Smart switching options and soaring sounds make this veteran pedal outfit's latest reverb stand apart.
Lush sounds. Flexible functionality. Small footprint. Fair price.
Not easy to use as a plug-and-play effect.
Ease of Use:
Cusack is always happy to deviate from traditional pedal templates. Some Cusack stomps are big and complex; some are tiny and stupidly simple. But for all their differences, each Cusack design always seems driven by a cool cross of utility and desire to do things differently. This rule certainly applies to the Resound Reverb. Cusack used their formidable DSP programming chops to create the Resound. But clearly, there are also very keen ears behind the code. It’s a digital reverb unit with exceptionally strong fundamental tones, major sonic flexibility, and cool switching options.
Hi-Fi, High Powered
Beating at the heart of the Resound is an powerful IC manufactured by Spin Semiconductor named the FV-1, which is a favorite starting point for many contemporary digital reverbs. This chip is the foundation of a very tweakable DSP platform that Cusack designed with eight reverb modes. There’s a Fender-style spring sound, a classic plate, a big hall reverb (which doubles as a “freeze” function), as well as more modern settings including the lush, octave-doused “glisten,” the cavernous sounding “cathedral,” and the unique “shimmurmer” (labeled “shimmur” on the unit itself) which produces ambient spaces with dark, choir-like overtones. The Resound also features a modulated reverb that adds pitch-shifting sway to the signal and ranges from subtle to sci-fi.
The basic tones Cusack has coaxed from the FV-1 platform are all top notch and useful. Even the most basic tones are complex, deep, and meld beautifully with your guitar sound when routed through the front end of a tube amp. They don’t disembody or sterilize your core tone the way less sophisticated digital reverbs do in the absence of an effects loop. And Cusack has clearly done due diligence when it comes to filtering and noise reduction—Resound is not only church quiet during operation, but free of unwanted sonic artifacts in reverb decays. The Resound is stereo capable for those looking to use it with a multi-amp rig, where the pedal’s “glisten,” “modulated,” and “shimmur” sounds really come alive.
Resound’s control layout looks relatively simple, but it has fairly deep preset capabilities. They’re a big part of what sets the Resound apart and putting them to use is straightforward and simple once the programming is done.
Resound makes eight distinct programmable presets available, which are divided into four banks with two presets each. The large LED at the center of the pedal changes color to identify which of the four banks you’re in. Navigating through the four banks requires you to mash the left switch and the center switch of the pedal at once. That may sound like a tricky maneuver to pull off mid-song, but the relatively small footprint of this pedal situates the switches close enough to make the move easy. Cusack also had the foresight to give the Resound adjustable footswitches that allow the user to raise or lower the height of each and customize their position in a way that’s most advantageous to your approach.
Once you select a bank, the left and right buttons allow you to switch between presets, while the center “extend” button maxes the decay level, which in the hall program full decay becomes a freeze function. The function of the two parameter knobs, meanwhile, change as you switch reverb types, regulating functions like tone and modulation rate depending on the reverb mode you use. Resound also has a switch for adding trails after the pedal is disengaged and a cascade switch which determines whether notes played after the extend footswitch is engaged add to the extended/frozen notes or are heard unaffected over the extended notes. It’s great to see useful features like this mounted on the main control surface and not relegated to interior-mounted DIP switches or some other inconvenient location. It’s a very thoughtful and player-oriented design decision. Additionally, Resound packs a level control, which gives you the option to add or remove as much as 5db from the signal. The control can help compensate for perceived volume loss or tailor the volume of the pedal within a signal chain of other effects. An expression pedal, meanwhile, can be assigned to any one of the Resound’s parameters.
While the Resound’s impressive feature set and the process of building presets on it can feel little complex, the flexibility you gain from having them on hand—and the relative ease with which you can recall them—makes the investigation worthwhile. If you don’t feel like diving too deeply with programming the factory presets are stellar. And the pedal sounded fantastic whether I was adding subtle Fender-style drip through the front end of a Benson Monarch or launching into shoegaze orbit using stereo capabilities and two amplifiers.
