We’ve long been fans of Electro-Harmonix’s cool reissue pedals. With their inspired looks, feel, and construction, E-H has never steered us wrong.
But recently, they threw us a curveball with their new digital Holy Grail Reverb pedal. Featuring all the goods we’ve come to expect from E-H (plywood storage box, brushed steel case with silkscreening, vintage-style footswitch, and case-mounted jacks and controls), the Grail is cleverly disguised as an analog unit.
The Grail’s controls are sparse and include a “Reverb” knob for wet/dry mix, a three-position slide switch for selecting reverb algorithms (spring/hall/flerb), and an on/off switch.
The first setting we tried was the “spring” algorithm, and we were immediately impressed with its warm, authentic sound. With the mix at about 30 percent, it gave a clear, ambient sound that was still dark and mellow enough that it didn’t have the ubiquitous, sterile digital tone. At 80 percent, it drenched us in that ultra-wet, puddling surf sound (makes you almost want to give it a shake to see if there aren’t really springs in it!).
The “hall” setting also proved impressive, with its clear, tight, controlled reflections. As we turned the Reverb knob clockwise, it seemed to move us further and further away, without losing definition – a great effect for acoustic instruments.
Finally, the “Flerb” algorithm offered a mix of flange and reverb. We weren’t quite sure what to make of this, but it’s unique, and certainly has some possibilities.
Overall, the Holy Grail is one of the best reverb pedals we’ve tred. And it’s bargain-priced compared to most others, which don’t give nearly the same authentic spring reverb sound.
If your dull, reverb-less amp is in need of some springy saturation, the Holy Grail just might be the dousing it needs.
Electro-Harmonix Holy Grail pedal
Type of Pedal: Digital reverb.
Features: Made in the U.S., authentic spring reverb sounds, plywood storage box, power supply included.
Contact: Electro-Harmonix, 32-33 47th Ave., Long Island City, NY 11011, 800-633-5477, www.ehx.com.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s June ’02 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.