054 | Strymon Iridium: A Closer Look at this Amp & IR Cab Pedal | Transcript

Transcript

Back to Episode Homepage

Scott Schwertly:
Hello and welcome to episode 54 of the Sonic Renegades Podcast. We're exploring Renegade pedals that have changed the music landscape. For today's discussion, we have a pedal from another one of my favorite companies, this is Strymon and Specifically, we're going to be talking about these Strymon iridium amp and IR cab pedal. This one's a fun one and we can't wait to unpack it on the other side. (silence)

Hey guys, Scott Schwertly and Eric Wilson of Siren Pedals with you today. Hope you are having a great one. Well, today we've got a really fun pedal. This is a new one for me, I know Eric you've had this almost since day one of its release. We're going to be talking about the Strymon Iridium. Man, I wish I bought this thing a long time ago, but it's been an absolute joy having it over the last couple of days. I love this pedal, it's probably my favorite purchase of 2020, So, really excited to be talking about this one. If you're not familiar with the Iridium, it's basically an amp and IR cab pedal, so you can mimic all of your favorite amps that are out there, or at least a good chunk of them. So really excited to be talking about this one today.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah, I got the chance to buy the Iridium when it first came out. I had just moved to Nashville and I bought a Kemper, the profiling amp, and I use that on things I was working on, and then when the Iridium came out, I'm like, Well, shoot for 400 bucks, which is $1,000 less than I paid for the Kemper. I'm like, it's worth the shot. And so I got it and I used it for two days and I'm like, I'm selling the Kemper. It's one of those things where the Kemper sounds great, it's a great unit, but I wasn't using even close, half the functionalities of it. So for me, it just made the most sense to get the Iridium, and it's been great for me.

I've used the done a ton of recordings, I've used it live a bunch and it's just been super convenient, it sounds really good. And yeah, excited to talk about this one.

Scott Schwertly:
For sure, I wanted to get into this space, so I also was looking at the Kemper and then I was looking at this one and for a fraction of the price, you can pretty much do all the things that you want to do. We'll get into the detail here, but you can get that Fender sound, you can get that VOC sound, you can get that Marshall sound, obviously there are plenty of other things that you'd want to tap into, something that a Kemper would provide, but at the end of day this is going to meet 80 to 90% of your needs. But also, they've got their whole software, I think it's the impulse manager. We can even upload other IR samples to it, it's almost limitless its own way for being again, a fraction of the cost, which is absolutely amazing.

Eric Wilson:
I think it's good to note that they're are two completely different workflows. The Kemper was designed more of to be a completed unit, so it was designed to where you're getting all your effects from it, you're doing everything like within the Kemper. And also like being able to profile your own amp, if you have some boutique amp or whatever is a really cool thing, and then also if you do use all those onboard effects, it can be worth it, especially if that's like you're all in one rig. But I think for somebody who's really looking for just an option to either cut down on stage volume or to practice at home or to have something to take when they don't want to take their amp, I feel like the Iridium is in my opinion, the best option on the market. I know there's definitely a ton of others out there right now like the HX Stomp and things like that. But just in my experience from the different ones I've tried, I think the Iridium takes the award for me.

Scott Schwertly:
I know it's hard to argue with the portability of it. It's just so compact, it fits on your pedalboard nicely. You don't have to worry about hauling around something bigger like the Kemper, I think the portability within itself is amazing. From a tone standpoint to just what you get sound wise is also equally amazing. So yeah, it's a good one to have and I don't see myself getting rid of it anytime soon.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah, me neither. I actually just rewired my board so that I could actually have it on my board as opposed to having to throw it in the backpack every time I went somewhere, because I was finding that majority of the times that I was going to play different places, the only amp I own is a AC30, which weighs 80 pounds. And so I was finding that whenever I went to go play somewhere, I would just take the Iridium, the thought wouldn't even cross my mind to take the amp, especially in this COVID era where it's a lot of recording, for me it was recording church services. And just going different places where you're in a small room, confined space, the amp's not really the best option.

Scott Schwertly:
So speaking of that, the fact that you can use it as a replacement for you personally for your Vox AC30. There's just so much that it provides in such a small package. This pedal can do a lot, but at its most simplest level, you basically have three main amp settings. Round, Chime, and punch. Round is basically more in that Fender Esquire realm. Specifically, the shining star in that group is the Render Deluxe Reverb amp, and modeling that tone. Chime is going to be more in that Vox AC30 camp. And then you have punch, which is going to take you into Marshall territory, specifically like a Marshall Plexi. There are three different cab options per each one.

So again, the shining stars for each one again, Round being the Fender Deluxe Reverb, Chime in that cabinet one, cabinet A setting. It's going to be the Vox AC 30 and then Punch in that A category you're going to get the Marshall Plexi, obviously can mix and match these up and changes around room size, cabinet options, et cetera. And that's where it opens up a whole world of endless possibilities. But again, just in one small box, you're getting some of the most iconic sounds you can possibly think of. I know for me who just practices a lot, it's perfect. I can just quickly dial in what I want and move on to the next thing, so super fun to play with.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah, definitely. And I think it's good to note that while you don't have a specific profile for every amp or like the HX stomp, they have a specific algorithm for a match rules or something. But you put it on the Chime setting with some greenbacks or something like that. Or a IR of some matchless greenbacks, then you're going to get pretty close. And for me comparing it to the HX stomp, it is a lot more pedalboard friendly as far as power requirements, and it's a lot more pedalboard friendly, for me as far as size is concerned. And so I think it's just one of those things where you can get close enough to anything that you would want to warrant, saving the money or saving the ease of use on the side of putting it on your pedalboard and things like that.

