Master of Many
Continuing 2017’s stellar run of innovative overdrive pedals, the Strymon Sunset delivers a swag of tasty tones big enough to rise the challenge of any gig. Surely it’s no coincidence that this veritable Swiss Army Knife of tone comes in a familiarly striking red enclosure. Don’t let that fool you though - the Sunset is more than just a jack of all trades!
Legend at heart
Built on the foundation of an analog JFET gain stage, the Sunset perfectly marries the fundamentals of responsive analog overdrive with the precision nuances of digital signal processing to deliver 6 iconic overdrive and boost circuits in one tidy package.
On the A side we have the sparklingly transparent Ge overdrive, the smooth mid-bumped Texas overdrive and the versatile bite of the Treble booster. Over on side B, things get pretty wild with the 2stage and Hard overdrives packing higher gain punch while remaining useful at lower gain settings. Rounding out side B’s selection, the JFET clean boost brings the kind of clarity that’s perfect for adding a little extra oomph to your amp.
With the Sunset on the scene is it time to freak out and throw all your beloved overdrives in garbage?
Two sides of the coin
With all of these amazing drive options on the table, you can imagine how hard it must have been for Strymon to decide how they’d be split them between the Sunset’s two sides. Yet, they’ve pulled it off quite nicely. On initial inspection, you could say that side A is mostly low gain and side B mostly higher gain with each side featuring a boost. But when you really start to tweak the Sunset you’ll see there’s more to it than that. Every circuit’s voicing has its clear strengths, but the core tone of each paired with meticulously dialed in control parameters ensures you’re not lumped with any one trick ponies.
Double your pleasure
Given the versatility of the Sunset’s two sides, its strengths come to the fore when you start stacking them. Whatever you need gain wise, there are seemingly countless combinations available to nail the tones you’re after. To name just a few, the Ge overdrive paired with moderate settings on the Hard overdrive is heavenly for transparent and articulate grit. The JFET boost with the Texas overdrive will really get your boogie on. And the Treble boost into the 2stage overdrive is pure shred at its most indulgent. Add to that the order configuration switch with the genius addition of a parallel option and you begin to understand just how revolutionary the Sunset is.
Is this the holy grail?
So with the Sunset on the scene is it time to freak out and throw all your beloved overdrives in garbage? Perhaps. But we’d prefer you gave them a loving new home instead. Seriously though, the Sunset covers an awful lot of ground and is perfect on its own for players running smaller boards, hired guns chasing versatility or the unfortunate few constantly left at the mercy of the backline lucky-dip. For the rest of you overdrive obsessives, the Sunset is a superb complement to your palette and will feel right at home next to your old faithfuls.