VanAmps'' Reverbamate spring reverb units channel vintage Fender reverb
There is, however, a difference in how the reverberated signal is handled in the two units. In the ASR-1, the reverb signal is routed to a 1/4" output jack on the rear panel, where it sits next to another jack that outputs the dry signal. The Sole-Mate, on the other hand, mixes the reverb signal with the dry signal at the same output jack, a more commonly used routing, as found in the venerable Fender reverb tanks. Both VanAmp units use the same model 8" Accutronics spring unit, which is hard-mounted to the aluminum chassis. Both units also run off a12V AC wall wart, but the ASR-1 also has two internal 9V DC batteries that can be used for power. Both chassis are covered with either a Tweed fabric or brown, cream or black Tolex, in addition to a host of custom colors.
Other identical features are two footswitches on the top of the chassis: one for switching the reverb on and off (doesn’t affect the dry signal) and one labeled “Aux”, which allows a cable to run from the footswitch jack of a built-in effect or an amp channel switch to the aux input jack, which allows centralized control of both parameters.
The ASR-1 is not useable with amps with a single input jack, and efforts to Y-cord the outputs together creates a dangerous feedback loop. It is, however, useable with one channel amps that have two inputs by using the output control to bring the reverb signal up to desired level in the mix. The Sole-Mate was created for those amps with a single input jack. Another difference between the two units is that the Sole-Mate has a reverb status light and a power light, while the ASR-1 does not.
I tried out the Sole-Mate first and found it to be very sweet sounding. The delay was of medium duration and the tail had that full, sustained sound that seems to be the hallmark of the great spring units. I thought the tails sounded especially good in the higher ranges, a place where some reverbs sound a bit harsh. I also found the overall sound a bit on the dark side, which wasn’t bad, but I found myself wishing for a bit more tone control—not a biggie, though.
The dwell control took us from a shadow of reverb to full-out cavernous thunder. Fender has the surf sound locked down, partially because of the behavior of the longer springs mechanically, and partly because of the longer delay, so it was difficult to get what I considered an authentic surf tone. Nonetheless, the Sole-Mate is definitely a first-rate spring tone for everything else, and VanAmps informs us that there is a long decay spring tank available on special order that will bring the performance solidly into the surf realm.
The ASR-1 solved the tone problem by its split output. Using a two-channel amp, I could adjust reverb tone to taste using the EQ of the dedicated reverb channel. The unit itself seemed to have higher output than the Sole-Mate, and it had a bit of a tendency to feedback and overdrive the amp at ridiculously high settings. It was, however, nice to be able to place a distortion device on the clean output and not have to deal with the questionable sonic qualities of a distorted reverb. What was really cool was using a separate amp for the reverb signal and putting some space between the two amps, which yielded reverbzilla in stereo.
The obvious comparison question is VanAmps vs. Fender. For my money, I’m taking the Van. It fits in my gig bag and has all the sweet reverb I need. If you’re a surfer dude, get the Fender and plug her into your dual Showman with JBL’s. The Reverbmates’ shortcomings were few, but included the lack of a tone control on the Sole-Mate, and no lights on the ASR-1. Both Van units “boinged” when hit or dropped, but nowhere near as bad as the Fender units. Don’t plan on doing a lot of stomping, and, in fact, place the unit where it will be safe from trauma and vibration. More soul and less sole.
you want to add great-sounding reverb to your non-reverb amp.
you don’t use, or already have, good reverb sounds; or if you play surf music.
Street $285 - VanAmps LLC - vanamps.com
Looking for more great gear for the guitar player in your life (yourself included!)? Check out this year's Holiday Gear Finds!
D'Addario XPND Pedalboard
DR-05X Stereo Handheld Recorder
Wampler Pedals Ratsbane
Flare is a dual-function pedal with a tube-like booster and a 1970s-style ring modulator effect that can be played separately or together.
Flare’s ring modulator is based on the iconic tone of the original Dan Armstrong Green Ringer. This vintage classic was made famous by Frank Zappa who loved the unusual modulations created by generating a harmonic octave over notes. Messiah’s version offers two control knobs: a “Sparkle” tone attenuator and output Level control. Its taupe-gold body, purple and green knobs and stick-figure rock ’n’ roller holding up a flame convey an appropriately rockin’70s vibe.
In a unique twist, Messiah’s Flare pairs the ringer with a warm tube-style boost instead of a fuzz. Flare feeds the booster into the ringer for an extra punch, while preserving the Green Ringerspirit. The ringer side also turns any fuzz into an octafuzz, and it has the ability to quiet signal background noise fed through it.
