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> Fender Ultra And The Iridium
klasaine
post Nov 10 2019, 05:27 PM
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Yesterday afternoon I went to a shop that had the new line of Fender 'Ultras' as well as a Strymon 'Iridium' pedal.
I routed the Iridium through the fx loop (power amp in) of a Fender 1x12" combo (Hot rod Deluxe).

Iridium impressions first ... It pretty much does what they say and what all the other vids show.
I couldn't properly judge the cab IRs because I was going through a guitar amp's power section (6L6s) and into a guitar amp cab and spkr (open back with a Celestion ceramic).
Most impressive for it's unexpected realism IMO was the 4x12" cranked Marshall tone when I used either a standard Les Paul bridge pickup or a normal (non-ultra) Telecaster also on the bridge pkup. It's not super high gain. 70s and 80s hard rock.
Fender clean and slight to medium breakup were very good but all of the high end modelers and software do a good job with the cleaner fender tones.
The Vox model via this application was impossible to judge. The fender w/celestion cab will totally negate any of the AC30 paired spkr options (bluebell speakers are a unique beast). Having said that, the modelers and software that I've used don't do a good job with Vox amps.
Bone head simple to use. The 'room' control (reverb) is a nice touch and you can increase it from small to medium to large by holding down a footswitch and turning the knob. The type of rooms they mean are studio rooms: iso booth to open live room and mic distance. No cavern, hall or cathedral.
One odd thing that stuck out to me was that the 'level' control (a master volume) had an abrupt and significant volume bump early in it's rotation, between 7:00 and 8:00 on the dial. This was across all 3 amp models.
Before I decide whether I want it or can even really use it I need to play it though a recording interface.
To get into a DAW or PA you do need some type of DI.

Fender Ultra. I played two different Strats; HSS and SSS.
The good ... Neck, fingerboard and frets feel great. The compound radius is nice and I didn't notice any difference as I played up the neck and into the highest register. The body contours are comfortable and the weight is good (they're light). The finishes are gorgeous.
The not so good (at least for me) ... I hate noiseless single coil pick ups. Full stop. Dull and lifeless. The bridge humbucker in the HSS when split sounds nothing like a Strat bridge pkup (real single coil or noiseless) so consequently in pkup pos. # 2 (bridge/middle) you don't get the Strat 'cluck'. With the SSS model it was a little better but I still didn't really like it. I also don't dig the modern cast bridge.
Bottom line for me ... felt great, didn't sound so great. Yeah, you can replace the pick ups but I don't think you should have to on a $2000 list price guitar.

This post has been edited by klasaine: Nov 10 2019, 05:42 PM
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Mertay
post Nov 10 2019, 06:02 PM
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Cool review, quick note; The strymon compensates level as you turn-up the gain, once you touch the level the compensation is disabled which should explain the volume jump.


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klasaine
post Nov 10 2019, 06:22 PM
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QUOTE (Mertay @ Nov 10 2019, 10:02 AM) *
Cool review, quick note; The strymon compensates level as you turn-up the gain, once you touch the level the compensation is disabled which should explain the volume jump.


Ah, ok. That makes sense.
The pedal functions and looks so much like an analog pedal that that didn't even occur to me.

*I'll add that the best tones from the Iridium were via the LP 'classic' and a MIM Telecaster.
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Todd Simpson
post Nov 11 2019, 10:44 PM
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Look forward to hearing it!! Does the irridium have an fx loop?

QUOTE (klasaine @ Nov 10 2019, 01:22 PM) *
Ah, ok. That makes sense.
The pedal functions and looks so much like an analog pedal that that didn't even occur to me.

*I'll add that the best tones from the Iridium were via the LP 'classic' and a MIM Telecaster.
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klasaine
post Nov 12 2019, 12:14 AM
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QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Nov 11 2019, 02:44 PM) *
Does the irridium have an fx loop?


No.
At this point in time, I don't think that they could physically find space to put in an fx loop (even w/trs jack) and/or a Lo Z out. The housing is the smaller Strymon box.
Standard 9v tip neg adapter.
You can load your own IRs and with an external midi ft switch, store 300 presets.

*I'm sure they're working on a larger format version that has more amps and cabs, fx loop, DI out and possibly a few effects.

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Todd Simpson
post Nov 12 2019, 04:11 AM
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It's a pedal after all so I guess it may not need a loop, one could just put pedals in front of it just like one would with an amp. Putting it last in the chain acting like an amp, one could put a strymon or something for chorus/reverb/delay etc. in front of it if needed.


[It's a pequote name='klasaine' date='Nov 11 2019, 07:14 PM' post='772642']
No.
At this point in time, I don't think that they could physically find space to put in an fx loop (even w/trs jack) and/or a Lo Z out. The housing is the smaller Strymon box.
Standard 9v tip neg adapter.
You can load your own IRs and with an external midi ft switch, store 300 presets.

*I'm sure they're working on a larger format version that has more amps and cabs, fx loop, DI out and possibly a few effects.
[/quote]
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