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Ibanez Paul Gilbert AF2 Airplane Flanger

The Paul Gilbert Signature AF2 Airplane Flanger: two pedals in one package. One section is a traditional chorus flange; the other is the "Taxi Take Off" flange (hence the "Airplane" moniker), which provides virtuoso guitarist Paul Gilbert's own "crazy flange" sound, which includes shifting the pitch up and down. Time to buckle up. The AF2 features Manual (delay time),...

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Post Modern Flange! featured

Ease Of Use The AF2 Airplane Flanger is pretty easy to use. Plug in and adjust a few knobs and you go instantly from shimmering chorus to deep scooping flange waves. Taxi to turn your flange on and off - takeoff do go nuts in whammy-like police siren wails. The manual that comes with it is very basic, but the settings provided by Paul and Ibanez get you going really quickly and give you an idea of what can be done sonically with this pedal.

Sound I've owned this pedal for a few months and wanted to wait to post my review. I'm very picky on flangers and have been fooled before by other brands. I wanted to get past the honeymoon phase of GAS and give you folks my honest opinion.
Other modern flange pedals seem to come close to what I want but none come closer than the AF2. In my opinion, this is one of the finer pedals out there. The lows are nicer than the Boss BF-2. AF2 seems to have a more defined range. The AF2 also seems similar to the old ADA Flanger only dialed back a tad; cleaner with a less analog feel. It's also probably $100 less than what you'd pay for an ADA and, in my opinion, you're getting a comparable pedal. Yeah, the ADA purists out there may have thrown up a little in their mouth but this is my opinion.
What really sold me on this pedal is not the sounds you can get with distortion but rather the great clean tones you can produce. There's a demo video out there with some guy playing "Murder By Numbers" by The Police on the AF2 and it sounds BRILLIANT! From a nice clean chorus to a deep dream-like clean flange, this pedal performs! It sounds pretty good on distortion too. The flange staple "Barracuda" sounds awesome on this as well. (As a side note, though, I'd be wary of anything that sells the "Barracuda" flange sound as there are clearly TWO GUITARS on that track! Just sayin'.)
This pedal is now a staple in my signal chain. Ibanez WD7 > Boss DS-1 > AF2 Flanger > Digitech GNX2 > Marshall. If I'm running light and mercenary I'll sometimes leave the WD7 and (maybe) the DS1 at home but the AF2 will always come with me.
The noise gate, as mentioned, is definitely a good call! No longer are you that noisy guy at rehearsals going whooooooooossshhhhhhwoooooooooooossshhhhhhwhooooooooossssh loudly through your amp and being told to turn off your box!
If there's one downside to this pedal it's the takeoff mode. Granted it IS a super-cool effect. As I'm moving away from trems it's good to have if I'm playing a fixed bridge and need a similar divebomb effect. I think there is a temptation to overuse taxi and get quickly labeled as "obnoxious" by band members and audience alike. Then again, I guess overuse of any effect can give you a bad stigma. (I'm looking at you and your wah, Kirk Hammett!)
Sound-wise this is a great pedal. If you're fence-sitting I'd recommend going to your local music store and trying one out. I'm sure you'll bring it home with you.

Reliability Seems very reliable and sturdy. Good old-school switches. Solid knobs. Metal construction. It's all good!

Customer Support Didn't have to on this product.

Liked about it 1. Sound
2. Construction.
3. Cool purple color

Didn't like Nothing.
EDIT: After owning this pedal for over a year it hasn't stood up very well. The adapter that came with the pedal died a while back. No big deal as it uses a common AC adapter spec.
Later, and most importantly, it seems something odd occurred with the internal components. The flange sounds slightly different and the "takeoff" channel is screwed up. It still oscillates fine but there's a significant jump in volume when you use it and the main channel now bleeds through.
It still works fine but I may end up switching this one out for an Electric Mistress. Sorry Ibanez! Review dumped from 5 stars to 3.5.

Overall satisfaction:

By mike570
Oct 21, 2010
Last updated: October 22, 2011
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Get ready for takeoff! featured

Ease Of Use The Ibanez Paul Gilbert signature AF2 Airplane Flanger is a fantastic pedal to use. It has two modes available in the pedal; the "Taxi" mode which offers you four controls (Manual, Speed, Range and Enhance); and the "Takeoff" mode which gives you the crazy flange sound previously only available in modified old ADA Flangers. There are two footswitches, one to turn the flanger on and off, and one to switch between Taxi and Takeoff mode.

Paul Gilbert was kind enough to write up some of his favourite settings for the pedal, enabling you to dial in awesome tones as soon as you open the box. From here you can build on them and create your own flanger sounds.

The only real problem with regards to ease of use (and it's not really a big problem) is that the pedal can only be powered by your standard Boss style 9 volt DC negative tipped power supply. It's no great deal though, Ibanez clearly must have thought that the there was no point to putting a battery option on the pedal. It would probably chew through them pretty quickly.

Sound Ibanez and Paul Gilbert really did some wonderful work designing the AF2. The pedal is really easy to get awesome vintage, modern, and crazy flanger sounds out of. Add to it that the aforementioned Paul Gilbert settings are available in the instructions, and dialing in great tones are easy.

