Most Digital Reverb Stomp Boxes attempt to recreate the authentic sounds of the classic Spring Reverb, but then provide other options utilizing the convenience and diversity of digital modeling. The reverb pedal on my bench today is called the Roommate Junior by T-Rex of Denmark, and it’s based on the original T-Rex Room Mate reverb pedal, featuring the same controls and reverb modes, but not the tube – which makes it pricier.
This blue pedal has black knobs and a very solid feeling. The knobs are Mix, Level, Decay, Mode and Input Gain. It’s got one 1/4 inch input as well as stereo left and right outputs. It accepts the typical 9V power supply but also has a 9V battery compartment. The Mix knob allows you to increase the level of the reverberated signal going to your amp. The Level knob allows you to trim the overall signal level going to your amp. The Decay knob affects the decay time of the reverberated signal which is described as the amount of time it takes the signal to fade out. The Mode knob allows you to select the type of reverb your using. The four options are Spring, Room, Hall, and LFO. Lastly, the Input Gain knob allows you to trim the signal level coming into the pedal if used in an effect loop where the signal is coming in hot. The Input Gain knob has a red LED to indicate clipping if present. This pedal is very straight forward in operation. The only knob that really affects the reverb is the Decay knob. All other knobs are dedicated to giving you the right mix of signal going to your amp.
MODES – The Spring mode is very familiar to most guitar players, since spring reverb are featured in many amps. This is a rather good recreation and with the Decay knob all the way up it reminds me of the spring models of the 60’s. What I like about having a digital Spring is that it is way less noisy, temperamental, and dirty sounding than a real Spring. Interestingly, those are actually the same characteristics that I’ve come to appreciate about real Springs! It is also nice to have control over the Decay which is usually missing on most Springs that come installed in amps. I tend to love the sound of a real Spring Reverb so I would rarely want to use the digital one myself, but if I did I would certainly consider this one. The Room mode is a very subtle reverb. It adds just enough effect to make the signal not sound totally dry. That said, I really like the Room mode on this particular pedal. It has a nice “slappy” characteristic that’s very usable. The Hall mode is an imitation of how the signal would sound in a large of various sizes depending on how the Decay knob is set. This technique was used by many recording engineers to get a natural yet big and deep reverb sound. This mode has again a nice sounding tone. The LFO mode is not your traditional reverb tone. The manual describes it as reverb embellished with chorus, perfect for acoustic guitar. I am not much of an acoustic musician these days so my use of this mode would be pretty limited, but for those seeking a warmer, feel good reverb tone for a sunday morning brunch this is the mode for this mood. It could also find its way into more eclectic uses when the decay knob is turned up high.
I really like the Roommate Junior. It definitely sounds better then a lot of digital reverbs I’ve heard for guitar. I would attribute this to the fact that digital technology keeps getting better and better. As time goes by the bar gets raised in terms of our expectations for digital sound devices. The Roommate Junior has definitely risen to the occasion. I appreciate the minimal interface and simplicity of use. I ran my ES-335 knock off through this pedal into my stock Blues Junior and got pleasing results. I also tested it on vocals, drum machine and real drums. I mainly wanted to hear how the Spring mode reacted to these alternative sources. I was very pleased. As the dynamics increased, the springs became more present and jangley. I would firmly recommend this pedal to anyone looking for a digital stomp verb. It’s as good if not better then pedals costing much more. – Gus Green