Admin Post The Strymon Flint As an effect-pedal minimalist, I find my interests confined mostly to reverb, delay, tremolo and perhaps a bit of chorus. With this in mind, I am always looking for the next holy grail of reverb in a pedal. (For the record, I have a Fender tank, but don’t use it at the short duration gigs we tend to play.) The Strymon Flint appealed to me because it combined some serious reverb emulations with several flavors of tremolo, namely Harmonic Tremolo, Bias Varying Tremolo and the Blackface Optically Coupled tremolo. The reverbs offered on the Flint are a ‘60s reverb (think Blackface amp) a ‘70s plate emulation and an ‘80s rack reverb. The two functions, Reverb and Tremolo, are controlled by separate foot-switches. So, how does it sound? For the record, my test guitar was a Japanese made Fender Jazzcaster hybrid with a P-90 in the neck and a Telecaster bridge pickup. For the Surf sounds, I used the ultra twangy bridge pickup. For most of the other tests I selected both pickups, except for a brief foray into the ultra mellow sound of the neck pickup, just so I could see how the reverb functioned for the mellow stuff. Overall, both the reverb and the tremolo sounded as good as any pedal I’ve ever heard, but the news was not all positive. Please, read on: Reverb My first task was to go for a strong Surf sound. With the ‘60s reverb selected and the mix turned high, I got a Surfish sound, but it was not the sound of a dripping reverb tank. It was more along the lines of a Blackface Fender amp’s onboard reverb. It was a solid sound, a very decent sound, but the “drip” of a reverb tank pushed this pedal to its limits. I could make it drip, but I couldn’t make it drip to the extent of a real tank, or to the extent of my Catalinbread Topanga. But, as long as we are talking about the spring reverb emulation, I think it’s only fair to talk about the strengths of this pedal. It is an excellent tool for a Blackface flavored reverb emulation. Buck Owens & Don Rich, countless Country, Pop and Rock songs from the ‘60s and even Instrumental Rock, such as the Ventures are all sounds within easy reach of this pedal. However, the intense drip of hardcore Surf, the Astronauts or Dick Dale (RIP) is not to be found in the Flint. The ‘70s plate Reverb was good, a bit more clearly voiced than the ‘60s emulation. This is the sound of many ‘70s hits. It’s smoother and less hard-edged than the spring reverb that had dominated the prior decade. It’s a good sound, a versatile sound and a useful sound, but it’s not the star player of this pedal. The ‘80s Rack Reverb emulation is not much different than the ‘70s Plate emulation, but to my ears it was somewhat stronger, somewhat clearer. If I owned this pedal, I would probably use the ‘80s Rack Reverb emulation most of the time. I don’t see it as a sound which favors any particular musical genre. It’s more on the order of a studio reverb. It’s one of the best reverbs I have ever heard. One thing I will say for all of the emulations on the Flint is that they are controllable. Set the Decay control to keep things orderly and you will find yourself with a very useful, very serviceable pedal. The only thing I will say which could be considered even slightly negative is that this is not the reverb I would choose were I looking for a hardcore Surf sound. While you can get close to a Surf sound, and it’s certainly Surfy enough to satisfy the casual audience, the reverb of this pedal is unlikely to satisfy a Surf player hoping to capture the drip and excitement of a 6G15 Fender tank. I wouldn’t characterize this as a flaw, but it is a limitation which must be recognized. If you are a Surf player, try before you buy. Tremolo Now the tremolo side, and it’s a straightforward story. No matter which I chose, there was no volume loss, and the tremolo emulations seemed not to color the sound character. Three choices, ‘61 Harmonic, ‘63 Tube (bias varying) and ‘65 Optical. The Harmonic tremolo is one of the better I’ve heard. It seems to avoid the seasickness-inducing effect that I’ve heard on some other products. Harmonic Tremolo is not my personal favorite, but I find this emulation easy to like. The Bias Varying Tremolo emulation appealed to my tastes, much as the real thing does. It’s a throbbing, insistent tremolo which adds texture without adding any undesirable artifacts. By far, this is my favorite of the three. The Optically Coupled Tremolo emulation is very much like the Blackface tremolo sound of the ‘60s. By nature, this is a choppier sound than the Bias Varying Tremolo. It is a sound you might have heard in later ‘60s recordings. It’s also insistent, but I wouldn’t call it a throbbing tremolo. The ramp of volume change is much steeper, the sound more intense. Strymon did their homework on all of these emulations. I can’t criticize any of the three. Of course, the Reverbs and Tremolos can be used simultaneously. It’s possible to reverse the order, tremolo before or after reverb, and this can be a useful tool in its own right. While my test was not to this depth, what I did find was that using both effects at the same time is a painless process. There were no volume problems, no unpleasant surprises. Once again, with regard to the integration of these two effects, Strymon did their homework and delivered a very viable product. And that is where I will end it. The Strymon Flint is a very competent product, which delivers upon all that it promises. Reverb, and to a lesser extent, Tremolo, are core effects which are used in many sorts of music. The Strymon Flint will serve the needs of almost all players and deliver reliable, competent and controllable effects to its users. Beyond the familiar spring reverb which most of us know well, it delivers two other reverbs which add something new to our pallet. For my purposes, these might be the most valuable feature of the pedal. They bring some relatively expensive reverbs into the realm of the average player. That ‘80s Rack Reverb emulation is one of the best reverbs I’ve ever heard.