2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Mooer Shimverb - a tiny box of awesomeness.,
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This review is from: MOOER Shim Verb Amplifiers Effects Reverb - delay (Electronics)
First off, I play bass, so if you're a guitarist, then I do apologize - some of this may not be entirely useful for you. Let's see as we go along...
So, with that out of the way, let me explain that I wanted something to add a bit of discrete echo to my bass while I was playing certain songs - mainly jazz bass solos, which I wanted to shine a little. I saw this pedal in a local shop, and was amazed at how small it is: take two 9v batteries, lay them end-to-end, stack another couple on top in the same manner, and that's about the size of it. But it's a rugged small box, not some plastic piece of rubbish that will crush under a Doc Marten the first time you use it.
For your money, you get an on-off switch, a really bright blue LED, a three-way toggle at the top, and three dials - one big, two smaller. The dials are perhaps easiest to explain if you think of yourself in a big room. The big one labelled "Decay" defines the quality of the materials the room's made of - far to the left, and it's like being in a carpet-lined room with no reverb, to the right and it's more like being in a marble cavern. "Level," the dial on the top right, is almost like how far from the microphone you are in this mythical room. Again, to the left will decrease the distance, so you have very much less of an effect, but to the right is a different story. With the Level all to the right, it is like being alone in a cathedral with the mic picking up only the echoes of what you play. It's a really cool effect on the bass, but I can't see me using it at that extreme too much. The final dial, "Colour," is a bit more difficult to explain, but I think of it as a definition of the furniture in the room: to the right and there's nothing, so the reverb echoes clearly, but to the left it tones it down on invisible sofas and tables, warming the sound up without deadening it.
The toggle switch at the top has three settings: "Room," "Spring," and "Shimmer." Now I'll admit I bought this mainly for the Room effect. As you can guess, it is like playing in a room of different sizes. With the Level and Decay both around the 10 'o' clock mark, it is like playing in a bathroom, which is quite nice, but you can get what you want from playing with the three dials easily enough. I find for my needs that Decay at 12, Level at 11 and Colour around the 1-2 mark make a nice warm echo without being overbearing. Putting the Decay up to the 2 mark and the Level on around 1 makes a really lovely echo, good for just noodling around on, and doesn't suck much of the bass out as it echoes around.
"Spring" emulates the classic surfer sound, as all the literature for this pedal will tell you. I wasn't bothered about this so much when I was looking into this pedal, but I was really pleased with it. On a bass it has a definite 'twang' about it, even on most of the lower notes. Open Es were lost a little, despite what I did with the pedal settings, but upping the treble on my bass and dropping the lower tones means it reverberates nicely. With everything around the 12 or 1 mark, and with that increase in bass treble, it produces a really classic 60s sound, which surprised me a great deal. Clear tone, echoes nicely, and I can see it being used at these settings by bassists wanting to get a retro sound. Putting the Level up to maximum was oddly satisfying, producing a really distant echoing bass, highly reminiscent of a lot of early psychedelia tracks, particularly on bass solos and outros. Again, a nice effect I can see getting some use from those who want 'that' sound.
"Shimmer" is an odd effect to describe, but essentially it throws the reverb back at you with some oddly distorted harmonics. That's not a great description, but it's such a tricky sound to try and relate without hearing it. Rather than simply having the note sound back at you, it fades in slightly before introducing all these extra sounds, so it's very easy to get overwhelmed with everything very quickly, and a long decay afterwards doesn't help. So the lesson here is simple: less is more. Play simply and slowly, and you get some really wonderful sounds. Again, it is almost psychedelic with the Level up at maximum. I spent about half an hour just playing around with this setting, playing intervals and sliding around the fretboard, before coffee demanded I took a break. You will love this sound or hate it, but personally, I'm hooked. Play around with the settings and you can get some fantastic trippy sounds from it, and is more than good enough for a slow, elongated bass solo.
Incidentally, I also plugged a ukulele through this box, and I have to say that it is some of the greatest fun I have had in some considerable time. Didn't stop smiling for ages. Shimmering uke is perhaps a bit much, but the Spring setting was simply brilliant.
The tone isn't too bad on a bass. It can suck some of the top end away to make the lower strings sound more woody, so you may need to adjust amp or bass settings accordingly to reflect this. The lower end seems to be unaffected, and levelling for lower registers and playing accordingly seems fine. The quality of the sound isn't entirely authentic - it's not exactly as if you're in a room, for example - but it is a good approximation. You're not getting the quality you would out of something like The Holy Grail or Hall Of Fame (for example), but for the price it really isn't anything to be ignored.
It's not particularly noisy either. I read some reviews online about it introducing a heap of noise, and fair enough it can get a bit hissy if you have the Level at maximum, but it really is nothing. My Aphex Bass Xciter adds more hiss, in fact. I tried this through both a practice amp and my 300W Peavey, with long- and short cabling, and there was no discernible noise at all volumes apart from the normal sounds I get from this setup. Actually the long cables caused more problems than this pedal in terms of hissing, so I wouldn't worry too much about such matters.
Bad points? If you use a compression/sustain unit, you may find you need to alter the settings a little on that, which can be a pain if you don't use this pedal much in your set. The LED's a bit bright, and would be nicer if it were purple... Okay, I'm clutching at straws a bit now.
Overall I would heartily recommend one. To me, it makes a better quality of sound and has less hiss than a comparably-priced pedal such as the Digitech XDV, and though there are less reverb options (the Digitech has 7), there is more than enough variability in this one pedal. If you're thinking of a Behringer reverb pedal - don't. Seriously. Save a bit more, and get one of these. You'll end up replacing the Behringer in time anyway (the 'swoosh' sound they make will drive you mad if nothing else), so just do yourself a favour and head this way instead. I promise you that you won't regret it.
Right. I'm off to see if I can join Acid Mother's Temple.