Dynamic response makes a dynamite reverb.
Excellent sounds ranging from conventional to otherworldly.
It’s big. Slight learning curve if you want to really get the most out of the pedal.
Seymour Duncan Silver Lake
Ease of Use:
Seymour Duncan is known best as a pickup titan. But unless you’ve been really tuned out to news from the pedal sphere, you’re probably aware that his company has built a bunch of excellent effects in recent years. And in the wake of their superb Andromeda Dynamic Delay, they’ve released the Silver Lake, a programmable reverb workstation with dynamic expression capabilities.
The Silver Lake features eight preset reverb types: room, hall, plate, spring, shimmer, gated, swell, and delay/verb. But as its feature-packed control panel suggests, Silver Lake is really about how you can manipulate those eight voices. There are knobs for mix, pre-delay, decay, grit, damp, function, and tweak (which works in conjunction with the function knob to modify modulation depth, modulation rate, and high- and low-pass filtering).
There are also mini buttons for trails mode, and a small display screen with two mini-buttons: bank and preset. A micro USB jack on the side lets you update the firmware as needed. The Silver Lake’s dynamic expression section has a threshold knob and mini buttons for hard/soft/off and mix/mod/damp, which we’ll explain later. Yeah—there’s a lot of ways to shape Silver Lake’s signal flow.
As you might guess, given its complexity, the Silver Lake relies on presets to manage the many reverb colors you’ll create. The 128 presets can be organized as 32 banks of four presets. The presets footswitch serves several functions. Press it once and you go to the next preset in a bank. Hold it down until the bank of LED lights is solid, then tap quickly, and it goes up to the next bank. To go backwards in banks, you just keep the footswitch depressed.
If you just need basic reverbs, the Silver Lake offers excellent, studio-quality sounds. But that would be a massive underutilization of the Silver Lake’s capabilities. Shimmer delay adds octave-up content to the reverbed signal. Using it with a mix that slightly favored the effected signal, I generated interstellar organ-like sounds for chords and harp-like timbres for scalar passages. The grit control enabled me to effectively adjust the upper octave blend. There’s a lot of sonic ground to explore between zero effect and the seasick wobbliness you get when the knob is maxed, and the range (and subtler possibilities) are welcome given how bold some of the effects can be.
While the Silver Lake’s basic sounds are solid, the pedal is really distinguished by its dynamic expression controls. Choosing “hard” or “soft” regulates how the pedal responds to your picking. In soft mode, quiet picking foregrounds the effect, while harder picking places the dry signal out in front. In hard mode, the opposite applies. Meanwhile the dynamic response can be assigned to specific parameters including mix, damp, or modulation. The threshold knob also lights up brighter depending on how much of the selected parameter is being mixed in, giving clear visual response to your playing.
The Silver Lake’s dynamic response can have unexpected and musically complex results. In the “mod room” preset, I set the dynamic expression threshold knob at noon and set it up for soft response and a variable mix (meaning soft picking would render the reverb effect more present). This inspired me to play call-and-response type phrases where I played loud, dry single-note figures against softly played chords blooming with reverb overtones. When I reversed the dynamic expression setting to hard, I played single-note passages softly—generating almost no effect—and built to a crescendo of double stops and chords swimming in a wash of reverberation. Such phrasing is unusual for me. But the Silver Lake pushed me to explore beyond my own creative boundaries.
The Silver Lake is capable of many beautiful sounding reverbs—from familiar to fantastic. But the magic of this pedal lies in its capacity for real-time interaction with a player’s dynamics. In this capacity, the Silver Lake almost becomes a unique instrument—one that, in the hands of a creative musician, could lead to unusual and original sounds.
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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.