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NPD: Mr. Black Universal Reverberator

Posted: Mon Nov 18, 2019 4:46 pm
by Beltone
Just got my first mini pedal in the mail today. Gives me exactly what I was looking for, a plate reverb that can reach some trippy, atmospheric places without getting too crazy. Kind of picks up where my Surf Rider III (spring reverb +) leaves off and covers all my reverb needs with two pedals. Multi reverbs like the Blue Sky and Oceans 11 aren't for me because they have options I wouldn't use. Looking forward to exploring with this one.

Almost forgot, my one wish is that the dial indicator was a different colour from the dial. Hard to see. Will probably use some white crayon or white out to fill the groove and make it stand out.

Re: NPD: Mr. Black Universal Reverberator

Posted: Mon Nov 18, 2019 9:06 pm
by marqueemoon
Very cool. Is it convincingly plate-like at conservative settings?

Re: NPD: Mr. Black Universal Reverberator

Posted: Tue Nov 19, 2019 4:07 am
by Beltone
marqueemoon wrote:
Mon Nov 18, 2019 9:06 pm
Very cool. Is it convincingly plate-like at conservative settings?
With the caveat that most of my knowledge of reverb pedals comes from countless hours of watching YouTube videos, I would say yes. With the tone and decay dialled down to zero I gradually increased the wet/dry and it was responding with subtle reverb sounds that I associate with plate. I won't be able to play around with it more until tomorrow, but it sounded convincing to me on a first run before I got carried away with some of its more atmospheric settings. The one thing I'll say is that the few videos that are online for it right now prepared me well for what I was getting. They're a good indicator.

Re: NPD: Mr. Black Universal Reverberator

Posted: Sun Nov 24, 2019 7:05 am
by Beltone
I've had a few more days to spend with the pedal and can provide a more complete picture of it now.

Test 1: I turned Tone and Decay down to 0 and gradually increased the Wet/Dry from 0-10. At 0 the signal is completely clean. As I turned it up from 1-9 it responded by gradually becoming more metallic, and when I say metallic I mean sounding like a real metal plate is in the box.

Test 2: I set the Tone at 5/10 (or noon if you prefer), then set the Wet/Dry at 3, then 6 then 9 while matching it with the Decay at 3, 6, and 9. These nine combinations yielded 9 distinct flavours from subtle reverbs to sustained plates to various shimmer swells.

Test 3: I tried an all noon setting and compared it to two video suggestions for traditional plates and they all sounded convincing. The common theme to all of them is that neither the Tone or Decay go past noon, and they can both be pulled back a bit depending upon how much plate you want in the background.

Test 4: Dimed. This gets very interesting. Going from 9 to 10 with either the Tone or Decay really warps the sound, but in a good way. The all wet sounds like someone put a giant suction cup on the plate and inverted the sound. Full decay leads to a long shimmer, so even though there is no latch button, if you just keep playing with minimal inputs you can create a pad to play over. Dime both and you're in another world.

Test 5: Different guitars. Using the pedal with my Player Jaguar yields very different shades than when I use my P90 equipped Godin Summit. With the pedal dimed playing the Jag I was creeping people out, saying it sounded like a haunted house or an alien spaceship (with slide added). Dimed with P90s it sounds more dream-like and peaceful. I really appreciate how the pedal responds to different pickups and combinations of them.

Overall, the Wet/Dry and Decay are pretty linear from 0-9, with 10 being like the bonus setting. The Tone dial itself is subtle, with the pedal maker describing it as a treble roll off. I find this really comes in handy with the Jag to control the trebly highs. When I want to get mellow turning it to zero makes a small , but noticeable difference.

So, for $100US this pedal accomplishes a lot. It might not have as many settings as a Walrus Slo but it delivers many options for less coin.