I do love Strymon. And I love the blueSky reverb, which you may consider to be like the little brother of the Strymon bigSky, which is, by no means, the best reverb pedal I’ve ever played.

Producing the most lush, majestic and stunning reverbs ever

The philosophy behind our blueSky Reverberator is simple—take a ridiculously powerful SHARC DSP and dedicate it to doing one thing only: producing the most lush, majestic and stunning reverbs ever. Many hours and sleepless nights in the Strymon sound design labs were devoted to developing the complex reverb algorithms found inside blueSky. We squeezed every last drop of processing power available.

Whether you’re a classic spring reverb fan or a studio rack aficionado, you’ll find your mojo here. blueSky provides three different reverb types, each with three modes, for a total of nine completely unique reverb experiences. blueSky even delivers an extremely versatile plate reverb, a rarity for a stompbox pedal. A full pre-delay and damping section provide deep reverb tone shaping. Add the mod and shimmer modes and you’re in store for unending reverb bliss. Couple that with 24-bit 96kHz converters and 115dB typical signal to noise, blueSky is equally at home on top of a studio console as it is in front of a tube amp.

I’m sure that is true.

Features and controls

The features of the blueSky are reduced with regard to those of the SkyVerb. You won’t have that many reverb machines, nor that many controls and parameters, and you won’t be able to store presets. It is more like any other regular reverb pedal. But it is not just like any other reverb pedal…

You can check the differences between the two Strymon units in this great video by Shnobel.

The Strymon blueSky is also true stereo. You’ll find the four jack connectors in the back of the pedal, aligned with the power supply socket. The blueSky is powered with a standard 9V negative power supply, and you will need to feed it with at least 250mA. It is an awesome pedal, so you’ll need an awesome power supply too.

The pedal have 2 small switches, one of them controlling the type of the reverb (plate, room, spring), and the other to add an additional effect to the reverb: norm (no effect added), mod for some modulation, and shimmer. It also has 5 knobs: Decay, Mix, Low Damp, Pre-Delay and High Damp, and two stomp switches: one for activating the pedal and the other to select a preset, where you can store your favorite sound.

This pedal is true bypass and the dry signal stays fully analog.

This is how the controls work like in the blueSky:

  • Decay controls the length of the reverb. Set low for small rooms, plates and short springs. Roll it up for cavernous sounds, big plates and longer springs.
  • Mix adjusts the balance between the dry (fully analog) signal and the wet reverberated one. You’ll get a 100% dry at lowest, and 100% wet when turned all the way up. The 50/50 mix occurs at about 3 o’clock.
  • Low Damp controls the amount of low damping in the wet signal. When turned counter clockwise you’ll reduce the amount of low end in the reverb decay trail.
  • Pre-Delay sets the delay time between the dry signal and the apparition of the reverberated one. This control is great for recreating different environments.
  • High Damp controls the amount of high damping in the wet signal. When turned counter clockwise you’ll reduce the amount of high end in the reverb decay trail.

Sound

You’ll have amazing experiences when playing through any Strymon pedal. I took it easy trying this pedal in a guitar store in Paris during a work trip, and I got shocked. You won’t have such a great dynamics with another pedal, it responded great to both Strat and Les Paul.

It is a little pricy too, but you have to pay for the best stuff.

Apart from my poor english vocabulary (I’m sorry for that), there is nothing I could say that makes justice for how this pedal sounds like. As it’s said, a single image is worth a thousand words, so check out the videos in the playlist below to listen to the Strymon blueSky.

Simply one of the best reverb pedals you can get.

Strymon blueSky playlist

Should you buy this pedal?

As always, it depends.

If you’re looking for a spring reverb pedal, you have better options out there. The blueSky has also a Spring reverb mode, but the Catalinbread Topanga Spring Reverb, the Wampler Faux Spring Reverb or the Mr. Black Deluxe Plus are better alternatives for that.

If you want to add an ambient reverb to your tone and don’t want to get lost among tons of knobs, presets and parameters, the blueSky is the best choice for that.

Alternatives to the Strymon blueSky

That is hard to say.

You may find similar functionalities in both the Electro Harmonix Cathedral and the TC Electronic Hall of Fame. Both are stereo too, and will let you play with different reverb modes. However, you won’t find in them the pristinness you’ll experiment with the Strymon. But, they are cheaper, so definitely something to consider if the price is an issue.

It the price is not an issue, the alternatives are simply the big guys: the Strymon bigSky and the Eventide Spice Reverb. Those are, without any doubt, the best reverb pedals.

Conclusion

This is a short summary of the review:

PROS

  • It is Strymon
  • The sound is just amazing
  • It is true stereo
  • Dry analog path and high res ADC and DAC
  • Great responding five knobs
  • Made in USA

CONS

  • Price
  • You may not feel its full potential live

The Strymon blueSky is, by no means, one of the greatest reverb pedals for natural ambience sounds. It will show you its full potential in stereo, and it’s killer for recording, but it is great to play with at home too. If you can afford it and don’t (or can’t) go for the big fishes (Strymon bigSky or Eventide Space), get one!

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