Scott Schwertly:
For sure. It's all those different combinations that again, just provide so much variety. What I love about it personally, I'm a big Strat guy, so I love obviously amps like the Fender Deluxe Reverb, so putting it on round, cab A, I can get that, lately I've been doing a lot of Coldplay and Johnny Buckland stuff, so I know he used a Fender Hot Rod DeVille. So for that, if I wanted to stay with round and then maybe go to cab B, which is more like a Blues Junior, that's pretty close to a Deville, so you can get that, or even if I'm feeling like a John Frusciante type song, I can go to punch and cab A and get that typical Marshall Plexi sound, which is pretty close to like a Jubilee, which is what he used. Or if I want to add a little bit of distortion on that same setting, I can get a JCM 800 type sound and do a slash or a Tom Morello.

So, just the versatility is insane, and obviously you have things like Chime, if you put that on Chime and cab A, Vox AC30 type tone, you're going to get the edge type sound from it. So yeah, I'm super happy and super pleased with this purchase. For people like me who are more on that practice, just like to play for a hobby sort of realm, this has all the options that you would possibly need for doing some of that stuff, and then for you, Eric, who's actually a professional musician, you're gigging, obviously it's great for that as well.

Eric Wilson:
And I think it's one of those things where there's a lot of people who have been historically super against any type of model or anything. And I do get that because they've been terrible for a very long time, but just in the recent years, in the last five, 10 years, they've gotten so much better. And now we're at the place where, it just makes sense to have one around even if you don't want to use it all the time, it just makes sense to have it available to you. The advantages I've found for live uses, obviously you don't have to worry about stage volume, you don't have to worry about carrying an amp, that's a big thing. Amps are heavy, they suck to carry.

And honestly, for me in most of the situations I play in, the sound quality comes close enough to where you are never going to know the difference, from the audience perspective, or even from a field perspective, because most of the time my amps are often like ISO boosts anyway. And then also there's always the thing of, you can use multiple amps and cabs if you want. That's not my thing, but if that's your thing, then that's cool.

Scott Schwertly:
As we've already hit on already, it's super versatile and it's a Strymon product, so they've done a great job at getting pretty darn close to what typical two amp would sound like. What they've included here is really good. I'm super impressed with this pedal.

If you're curious about picking one up, these run about 399 street price. So they're not cheap, but when you think about it for $400, you're getting like thousands of dollars worth of your most famous and iconic amps. So it's hard to argue with it. So, yeah, huge fan of it. So what we're going to do now is go and give you guys a sample of what this thing's all about, so we'll just go through a few of the different settings here and get everything connected. Eric, what guitar are you going to go with today?

Eric Wilson:
I'm going to go ahead and use the last fall for this one.

Scott Schwertly:
Perfect. We're going to get that set up guys. And we will see you on the other side.

Eric Wilson:
Probably one of my favorite purchases over the past year, if you've been listening to this podcast, then most of the stuff you've heard is from actually everything from whenever I started on is from the Iridium, so it's great. I know we didn't have time to dig into all the little controls and the nuances of everything, but we're going to be posting a video over on our YouTube channel, just more focused on that kind of stuff in the Iridium in general. So definitely go check that out if you're interested in purchasing one of these.

Scott Schwertly:
Like you said, Eric, it's also been one of my favorite purchases of 2020 and look on our YouTube channel for some of that content. This is one of our favorites. You should be able to find content on our channel about this pedal.

I'm glad that we were actually able to cover this one today. One thing to Eric, we didn't talk about earlier is, one thing I'd be really curious, I guess maybe just open discussion for everyone out there is, obviously with Strymon, they're known for having two versions of different things. So if you think about maybe the blue sky and then you have more of the deluxe version, which would be the big sky, I'm curious if they're going to take this Iridium and do like a bigger version of it down the road, just to even make it that much more versatile. I'd be curious to see if that's on the horizon for them.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah, it would seem to be in line with the rest of the stuff they've done. Because they did the Volante, which was expanding on one aspect of the Timeline or, well, the El Capistan really.

And then they did the night sky, which was the same thing for reverb. So it'll be interesting to see what they do in the coming months and years and stuff.

Scott Schwertly:
If they ever do expand on this one, I'd be first one in line to get one, because as much as I love this pedal, I would know if they basically have an Iridium on steroids. I'd be all over that. Excited to see what's on the horizon on that front.

Scott Schwertly:
Well, perfect guys. That's what we wanted to cover today, that is the Strymon Iridium. Join us next time as we explore another JHS pedal. That's going to be the JHS Angry Charlie, so if you love that Marshall GCM 800 tone, you should enjoy that discussion. So looking forward to covering that pedal.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah, looking forward to that. I've never gotten to try that one, so excited to try it out.

Scott Schwertly:
Well, awesome. We'll have a great day. Have a great week. And we will catch you in the next one.

Close (esc)

Get Our Free eBook!

Do you love dirt as much as we do? Learn the rich history behind all the overdrive and distortion pedals you know and love. Download our free ebook, The History of Guitar Distortion.

Age verification

By clicking enter you are verifying that you are old enough to consume alcohol.

Search

Shopping Cart

Your cart is currently empty.
Shop now