The first time I encountered reverb as an audio effect was back in high school. That was the time when I was still exploring my musical taste, was not quite sure what I liked and basically listened to everything my friends suggested. I could go from pop to rock within an hour and not even care. Of course, I had always known what Pink Floyd was, I had listened to their fans appraising their songs, but I had never actually set down to listen to them. One day there was this event dedicated to this legendary band and my friends convinced me to go. And I am so happy that I did. It took place in a huge hall which filled with even more space with each note. Suddenly I drowned in vertiginous sounds and could not find the way out. That night had such an impact on me that I went to the local music store and bought a reverb pedal right away (after thorough research with a sole purpose of learning to play their music). Me and this effect, we have been inseparable till this day. Since there are numerous options to choose from, I will narrow down your choices and introduce to you Electro-Harmonix Holy Grail Nano. Let’s see what it can do!
One of the reasons why I decided to dedicate a whole article to Electro-Harmonix Holy Grail Nano is that it is very simple in its essence. It is equipped with the most essential features only, turning the whole journey into enjoyable process. This bad boy is based on the original Holy Grail, meaning that it is comprised with the same circuitry. However, it is in the Nano form i.e. it has smaller footprint and pedalboard-friendly size. Though this is not too important, it might be quite significant for those who have hardly any space left in their rigs. What is more, Holy Grail Nano is equipped with True Bypass circuitry that is the main determinant for tonal integrity. It offers three different types of reverb that diversify your possibilities. You have the option to choose from Spring, Hall and Flerb reverbs or utilize all of them in various scenarios. That is completely up to you, but one thing is clear – you will not be disappointed. This baby comes in a rugged enclosure that has the same vibes as other products from the brand. This means that its design is minimalistic, with toned-down colors and graphics. One of the flaws here is that Holy Grail Nano cannot be powered with batteries. You have to utilize the adapter that is included in the package, otherwise the unit might not perform as well as expected. As you can see, this fella is not steeped with multi-faceted features, but rather takes a simpler approach and delivers all the essentials. And in my personal opinion, this attitude works perfectly. After all, we all need something that makes our life easier, not the opposite, am I right?
By now you already know that the features of Holy Grail Nano are rather simple to navigate through. But the question is whether the control section follows the same pattern. I am not going to beat around the bush and I will tell you right away: understanding the whole thing is as easy as falling off a log. And once you scan through the pedal, you will know that I am not exaggerating. Some of you might feel like it lacks control, but for me, it is enough. I will go through all the switches we have here so that you know if you like the available options or not.
The surface of Holy Grail Nano sports two main controls. The big knob on the side is Reverb. It acts as a Mix or Blend knob and modifies the ratio of your dry and wet signals. As you turn it clockwise up until 12 o’clock position, you here a very subtle effect. But as you go further and exceed this setting, your reverb becomes more and more dramatic. Moving on to the next control, there is a toggle which shifts between three different modes: Spring, Hall and Flerb. Of course, it does have a footswitch that disengages or activates the pedal. This trio is the only thing you will have to deal with.
It is usually quite hard to judge the sound of musical devices. This part is the most subjective one of all, since our desires and sonic wishes are so different from one another. Something that works with my gear and my taste might not be the best thing for you and that is totally fine. The main thing is to understand these differences and always keep an open mind. With that being said, Electro-Harmonix Holy Grail Nano has an amazing sound. It is not the most versatile reverb in the world, but it is diverse enough for most applications. Spring mode has more than enough dimension and is slightly different from what we are used to. Hall feels you up with that sweet expansive sound, while Flerb is completely crazy and unusual. It is basically a combination of reverb and flanger, but I do not think that such characterization fully explains its essence. This particular mode will provide you with some interesting options to work with. Well, not all of you will use it on a daily basis, but sometimes we all have that experimental mood where we can make anything work.
At the end of the day, what truly matters is how you utilize the possibilities you have. Electro-Harmonix Holy Grail Nano gives you numerous opportunities that will open up versatile doors of reverb. Though it is not steeped with diversity, it is still enough for our everyday needs. I believe that this baby will serve you for a long time and it will serve you well. It is a useful pedal without any nonsensical stuff complicating the whole thing. What else could we want from such a small unit? Good luck!
Click here to view more from 10 Best Reverb Pedals.