Reverb may not be your first choice of effect for bass, but it sure can do as much wonder as it can for guitar when the moment and not least the music is right for some ambient magic.
The Mad Professor Silver Spring Reverb aims at combining versatility with simplicity, not “only” emulating a spring reverb as the name might otherwise indicate. Let’s check it out.
The Silver Spring Reverb features three knobs, a footswitch and a blue LED to indicate when it is punched in.
The first knob from the left is named TIME and controls the decay – or the length of the reverb tail so to speak. The second knob on the top row is called REVERB and simply controls the amount of reverb being applied to your dry signal – you could also think of it as a wet/dry knob.
Finally, the third knob is a TONE control that goes from being slightly darker when turned all the way down and gradually opens up the tone as you turn it clockwise. Mad Professor refers to it as a way to go from a spring reverb sound (fully counter clockwise) to a studio-like reverb (fully clockwise).
For this review I have chosen to take a rather methodical approach, repeating the same simple 4-bar groove that holds both low notes, higher chord notes and full stops so you can hear the reverb tail better.
To keep the amount of examples down, I decided to set the TONE knob at 50% for the main sound examples, plus a few additional sound clips setting the TONE knob at 0% and 100% respectively.
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.
As mentioned in the introduction, the SSR is an attempt to create a great-sounding pedal that unites versatility and simplicity. Its range of possible tones makes the SSR very versatile. That said, other pedals may also feature control over e.g. pre delay, surface texture, early reflections, hi and lo tone, etc.
But the SSR does what it does extremely well and it’s a fine balance between offering a load of features and confusing the user. I think this is actually a very fine compromise.
There’s an interesting twist to the Mad Professor pedals. There are two main pedal categories: factory made and hand wired. And some of the pedals come in both categories, but in this case there is only one – the factory made model.
The hand wired pedals are more expensive and significantly heavier, which may to some indicate a higher quality. While I have not been able to A/B test any Mad Professor pedals of the same kind, but from different lines, I can not confirm/deny that. What I can say is that the MP pedals I have been able to test and use have all been of a very high quality regardless of whether they were hand wired or factory made. the SSR is no exception.
The knobs feel firm and the footswitch and jack connectors are solid. The one design/usability hick-up I may have to point out is the power supply input which is located on the side of the pedal aligned with the jack input. When I initially set it up this was just not very practical, but if you plan to mount it permanently on you board it’s just a matter of cabling it right once and never worry about it again.
You can get a new SSR for $195 (2015). Not the cheapest of pedals, but I wouldn’t expect that either. For a pedal this good and one that could potentially become a permanent resident on your effects board, it’s really not that expensive. Not a bargain, but definitely worth the asking price.
Great sound, impeccable quality and fairly versatile. What’s not to like!? I rate the Mad Professor Silver Spring Reverb effect pedal at a total of 85.4.
High build quality
Power supply input on the side