Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Mighty Verb

Yes yes I know it's been a while since the AWC has been in any kind of action. First let me apologize to both our loyal readers and the awesome gear companies that have kept us afloat. Your patience and contributions have been nothing short of highly appreciated. Let me say this, it was worth the wait! For all you gear addicted tone hunting fiends - do we have some off-the-wall knock your socks off pieces of gear to share with you. We'll be bringing you reads from both familiar and brand spankin' new companies, we've hunted down a handful of great bands to turn you guys onto, and have some new features that will give you guys even more insight into our world of lovely'n'strange musical gear. There is a lot of catching up to do so let's get to it shall we?

We start our comeback with a sexy little number from our good friends at MOD Kits DIY (formally known as Mod Amp Kits). For those of you unfamiliar with the MOD collection they make some of the most fantastic sounding and easy to build DIY kits out there. MOD's pieces are the perfect introduction into the pedal building world for those of you looking to get your hands dirty. These pedals come stacked with quality parts and components, come with straight forward easy to follow building maps, and best of all are all reasonably priced. A perfect way to add some quality kickass sounding gear to any respectable tone arsenal.

 The Verb
Reverb Pedal Kit

  • Based on Belton Digi-Log module.
  • Adds quality reverb to any guitar rig.
  • Enclosure is 1.35 in height, 3.70 in width, 4.70 in length
  • Recommend 9-volt adapter for use with this pedal

The Verb pedal kit comes stacked with everything you'll need to build a killer sounding digital reverb pedal. Once assembled you'll find it kicks out plenty of mojo and warmth, and lots of clean cut definition. The Verb sounds and works great with loads of different stompboxes, guitars, pickups, and amplifiers.This is the perfect build for those newbie DIY rookies looking to up their chops. Just bring to the table a little soldering experience and a bit of patience - and you'll have yourself a rockin' good reverb box that'll be capable of plenty rockin' good tones. Mod provides really easy to read/follow directions (and this goes for every one of their kits) making the Verb's build go by smoothly and without flaws. I was able to knock this build out and have the pedal singing sweet reverb in about an hour.

The first obvious test was to run the Verb pedal solo, through a nice clean amp tone with no other effects/pedals in the chain, to help me see just where this puppy was gonna be capable of taking me. The first amp candidate was my modified Hot Rod Deville. I set the amp's controls straight up the middle, killed the amp's reverb, and plugged into the 2nd input for a hotter beefier signal. For a guitar I pulled out the neck bucker Telecaster with the coil splitting switch and Broadcaster style bridge pickup. I started in the neck pickup position with the humbucker split, picking out a bunch of big open voiced chords. With the pedal bypassed the tone had plenty of sparkle, tight lows, and focused mids. I wanted to compare the tone's weight with both the pedal on and off. Many reverb pedals kill the meat of one's tone, making everything sound hollow and overly flat. Then I clicked on the Verb pedal and to my wonderful surprise found all of my amp's sweet sweet tone still singing with plenty of juice. In fact, the Verb gave my highs more sparkle, my mids more ooohmf, and my lows more snap. This was especially true when I split the buckers coil or switched to the single bridge pickup. In it's low to medium reverb settings the Verb worked great for just a handful of situations or musical styles. The single output/amount knob made it all super duper easy. Before I go on I must say I think it is a great idea to have a reverb pedal with just one control that handles both the output and amount. This makes for no sitting and debating whether you've got the right sound or not. Just plug in and go! I began with some subtle bluesy guitar licks and had the Verb help maintain and hold my notes out in the air just a little bit longer. I noticed no ghostly reverb effects and no loss in the tone's character. Smacking down on some big beefy chords also sounded insanely good, especially when adding in a hint of overdrive. I was able to accent all of my pickings character and style. When chugging away at my axe I could really feel and hear the pedal really do it's magic. It sounded warm and smooth, instead of harsh or too square waved. I then added in a bit more reverb setting the pedal at about 50%. Here I got even more sweet ambiances and accents. Me personally I like extreme reverb thing when messing around with different pedals and effects. The Verb pedal let me get the reverb signal just where I wanted it and never threw my overall tone down the drain. One favorite trick of mine is to take a great sounding reverb pedal and mix it with a big nasty fuzz box. This is how I get lots of my psychedelic fuzz tones. If you've ever heard the band The Black Angels you can get an idea of what type of sound I'm talking about. At full blast the Verb pedal dipped into these frequencies with ease and flawless control. I was able to hold my notes as if playing through compression. Which brings me to another favorite effect of mine - reverb, fuzz, and comp. The Verb pedal worked great with a handful of comp pedals and fuzz boxes I ran it with, and even helped me get some tones I'd had trouble achieving. This quickly made this an all time favorite reverb pedal of mine.What made this such an easy pedal to dial is again it's one knob system. Once I was satisfied with the tones I got from my suped up Deville it was time to plug into something a bit more powerful and classic. Here is where the Super Lead came into play. This amp was the perfect mate for pairing this pedal against. The huge Marshal tone and Les Paul that I played the Verb with all worked splendidly together as if they were made for each other. I first dialed in a natural sounding room reverb effect by cranking in the pedal's knob to about 3-5%. This gave my tone an organic room reverb sound that gave my playing a bit more room and space. I then dial in a big'n'dirty lead tone by pushing the amp's tubes and rolling in like 30% of the Verb's effect. For a digital pedal this little box really did dish out plenty of warmth! Adding in more and more reverb as I played along I began stepping into awesome sounding spring reverb tones. This gave those quick licks and riffs some very very tasty effects. No matter if I played the amp soft or hot, the Verb was able to deliver with spot-on efficiency. Last I used the pedal through one of my amp's effect loops. Here the pedal once again worked beautifully. For those of you tone conscience freaks this is a perfect option. I've played through some very expensive effects processors and much more complex reverb pedals. The Verb was able to respectfully hold it's own with flying colors. In the end I was able to use this pedal in just about every way I wanted. Use it with great amps and guitars, pickups and pedals, and many different musical styles. With the Verb you get great sounding reverb throughout it's entire sweep, giving you quick and simple settings, whether gigging, recording, or practicing. It makes for a sweet go-to reverb box....... and all with simple control. 

For more info on this pedal and the rest of MOD's gear collection go to Make sure to stay tuned for more features from our good friends at MOD, and make sure to use our Youtube search engine at the bottom of our site to see some of these pedal in action. Stay tuned for more folks!

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