UAFX Golden Reverberator Review
Updated: Feb 15
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A Bit About UAFX
UAFX are a branch of Universal Audio, who are massive in the plugin industry, producing mixing and mastering software based on extremely high-end, and often, rare hardware units.
They are used by a huge number of professionals around the world and are regarded as second-to-none in quality.
And this is why their first foray into guitar effects pedals has made so many people, including myself, extremely excited.
So, let’s take a look at the Golden Reverberator.
What is it?
The Golden is a high-end digital reverb pedal, and the sounds are based on vintage units.
The types of reverb on offer are the three classics of: Spring, Plate and Hall.
Also, on registering the pedal you receive access to a fourth: Chamber and Plate 224.
What it’s not:
And here is one of the main points that you do need to think about. The Golden is not intended for massive ambient swells, there is no ‘shimmer’ reverb, there is no reverse reverb, there is very limited preset functionality, there is no midi.
However, if you’re after a reverb pedal that sounds absolutely incredible, which has beautiful, realistic tones that inspire you to play, then this could well be the unit for you.
Let’s take a closer look.
The controls on the top are:
Decay - the length of the reverb
Predelay - the time before the reverb starts
Mix - the amount of reverb
Then we have three switches which:
1 – let us choose the type of reverb: Spring 65, Plate 140, Hall 224 and Chamber and Plate 224
2 – store one preset
3 – lets us choose three variations of the types of reverb. These are:
Spring - Bright, Smooth, Ambient / three different plates A, B and C / Hall – Room, Small Hall, Large Hall and finally the Chamber and Plate 224 – Percussion Plate, Constant Plate and Acoustic Chamber.
The lower row of knobs do slightly different things depending on the Reverb model we’re on. The Bass and Treble controls act as shelves in the Spring and Plate 140 mode, and then bass and treble decay with Hall 224 and Chamber and Plate 224.
The Mod control introduces ‘wow and flutter’ with the Spring; depth and speed with the Plate 140; and ‘Mod Shift’ on the Hall 224 and Chamber and Plate 224.
As you can imagine, this gives us a lot of control over the reverb sounds and it’s very easy to dial in absolutely killer tones.
Here's a demo of some of the available sounds. In this video, I focus on a couple of bigger reverbs but also some smaller ones which you may be more likely to use every day.
The Spring model is basically new to Universal Audio as they don’t have many plugins based on this reverb, however they’ve done an amazing job and it feels very much like a true spring reverb.
The standout to me though is the Plate 140. I am a sucker for a good plate reverb and this one is on par with their high quality plugins, which you’ll hear on millions of different songs across multiple genres.
How Ambient Can We Go?
The Spring 65 on the Ambient setting gets pretty big as do the trails in the Hall and Chamber and Plate 224. With the added Mod control turned up, things can get pretty fluttery and there is a beautiful three-dimensionality. This is due to the fact that the Golden has dual stereo reverb engines which run separate stereo instances of each reverb. This also allows you to switch to the preset with seamless spillover.
With this all said, I honestly think the unit excels when being used in a more subtle way, giving warmth and depth to your base tone.
The Main Pros:
Incredible sound quality
Has one preset
Lots of tweakability to get your perfect reverb
Incredibly accurate models of classic reverbs
Industry leading technology and sounds in pedal format
Can be in true-bypass or buffered mode
Very high build quality
Sounds great with other instruments and even vocals!
The Main Cons:
Only one preset? Really, this seems a little poor.
No midi switching
Size – it’s quite a large pedal at 5 ½ inches x 3 x 1 ½
Power – it needs 400 mA – this is a lot, even the Strymon Big Sky only needs 300!
No power supply included
Expensive at around £329 at time of writing in the UK
Although the reverb models are amazing, they are limited
Check Out the Price Here:
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So, should you get this pedal?
If it’s in your budget and you’re after an amazing sounding reverb unit based on the best hardware available but don’t need many different presets on the fly e.g. when gigging, then the UAFX Golden Reverberator is truly hard to beat.
However, if you’re after more from your reverb like massive ambient washes, shimmer, and reverse trails; or if you need access to more presets, or midi switching, then I’d say the Strymon Big Sky is where you should be looking.
One other thing that might confuse matters more though, is that both units can be updated. The UAFX Golden has a USB port, and who knows, maybe other reverb types maybe added later either for free, or I suspect at a small cost.
Do you own either the Strymon or the Golden? What are your thoughts? And if you use another reverb, which is your favourite and why?