Today we’re having an old fashion analog vs digital pedal shootout. This time in the crosshairs... SPRING REVERB! In particular, we’ll be looking at the new EF-P2 pedal by Echo Fix. Will analog reign supreme? Or does digital have a few new tricks up its sleeve? Let’s find out!
Echo Fix EF-P2: https://tinyurl.com/2p92j293
J. Rockett Uni-Verb: https://amzn.to/40HYOFt
J. Rockett Juice Bar: https://tinyurl.com/z699vnr7
Keeley Omni Reverb: https://tinyurl.com/r6k8rr62
EHX Ocean's 11: https://amzn.to/47bOsjw
Howdy friend, you're here in the studio with Luke from GuitarIQ.com. In today's video, we're going to be checking out the brand new EF-P2 spring reverb pedal by the creative folks over at Echo Fix. Now, this is a genuine, 100% analog spring reverb unit. And the keen-eyed among you will notice I've got some other reverb pedals here on the pedalboard. So in today's video, we’re going to be checking out a good old-fashioned digital vs analog spring reverb shootout. But before we get into any of that, let's take a listen to this thing in action. The signal chain for today is my GTRS P800 guitar going into the pedalboard. And from there we're going to be hitting the front end of the clean channel on my Series One 50w tube head. All that together, with a decent helping of luscious spring reverb, sounds a little like this:
Okay, so there you have the beautiful sounds of genuine spring reverb. What’s truly impressive about this unit, for me, isn't the fact that it's a spring reverb. Spring reverb has been around since pretty much the dawn of time. It’s not even the fact that it's a genuine spring reverb put into a pedal format. There’s not a heap of them around but there are some good quality options out there to choose from. It's the fact that they've been able to fit a spring reverb that sounds like this into a pedal that is this compact. If we compare this to the Uni-Verb pedal I have over here, this is what I would consider a pretty standard size for a two or three button footswitch type of pedal design. In comparison, the Echo Fix unit really isn't that much bigger. Which is hugely impressive in my opinion.
But of course none of that really matters if this thing doesn't sound any good. So, as I mentioned, in today's video, we’re going to shoot this out against a bunch of other spring reverb pedals—just to see what we can learn. Now, here I have three very different digital reverb pedals, from different manufacturers, all available at different price points. So hopefully this should make for a pretty interesting comparison. First up, I have the Oceans 11 pedal by Electro Harmonix. Then, I have the Uni-Verb pedal by J. Rockett Audio Designs. And finally, there's the Omni Reverb by Keeley Electronics. All of this is being powered by the J. Rockett Juice Bar system. So if you're interested in a super compact, ultra versatile pedalboard powering solution, you may be interested to check out my previous video on that unit.
Now, I’m not going to be overly scientific about this shootout. I've just dialed in a sound I really like with the Echo Fix unit. I’ve made sure to include plenty of reverb so you can really hear what is going on. And then I've tried to just match this with these other three pedals as best as possible. Now, keep in mind these are all very different sounding types of spring reverb, so it's hard to balance things perfectly. But at the very least this should give you a really good indication of the similarities and differences between these pedals. As we go through, if you like the sound samples that you're listening to, please be sure to click on that like button to let me know and to help nudge along that almighty YouTube algorithm. And with that let's take a listen:
Okay, so there you have it. I certainly found that shootout super interesting. So hopefully you did too. Now comes the all important question: What did we actually learn? Well, first up the Echo Fix unit definitely gives you the unmistakable sound of spring reverb. But having said that, it certainly has its own kind of character and personality. It’s not an ultra bright, super splashy type of spring reverb. Even with a bunch of that treble rolled in it still has this sort of dark, brooding character about it. Which I quite like. For an always-on style of reverb, I tend to lean into those darker sounds anyway. Just because it helps the reverb stay out of the way of what you're playing. The other thing I found really interesting was just how long the reverb tales were on the Echo Fix unit. My assumption was that, being a smaller reverb tank, it wouldn't ring out for quite as long as a bigger unit. But to give you some indication, I basically had to max the dwell or decay time out on each of the digital pedals to even get close to what the Echo Fix unit was doing—which I found really interesting.
