Mastering Reverb Pedals: A Look at Keeley Electronics’ Aurora, Caverns V2, and HALO (and a few others)

Mastering Reverb Pedals: A Look at Keeley Electronics’ Aurora, Caverns V2, and HALO (and a few others)

Reverb effects pedals have become an essential tool for guitarists who want to create a richer and more diverse sound. While guitar amps are typically fitted with reverb, modern reverb pedals go far beyond the standard spring reverb found in amps, offering a wide range of effects and tones from echo to delay. Keeley Electronics is one of the leading companies in the world of reverb pedals, and in this article, we will take a closer look at three of their most popular models: the Aurora, Caverns V2, and HALO.

Keeley Aurora: Affordable and Inspiring

The Aurora was Keeley’s first reverb pedal and remains a popular choice among guitarists. This compact pedal boasts four controls: Decay, Slapback, Warmth, and Blend. The Decay control adjusts the decay time and works in all modes. Turning it to the right creates longer reverb, while turning the Warmth control to the right produces a warmer, brighter reverb sound. The Slapback control adjusts the time before the initial reflected sound, allowing for a Slapback effect when turned to the right, or no Slapback when turned to the left. The Blend control sets how much of the dry (original) and wet (reverb) signal is fed through to the output. Finally, the 3-way switch lets guitarists choose from three modes: Hall, Plate, and Room.

Keeley Caverns V2: Dual Reverb-Delay Pedal

Following the success of the Aurora, Keeley released the Caverns V2, a dual reverb-delay pedal that offers an even greater range of effects. This pedal features Keeley’s analog-style tape delay with modulation options and 650ms of warm delay that combines perfectly with Spring, Shimmer, or Modulated Reverb. The Reverb side of the Caverns V2 has four controls for Blend, Decay, Rate, and Warmth, along with a 3-way mode switch to select from Shimmer, Spring, or Modulated reverb. The Delay side of the pedal incorporates Keeley’s popular Magnetic Echo circuit, which is designed to emulate analog tape delay lines. The Delay side also has four controls – Time, Repeats, Rate, and Blend – with another 3-way switch that allows you to add Wow and Flutter (light, deep, or off).

Keeley HALO Dual Echo – Andy Timmonds Signature Pedal

Keeley’s latest release, the HALO, is a masterpiece of a pedal that took the team over two years to design and build. The HALO is the result of Keeley Electronics working with Andy Timmonds to create his signature “Halo” effect – a modulated dual echo sound that he kept secret until now. With the HALO, you can save up to eight of your favourite sounds as presets, add tape compression texture to your tone using the Saturate control, and shape your overall delay with the Tone and High Pass Filter controls. The Rhythm Mode selector delivers 5 delay types, including Andy’s unique “Halo” sound. By setting the Time and Feedback controls low, you can create ambient chorus and flanger effects. The HALO can also be used as two delay pedals working in tandem, letting you switch between your main delay (side A) and an alternative (side B). With the Smart Stomp System, you can press and hold either stomp switch to engage tap tempo mode. The Rhythm control allows you to select between different echoes like HALO, Analog, Tape, Quarter, and Dotted Eighth.

The three reverb pedals discussed in the article, the Keeley Aurora, Caverns V2, and HALO, are some of the most popular and well-regarded options from Keeley Electronics. However, Keeley also produces other high-quality reverb pedals that are definitely worth exploring.

One example is the Keeley Vibe-O-Verb, which is a modern take on the classic spring reverb and vibrato effects found in vintage amplifiers. It features both reverb and vibrato effects, along with a unique "focus" control that allows for precise adjustments of the reverb's tonality. Another great option is the Keeley Hydra, which combines reverb and tremolo effects in a compact and versatile pedal. It features three different reverb modes (spring, plate, and hall) and three different tremolo modes (harmonic, bias, and tube), allowing for a wide range of sound-shaping options.

Finally, there’s the Keeley Verb O Trem, another reverb effects pedal. This pedal offers a unique combination of tremolo and reverb effects making it an ideal choice for guitarists looking to add some character and depth to their sound. With the Verb O Trem, you get two effects in one pedal. The reverb side offers three different modes - spring, plate, and hall - as well as controls for decay, level, and tone. The tremolo side has four different wave shapes - sine, square, ramp, and harmonic - as well as controls for depth, rate, and shape. What really makes the Verb O Trem special is the interaction between the two effects. By adjusting the level and tone of the reverb and the depth and rate of the tremolo, you can create some truly unique and interesting sounds. For example, you can use the tremolo to create a pulsing rhythm and then add in some subtle reverb to give the sound more space and depth. Or you can use the reverb to create a dreamy atmosphere and then add in some tremolo to give it a subtle wobble.

In conclusion, Keeley Electronics has mastered the art of creating high-quality and versatile reverb pedals, and the Aurora, Caverns V2, and HALO Dual Echo are just a few of their impressive offerings. Each pedal boasts unique features and controls, making them an essential tool for any guitar player looking to add depth and richness to their sound. Whether you're a professional musician or a beginner, Keeley Electronics' reverb pedals are sure to inspire you to create and experiment with new sounds. So why not give them a try and see how they can elevate your music to the next level?

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