Another awesome thing that Ibanez have packed in to the AF2 is some sort of noise gate. Flangers are quite often noisy pedals, and Ibanez saw fit to fix this straight out of the box. With the flanger engaged it is cutting out all noise almost instantly when you stop playing notes.

The AF2 really is a versatile flanger pedal, as it is capable of generating flanger tones heard in many different styles of music. You can get those psychedelic vintage 60's tones, EVH and 80's rock/metals swirls, through to awesome slow flange tones that sound great in modern metal.

One of the settings listed in the manual is a Wah Tone. It mimics the "sweet spot" on a wah pedal where some might set their wah for a great cutting solo sound. It definitely works nicely at cutting through, and could be very useful for soloists who don't have a wah pedal. Paul Gilbert says he has never heard this sort of tone from a flanger pedal before.

You can also go all out with the AF2 and create retro SCI-FI lazer pistol sounds, police sirens, and of course the signature Paul Gilbert "Takeoff" effect.

In my sound samples I'm playing an Ibanez RG550 20th Ann guitar with a PAF Pro in the bridge, and stock pickup in the neck through my Blackstar HT-5 on the dirty channel. On sample 2 I'm using a Boss DS-1 to overdrive the amp some more, and sample 2 is using a Boss MT-2 to overdrive the amp. Please excuse my rough playing and recording. I am recording using the direct speaker emulator on the HT-5 to an Edirol UA-1X USB interface, and recording using Windows 7 sound program.





Reliability The AF2 is a well built pedal with metal chassis construction, and nice solid footswitches giving that nice sturdy click you expect from good footswitches. The pots used for the controls seem to decent units too. The base of te pedal also has some nice rubber feet lifting it off the ground slightly. Ibanez have taken care to build a solid, quality unit, andI see these pedals lasting for some time.

Customer Support I have not needed to contact Ibanez

Liked about it Amazing flanger effects, from vintage to modern sounds, plus the crazy noises!
* Rugged build quality.
* Appears to be true bypass which is nice too.

Didn't like Not really a "didn't like" as such, but surprised that the pedal only ran on 9V mains power.

A big thanks goes out to Better Music in Canberra ( for allowing me the privilege of borrowing gear from their store. There are a great bunch of knowledgeable guys there.

Overall satisfaction:

By LonePhantom
Nov 21, 2009
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The flanger that kicked my Nova modulator from the pedalboard

Ease Of Use 2 switch one on/off and a taxi/takeoff switch and 5 knob 4 little (manual,speed,range,enhance) and 1 big knob for adjusting the takeoff rate, the manual instruction was very helpful as Paul Gilbert himself give his favorite sets for the taxi mode that can be used as your guide to shaping your own flange
quite simple actually, as changing the amount of each knob really gives a difference..
I'm powering it with trex chameleon

Sound It really analogue sounding that not only can do a flange things but can do the chorus, tremolo, laser gun, a fixed wah sound too..(i pull the nova modulator off from my pedaltrain and replace it with the airplane flange) because i found the airplane flanger really simple and great sounding and has a lot of feature
my setup was (guitar-korg pitchblack-ks aji compressor-dunlop crybaby wah gcb 95- ks aji bluescreamer overdrive- af2- vox time machine delay)

Reliability The case doesn't made from the likes of mxr but it should stand a road abuse with no problem

Customer Support -

Liked about it Great sounding flange
the take off mode really made it a standout flange

Didn't like - the size really eats my pedaltrain space
- the knobs looks cheap

Overall satisfaction:

By omar 87
Nov 16, 2011
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Let the good old times flange

Ease Of Use taxi mode has 4 knobs (manual, speed, range, enhanse) and takeoff mode 1 (speed). Im sure every guitarist is experienced in twisting knobs so its easy to use. Its got 2 metal switches 1 for on/off and 1 for taxi/takeoff and they make a good click so you feel and hear its on without playing or looking at it. 3 leds: red one for on/off, green for taxi mode and blue for takeoff mode. It comes with a small brochure (or whatever its called) full of Paul's personal flanger settings for taxi mode (you can find them here I took one of those example settings (i think it was called talkbox flange) and adjusted speed just a little bit to get the sound i mostly use. Takeoff mode is reeealy easy to use just set the speed and thats it.

Sound It's the best sounding flanger i ever heard. I play on a RG350M through a peavey valveking and i have this one in my effects loop where the taxi mode sounds heavenly, but the crazy takeoff mode makes such a huge volume boost that i rarely use it, so i if you are thinking about using the takeoff alot, put it beetween guitar and amplifier. With manual, enchange and range knobs you can get all of 70's 80's vintage and modern flange effects (shortly: EVERYTHING)

Reliability Never broken on me. Its built in a metal case but its not very thick. but its still metal. it not going to break if you dont throw it out of window. Metal switches seems very durable

Customer Support no need

Liked about it 1. Warm flange sounds of the TAXI mode
2. CRAZY sounds of the TAKEOFF mode
3. it looks -absolutly- BEAUTIFUL! It's the best looking pedal ever.

Didn't like It's too perfect

Overall satisfaction:

By Guilbertti
May 06, 2010
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