Strymon BigSky Reverberator Pedal

Instruments Category: 

My Strymon BigSky review came about in an interesting way as I just so happened to be in attendance during the unveiling of the BigSky Multidimensional Reverberator at the first ever Strymon Social event here in Southern California. It didn’t even cross my mind that Strymon would be unveiling a new product. Needless to say I was pleasantly surprised and decided this might be a great time for an intel-gathering reconnaissance mission. It’s rare to have an opportunity for an in-depth discussion with company founders and chief designers before a product review, yet here were all 3 Strymon founders/engineering gurus at the unveiling and hands-on presentation of the BigSky.

My Q&A sessions weren’t formal interviews per se, just me picking the brains of founders, Gregg, Pete, and Dave, about Strymon’s design philosophy, company history, and of course, the new BigSky. My most illuminating revelation was simply gaining a better understanding of the roles of these three men during product development and how their individual areas of expertise come together in crafting the outstanding effects Strymon has become well-known for. People often just look at the final product, but remarkable insights can be had by gaining an understanding of a company’s mission and development process.

Gregg is the Senior Analog Engineer, a.k.a the hardware guy, whose primary contributions are of the physical nature. He’s responsible for creating the BigSky’s functional and gorgeously streamlined form-factor and ensuring that uncompromising audio fidelity is maintained from the moment your guitar signal enters the pedal to the moment it leaves. Pete, Strymon’s resident DSP Algorithm Genius, is the number-crunching guru who comes up with the complex mathematical equations responsible for the BigSky’s ultra-complex and realistic reverb algorithms. And Dave, the Firmware Architect, takes care of the coding and software aspects, merging Pete’s mathematical formulas and sound designs with Gregg’s master-crafted hardware, bridging the two worlds seamlessly with his software expertise. These 3 masterminds form the core trinity behind Strymon’s product development, although spending some time around the Strymon offices gives the impression that every member of the Strymon family plays an invaluable role in the company’s overall success.

Few companies seem to take working hard and having fun as seriously as these folks, and their extensive range of quality guitar pedals including the Strymon TimeLine and Mobius shows that it pays off. With so many big companies mass producing clones and spin-offs, it’s refreshing to see a small boutique company producing very high-quality products that are on par with, and often surpassing, the best effects pedals and rack gear available. Strymon’s products are created with a passion and drive for perfection that results in a reinvention of the wheel in every area they set out to conquer. They did it with delay and modulation with their Timeline and Mobius pedals, respectively, and they’re aiming to do it again with their flagship BigSky Multidimensional Reverberator.

Big Sky, No Limit

The BigSky ups the ante with 12 studio-grade reverb machines, powered by an insanely powerful SHARC DSP processor for some of the most complex, realistic, and otherworldly reverb sounds available in a pedal or any other format. It also comes in Strymon’s familiar larger stompbox enclosure that fans of the Timeline and Mobius will recognize. The BigSky’s features are extensive and very impressive. Here’s a full rundown of specs before we dive into our Strymon BigSky review.


Sound Design:

  • Hand crafted, studio-class reverb algorithms deliver lush, gorgeous, and musically inspiring reverb experiences
  • Twelve reverb machines to choose from: Room, Hall, Plate, Spring, Swell, Bloom, Cloud, Chorale, Shimmer, Magneto, Nonlinear, Reflections
  • Seven front-panel tone shaping knobs: Decay, Pre-Delay, Mix, Tone, Mod, Param 1, Param 2 (Param knobs assignable per preset)
  • Additional menu parameters allow for easy customization of reverb sounds
  • 300 easily accessible and namable presets
  • Press-and-hold Infinite Sustain and Freeze functions, savable per preset
  • Spillover and Reverb Persist modes, savable per preset
  • Selectable Speaker Cabinet emulation for direct-to-PA gigs or recording applications


  • Three rugged metal footswitches for preset selection and effect bypass
  • LED display for preset info, reverb decay time, and extended parameter control
  • Multi-color preset LEDs (green for active preset, amber for edited preset)
  • Full MIDI implementation allows extended control for those with more complex rigs
  • Sturdy and lightweight light blue anodized aluminum chassis, with laser-etched artwork
  • Durable black anodized aluminum knobs
  • Studio-grade audio input and output jacks

 Ins & Outs:

  • Stereo input and output
  • Expression pedal input with selectable control over any knob or combination of knobs, saveable per preset (also configurable as external tap input)
  • MIDI input and output
  • Included 9V center-negative power supply (300mA minimum required)

Audio Quality:

  • Analog dry path for a zero latency dry signal that is never converted to digital
  • Premium analog front end and output section
  • Ultra low noise, high performance 24-bit 96kHz A/D and D/A converters
  • 115dB typical signal to noise at 50% wet mix (120db at 100% dry mix, 109dB at 100% wet mix)
  • 20Hz to 20kHz frequency response
  • +8dBu maximum input level easily handles instrument and line signals


  • Super high performance DSP in a compact form factor
  • 32-bit floating point processing
  • 333MHz SIMD SHARC processor core, capable of 2.4 Gigaflops peak performance


  • True Bypass (electromechanical relay switching)
  • High quality, transparent Analog Buffered Bypass mode
  • +/- 3dB Boost/Cut, savable per preset
  • Optional Kill Dry mode mutes dry signal, for use in parallel effects loops
  • Dimensions: 6.75″ (171mm) wide, 5.1″ (130mm) deep
  • Designed and Built in the USA