Nothing can stop the Californian geeks of Strymon! After reverbs, delays, modulations, power supplies and lately, the Riverside (superb pre-amp), Strymon is now tackling OD / Distortion pedals with the Sunset, an impressive Swiss army knife offering you the equivalent of 6 pedals ( and even more possibilities) in one. For a very long time, Strymon geeks have stayed away from overdrives and other distortions while waiting to bring something really "new", as they have always done with their splendid reverbs and other delays which have become real references. With the Sunset, Strymon offers you a large part of the pedals that have marked the genre with tenfold possibilities and still this technology far ahead of its competitors.
So what is Sunset? Above all, it is a totally different design from other overdrives / distortions available on the market. Classic OD pedals typically use an all-analog design. The Sunset is in fact a hybrid which bases its architecture on an analogue JFET Class A input stage (and not only) whose signal will be managed by a SHARC DSP (the most powerful at present). This will allow you to control "on the fly" additional gain stages, dynamics, harmonics and many other parameters to sculpt your sound. This specific integration provides the best of both worlds. The analog part will allow you to deliver an optimal signal and an extremely fine interaction with your guitar by maximizing its dynamic range and offering a unique character to the drive delivered. The digital part will then allow access to possibilities that are usually impossible to obtain unless you use several pedals. This is one of the specificities of the Sunset. The Sunset allows you to do everything from the lightest and most subtle clean boost with absolute transparency, to complex and smooth high gain distortion.
Generally, pedals trying to do everything do, in the end, nothing good. This is not the case with the Sunset which covers absolutely all the needs of a current guitarist in terms of Drive.
Please note, the Sunset is an Analog-Digital pedal, but it does not use any modeling technology. It is based on the great classics that have marked most guitarists and recreates their respective design while adding the usual "Strymon touch".
The Sunset uses the same lines as the other brand pedals. 6 buttons (and not 5 as on the other models) and two mini switches on the front. The pedal is divided into two slices left and right. On each slice, we find the same controls, namely:
- The DRIVE button: This allows you to adjust the amount of Gain delivered by the pedal. Are you going to tell us, "nothing original"? Well yes! Because the DRIVE button of the Sunset has a completely unique operation. Indeed, when you adjust it, the Sunset modifies on the fly, the response, the dynamics and the equalization for an optimal rendering. This is to avoid any loss of dynamics and to maintain a perfectly intelligible drive, even within a complex formation. The left DRIVE also adjusts the intensity of the built-in Noise Gate (secondary function).
- The LEVEL knob: It adjusts the output volume.
- The TONE button: It adjusts the high frequencies. Note that this changes behavior for each mode.
- The Left mini-switch: This allows you to choose from 3 modes (Ge: germanium diode circuit with dry parallel pat, Klon Centaur style. Texas: Single stage soft-clipper with a bump in the upper medium, TS style. Treble : Clean boost with action on the low end of the spectrum via Tone, XOtic style).
- The Right mini-switch: This allows you to choose from 3 modes (2 Stage: soft-clipping stage followed by a hard-clipping stage, complex and very dynamic Overdrive. Hard: High gain single stage hard-clipping circuit, like RAT.JFET: Clean boost which boosts and enriches your signal).
- The Presence switch: This mini 3-position switch allows you to adjust the top of the spectrum and the amount of headroom.
- The AB switch: To configure the signal routing. A+B, A followed by B or B followed by A.
- In & Out: Enough to connect your pedal to an amp, a power amp, a mixer, an audio interface and more...
- Fav output: To connect a Favorite Switch and recall an additional preset.
- Expression: Allows you to control any parameter or group of knobs with an expression pedal. Can also act as a volume pedal.
When it comes to sound, the Strymon Sunset is... perfect clean boost, perfect treble and mid boost, low-gain, mid-gain, high-gain overdrive, rock distortion and basically everything you need. need the slightest boost to 80's high-gain distortion. After a few hours of play, several things strike. At no time do we feel the usual "digital" side. Namely, stiffness and over-compression. Here, we have transparency, dynamics, an excellent response, a very musical natural compression, ultra-efficient settings and ultra-wide possibilities of integration in a configuration of any type... The goal is to offer a maximum versatility in a single box.
The Sunset is extremely transparent, it delivers ultra-dynamic drives, with very marked personalities and exemplary musicality. All this with an impressive headroom and this typically analog "airy" side. What makes it unique for a pedal of this kind.
The icing on the cake, the Sunset is equipped with a kind of intelligent Noise Killer. Indeed, here, no question of "gate, threshold" and others. This is not an ordinary noise gate, it works a bit like an "envelop filter", with very advanced dynamics management, so as never to degrade the signal. Formidably effective and natural.
As always, Strymon redistributes the cards on a market that is nevertheless rich in alternatives and competitors. The Strymon Sunset is an ultra high-end and ultra complete pedal. The possibility of saving an additional preset via its Favorite function further increases the possibilities offered, as do its "on the fly" expression functions. It could almost be the only drive pedal on your pedalboard as it does so many things perfectly. Almost infinite possibilities and extraordinary musicality. No doubt, we are at Strymon!
- Six drive circuit topologies with custom tuned voicing for each drive type
- Precision crafted drive circuits stackable in multiple combinations for a wide variety of complex, responsive tones.
- Analog class A JFET input gain stage maximizes headroom while adding up to 20dB of pure analog gain
- Drive and Tone control ranges optimized for each circuit topology
- Series, reverse series, and parallel drive circuit stacking via Config switch
- Bright switch to tailor the sound for use with all amplifiers from dark to bright
- Optional variable-threshold noise reduction for taming noisy guitar pickups
- High impedance mono input. Single-output
- Favorite Input to connect an external MiniSwitch to recall a Favorite preset
- Expression pedal input allows the connection an expression pedal for simultaneous morphing control over multiple parameters
- Ultra low noise, high performance 24-bit 96kHz A/D and D/A converters provide uncompromising audio quality
- Premium analog front end and output section
- Super high performance SHARC DSP in a compact form factor. 32-bit floating point processing
- True Bypass (electromechanical relay switching) or selectable transparent Analog Buffered Bypass
- 9V DC power supply included. Maximum 9 volts DC center-negative, with a minimum of 250mA of current
- Dimensions: 11.4 cm deep x 10.2 cm wide x 4.4 cm tall
- Designed and built in the USA