good and they have a good usere group. However the manual is awful. They went through all the expense and trouble of doing a high quality printing and binding but left out far too many feature discriptions The Wow Factor: Not the prettiest girl at the prom but the kind that you take home to mom. No eye candy here but when you turn out the lights she is a tiger! Overall: I will probably be using this unit for decades to come but if it were stollen I am not sure that I would replace it with another Nova System, only because this is actually old techknowlodgy and it is pretty safe to say that there will be something better along for less money soon.
37 of 37 people (100%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"The best MFX for guitar I've had" submitted July 8, 2012

By William Castano in Elizabeth, NJ
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Musical Background: A semi-pro guitar player (synth guitar player), playing music for 35 years.
Music Style: Rock, Pop, Ambient, Chill out, Electronic.
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Sound: It's very clean,clear, the effects are high quality and the Od/Dist are what I need for my playing style. I noticed that the overdrived guitars sound great when the Cab sim is ON and weak when OFF, all other effects sound the same in both situations. Feature: I use everything in this unit, the basic effects with a great sound. Ease of Use: You'll be making music with this unit almost immediately, 20 minutes reading the manuals and that's it. I use it along with a GR 55 for my synth sounds. Quality: It's built like a tank, like all other TC Electronic/Helicon products. Value: It has the right price. Manufacturer Support: Not yet. The Wow Factor: The thing that I like most of this product besides its great sounds and quality is that I can control it through MIDI together with my other stuff and have everything perfectly in sync on my pedalboard. Overall: When I decided to come back to real pedals after being using software for about 8 years, I found this unit the perfect match for my other equipment.
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"TC Electronics Nova System is great!" submitted May 28, 2014

By DZ Mauldwin in Rock Hill, SC
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Musical Background: I've been playing for 30+ professionally. I play lead guitar in the band Shotgun Saints.
Music Style: Rock, Hard Rock and Metal.
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Overall: I bought this and have to say I'm impressed. The ease of use and it's ability to change the channels on my JVM210H Marshall are great but the added bonus is that I've downsized my pedalboard! TC Electronics has always been a industry leader in time-based effects and this unit is stellar. Add to that the analog overdrive/distortion effects and you have a unit that'll easily handle any of your guitar effect needs.
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"Fantastic sound quality" submitted January 6, 2014

By Dennis M in Elkins , WV
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Musical Background: 35 years as a professional musician. Semi retired.
Music Style: I'll play whatever the gig requires.
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Overall: I've heard several people complain that "the switching isn't fast enough between presets." A midi switch will clear that up. Seriously, the quality of the effects, and the clarity, and quality of the sound are above and beyond my expectations. I don't have an issue with the switching. I have a preset for every song I play, and don't see a need for switching presets during a song. This is an excellent, flexible system, and I would buy it again in a heartbeat!
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"TK Novasystems" submitted October 2, 2013

By Gary F in Port Moody, BC
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Overall: Great piece of kit, physical quality is amazing, sound quality is fantastic, lots of fine tuning options. Combines some very common and great effects in one.
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"Superb!!!" submitted April 18, 2012

By Alex R in Dallas, TX
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Musical Background: 7 years, Guitar
Music Style: Rock, Latin, Reggae
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SPOTLIGHT REVIEW
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Sound: Excellent! The sound is clear an clean. The Distortion and OD are cool but are not super cool, I rather use my Egnater's Distortion. As far as effects go, they are pretty legit. I can do all kinds of guitar harmonies with the Intelligent Pitch by selecting the key and Mode. I can make my guitar sound like a legit Bass, the Analog delay sound adds an awesome kick to my solos that doesn't sound fake. There's really lots of great things you can do with this unit. Feature: The one thing I really like is the ability to store 4 different variations of effects, and call out the factory preset as well. That way when you find sounds you really like you can always recall them when in Pedal mode, or storing a Preset in Preset mode. The Tuner is great I can tune up or down a full step if I need to. You can change from 420-460. The Speaker simulator is great when I plug in straight to my interface to record quick demos. The Noise Gate is cool once you get it set up where you want it. It kinda takes away from my clean sound but not from my distortion. But its ok because I don't really use it with cleans. One thing I don't like on the unit is the EQ feature, it seems too complicated to use, I wish there was a simple Treble/Mid/Bass section. Ease of Use: This is the reason I bought this in the first place. I had the Nova Delay but it was not as easy to use during a song. So I sold it and got this, all my problems have been solved. I was having to juggle between many pedals and had to focus more on that than on my playing. Now I can focus on my playing and nail the changes. Storing presets and effect is simple and quick. Quality: Top notch! No complains! Value: Definitely worth the price. I think its a very professional sounding and looking unit. I was looking for good multi-effects unit but didn't want to sacrifice quality so I went for this one because I know that TC Electronic has a good rep and for my good experience with the Nova Delay Manufacturer Support: I have contacted TC Electronics Before about my Nova Delay and they were swift and helpful with their response. The Wow Factor: All the sounds you can get of of this unit do it for me. I'm very satisfied with it. I highly recommend it for people who want good effects and don't want the hassle of having a pedal board full of pedals that can get crazy to deal with. Overall: The sound this unit provides is excellent. All the effects and tweak-ability you have is great. I run it through the FX loop on my Egnater Renegade and all the effects sound crisp and clean. I've read lots of reviews of people saying that with you're in Preset mode the change from presets is not instant, and that is true, but I learned from a guy on Youtube that if you just hold the preset switch about a second or two before you can wait for the right time and let go and have it ready when you need it. It just takes a bit of getting used to, but it really isn't a big deal. I can live with it. On the other hand, when you're in Pedal mode the switch is instant.
5 of 7 people (71.43%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Speaker Simulation Mode Leaves A Lot To Be Desired" submitted August 5, 2013

By Reg Salto in Dallas, TX
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Musical Background: Hobbyist. Tom Anderson, Suhr, Axe FX 2, Kemper
Music Style: Rock.
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Overall: This unit sounds great through a conventional guitar amp, BUT sounds like utter cr@P direct to house PA or through an audio interface. The speaker simulation mode is anything but.
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TC Electronic Nova System Customer Review submitted September 13, 2008

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Sound
Features
Quality
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Sound: Do Not Mix This Unit With Other Multi Effects Units. Stand Alone Works Best To Avoid Unwanted Sounds including Hum. Feature: It Has Everything You Could Want Previous To Master Recording. Could Be A Little Bit More User Friendly Though. Ease of Use: See Above. Quality: Looks Beautiful As A Useable Addition To Your System. Take Care Of It. Value: A Little On The High Side, Retail Speaking, But You Get What You Pay For. Manufacturer Support: N/A The Wow Factor: Definately More Than Just Practical. It Is Sexy.
8 of 17 people (47.06%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"GO AND GET ONE!" submitted October 6, 2008

By a customer from rs-cpa.co.il
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Musical Background: Active Musician
Music Style: Rock
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Sound: the sound is amazing. Feature: it have every thing you need from a stombox Ease of Use: it will take some time to get use 2 it . the manual is not clear. Quality: there first batch was fauly. now the have the new batch. be carefull when u buy it. Value: IT WORTH EVERY $ Manufacturer Support: EXSELENT.
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