Posted by
Nov 2, 2020

Vongon Ultrasheer

Oakland’s one-man pedal builder Vongon hand-builds elegant-looking guitar pedals with a creative angle.

Inspired by the early digital studio effects units of the late 1970’s, the Ultrasheer is a stereo reverb and pitch vibrato with trails and separate footswitches for each effect. Two toggle switches trigger random LFO for the vibrato (rather than the regular cyclic sine waveform) and trails for the reverb. A third toggle switch under the top-case-mounted inputs switches the order of the effects.

The vibrato can be edited through two simple knobs for Rate and Depth, while the Reverb features Mix, Decay and Brightness controls.

The reverb algorithm is based on a Lexicon 224 – a vintage unit that’s been inspiring other builders –  while the vibrato is a transparent digital pitch-shifter, hence does not double as a tremolo.

The digital processing automatically adjusts for mono in/mono out, mono in/stereo out, or full stereo based on the configuration of input and output cables plugged into the device.

Here’s the first video of the Vongon Ultrasheer, we added it to our lists of the Best Stereo Reverb Pedals and the Best Reverb Pedals with Modulation.

Ultrasheer is a stereo reverb and vibrato combination inspired by the early digital studio effects units of the late 1970’s, capable of moving you from a lush warbled space to a shallow room through an intuitive and satisfyingly tactile interface.

Reverb

The reverb algorithm is based on the plate reverb sounds of the classic Lexicon 224 from 1978. The digital processing is downsampled to 16 bits and follows the topology described in the Dattorro paper linked here. This mix of legacy digital processing with modern high quality hardware creates a retro lush sound that we love.

Vibrato

The vibrato is a smooth and transparent digital pitch shifter that preserves the full bandwidth of your input signal and does not darken the sound which is often found in the analog counterparts. Two modulation waveforms are available, “cycle” which is a sine wave for classic Leslie-speaker-type sounds and “random” which is a smoothed sample and hold waveform that creates pitch warbles similar to a warped vinyl or sun-baked cassette.

Dynamic Stereo Routing

The digital processing automatically adjusts for mono in/mono out, mono in/stereo out, or full stereo based on the configuration of input and output cables plugged into the device.

Walnut Enclosure

Housed in a high quality single block of dark walnut that is CNC routed, hand sanded and polished.

Features + Specifications

  • 32 bit floating point DSP (except for 16 bit vintage reverb algorithm)
  • 24 bit / 48 khz digital converters
  • Input impedance: 53K Ohms
  • Output impedance: 40 Ohms
  • Analog buffered bypass
  • Soft touch foot switches
  • Stereo / Mono modes automatically selected based on the cables plugged in
  • Genuine Rogan knobs made in USA
  • Wooden enclosure made from a single block of dark walnut
  • Matte black aluminum faceplate with gold traces
  • Power – 2.1mm 9VDC Center Negative 180mA
  • Dimensions – 6.5″ wide, 5.5″ long, 2.25″ tall
  • Designed and built in Oakland, California U.S.A.