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Essentially, it is a custom pickup installed in a beautifully crafted, handmade timber box, and the pickup is installed so that tapping different parts of the box subtly alters the tone. Obviously the stompbox promises a far more organic sound than a sampling device, and its physical design is appropriately straightforward - no interface or configuration to speak of, just a solitary jack to plug it into a bass amplifier, or straight into a PA with the mids and trebles rolled off.
Let's just get one thing out of the way right now - like so many others before me, I loved the Ellis Stompboxes almost immediately. I pride myself on having excellent time, and have often used a tambourine on the floor in a similar fashion to the Stompbox for acoustic gigs, so the idea appealed straight away. However, nothing is quite like the experience of hearing your beat come back to you as a bass thump that sounds impossibly large (and much more appropriate for the downbeat than a tambourine).
I look forward to using the Ellis Stompbox a great deal more. While it's primary role is obviously for solo performers playing live, I can imagine the sounds being useful in small ensembles, as well as in recording applications. While nothing can replace a kit drummer for complexity and the ability to describe numerous features of a rhythm concurrently, a lot of music requires so much less than that. With roots music being as popular as it is at the moment, you can expect to hear a lot more of the Ellis Stompbox in the future.
Craig White - Australian Guitar - Jan,Feb - 2007