I’m in a shoegaze band, and that means three things: reverb, reverb, and more reverb. But lately, I’ve been unhappy with the reverb pedal on my bass pedalboard.
This is nothing unusual—as widespread as reverb is, nailing a good reverb tone for a bass guitar is a troublesome task. Most reverb pedals are either too thin or sound muddy. And that included the reverb pedal that I had been using.
I set out to find an alternative. In a perfect world, I would just buy a Strymon Blue Sky, but my budget wouldn’t allow me anywhere near. I was stuck in the hundred-dollar range, and I was not super optimistic. In my experience, most of the reverb pedals in that range have glaring issues or disappointing limitations.
But to my surprise, the Mooer ShimVerb Pro has delivered more than I hoped for a pedal at that price.
Mooer is a newer company, but in the past few years, they’ve managed to make a name for themselves. While most companies that specialize in small, inexpensive pedals aren’t typically well-respected, Mooer has been grabbing attention and building a great reputation for themselves. While this might have something to do with their marketing, that reputation would be meaningless if they’re products didn’t back it up.
And the ShimVerb Pro definitely backs it up.
The ShimVerb Pro is an expansion of Mooer’s popular ShimVerb, and what an expansion it is. The original ShimVerb has only three modes: spring, room, and shimmer, which adds a pitch-shifted signal one fifth above the original tone. The Pro features five separate reverb algorithms: room, hall, church, plate, and spring. The shimmer can be added to any of these modes.
But what really sets the Pro apart is just how tweakable it is. There are five separate parameter knobs to dial in the perfect tone:
- Dry: adjusts the volume of the dry, unaffected signal
- Wet: adjust the volume of the reverb signal
- Low cut: adjusts the low frequencies
- Hi cut: adjusts the high frequencies
- Pre delay: adjusts the delay of the reverb signal
- Decay: adjusts the length of the reverb signal
The shimmer mode has its own section where you can change how much the pitch is shifted (note: the numbers on the knob refer to semitones). You can even adjust the volume of the shimmer signal. There is a trails switch that changes whether the signal cuts off or rings out when the effect is turned off. The pedal can also switch between true bypass and buffered bypass.
The ShimVerb Pro also lets you save one setting as a preset, so you can save that perfect tone without worrying about the knobs. It has stereo input and output, although it seems like it just clones the mono signal instead of running two independent signals.
But enough about specs: how does it sound?
Well…it sounds great. I especially love the church reverb, which sounds absolutely huge. The room, hall, and plate modes are all lush. However, if you’re looking for a good spring reverb, you’ll probably find that the ShimVerb Pro sounds a bit too digital for your tastes.
The six parameter knobs give incredible control over the sounds. Personally, I love that they separated the dry signal and wet signal volumes instead of a simple wet/dry knob. It enables me to get a full reverb sound without losing the attack of the dry signal. Similarly, the hi-cut and low-cut knobs in place of a general tone knob make it easy to dial in the exact tone I want—especially on bass guitar.
For all of the different pitches, you can set the shimmer, I find that only the fifth (+7 semitones) and octave are actually very usable. The other intervals aren’t very practical. However, the octave shimmer sometimes sounds like it’s just a hair out of tune—though that might have to do with the intonation of my bass. I find myself thankful that I can lower the shimmer volume because the default setting is a little overpowering.
Despite the few minor shortcomings, the ShimVerb Pro’s versatility and controllability make it a great little unit. And, I’m finally happy with my bass guitar tone.
The Zoom MS-70CDR retails for $93.99 and it is available on Amazon [affiliate link].
Source: Personal purchase
What I Like: sounds fantastic, super versatile, easy to find the perfect tone, small footprint gives plenty of room for other pedals
What Needs Improvement: a couple of the settings sound too “digitally,” default shimmer volume is a little overpowering