The booster side features a single Boost knob to control the MOSFET circuit, making it very tube-amp-friendly with a warm, organic boost and gain of up to 32dB.
The pedal is a distinct improvement over the 1970s pedal that inspired it. “Most ringer pedals don’t track well,” Tom Hejda, owner of Messiah Guitars. “The player can’t rely on repeating the same effect even with the most consistently played notes. We carefully matched the components, so our ringer follows your every move, producing that slightly dirty octave you expect on demand.”
Messiah developed this vintage octave pedal with flexible features so that people who love that messy, dirty Zappa-esque sound can get there with ease but there’s also something for those who have not fallen in love with fuzz or the Green Ringer alone. Flare offers an array of sonic options while retaining simplicity in the controls.
Each Flair Pedal Includes:
- 3 control knobs: Boost, Sparkle, and Level
- Two effects – Ring Modulator and Boost – can be used together or separately
- Space-saving top side jacks
- Durable, cast aluminum alloy 125B enclosure with fun artwork
- Easy to see, illuminated True-bypass foot switch
- Standard 9V pedal power input
Flare Pedal Demo
Messiah Guitars pedals are designed with an explorative player in mind. Like their custom guitars and amplifiers, Messiah’s pedals are hand-crafted in Los Angeles for a long life with guaranteed quality.
Flare retails for $199.00 and can be purchased directly at Messiah Guitars or you can hear it in person at Impulse Music Co. in Canyon Country, CA.
For more information, please visit messiahguitars.com.
This feathery little guy is a joy to play because of its incredibly quick response to your right hand - much faster and more expressive than your typical auto-wah pedal.
If it looks like a duck, acts like a duck, and QUACKS like a duck, then it must be a duck. That's how we came up with the name for our new envelope filter. This feathery little guy is a joy to play because of its incredibly quick response to your right hand - much faster and more expressive than your typical auto-wah pedal. Trevor explains how this is possible in the launch video, as well as gives a demo on Le Canard’s operation.
The attack control determines how quickly the filter responds to the envelope, and the decay sets how quickly the filter releases afterward. The range controls which frequency spectrum the filter does its magic on. Add to this relay-based full-bypass switching with failsafe, and you've got one crazy little quacky beast. It is so expressive that you'll want to give up on your rocker-wah forever.
The MayFly Le Canard envelope filter features:
- Super fast responding envelope follower. Touch it and it jumps!
- Range control to dial in the character of the filter
- Attack control to control how fast the filter moves on that first touch
- Release control to control how slowly the filter slides back to baseline
- Full bypass using relays with Fail SafeTM (automatically switches to bypass if the pedal loses power)
- Cast aluminum enclosure with groovy artwork
- MSRP $149 USD ($199 CAD)
Introducing the MayFly Le Canard Envelope Filter
All MayFly pedals are hand-made in Canada.
For more information, please visit mayflyaudio.com.
Outlaw Effects introduces their next generation of NOMAD rechargeable battery-powered pedal boards.
Available in two sizes, NOMAD ISO is a compact, versatile tool that offers the convenience of a fully powered board plus the additional freedom of not having to plug into an outlet. NOMAD ISO is ideal for stages with limited outlet availability, quick changeovers, busking outdoors, temporary rehearsal locations, and more.
NOMAD ISO builds upon the legacy of the ultra-convenient and reliable NOMAD rechargeable pedalboard line originally launched in 2018. The brand new NOMAD ISO editions feature eight isolated outputs (1 x 9V DC, and 1 switchable 9V/12V DC) for even more versatility and clean, quiet power. With an integrated lithium-ion battery pack boasting 12800mAh capacity, NOMAD ISO can fuel a wide array of pedals, and will last over 10 hours* on a single charge.
Each NOMAD ISO pedal board includes adhesive hook & loop pedal-mounting tape, eight (8) standard DC connector cables, and one (1) reverse polarity DC cable, giving you everything you need to build your ultimate "off-the-grid" rig. A rugged, road-ready padded gig bag with shoulder strap is also included, to safely protect your gear while you're on the move.
NOMAD ISO S
NOMAD ISO S: MSRP $309 / MAP: $249
Dimensions: 19 ¼" x 5 ¼"
NOMAD ISO M
NOMAD ISO M: MSRP $349 / MAP $279
Dimensions: 19 ¼" x 11"
More info: https://www.outlawguitareffects.com.