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Introducing a masterful duo that completes any pedal chain: Keeley Electronics Hydra Reverb and Tremolo. This combination isn’t new but the Hydra ups the offering with 3 types of classic Tremolo and Reverb along with programmable presets, buffered bypass, infinite hold, individual foot switch triggers, true stereo operation and tap tempo. There are only a handful of pedal engineers that can get this level of functionality in a package this size (and price). We dare say this could easily be a “Flint killer” and it’s for good reason.
To fellow tube amp fanatics, Reverb and Tremolo are the finishing touches we look for in a great package. Thanks to the pioneers at Fender, Vox, Marshall, Magnatone and major recording studios, pedal wizards like Robert Keeley have all the inspiration they need to put the power of these beautiful effects at your feet.
Spring: This is your classic spring reverb and for many, the reason to buy this pedal. The single knob control adds decay and volume as you turn it up, going from a delicate echo to a fat, washed out soundscape. Fun fact: This spring reverb technology is so good that Milkman Amplifiers use it in their 50 watt pedal amp.
Plate Reverb: This style of reverb was one of the first artificial reverbs to get heavy usage in major studios. Its characteristics are fairly close to a reverb chamber but with obvious differences due to the density of the materials causing the reverberations. Keeley's plate reverb has shimmering high end response, with a slightly metallic feel and dense bass reverberations.
Room Reverb: Much like a “hall” reverb, this effect lets you enclose or expand your guitar’s atmosphere to mimic anything from a bedroom to Madison Square Garden. This is ideal for recording or creating the sonic soundscape you wish existed in whatever space you may be sitting in.
Sine: Black Face paradise. Designed to be a true emulation of the tube bias 60's tremolo, the rate control varies the speed of the tremolo and the depth control varies the intensity of the volume swell. Playing this pedal next to and then through our own Black Face reissue, we can say it's all there. The sound is rich and tube-like, and you have the even more control on the Hydra as you would on the real thing.
Harmonic: This is a proprietary setting that Keeley calls "Harmonically Amplified Resonator" which is a fancy way of saying Brown Face Harmonic Tremolo. This setting cuts your signal into separate treble and bass paths, then uses LFO's (low frequency oscillators) to modulate the signals slightly out of phase with each other. The result is reminiscent of the crisper and harmonically rich Brown Face amps even when you crank the depth. We love this setting for ambient finger picking or jazzy chords when you don't want the volume swells to get in the way for your dynamics.
Vibrato: The Blackface alter ego made famous in the original Magnatone Amps. Their "Tremolo" circuits modulated pitch rather than volume, making them true vibrato effects. It is a super cool watery effect that sounds a little like a rotary speaker. Throw in his impeccable spring reverb and you've got Keeley's own vibra-verb. According to Robert himself, this sound was inspired by the late-great Lonnie Mack and his Magnatone obsession.
Enhanced Performance Functions:
Looking forward from it’s venerable precursor, the “Verb-o-Trem”, this pedal features quite a few tricks that make it easier than ever to get your favorite sounds on the fly. First, you’ve got individual foot switches to trigger the effects on or off so you never have to compromise. Then there are the programmable presets where you can save any sound or combination of sounds, from subtle to out-of-this-world, and bring them to life with a flick of the foot. Thanks to the push-down “Color” knob, tweaking your reverb or tremolo settings with the same set of knobs is incredibly intuitive and one of ways they managed to fit all of this versatility in the size of a typical stomp box. This is fairly new technology that debuted in Keeley’s ECCOS delay pedal, and we’re sure we'll be seeing more of this technique.
If you yearn for the ultimate stereo setup...yup the Hydra does that too. And it also has a TRS expression pedal jack that you can assign any AND ALL parameters on the Hydra to be foot controlled, and even change them based on your heel-to-toe preference. This is something we’ve never seen in this format and is an absolute game-changer for live performances.
Overall, the sheer performance of these emulations are enough to love the pedal, but what really gets us excited is the impressive combination of options and functionality. The amount of tone shaping and spatial manipulation is impressive, and it’s perfect for players who like to tweak at home but need ease of use on stage. In the ever growing world of pedals, there are plenty of options when it comes to the classic combination of Reverb and Tremolo. But in our humble opinion the Hydra is truly a departure from the norm.
This is a brand new product, and we are an authorized Keeley Electronics dealer and keep a good stock of product on hand at all times. Please feel free to browse our listings, or contact us about other Keeley products.