Universal Audio’s UAFX Del-Verb is an all-in-one ambience machine
With several delay and reverb pedals from Universal Audio already in circulation, can the Del-Verb bring anything new to the table?
Universal Audio’s UAFX Del-Verb Ambience Companion. Image: Universal Audio
⊕ Flexibility of so many different sounds in one unit br>
⊕ Simple interface br>
⊕ Removes need for separate reverb and delay pedals br>
⊖ Footswitch functions are limited br>
⊖ It’s relatively large br>
Universal Audio’s UAFX line already includes several delay and reverb pedals (the Golden, the Starlight and the Galaxy 74), but this latest addition to the lineup combines features from several existing models to create, what the brand describes as, an “ambience companion”. In short, Universal Audio is touting this as the only ambience pedal you need.
As with all of the UAFX pedals, the enclosure has a reasonably large footprint and weight. It features six rotary knobs, two footswitches, plus two mini switches for selecting which effect mode you’d like to use. The rear panel houses stereo in/out on TS jack sockets, a 9v power jack, a USB-C socket for firmware updates as well as a Bluetooth pairing button (more on this later).
The Del-Verb cleverly combines the core sounds found in the Golden Reverberator and the Starlight Echo Station. The delay contains emulations of an Echoplex EP-3, an Electro-Harmonix Memory Man Deluxe and a digital delay, for pristine repeats.
We start by exploring the delay side of the pedal and begin with the tape delay emulation. The Echoplex is one of the ‘big two’ tape delays (the other, the Space Echo, gets its own entire UA pedal in the Galaxy).
The Echoplex EP-3 is prized for its warm sound, in part due to the preamp circuit that some artists, such as David Gilmour, used without the delay engaged. Del-Verb recreates this well; the tape delay adds depth to the bottom end of a Rhodes keyboard with a touch of saturation to create a pleasing, gritty edge.
UA’s Memory Man emulation is equally as convincing. It has the characteristic high-frequency roll-off and the recreation of the modulation circuit from the original unit lets you create chorus and flanging effects when required. The digital delay does everything one might expect – pristine repeats which, when combined with the tap tempo function, create tight and rhythmic patterns.
The pedal’s reverb section has only two controls: the switch to select the type of reverb, and reverb level.
The spring presets contain the usual ‘twang’ that one expects from a spring tank; the plate has that metallic wash; and the digital reverb is simply spectacular!
However, the ability to adjust parameters on each of these would be extremely helpful, such as tweaking reverb time or preamp settings, which could massively change the sound. This can’t be achieved via the pedal interface and instead requires access via the UAFX smartphone app.
The app experience
As with all the UAFX pedals, the UAFX app provides access to some deeper functions that can’t be accessed with the front-panel controls. You can establish a connection via Bluetooth and, despite being occasionally unwilling to connect first time, it works really effectively.
The Del-Verb app lets you toggle delay trails and change the function of the footswitches as the other UAFX pedals do. But this pedal has much more to offer within the app.
A remarkable number of presets for each of the different delay and reverb settings are within the app. Presumably, these are taken from the Golden and Starlight, but provide an incredible array of additional sounds. Most of these are standard sounds, but the Memory Man settings include some heavily pitch-shifted effects, which we find a bit niche for most uses. However, the extra sounds that the app gives you makes this pedal a truly jaw-dropping tool. Maybe this is the only delay and reverb you might need?
The Del-Verb is truly an ambience companion, potentially containing every ambient sound you could ever wish for. But because it’s taking features from two pedals and combining them into one unit, the expense is functionality and control. The footswitches can either turn the effects on and off independently, or have a master on/off and tap tempo – not both. This is limiting, especially considering that other pedals manage to juggle this conundrum more efficiently (e.g. accessing further functions via a long-press on the footswitch). There are also no real ‘deep’ controls for anything, because it’s an all-in-one unit.
Despite all this, this Universal Audio UAFX pedal is exceptional and is likely to find a permanent home in our studio.
- 3 different delay types
- 3 different reverb types
- Control app
- Tap tempo
- Stereo in and out
- Contact: Universal Audio
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