We have heard about the ubiquitous nature of reverb many times. No matter where you look, you will find someone who utilizes this effect in their music. But sometimes it is good to ask, what the hell is it about? Reverberation is the effect that is created through the interaction between specific environment and the sound. As we emit different tones, they are spread around in the atmosphere, reflected by the buildings, walls or whatever and reproduced once again. It is reminiscent of echo, but it is not the same thing, especially considering all the types of reverb that exist nowadays. The significance of this effect will be clear if we go back in time and remember just how much trouble musicians went through in order to create it. They basically architected whole concert halls and buildings to incorporate reverb in their rigs. Luckily, today there are easier ways to achieve similar results. And one of the best tools for that is Cathedral Stereo Reverb from Electro-Harmonix. This thing offers so many types of reverb, you might drown in their ambience and character. If you want get your hands such a versatile unit, then you have to read this article till the end. Let’s begin our journey!
If somebody asks you to explain what versatility means, you should take Cathedral Stereo Reverb from Electro-Harmonix and just show it to them, and everything will be clear as a day. You might think that I am exaggerating but I am not. This thing is diverse as hell. It is a digital pedal comprised with high quality A/D and D/A converters. The signal path is built in a way that guarantees low noise operation. This way your beautiful tones will not be littered with unpleasant hum or hiss. Additionally, Cathedral Stereo Reverb has double inputs and outputs, allowing you to route it to two different amplifiers and, thus, create stereo effect. This way your reverb will become even more interesting and spacious. When it comes to the actual sonic features, we have 7 different types of reverb (Grail Spring, Accu Spring, Hall, Room, Plate, Reverse and Grail Flerb) and one echo. This means that you can explore all the flavors of this effect with a single device. Cathedral Stereo Reverb can access mind-blowing territory by allowing you to produce interminable reverb by pressing and holding tap tempo footswitch. To make things even better, this stompbox can record and save 8 presets (one for each mode), giving you even more options to experiment with. And plus, it has amazing build quality and very colorful design, forcing your pedal to scream for attention. Lastly, Cathedral Stereo Reverb can only be powered with US96DC-200BI adapter that comes with the unit. Electro-Harmonix does not recommend utilizing other adapters for safety purposes. Keep in mind that this pedal does not run on batteries, which is not a deal-breaker by any means but it is something you should know before making your final decision.
For the unit with such ample features it is only natural to have replete control panel. And Cathedral Stereo Reverb does actually have quite a few knobs, but they are all explained in depth in the manual (I cannot help but underline just how helpful its manual is with its definitions, sample settings and thorough information). For the sake of giving you an idea of all the tweakable options, I will shortly discuss all the controls and functionalities.
- Blend – alters the amount of dry and wet signals in the mix. It allows you to accentuate either of the two and create fully saturated or subtly altered sounds.
- Reverb Time – modifies the length of the reverb decay (except for Grail Flerb and Echo).
- Damping/Tone – this multi-functional knob has different tasks with each mode. It controls damping in Hall, Room and Plate modes, modifies the color of the tone in Grail Spring, Accu Spring and Reverse modes, acts as a low or high pass filter in Echo mode and changes the resonance in Grail Flerb mode.
- Feedback – changes the amount of echo repetitions.
- Pre-Delay – (in all reverb modes) sets the time between a played note and its reverberation and (in echo mode) modifies the delay time (from 0 to 2 seconds).
- Mode – allows you to scroll through the modes or load and save presets.
- Tap/Infinite – sets the tempo of the delays or triggers infinite mode.
- Bypass – activates or bypasses the pedal.
Before moving on to describing the sound of Electro-Harmonix Cathedral Stereo Reverb I want to emphasize the fact that no matter what I say, my words still will not fully describe the sonic character of this amazing beast. Each mode available on this unit sounds clear, defined and textured. Grail and Accu Spring have similar tonal essence as the originals, but with added fullness and extra oomph. Reverse is ambitious, yet extremely interesting. Hall, Tape and Room are beloved classics with a lot of dimensions. Echo is fantastic as well, allowing you to explore more than just reverb. The controls are meticulous, enabling the player to modify whatever his/her heart wishes to. As you start performing with Cathedral Stereo Reverb, you notice immediately the attention to detail that Electro-Harmonix utilized when creating this wonderful pedal. You can hear and feel the quality as you submerge yourself in the sea of reverberated sounds. This baby is truly out of this world, as its sounds can change your life completely.
Though it is not surprising, Electro-Harmonix once again put together a real beast of a unit. Cathedral Stereo Reverb is an extremely powerful device and deserves the name of the best reverb pedal out there. It is steeped with unique character that turns it into an indispensable tool. If reverb is your go-to-effect, you will have a hard time finding a better option than this one. Its versatility will blow your mind and the sounds will drive you crazy. I know it is expensive, but this pedal proves that money can sometimes buy happiness. Good luck!
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