I'm a pedal addict and have been since I was 16 years old after I had bought my first two pedals; a Big Muff and a Whammy. Needless to say, those two pedals led me to being hooked and transformed my guitar playing into so much more than just different sounds, but created in me a new inspiration and creativity that has led me to never stop chasing new sounds and new ways to approach guitar.
I recently received The Magnifica Deluxe as a birthday present from my wife. This is a pedal that I probably wouldn't have chosen for myself, considering my tendency to buy preset based pedals with lots of options. I was curious to see how it would work in with the rest of my rig. The Magnifica, a hand wired dual spring reverb pedal, is both simple in its controls and yet versatile in its ability to create simplistic amp-like verbs to glassy ambient bliss.
Straight out of the box, the pedal impressed me. The attention to detail surrounding the pedal was highlighted by the custom case it came with and well-designed graphics that Fox pedals are known for. The soft touch switches are perfect for zero pop switching and the white led lights are bright, allowing you to see whether the pedal is on if you're playing outside. At 130 ma 9 volt, it's not a huge voltage consumption for two digital reverbs in one. The top mounted jacks are a big pro, as I tend to "Tetris" my boards to fit the most I can on them and aside from that, it also helps with clean cabling.
The internal feedback pots offered additional cavernous sounds that quickly turned into oscillations that can get you lost in ambient goodness, yet still remain totally usable within a live context.
Putting it on my board, I first experimented with the reverb, feedback and tone controls and found the tone knob range to be incredible, especially concerning the shaping of reverb sounds and how it interacted with not only tone, but with warmth and sharpness of the decay. The internal feedback pots offered additional cavernous sounds that quickly turned into oscillations that can get you lost in ambient goodness, yet still remain totally usable within a live context.
The configuration I came to love was leaving the first reverb always on. I would set a low mix level, with the feedback at noon with a much warmer tone setting at 9 o'clock . This reminded me of the standard spring tank range in most amps and provided a brilliant verb that didn't muddy my tone and decayed really nicely and naturally. I was impressed at how warm this sounded but also at how sharp and clean I could make it.
I then found that by using the second stage verb as not just an alternate setting (which is also a great way to utilise the two channels) but as one to stack, I got amazing results. I maxed out the wet and still found a lot of clarity within my dry signal (something I really loved!) and found pristine clean ambient decays by turning the tone knob to around 2 o'clock. This really worked with melody-based lead lines, both with clean and overdriven tones and the verb didn't get overly muddy despite the high mix and feedback levels.
In A Live Setting
I currently have a h9 that I dedicate to ambient washes and modulated reverbs. The type of music I play generally requires heavy verbs and delays and I found that I kept coming back to this pedal. It's simplistic controls meant that I could do subtle and quick adjustments, often on the fly throughout the set, which brought me back to a simplistic analog-style of playing and adjusting that I grew up doing.
The two reverb channels meant I was stacking and finding different combinations between the two verbs as I tweaked the controls throughout the night - the way they interacted together highlighted how many different sound options I could pull from this pedal. The way the tone knobs allowed me to eq the decay meant I could allow it to fit in the mix without being lost, even in the most subtle settings. This was a huge win for me.
I scrapped using banks or presets for the night and avoided any synth-like pad verbs from my h9 (which happens more often than I like to admit) and enjoyed the way the Magnifica interacted with my setup. You can't find any setting that isn't musically pleasing on this thing!!
A reverb that holds its own
Putting it against various other reverbs I've owned such as the Strymon Flint, Big Sky, Boss RV 5 and 6, h9 and the EHX cathedral and Holy Grail, all of which offer spring type verbs, the Magnifica Deluxe held its own and offered a refreshingly unique take on age old spring verb. Its compact size is a big bonus as well, as most of these other options are bigger and take up valuable pedalboard real estate. For the player who wants a no nonsense reverb that has character and preset/stacking options, this is the pedal for you.
Foxpedal has smashed this pedal out of the park - not only does it look a million dollars, but it also sounds it.