Hungry Robot Pedals “The Moby Dick V2” and Caroline Guitar’s “Kilobyte” are both Lo-Fi delays. They both utilize a single pt2399 chip and offer distortion and modulation parameters that affect only the delayed signal.
In appearance, the Kilobyte is nearly square. All Caroline Guitar pedals are standardized at four and five eighths by three and five eighths inches with top mounted jacks and power supply.
While Hungry Robot’s pedals come in a variety of shapes and sizes, the Moby V2 is relatively small at five inches by two and a half inches. There are side mounted jacks with the power supply on the right.
If you're new to Caroline Guitar, the iconography of the Kilobyte is interesting but cryptic. Graphs are used to represent the Level and delay time parameters while an algebraic formula (of sorts) represents the number of repeats. The Modulation parameter is slightly easier to understand as it sits between a straight line on the left and a sine wave on the right representing an increase in modulation as the control is turned clockwise. What stands out, of course, is the brilliantly colored “Lo-Fi” man. Similar to an eight bit space invaders character, he has become a staple of Caroline Guitar pedals representing low fidelity distortion and the start of the digital age.
The Moby Dick V2 also carries an eighties icon. Whether accidental or on purpose when I look at the whale it is the spitting image of Fudgy the Whale from Carvel ice cream. Fudgie had his first commercial in 1980 subsequently running through Saturday morning cartoons throughout the decade. The Moby V2 has the same set of controls as the Kilobyte. Although somewhat abbreviated, they are clearly scripted and wind through the knobs above Fudgie’s spout!
While both delays incorporate the famed pt2399 chip, Hungry Robot pushes theirs further to achieve a full second of delay.
“The fidelity of the delay after 800ms starts to degrade slightly.
You will notice a bit more background noise with delay tempos
greater than 800ms.” -Eric “Hungry Robot
The Moby Dick V2 also comes with a tap tempo switch. The tap tempo footswitch only needstwo taps, however, it becomes more accurate with three to four taps. Whatever tempo you may input, there will be a full second before it takes effect.
Here’s what Caroline Guitar has to say about their delay time,
“We don’t specify an exact maximum because there are some variables and tolerances within the parts involved. The variables
are tolerances in the delay chip, and as much as 20 percent
variation in the potentiometer/control knob that sets the delay time.
That’s why we confidently promise over 500 milliseconds. Units
that we clocked here in Columbia ranged from 524 on the low side
to the low 600s, but we’ve heard of some people getting as much
as 815 (whoa) milliseconds from their Kilobyte.”
Although Kilobyte does not have a tap delay, what they do have is a “Havoc” footswitch. The Havoc option on this pedal is a high-pass filtered (reduced bass) runaway oscillation. Hold it down to override the feedback/summation control for infinite, escalating repeats. Releasing it will return the delay to your existing settings.
So how do they sound?
Distortion: When Moby Dick V2 says Lo-Fi they mean it. When you turn the knob fully clockwise the sound that echoes sounds like a worn out tape machine time machine.
The Kilobyte is overdriven and they advertise it.
“+21db boost/overdrive preamp to smash the low fidelity digital
delay chip” -Caroline Guitar
Even though one can “dial it down” it doesn’t grab the same Lo-Fi expression as The Moby Dick V2. This is not a bad thing. The Moby loses its sparkle on the repeats, the Kilobyte is a more accurate representation of the original signal, overdriven as it may be.
In both pedals the modulation is tied to the delay time. At full delay it’s virtually non-existent. In The Moby Dick V2 It’s at the 12:00 settings of delay time and Lo-Fi that with modulation, the broken tape deck comes through. At faster delay times, however, unless you drop the modulation to nearly zero, it loses its musicality and quickly becomes merely a sound effect.
The Kilobyte, however, with a more subtle modulation can go to 30 milliseconds (minimum on both pedals) at full modulation without detracting from the original signal.
The Recap: The Moby Dick has more delay and more modulation with tap tempo and a broken tape deck feel. The Kilobyte has more overdrive and more of a transparent signal in the delay line. Less modulation allows for a greater range of use in conjunction with the delay time and a Havoc footswitch allows infinite escalating repeats.
Please check out our Demos on their respective pages.