I had agonised for the longest time about shelling out for a Strymon. I'm not a professional musician, and playing is little more than a hobby for me. I'd only seen them on YouTube demonstrations, and so I was even more dubious about the spend having not had the opportunity to test the pedal myself.
Initially, I was buying this for the fantastic Shimmer Plate reverb. If you've not heard it, it's a fantastic swelling, room-filling organ-esque effect that melts your ears. If you have heard it, you're probably in love with it. And believe me, it sounds just as good when you manipulate it for yourself.
I was never much of a reverb user - my amp has a basic reverb built-in, and that suited what I needed. I did not have a reverb pedal and I felt that I did not need one. The lure was in the Shimmer Plate reverb. The biggest conflict I faced was: 'Can I justify spending so much on a pedal I only really want one sound from?'
Well, I did it. It had been on my mind for so many months, I had to buy it. As I've said, the Shimmer Plate sound lives up to its expectations. But now that I'd bought a reverb pedal, I decided I had to learn to implement reverb effectively to justify buying such a pedal. I can honestly say I've already learnt so much from this pedal about the different kinds of reverb. This pedal can really do it all. A brilliant selection of core settings (Normal, Modulation and Shimmer) and core variables (Plate, Room and Spring) to start you off, as well as the five adjustable knobs mean you'll be able to tinker around with different sounds and find many new ideas along the way.
I would definitely recommend keeping a pen and paper handy to make a record of all your settings, as, while this pedal does throw out so many useful sounds, you can easily forget where you found what. The pedal offers a favourite mode, meaning you can quickly save at least one sound you like and have it as a go-to. I don't know if you can favourite more than one sound, but that would be a really helpful feature to allow for quick select.
One of my favourite features of this (that is not everyone's cup of tea and thus, is not defaulted) is that by holding down the bypass switch as you supply the pedal with power and it switches to an analog bypass, meaning you reverb trails off as you disengage the effect, rather than an abrupt cut out.