The Resound isn’t always an easy pedal to configure, but it sounds phenomenal and can be an invaluable and supremely functional tool for those with the patience to learn its secrets. Considering the Cusack’s reputation for creatively executed, USA-made, road-worthy gear, the pedal’s stellar tones, and a street price of $279, the Resound is worth the price and the time it takes to get acquainted.
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Created in collaboration with legendary guitarist George Lynch of Dokken and Lynch Mob fame, the Mr.Scary Mod adds an adjustable tube gain stage and an onboard Deep control, which together are designed to enable an amp to have increased sustain while still retaining note definition and dynamics.
LegendaryTones, LLC today announced production availability of its new Mr. Scary Mod, a 100% pure tube module designed to instantly and easily expand the capabilities of many classic amplifiers with additional gain and tone shaping. Created in collaboration with legendary guitarist George Lynch of Dokken and Lynch Mob fame, the Mr.Scary Mod adds an adjustable tube gain stage and an onboard Deep control, which together are designed to enable an amp to have increased sustain while still retaining note definition and dynamics.
Originally released as the Lynch Mod in February 2021, the updated Mr. Scary Mod features the same core circuit as the Lynch Mod but is now equipped with a revised tube mix combo per George’s preference as well as a facelift in a newly redesigned electro-galvanized steel enclosure. As with the Lynch Mod, each run will be limited and the first run in Pumpkin Orange with Black hardware is limited to just 150 pieces worldwide.
The Mr. Scary Mod adds an adjustable tube gain stage on top of the cathode follower position, keeping note definition and articulation while further increasing sustain. Each Mr. Scary mod is meticulously built by hand in the USA, one at a time, and tuned using high-grade components. Equipped with a single ECC81 (12AT7) in the first position and ECC83 (12AX7) in the second, the Mr. Scary Mod can clean up beautifully when rolling down your guitar’s volume, and still adds scorching gain when you roll it back up. This is a gain stage that’s been tuned and approved by the ears of the maestro George Lynch himself.
“The Mr. Scary Mod excels with dynamics and is incredibly touch-responsive, allowing me to shift from playing clear, lightly compressed cleans to full-out aggressive sustain and distortion –and control it all simply by varying my guitar’s volume control and picking,” said GeorgeLynch. “In many ways, it’s an old-school approach, but it’s also so much more natural and expressive in addition to being musically fulfilling when you can play both the guitar and amp dynamically together this way.”
The Mr. Scary Mod installs in minutes, is safe and effective to use, and requires no special tools or re-biasing of the amplifier. Simply insert the module into the cathode follower preamp position of compatible amplifiers (includes Marshall 2203/2204/1959/1987 circuits) and
immediately get the benefit of enjoying a hot-rodded amp that delivers all the pure harmonic character that comes with an added pure tube gain stage. The handmade in the USA Mr. Scary Mod is now available to order for $319.
For more information, please visit legendarytones.com.
October Audio has miniaturized their NVMBR Gain pedal to create two mini versions of this beautifully organic-sounding circuit – including an always-on gain device.
The NVMBR Gain is a nonlinear amp that transitions gracefully from clean boost to overdriven tones. Volume increases from just over unity to about 10db before soft-clipping drive appears for another 5db of boost. Its extraordinary ease of use is matched by outstanding versatility: you can use it as a clean boost, push a stubborn amp into overdrive or create a just-breaking-up sound at any amp volume.
October Audio’s new family of mini NVMBR Gain pedals includes a switchable version that allows you to bypass the effect: one option features brand logo pedal graphics, while the other sports a fun “Witch Finger” graphic with a Davies knob as the“fingernail”.
The second version in the new lineup is an always-on device featuring the Witch Finger graphic and Davies knob, with the same NVMBR Gain circuit that lies at the core of the switchable version.
- Knob controls gain and clipping simultaneously
- Stunning silver hammertone finish
- Switchable versions are true-bypass, available with classic or witch finger graphics
- Authentic Davies knobs, including the “fingernail”
- 9V center negative power supply required
- Dimensions: 3.63 x 1.50 x 1.88 in
Witch Finger (always on NVMBR Gain) demo
All October Audio pedals are assembled in Richmond, VA, and available for purchase directly through the online shop. Street price is $109 for NVMBR Gain footswitch versions and $89 for the always-on device.
For more information, please visit octoberaudio.com.