Monday, November 2, 2009

The Sweet Sound of Verb

I like reverb, you like reverb, we all like reverb! It is amazing what a little bit of verb will do for your sound. It's like the secret ingredient in a special sauce. Only luckily for us reverb is no secret, most times you can find it in just about any amplifier out there. So what do you do when your amp doesn't have reverb though? Hmmm, let's see. Well there are many many pedals out there that will do the job and do it well. T-Rex is known for producing some of the best sounding pedals the gear scene has had the pleasure of playing. The T-Rex line consists of everything from boosters, overdrivers, distortion boxes, compressors, modulation pedals, delays, power supplies, switchers, and of course reverb pedals. In fact they are responsible for one of the best reverb pedals to ever hit the streets, the Room-Mate tube based reverb pedal. Just recently T-Rex added another verb pedal to their line, it is part of their Tonebug Series. The Tonebug Reverb pedal. A simple yet effective reverb pedal with a huge sound and sweet surf mojo.

T-Rex Tonebug

Talk about retro cool style, man oh man that is one sweet looking pedal. The first pics I saw of these pedals had me drooling for them, something about their look just said "The James Dean of guitar pedals". A few months back T-Rex unleashed these little sweeties, which are now known as their Tonebug Series. A collection of simple, no frills, great sounding pedals. The pedals are meant to work with anyone making it easy to get the sound you want. When I discovered that there was to be a reverb pedal in the line I was stoked! An affordable, killer sounding reverb pedal with a hip new look?! You can't beat that. You guys don't know how many times I have walked into a shop looking for a reverb pedal only to shortly after walk out disappointed. Reverb is a tricky effect, it is one of the few effects that can work great at both mellow and extreme settings. If you don't design this pedal the right way though your tone will suffer and suffer madly. The Tonebug Reverb's layout is not complicated and is very easy to work. The controls go like so, the Decay knob controls the amount of tail or whisper I like to call it. The Decay control works great for when you have to match it to a new surrounding, club, studio, room, etc... The Depth knob controls the amount of effect you want from the pedal. With this knob you can pull out an endless collection of reverb tones from the Tonebug reverb. The Modern/Spring toggle switch let's you pick the flavor or style of verb you want from the pedal. If your thing is a sharp clear verb set it to Modern. If you like a more classic vintage style verb set it to Spring. Last is it's on/off switch. Simple enough with a sound you can stand up against any spring reverb unit. The pedal is very easy to dial in and works great for bringing any dull, flat sound to life. This pedal made possible to get the sound I wanted at the snap of my fingers, it has never been so easy to get a great usable reverb sound. A little verb goes a long way like they always say. This pedal not only works great to liven up your sound but is small and sleek enough to save on some much needed pedalboard space. I actually tried this pedal through my amp's effects loop and it sounded great. So if you're really desperate for some pedal space you can always do that. What makes this pedal such a hit and so hit is it's two modes, the Modern/Spring toggle switch. These two modes combined with the the pedal's two knobs can deliver an army of different verb tones. From extreme hall settings to subtle room tones. In the Modern mode the reverb becomes more defined and in your face, great for space rock and abstract sound effects. You can also get some mellow verb sounds in the Modern mode by laying off on the Decay and Depth knob. There is a sound I discovered while recording a sessions a few years ago, I call it the Screaming Banshee tone. It is a combination of some off-the-wall compression, a nice chunky fuzz, and a crisp bright reverb. I was able to attain this sound with the Tonebug Reverb, and was amazed just how spot-on I was able to dial it in. The fun doesn't end there, there are a handful of cool things you can do with a modern style reverb. Add in one part long delay with short repeat, a bit of modulation (vibe or chorus will do fine), and some extreme decay on the reverb. The end result is a really cool haunting echo perfect for picking out chords of all sorts. If your thing is more on the vintage vibe side of things the Tonebug Reverb can also meet your needs. Here is I believe T-Rex really outdid themselves with this pedal. The quality of the verb in this little pedal's Spring setting is out of this world! I sat and ran a few amps with reverb, then compared it to the pedal. When I blind tested the amp's reverb and pedal for my partner they could not tell the difference. Strap on a Strat, Jaguar, or Jazzmaster and you're on surfside heaven baby all the way! The Spring mode produces a warm yet clean defined reverb that sounds great at both high and subtle settings. If you're missing a bit of swing in your tone this set the pedal to just shy on nine'o'clock on both knobs and you got yourself a little fresh jive in your sound. Once my main overdrive tone is dialed in I like to the set the sound of my reverb, roll it back all the way off, and slowly turn it up until I get that just barely there sound. This is one way to be careful when playing reverb pedals in clubs, all clubs have some sort of natural delay and reverb in their rooms. Dial in too much verb from your pedal and your sound is ghost my friend. Having that decay knob on the Tonebug Reverb really comes in handy at times like these. I have been playing guitar for a long long time and to have access to a reverb pedal like this that makes it so simple to use is a huge plus. The music playing world has been waiting for a simple and effective reverb unit like this. Beginners and seasoned cats alike will dig this pedal. Whether you're looking for a slight verb or all out spooky sound, this pedal will deliver and do it with style.

For more info on T-Rex Engineering products go to You can also click the T-rex logo in our links for direct access their website. We are proud to be a supporter of T-Rex's awesome products and we'll continue bringing more as long as they keep producing it. Let's hope it never ends. Can I get an Amen!!!?

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