I’ve just ordered a Meris Mercury 7…I was undecided between the specular tempus and the Mercury 7, but the review on ThePedalZone tipped me over…to me it sounds better than the BigSky (I find the BigSky a bit bright…but of course still an amazing pedal, especially the Cloud algo), SA Ventris (Ventris has better “realistic reverb” but sounds a little boring/dark to my ears), and even the Tempus (sounds amazing actually)…
I love my Specular Tempus. Nice editor too
I went through the same dilemma - Strymon vs Ventris vs Meris vs Tempus. I went with the Ventris as I loved the app and midi implementation and it is a tweakers dream. Sounds: I found a bunch of great presets on the community and it is somewhere between all of the above mentioned. I guess you can’t go wrong with any of them. But, I may still pick up the Tempus as it really excels at the ‘over the top’ algorithms with long tails and huge rooms. I am curious how the Meris has worked out for you - that is the only one I didn’t dig too deep into and it a fantastic pedal.
Thanks for sharing! Pedal should be here by the end of the week, will post once I had some time with it
+1 for the Tempus :). The developer Henry is a very nice guy and ironed out a midi bug in the firmware within two days and gave me a preview firmware for testing before he released it. Thats true customer dedication. And also he added some new algos with the latest firmware and ironed out some bugs as well as making improvements.
And I just like how the tempus sounds.
But I cant deny that I am eyeballing with a Meris Polymoon for some weird Effects …
No real reason to limit one’s self to a single box, but I do think the Specular Tempus is a lot of bang for the buck…what’s this new firmware you speak of?
Have a look at the GFI Systems Homepage.
Its Version 3.8 Build 11…
Thanks! I’ll see which version I have
The Tempus itself only reveals the 3.8 or whatever version but not the build number.
Oh, ok! Thanks for the heads up!
Hey @wirelesswine, Mercury7 arrived earlier today, haven’t had all too much time with it yet but still wanted to give you some feedback on the pedal (take it with a grain of salt though, still need more time with it).
CONSTRUCTION: I have a few nice pieces of equipment in my studio and a few pedals also, though nothing spectacular in that latter department. Saying this because I somehow expected the Meris to be constructed like my studio gear…but it’s more of a pedal than a moog voyager in regards to construction…lol. I shouldn’t be but I’m surprised, read how awesome its construction is in several forums. Not that it is bad (by no means!) just a lot more lightweight than I thought. But all works nice and smooth, so no complaints.
UI/UX: I’m OK with the ALT function thing and was sure I wouldn’t mind it, but now playing with it I do feel it would have been nice to have dedicated controls or a little screen that shows me where the ALT settings are at - since, if I work out an awesome sound by tweaking all the dials, then step away from it for a bit…by the time I come back, there’s no way to know where I positioned the dials with all the ALT settings…so the patch is temporary/momentary, no way to “secure/save” it by eg taking a picture OR by writing it down (unless I do so immediately as I turn the dials). I know this can be “fixed” by attaching a midi controller/patch selector to it but still. I also wish the manual would at least tell me what the value ranges for the ALT functions are, eg the pre-delay setting…Currently, I have NO idea how long/short the predelay range of the pedal is, so when I turn the knobs, it’s all by feel and ear (which is also a benefit in the sense that it forces me to use my ears…but still). In general, the manual is pretty vanilla and could be a little more detailed for my taste. Also re UI/UX, it appears that the controls aren’t linear, eg the Mix hardly makes a difference till around 3/4 o’clock and then stats to ramp up real quick.
