Shimmering reverb is quickly becoming THE sound of the last few years, much like chorus was the hot new thing in the ‘80s. While the subtlety of the chorus effect took over a decade of trial and error to perfect, shimmer has rapidly accelerated since the technology was born, and here we are a couple short years later with a modified version of a shimmer reverb, whose decay is a robust minute plus.
Thankfully, Mr. Black is at the helm of this remix, so us tone addicts are in good hands. If Jack Deville, the mastermind behind Mr. Black Pedals, has made even a mediocre sounding pedal, I've yet to hear it. That said, Mr. Black has once again delivered the goods. Not only is the Eterna Gold Modified an exceptional sounding unit in its own right, it certainly bears enough differences from its predecessor to be worthy of a new enclosure—you won't find any change-one-resistor mods here.
It is with that degree of respect that the Eterna addresses a player's needs from any shimmer pedal. Do you want beautiful swells of shimmer? How does a minute of decay sound? What if I told you that the reverb engine and the way the pedal actually generated the octaves was completely overhauled? You've come to the right place, my friend.
One issue that a lot of hyper-ambitious digital pedals run into is the issue of clipping; when too much is going on, the signal gets overloaded and things start to get hinky. In the case of reverb—an effect often placed right before an amplifier—this aforementioned hinkiness can create problems in a hurry. The Eterna Gold Modified never experiences this type of digitized sloppiness; the post-Eterna signal sounds as pristine and artifact-free as your ears can handle.
Since there aren't a lot of non-shimmery verb pedals on the market that drone quite as long as the Eterna Gold Modified, the pedal is also a good choice for those players whose stomachs turn at the mere thought of shimmer. The "shimmer" control functions as a wet-dry blend of octaves into the reverberated signal. With the knob fully counterclockwise, your instrument is coated in a syrupy haze of near-infinite room-esque reverb. It's not quite a spring sound, but then again, it's not trying to be.
A neat setting I found is with the mix just barely up, the shimmer at 11 o'clock and the decay dimed out. This creates a subtle padding behind one's playing that provides a nice touch of ambience for lead playing or semi-sparse runs. Because the signal won't fully decay for over a minute, the hint of shimmer hangs exceptionally long in the mix without being overbearing. It's a great way to have shimmer be an always-on effect rather than one used sparingly. A player can get a lot of mileage out of this pedal with the right settings; it's not the seldom used one-trick pony that some other shimmer pedals are.
It's hard to say enough good things about the Eterna Gold Modified, but I'll leave you with this: Mr. Black's price point remains the same. At $179.95, it's the same price as every one of his pedals. You're not paying an extra arm and a leg for these generous modifications. Everything from the floor to the ceiling is wonderful.
What we like:
The same soon-to-be-legendary Mr. Black sound quality that we've all come to love is found in the Eterna Gold Modified. Nothing is compromised. The price point hasn't changed despite the Eterna Gold Modified's obvious ramping up of the shimmer game.