UA's DEL-VERB Ambience Companion (demo/review)

Apr 25, 2017
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The Del-Verb is impressive. It houses a Tape EP-III, a Deluxe Memory Man, UA’s own Precision delay, a 1965 Spring reverb, an EMT Plate reverb, and a Lexicon Hall reverb. Both delay and reverb have their own independent sides of the pedal, with stereo ins-and-outs for that true ambient environment. I am addressing the details in brief, but there are plenty of sound samples on the accompanying video, which explains things far better.

The Reverb is very simple to operate, and you do not have to worry about decay or other elements – everything is tied into one knob, so that the more you turn it up, the more noticeable the depth and length. This produces a very natural-sounding reverb with plenty of vigor for ambient music.

The delay side is more complex. There is a ‘Color’ knob, which affects the strength of the delayed signal (from a very light bounce to ping-pong balls exploring inside your ears). The Time knob does just that, and how many milliseconds is relative to the delay (up to 1500ms with the Precision delay). The feedback provides repeats, and with an emphasis beginning at the 3-o’clock position: EP-III self-oscillates with tape noise; DMM self-oscillates with a swelling or blossoming feedback; and the Precision delay simply self-oscillates without any volume change or distortion, etc. The Modulation knob adds flanger, chorus, vibrato, or ‘tape quality’ (depending on the delay chosen).

Sound-wise, this is an impressive piece of gear, and both reverb and delay sound incredibly clear, yet natural to the ears, blending as well as could be (although each operate independently). The clarity is so impressive, that I have seen forum comments that the Del-Verb is too ‘bright,’ which I do not think is the case. If you have a bright-sounding guitar tone, then the reverbs and delays act accordingly, and the same with a dark guitar tone. Maybe a tone knob would have been a good inclusion for some players, but I’m content.

Perhaps the other drawback is that you must shut off the Reverb in order to use the Tap Tempo function. This can be done quickly, but it may annoy some players who need faster switching. For ambient-style music, this is not as important – typically delay and reverb are added to taste and relative to how each aspect (Color, Modulation, Repeats, Mix) sounds within a composition. At least that is how I utilize the Del-Verb.

For the price, the Del-Verb sounds incredible and I am hooked. This may be considered a pricey pedal, but if you look at the incredible vintage gear that was emulated, and how you can tailor the sound of each quickly and easily, there is a lot for the money. I have not tried delays/reverbs from a few companies, including Strymon, but I have Moore’s Ocean Machine, as well as Eventide’s H90 and a Fractal FM3, the latter of which are known for their effects and especially delay and reverb. All three pieces of gear sound great, and I have no complaints, but the clarity and quality of the Del-Verb makes this pedal stands out in the mix far better – less digital sounding.

UA’s Del-Verb requires a 400mA power supply, has Bluetooth pairing/functioning, and a USB-C port (cable not included) for firmware updates. Best of all, the Del-Verb comes with an app that includes several professional presets, besides being able to save your own presets.

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