Last year, Australia’s MC Systems Music introduced its Apollo pedal lineup. Each pedal features unique V-Switch technology that allows players to determine the amount of effect by how hard they stomp on the switch. A second switch activates an alternate setting—kind of like having an extra preset available. The SYD String Reviver is one such pedal, and it’s a unique offering in the pedal world.
Designed to “bring out the sparkle” in both electric and acoustic instruments, the String Reviver is probably best described as an equalizer pedal. The V-Switch activates separate definition settings, and the alternate switch chooses between boost levels, each adjustable with their own knob. The Slope knob controls EQ.
Having the Reviver on a pedalboard is kind of like adding a presence knob to the entire rig. This comes in handy for darker pickups or amps, and in conjunction with amp or pedal dirt it enhances clarity and helps lead parts soar. In conjunction with a compressor—in this instance a Reactor courtesy of McCaffrey Audio—the Reviver delivers complex clean tones great for jazz and blues. Using the alternate switch, one can go from rhythm to lead and clean to dirty with ease.
The String Reviver will integrate itself seamlessly into your rig as an enhancement device; it thrives off of other pedals in the chain. Everything sounds a little cleaner and clearer when engaged. With a Gibson SG going through the Reviver and a TC Electronic Flashback delay, repeats were less muddy than usual in Tape mode. Each note had a pleasant sheen that stood out in a good way. Dirt boxes have enhanced definition when used in conjunction with the Reviver, making it a good match for toneless fuzz pedals and drives that you’ve always desired more control over.
Compared to other EQ-style pedals, this one is worth considering because it’s designed for both electro-acoustic and electric instruments. Rather than having separate boxes for plugged and “unplugged” tones, one can run all their axes through the same board. Users may want to adjust settings for each guitar, but this is where the V-Switch and Alternate switches really come into play. Boost levels can be set accordingly for each guitar and players won’t have to worry about fiddling with any knobs when they make the switch. For live use, this will be a godsend for players who frequently alternate between acoustic and electric instruments.
I don’t know where I saw this first, but I’m almost positive some ad campaign had the slogan “For the man who has everything…” The SYD String Reviver pedal could be for the guitar player who has everything, but it will certainly enhance entire rigs and make them shine brightly. The Reviver is probably best suited for players who have a setup they’re happy with and want the ability to enhance it when necessary. It is well-built, innovative, and functional. It can be compared to a delightful seasoning used by a master chef; just the right amount will put a delicious dish over the top.
What we like: EQ-like pedal that gets any guitar to cut through the mix. V-Switch technology. Sturdy as they come.
Concerns: Somewhat of a luxury pedal, it will be best used in the hands of discriminating players.