SOUND: Let me start by saying that I first placed the pedal in the FX loop of my Peavey Classic 50 212 and strummed a few chords + played a few licks on my 335 and my LesPaul (P90s and Gibson Classic 57s respectively - playing only clean tones). It sounded OK, not phenomenal but some of that will be due to the amp (the Peavey is decent but a little muddy & grainy sounding to my ears and the tubes on this particular one could use replacing…plus it has the Blue Marvel speakers, which often are rated as poor speakers by owners of this amp). I then thought “let me try this pedal with a synth and in stereo” …so I connected my A4 to it (A4 -> Mercury7 -> UAD Apollo). Played around with thay for a while, sounds good and much better through my monitor speakers than through the Peavey. Tested the Utraplate algo against the UAD EMT140 with synth and voice…voice sounded quite a bit better through the EMT140 to my ears (just more spacious / lush / dimensional…surprise?). When it comes to the synth, this may sound a bit daft, but it really depends on the settings I manage to dial in on the Mercury as to which one I end up preferring. I say “manage” because that’s still how it feels…I know the EMT140 and know what to expect and how to alter the sound to get to what i want it to sound like (within the constraints of what it can sound like of course)…no such familiarity with the Mercury yet, of course, though I can definitely say the Mercury is obviously more flexible/extreme/modulation-y and the cathedra algo is a different beast to any plate vsts I have. Example: I thought I wouldn’t use the Mercury7’s Pitch Vector feature at all, but on the synth it makes for interesting sound scapes…it’s almost more an effect than it is a reverb at some settings I dialed in and the pitch vector makes for some interesting harmonic/melodic depth. At this point of my exploration I wa still undecided whether to keep the pedal or not…369€ is quite a bit of money after all for an effect and the Ventris keeps coming to mind as a versatile alternative…
WELL…FINALLY, I decide to plug my Strat into the Mercury and run it clean through my Apollo (so Strat -> Mercury7 -> UAD Apollo, no unison plug)…space decay at around 4 o’clock, Mix at around 5/5:30, high frequency at 12, low frequency at 2 oclock…first chord strummed…and it’s absolut BLISS!!! Swell engaged…woah!!! Amazing!!! It seems any setting suddenly works, sounds wonderful in its own way…now I DEFINITELY feel like keeping it and cherishing it on the daily as a special pedal in my arsenal, lol.
so re sound my takeaways:
It’s a stereo pedal and should be used as such…it sounds SO MUCH better in stereo than through my amp in mono
To me it sounds best with the guitar (Strat)…so in a way, it really is a guitar effect I know it’s meant for synths also and everything in between, but to me - SO FAR - it’s magic has unfolded most when my guitar goes through it and the Mercury gets to express itself in stereo…I will experiment further with my synths now where the initial scepticism has faded and maybe I’ll be as amazed with synths running through it later on tonight (psychoacoustics anyone? :)) but at this point I want to play the guitar through it.
I wasn’t sure if the Mercury could do more subtle reverbs (it’ll be my only reverb pedal for a while), but the Ultraplate actually does a good job at low space decay settings and placed only subtly in the mix. Good enough for me not to lust for something more conventional in addition to this.
That’s all I have to offer at the moment. I’ll play around some more and if any new insights / opinions come up, I’ll report back
nice timing with this thread. I’m currently looking for a monster stereo reverb for mi dreadbox medusa. toying between the Mercury, ventris, space, n big sky. Still not 100% which will be best for dirty drone stuff.
The real problem is they’re all great boxes. I love my Specular Tempus. It can do the big hifi Empress kinda thing, but I’ve also made a pretty gnarly tape warble type patch as well some cool pitched verbs and delays. I still want an El Capistan and a Dark World at some point though
I’ll check out the Tempus, never heard of it
if only the dark world was stereo out, I love chase bliss.
Me too! Crazy expensive and possibly too feature packed, but Chase Bliss makes amazing stuff.
The Specular Tempus has a lot going for it. Stereo, midi sync, verb, delay or both, some pitch stuff. When I first got it I was slightly underwhelmed because it only seemed to do that Empress super clean, big hifi thing. Once I hooked up to the audio editor on my computer things got really fun and there’s still a lot under the hood I haven’t tapped into yet. I think it’s a steal at $350, but that doesn’t mean it’ll be the right choice for you.
nice one Snipe. sounds somewhat like the Ventris by what you say: dual stuff, editor etc. i shall check its vibes promptly.
Now I gotta check out the Ventris
Specular Tempus is reverb and delay in one. The Speculat Reverb v3 has all the reverb algos without any of the delay algos and is 100€ cheaper still I was very tempted by that one, maybe down the line…
I was going back and fourth between the Ventris and the Mercury7…the Ventris seems like the reasonable choice, 12 top level reverb algos with all the basics covered…spring, room, plate, hall… and then some. Plus dual reverbs…but I REALLY dislike that I have to use an iPhone/Mac app to get to its full functionality…that’s a Source Audio thing in general, I just don’t want to commit the full usability of my pedal to a mobile device that gets upgraded every 1-2 years…too volatile. Plus, the day the developers stop supporting an app (look at eg Blackstar with their TVP series…f******), there goes a good part of the advertised functionality.
Also, from the demos I’ve heard the Ventris sounds collected and unexcited…”grown up” somehow…which is a fine sound just not so exciting to me…even the more out-there algos on it seem to sound very civilised…mind you that’s based on audio demos and youtube, so there’s a good chance I’m clueless in this regard in fact, so many people praise its sound and even call it the strymon killer, I must be clueless actually
I might order a Ventris also just to compare, but so far - after initial hesitation - I’m digging the Mercury7, and more and more so.
how does the Space stack up against all the newer stuff?
with regards to the blackhole kinda algos does it still hold its own?