Strymon Mobius

January 30, 2014

Featuring 12 modulation effects, 200 editable presets, stereo ins and outs, full MIDI implementation, an expression pedal jack, and tap tempo, the Mobius ($449 street) affords the user a dizzying array of options before even starting to plumb the depths of its sonic capabilities. Both a workmanlike stage tool and an inspirational creativity machine, the Mobius is onestop shopping for vintage stompbox models, expressive swelling effects, and even some freakier sounds such as Formant (a filter that emits vowel sounds), Destroyer (a bit-crusher with a filter for megaphone and telephone-type effects), and Quadrature (a frequency shifter with selectable LFO waveforms).

Sonically, the Mobius is highly satisfying. The vintage phasers, flangers, and chorusing all sound excellent, and, just as important, they feel right too. They hit the front of your amp with the period-correct moxie, and all of the models welcome you to really dig into the strings, which is always rewarding for a player. Some of my favorite sounds include the dBucket and Multi choruses, which are deep and chewy, and the Silver and Grey flangers for adding some cool ’80s shades to your tones. All of the vintage models delivered bountiful musicality and character no matter how subtle or over the top I needed the effects to be. The Rotary sounds in particular attain a high level of realism by allowing you to control the high-frequency horn as well as the Leslie cabinet’s tube preamp (great for putting some harmonic grind on the effect), and there’s also a Mic Distance control that varies the distance of two microphones from the horn driver to create Doppler effects ranging from subtle to intensely warbled.

My favorite non-vintage effects include the Autoswell, which lends itself to everything from wonderfully musical soloing effects to lush pads (thanks to the effect’s ability to throw some expansive chorus into the mix), and Quadrature, which, with a little practice with an expression pedal, allows you to create sumptuous, Mooglike textures. The Mobius sports the same outstanding tremolo models as Strymon’s excellent Flint pedal, and it sounds great right out of the box, thanks to its tastefully rendered and highly usable factory presets. That said, the Mobius is a deep pedal, and if you want to go there it’s necessary to have the manual handy—at least in the beginning stages. But once you get familiar with the menu layout via Mobius’ small display, the going gets easier. You can control any or all knobs via an expression pedal, and there’s a handy Pre/Post switch that allows you to run the effects in your amp’s FX loop or inline with your pedals. This is programmable for every effect, so if you want, say, your chorus and flangers in your amp’s FX loop, but not the auto-swell, it’s possible to configure it that way.

Props to Strymon for making the Mobius a more forward-looking box and not just simply a stockpile of vintage stompbox models. Whether you like to plug in and play or really get in there and tweak your effects, you’ll find the Mobius well suited for live or studio use and capable of a range of sounds and textures that will make even the most die-hard analog fan think twice.

Kudos Immense modulation firepower. Tons of routing and sonic options.

Concerns Value and Type knobs feel somewhat delicate.


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