Quick Hit: GFI Specular Reverb V2 Review

Small but powerful (and deceptively simple-looking), this boutique Indonesian stomp takes some definite detours from modern reverb convention.

In terms of flexibility per square inch, few stompboxes are as ambitious as the deceptively simple-looking Specular Reverb from Indonesian outfit GFI. Specular packs seven 24-bit modes, stereo ins and outs, and eight presets into a box scarcely bigger than an old MXR. Reverb modes include “normal” (a pristine, Strymon-ish response) and six “atmospheric” variations: modulated, shimmer, echo, tremble (tremolo’d reverberations), voices (secondary unison, perfect-fifth, or octave reverberations), and infinity (essentially a footswitch-activated note-hold function).

Four knobs (whose parameters vary by mode) govern each sound, while access to the presets and modes—which are essentially arranged into three banks—is achieved via different tapping methods or different combinations of the two dual-function footswitches.

Specular’s sounds are lush, hi-fi, and can go from subtle to intriguingly out-there—though perhaps not out-there enough for bomb-throwing sonic provocateurs. Even so, for players who yearn for a variety of programmable stereo ’verbs in a menu-less stomp they can cram onto a crowded board, the Specular fills a decidedly unique niche.

Test Gear: Baritone Jazzmaster with Curtis Novak JM-WR pickups, Goodsell Valpreaux 21 w/ Weber Blue Dog and Silver Bell speakers, Jaguar HC50 w/ Weber Gray Wolf.

Clip 1 — Bari JM - WR Middle - Echo Mode, Blend - Max, Reverb Level - 11 O'clock, Echo Time - Max, Echo Regen - 11 O'clock
Clip 2 — Bari JM - WR Middle - Modulated Mode, Blend - Noon, Decay - 1 O'clock, HF Damping - Max, Intensity - Noon
Clip 3 — Bari JM - WR Middle - Normal Mode, Blend - 3 O'clock, Decay - 1 O'clock, HF Damping - 3'oclock, Pre - Delay - 3 O'clock
Clip 4 — Bari JM - WR Middle - Shimmer Mode, Blend - Max, Decay - 1 O'clock, HF Damping - Noon, Intensity - Max
Clip 5 — Bari JM - WR Middle - Tremble Mode, Blend - Max, Decay - 1 Max, Speed - 1 O'clock, Intensity - Max
Clip 6 — Bari JM - WR Neck - Voices Mode, Blend - 1 O'clock, Decay - Noon, HF Damping - Min, Intensity - 11 O'clock

Ratings

Pros:
Impressive variety of studio-quality sounds in a small footprint.

Cons:
Complicated operation. Sounds may be too niche-y for some. No expression-pedal control. Expensive.

Street:
$329

GFI Specular Reverb V2
godlyke.com

Tones:

Ease of Use:

Build/Design:

Value:

Johnny Marr’s latest LP spans influences from New Order to the Staple Singers while staying rooted in his clockwork timing and copious talents as arranger and melodicist.

When the great Ronnie Spector of the Ronettes passed away earlier this year, I thought a lot about Johnny Marr. Marr was moved deeply by the girl groups of the ’60s—their positivity, energy, and the convergence of ecstasy and melancholy in the music. He was even fired up by the audaciousness of their style: The impressive beehive hairdo worn by Spector’s bandmate Estelle Bennett famously inspired the jet-black pile Marr wore at the height of Smiths fame.

Read MoreShow less

See a sampling of picks used by famous guitarists over the years.

Marty Stuart

Submit your own artist pick collections to rebecca@premierguitar.com for inclusion in a future gallery.

How does a legacy artist stay on top of his game? The pianist, hit singer-songwriter, producer, and composer talks about the importance of musical growth and positive affirmation; his love for angular melodicism; playing jazz, pop, classical, bluegrass, jam, and soundtrack music; and collaborating with his favorite guitarists, including Pat Metheny and Jerry Garcia.

Read MoreShow less
x