I was in Edmond, OK this afternoon and made a stop at Edmond Music, my favorite local music store. I try to purchase from a local store whenever possible and these are some of the nicest guys out there. The purpose of today’s trip was to check out the new Keeley Aurora Reverb pedal. I have watched many online reviews about this pedal and there was just something about what I was hearing telling me to check it out in person.
I really feel like the market is saturated with reverb options at this point and I have owned a bunch of different pedals. The Strymon Big Sky, Strymon Blue Sky, Strymon Flint, Boss RV5, Tech 21 Boost R.V.B., Boss FRV-1, Electro Harmonix Holy Grail, Eventide H9 Max, and the Eventide Space to name a few. Okay, so the Eventide H9 and Space are pretty much the same thing. Shimmer reverb is having a hay day at this point in time and there are many great pedals out there providing it. I have yet to get my hands on a Walrus Audio Descent, but my day is coming. In the realm of typical reverb there are a lot of great option to choose from. Wampler’s Spring Reverb sounds good, Mr. Black has some good options…I am not going to lie, the Tech 21 Boost R.V.B. with Trails is a great sounding pedal in my opinion.
I believe that the Keeley Aurora Reverb is a different kind of reverb. It’s lushness is quite exquisite. This is not your typical “crank for spank” reverb. That is not me trying to use big words to describe what I hear. Sit down with one of these bad boys and you will quickly get lost in the quality of the reverb, the length of the delay and it’s overall warmth. The boys at Edmond Music sat me down with this pedal in their amp room. I was running a Duesunberg Starplayer into the Keeley Aurora Reverb, into a Matchless Avalon 30 that was running into a Matchless 2×12 ESD Cabinet. Quality was present in every piece of this signal path. The Starplayer’s action was perfect and the Avalon required very little tweaking to tone in.
The Aurora has four knobs that control Decay, Slapback, Warmth, and Blend and a three-way toggle that changes the reverb type between hall, plate, and room. I could not find a bad sound on this pedal. My favorite setting used the plate reverb with the knobs all set somewhere between 2:30 and 3:00 o’clock. The trails are long and your attack is incredibly present while playing. I quickly noticed that I felt like I was drifting away on top of the wash of reverb that I was playing. Pinching a few string of G-chord resonated with sincere calmness. I could literal envision the waves within the aurora of tone that this pedal was creating. This pedal is not a shimmer killer, but I think that had it come along four or five years ago the shimmer force would not be quite so strong as it is today. It is the missing link between standard reverb sounds and the “synthy” shimmer reverbs that are around today.