Darkglass – Super Symmetry REVIEW

Darkglass’ B3K is a bass overdrive first-choice for many and the B7K is hugely popular also as a clean preamp/EQ pedal. Now, Darkglass expands its territory with the Super Symmetry compressor…

It all began with the B3K, and later Darkglass stressed that they were here to stay with the B7K, the Vintage Microtubes and Vintage Deluxe. Overdrive and EQ for bass players is covered in the Darkglass arsenal. The next chapter is compression. The Super Symmetry is a full-blown compressor pedal with a touch of elegance and appeal that only comes by every once in a while.

 

 

darkglass-super-symmetry-control-knobsThe Super Symmetry has 6 knobs. INPUT and OUTPUT are self-explanatory. Match the INPUT to the signal of your bass and you’re good to go. The OUTPUT can be used as a ‘make-up gain’ as compression naturally lowers the signal, so use that to compensate at the output stage.

The actual compression parameters are traditionally defined by threshold and ratio parameters, but on this pedal you get one COMPRESSION knob that simply gives you more/less compression. However, you get dedicated ATTACK and RELEASE knobs to fine-tune exactly how fast/slow the compression grabs our tone – and for how long it holds on to it. So to speak.

Finally, there is a BLEND knob. I have come to really appreciate having a blend option on a compressor pedal. It just allows for so much more use of the compression range if you can mix in the dry signal with the original attack.

 

 

white headphone with rhythm symbol

The sound clips section is divided into 3 rounds, each going through the COMPRESSION, BLEND and ATTACK / RELEASE settings.

 

NOTE! Please use headphones or ‘real’ speakers. You simply can’t judge low-end material on laptop, tablet or phone speakers…!

NOTE! If you are on a mobile device, please turn it to landscape mode to see the knob settings of the pedal for each audio clip.

BUTTON-SOUND-CLIPS

 

 

While the Super Symmetry won’t squash the living hell out of your tone, it sounds great almost throughout the entire range of compression. Similarly, the range for the ATTACK and RELEASE knobs is designed perfectly. Even though it doesn’t do über squashing, it sounds great for slapping, and for gentle peak smoothening, it does an excellent job.

It is also an extremely transparent pedal. What I mean is that some compressor pedals have a very distinct ‘flavor’ even when you set them to no compression at all or the lowest possible amount. If you turn down the COMPRESSION knob on the Super Symmetry, your original tone remains very true.

I can find many uses for a pedal with such great compression abilities and would rate it high on the versatility parameter.

 

 

Everything oozes quality on the Super Symmetry. It appears to be extremely well built – as all the other pedals from Darkglass.

The design is in its own league. The tiny 10-LED gain reduction meter is so classy that I almost suspect they have stolen the blueprint from Apple.

Being the tweakhead that I am, I love having separate threshold and ratio knobs – or at least a ratio toggle-switch. But I have to admit that when actually playing through this pedal, I did not miss anything. The COMPRESSION does an extremely good job. Not much more to say about that!

 

 

 

Today (2015), the Super Symmetry Compressor will set you back $300. That makes it a quite expensive pedal, but considering the features, great tone, versatility and usability, I can live with this price point. The Value for Money parameter is not going to skyrocket as you can got some great compressor pedals out there for less, but it’s also not a showstopper.

 

 

I love the sound. I love the looks. I can live with the price. That about sums it all up. In my world, though, tone comes first, so what can I say… Judging on that parameter, I love it.

 

PROS

Sounds great

Very versatile

High build quality

Looks stunning

Blend option

Gain reduction meter

 

CONS

Fairly expensive

 

SCORE

SOUND: 95

VERSATILITY: 91

BUILD QUALITY: 90

DESIGN & USABILITY: 93

VALUE FOR MONEY: 75

TOTAL SCORE: 88.8

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BUTTON-Buy-This-pedal

 

 

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