Now, in terms of the digital competitors… The Uni-Verb pedal here and the Oceans 11 were definitely going after that brighter, splashier, more fluttery type of spring reverb sound. I thought the Oceans 11—even though it gives you the most sort of control over the sound of your reverb—I thought this was actually the hardest pedal to dial in a sound that I liked. It’s a really bright, very hyped sounding spring reverb algorithm. And I pretty much had to dial the tone almost all the way off to basically get it to sit in the same territory as these other pedals. In comparison, I thought the tone of the Uni-Verb pedal was much more balanced sounding. It has more body than the Oceans 11 pedal. It’s definitely brighter than the Echo Fix unit. But certainly not in an unpleasant or harsh way. It's just a nice balanced sound. And the Omni Reverb I thought held its own really well. This is the cheapest pedal on the board. It's certainly a lot darker and less kind of drippy or fluttery sounding than these other pedals. But, ironically, I think those characteristics probably made it sound a little closer to the Echo Fix unit. But, of course, I’m really keen to hear what you guys think in the comments section. Which of these pedals did you like the best? What did you hear as the key, you know, defining characteristics of each pedal?
In terms of my first impressions, having sat down with the Echo Fix unit in the studio, what do I think of it? Well, first up, in terms of the aesthetic of this pedal, there’s an undeniable “cool” factor about this unit. With the VU meter and the knobs you kind of feel less like you're using a guitar pedal and more like you're using a compact piece of studio equipment—which I really like. In terms of the whole analog vs digital thing, I’ll leave you guys to debate that one in the comments section. All I'll say is that, in terms of the player experience, I thought that the Echo Fix unit probably gave me the biggest sense of clarity or separation between the wet and dry signal. I could crank in quite a lot of reverb from this unit without ever feeling like it was taking over or competing with what I was playing.
And the other thing this shootout really drove home for me was just what it is we like about the sound of a real spring reverb unit. You know, spring reverb isn't this pristine, pretty, high fidelity type of reverb sound. It's this raw, mechanical, lo-fi, industrial type sound. When you dial up the input the reverb starts to distort. When you knock the pedal you can hear the spring bouncing around. And it's really hard to model those characteristics in the digital realm without sanitizing or softening the edges a little bit. Now, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Keep in mind, if you're stomping on your pedal board or you're jumping around on stage, you're going to hear the spring bouncing around in this pedal. Now, that may or may not be what you want. But those quirks are all part of the experience of using a real analog spring reverb pedal.
Now, for me personally, where I see this thing has the most appeal is in the context of the home studio. I think this is a really useful tool that could be used, not just on guitar, but on a bunch of different tracks in your mix. Most of us with a home studio don't have access to analog reverb. Like, we don't have a hall, or cathedral, or a live room set up next door. We don't have some massive mechanical plate sitting at the back of our studio. But we certainly could have a little spring reverb sitting on our desktop. And, of course, if you felt so inclined, you could even purchase two of these, and run them side by side, and have the ultimate stereo spring reverb experience in your home studio. That’s certainly something I would be keen to try out. But I will leave that one for you and your bank balance to decide. But, all up, if you're in the market for a real spring reverb and you like some of the sound samples that you heard today, then I would definitely recommend checking this out. That was my look at the new EF P-2 spring reverb by Echo Fix.
Well, that brings us almost to the end of the video. Thank you, once again, for sticking around. As always, it’s important for me to let you know for full disclosure that this pedal was sent to me to check out and to feature in some video content. But this wasn't a paid promotion or a sponsored advertisement. No money's changed hands. All thoughts and opinions are my own, as always. I’ll leave links to all of these pedals featured in the description below—make sure to check them out. If you like this video and you want to see more content like this then please consider subscribing to the channel to be notified of future uploads. And finally, before you go, I would love to invite you to check out the website GuitarIQ.com to take a look at some of the books and other learning resources we have waiting for you over there. Covering everything from fretboard memorization, to chord theory, to warm-ups and workouts, and a whole lot more. That is GuitarIQ.com. Well, that’s it for me. Thanks for watching and I'll see you in the next video!