Meris Mercury X Review: The Ultimate Reverb Pedal

Meris Mercury X Review: The Ultimate Reverb Pedal Leave a comment

I’m, by nature, a skeptic. When one thing generates loads of hype, I usually reflexively forged doubt on it. Few results pedals in latest reminiscence have created extra buzz than the Mercury X from the audio wizards at Meris, which has constructed its fame making high-end guitar pedals. However after utilizing it, I can’t even attempt to faux that the Mercury X doesn’t dwell as much as the hype. It’s fairly costly at $599, however it’s one of the best reverb pedal available on the market, full cease.

That may very well be the tip of the evaluate, actually, however I do know I can’t make an announcement that daring with out backing it up. The Mercury X feels each bit just like the high-end pedal it’s and I’ve no doubts it might simply survive the trials of tour life.

On the Flooring

Let’s begin by speaking concerning the construct: It’s rock stable. The 4 footswitches, 4 potentiometers and three push encoders are sturdy and have quantity of resistance. The display is vibrant and viewable from any angle, and the Mercury X has mainly all of the connectivity choices you can ask for. It has stereo ins and outs, 5-pin MIDI out and in, an expression pedal jack and USB-C, although the latter is strictly for firmware updates proper now.

Clearly, the {hardware} is secondary. It’s the variability and unimaginable high quality of the reverb algorithms (“constructions” in Meris’ terminology) packed into the pedal that make it one of the best out there. There are eight in complete, ranging out of your normal spring and corridor reverbs, to extra unique fare like “Ultraplate” and “Gravity”. No matter whether or not they’re extra restrained or really on the market ambient washes, they sound unimaginable.

{Photograph}: Terrence O’Brien

Acquainted Favorites

I’m choosy about my spring reverbs. I usually discover that emulations are skinny and clearly synthetic in comparison with the sound of a traditional Fender amp. Even the actual deal can sound low cost and toy-like when not correctly carried out. However Meris knocks it out of the park with a spring algorithm that’s convincing and luxurious at subtler settings, and while you crank it looks like your guitar is operating by means of an impossibly massive spring tank with out seeming unnatural.

The 78 Room, 78 Plate and 78 Corridor algorithms are borrowed from Meris’ collaboration with Chase Bliss (one other relentlessly modern guitar pedal firm), the CXM 1978. That pedal is, in flip, modeled on the Lexicon 224, an iconic digital reverb unit from the late ‘70s utilized by the likes of Vangelis, Brian Eno, Kate Bush and Speaking Heads. The distinction right here is that the CXM has three completely different variations of every of these algorithms, whereas the Mercury X solely has the “hifi” rendition. These are all unimaginable sounding as properly, however not tremendous real looking. As a substitute, they mimic the distinctive character of early digital rackmount models. With the peripheral results that Meris contains you may actually lean into the lofi and imperfect nature of their inspiration.

Ultraplate and Cathedral come from Meris’ trendy basic reverb pedal, the Mercury 7. These are epic, within the truest sense of the phrase. Positive, you may dial issues down and get massive, however not uncontrollable, reverb tails from them. However they arrive into their very own while you embrace the huge voids of their extremes. The Ultraplate particularly rings out nearly for an eternity even with the decay set to midway.

The final two algorithms, Prism and Gravity, are distinctive to the Mercury X. They’re the 2 most on the market choices. Prism is a “twin tank that permits you to construct your personal geometric rooms.” That description doesn’t actually offer you an concept of what it appears like. I’d describe it as dense with reflections, and in some way concurrently claustrophobic and large. Gravity is nearly granular in nature, it takes small chunks of your sound and smears them out over an infinity. If you wish to play huge ambient emo melody strains these two are most likely going to be your greatest pal (together with Ultraplate).

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