The number of pedals that let guitarists emulate, twist, and probe the sounds of space and time can be staggering. But Iowa-based Hungry Robot cuts through the herd with the Starlite, a modulated-reverb stomp with a twist: tap tempo. Within its sturdy enclosure, the Starlite features controls for mix, mod, and decay, along with an input for an external tap tempo switch—essential for crowded pedalboards.
Ambient flavors and textures immediately came to mind when I plugged in. Once I’d dialed in a moderate amount of modulation and decay, I found the mix control most intriguing. It was a total blast to go from strumming a few Andy Summers riffs with hints of chorus-filled reverb to maxing everything out for a tidal wave of madly self-oscillating 'verb. One downside: There’s a fair amount of LFO noise at higher mod settings, though I was able to control it with a tempered touch. If soundscapes are your bag and you want a responsive, tempo-based reverb, Starlite may answer your atmospheric dreams.
Test gear: Fender Stratocaster, Fender Deluxe Reverb