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The Holy Grail Reverb is one of the most frequently recommended pieces of equipment, and for good reason. No matter what amp I plug it into it sounds great. It has three settings: Hall, Spring, and Flerb, which is a strange reverb that sounds like it belongs in an old science fiction movie. Flerb is kind of fun, but I’ve never found much use for it. If I ever join a funk band maybe I’ll use it some time. The Hall setting sounds like a very big room. It’s a bit much, although I may find it useful on the right song. (Maybe that’s how Blackfoot got that monster sound on Train Train…) The Spring setting is the one that sounds like classic instrument reverb. If you use just a touch of it, it sounds very tasteful. But the Holy Grail is capable of exceeding good taste by a long shot. I would say “tasteful” would be where you set the knob anywhere between 8 o’clock and 11 o’clock. Turning it all the way around to 5 o’clock (full on) is so ridiculous that it becomes unplayable. The good news is that it doesn’t have a hair trigger. It’s easy to dial in just the right amount.
It also seems that any other effects that don’t create their own problems will sound good with the Holy Grail at the end of the chain.
The only problem I see with it is that it can aggavate feedback just a little bit. If you have already tamed the feedback monster with your other equipment, the Holy Grail won’t bother you. But if you constantly have to worry about squealing noises, throwing this thing into the mix will push you over the edge. I’ve noticed that whenever I’m at a particularly loud jam and I get things set up just the way I want them, kicking the Holy Grail on will SOMETIMES make it so I have to be concerned about feedback. At a band gig it’s no problem at all.
I wouldn’t want to use reverb all the time, but if you are looking for a good reverb unit I have no reservation in recommending the Holy Grail. Just make sure if you are buying a used one that it comes with the power supply because you can’t put a battery in it.