Though no bigger than some of MXR’s existing delay units, the Joshua Ambient Echo promises to offer a seriously impressive assortment of echo tones, from “psychedelic tonal trips to ethereal ambient rock”.
Indeed, the pedal’s mastermind has said the Joshua Ambient is so much more than just a delay pedal: “it’s a tonal recipe expertly concocted for those who seek atmospheric perfection”.
Whether the ‘Joshua’ in the pedal’s name has anything to do with U2's The Joshua Tree – and, specifically, the Edge’s hallowed delay tones from that album – is unclear, but MXR does admit its latest stompbox seeks to recreate vintage rack-style units, as favored by the sonic architect.
With that in mind, it would be safe to assume these rack units are the same ones involved in The Edge’s pre-Universal Audio FX-heavy rig – especially when one considers (and listens to) the multitude of tones on tap.
As per MXR, the Joshua Ambient Echo provides a foundation of formative delay tones and textures, which can be navigated by way of Delay, Mod, Voice, Regen, Division and Mix parameter knobs. The above are joined by Echo 2 and Trail buttons.
In practice, the above gives you complete control over tempo and the number of delays, which can be pushed into ‘80s-era ethereal ambience thanks to Mod and Regen – parameters that in turn dial in modulation and adjust the echo decay, respectively.
The Division control navigates between five distinct delay divisions – 1/4 note, dotted 1/8 note, 1/8 note, 1/8 note triplet, and 1/8 note and dotted 1/8 note – while Delay dictates the tempo of echoes, from 50ms to 1000ms.
Other controls include the self-explanatory Mix, and Voice, which sweeps a blend of polyphonic octave signals, from -1 to +2. As for the buttons, tap tempo Echo 2 adds a second echo to the signal, while Trails allows echoes to gradually fade out after the pedal has been switched off.
The Joshua Ambient Echo also offers stereo functionality, expression pedal connectivity, customizable parameters and off-board tap potential. This all results in a pedal said to be capable of reaching “celestial heights”.
The MXR Joshua is available now for $240.
Keep your eyes peeled on Dunlop to find out more.