Ibanez SDR1000 Digital Reverb
Most of the time, the SDR1000 is a not unusual, up-market stereo digital reverb, giving the usual stereo reverbs (Hall, Room, Plate, Gate and Reverse), plus Auto Panning. What makes it special (theoretically) is that in two of its eight modes, the SDR1000 will operate as two effects-in-a-box - Dual Reverb and Dual Delay.
The Dual Reverb allows you to set up two different plate reverb settings and use them independently, giving two separate mono reverbs. Dual Delay works similarly, allowing two independent sets of tapped delay (sounds great on reggae dubs). This allows you to process two instruments differently at the same time. However, this doesn't mean reverb and delay, but two reverbs or two delays.
All of the reverb settings (both stereo and dual mono) have widely variable parameters, while the delays and panning have depth, feedback, and speed controls. In addition, there's also a programmable four band EQ. What isn't included is a modulation stage which would enable chorus and flanging.
Running through the 30 factory presets, you find descriptions and recommendations like Acoustic Guitar, Locker Room, Rock Vocal, Church Choir, Strings Hall, and Piano Hall. The gated sounds are recommended with Snare Gate, and Tom/Kick Gate, while Ibanez's imagination evidently went loco over the naming of the delays - Bonanza Echo, and Apache Echo. But...
When listened to in isolation, the reverb on (in!) the Ibanez was gritty and generally discomforting to the ears. The gating and panning effects were fine, but the longer room and hall settings sounded harsh and synthetic. Dropped back into a mix, the problem was less obvious; but it shouldn't have been a problem at all.
And ergonomically, the SDR1000 is a disaster area. Admittedly its editing system is very versatile, but it's illogical and awkward to learn. The mono/stereo options are useable and useful, providing you're not deterred by the programming peculiarities.
Should you be deterred by its apparent user-unfriendliness? Perhaps not. Editing difficulties are surmountable with a little thought and a few quiet evenings in with the 30 page manual. And the plethora of inputs, outputs, and remote control facilities on the back panel show that Ibanez have put a lot of thought into certain areas.
The main problem was that I didn't like the noise it made. In a straight comparative test with the Midiverb, the SDR1000 simply did not sound as good. It wasn't as smooth, or as lush, or as realistic. And it costs more than twice as much, even if it can do two reverbs/delays at once. What more can I say?
Review by Jon Lewin
mu:zines is the result of thousands of hours of effort, and will require many thousands more going forward to reach our goals of getting all this content online.
If you value this resource, you can support this project - it really helps!