Quick Hit: Free the Tone Ambi Space Review
January 1, 2017
A powerful but straightforward route to six ’verbs, ranging from subtle to subterranean.
The Ambi Space puts six 32-bit reverbs and four programmable presets into a box that feels uncluttered despite its nine top controls—two footswitches (on/off and a preset-cycler), five knobs (mode, mix, tone, decay, and pre delay), and two small black buttons (one selects manual or preset mode, and edit saves settings to the selected preset). In preset mode, knobs are deactivated, effectively preventing clumsy feet from wreaking havoc. In manual mode, the mode knob cycles through reverb types: spring, plate, room, hall, “cave,” and “serene.”
Each ’verb type boasts outstanding fidelity and virtually no harshness, even with a Tele bridge pickup and Ambi’s tone maxed. The spring and plate sounds are impressively convincing, and room and hall modes really do yield a feel like the spaces they emulate. Serene offers a valiant effort at ethereal spacey-ness, while the hint of reverse ’verb in cave’s tails sounds strange yet organic. The latter two were my favorites for experimental sounds, but even at maximum settings they’re pretty staid compared to the competition—although the pre delay knob (one of the most natural sounding I’ve encountered) helps expand quirky horizons a bit further.
Test gear: Squier Vintage Modified Tele with Curtis Novak pickups, Goodsell Valpreaux 21 driving Weber Blue Dog and Silver Bell speakersClip 1 — Tele Bridge + Neck- Mode - Cave, Mix - 3 O'clock, Tone - 10 O'clock, Decay - Max, Pre Delay - Max
Clip 2 — Tele Bridge + Neck- Mode - Serene, Mix - 3 O'clock, Tone - Max, Decay - Max, Pre Delay - Min
Clip 3 — Tele Bridge + Neck- Mode - Spring, Mix - Noon, Tone - 10 O'clock, Decay - Noon, Pre Delay - Noon
Pristine tones. Cool “cave” setting. Stereo ins and outs.
Pricey. Somewhat conservative sounds. MIDI but no expression input?! Presets hard to discern onstage.
Free the Tone Ambi Space
Ease of Use: