Barge Concepts RC-2/RC-3: This is just another Ross clone; however this version has an internal switch for selecting a larger output capacitor, for better bass. The RC-2 has the same smoothness, sustain, and warmth as other quality Ross clones, but the fact that it can also put out a good amount of low end makes it one of the few of this type that I would ever recommend for bass.
Unfortunately, just as I found when modding a Keeley in a similar way, beefing up the output cap means losing the bright tone and high-mid emphasis that the Rosses are famous for. The highs are not completely cut off, but the upper end does sound muffled or damped, especially in comparison to the mids, which seem to get a slight boost. However the tone overall is warm and natural, and the action is very smooth. It reacts well to a wide range of playing styles, and handles a loud low B well enough. It's not noise-free, but the noise is normal/average for this type of circuit.
The footswitch is true bypass, and the internal construction quality is pretty good, although the vinyl label on top is cheap-looking. The RC-3 and RC-2 are the same circuit, but the RC-3 is housed in a smaller box.
When I initially wrote this review, several years ago, the Demeter and EBS pedals were "kings" and I compared the Barge very favorably to them. Time has passed, other pedals have surpassed the old kings, and Barge has been out of business for a few years. If you happen to see one of these pedals for a low price on the used market, it's a good find, worth grabbing. But don't pay a lot, and don't hold your breath wishing for one--there are better pedals available today.
Price in USD: used $100 to $140, no longer available new.
All text on this page written and owned by Cyrus J. Heiduska, 2006-2017, all rights reserved.