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Electro-Harmonix Oceans 12 review

EHX builds on its previous Oceans reverb pedal – this one goes to 12!

Electro-Harmonix Oceans 12
(Image: © Future / Olly Curtis)

Our Verdict

With two independent or combinable reverbs in a pedal that won’t take up much space at all on your ’board, this is a potent ambience tool at a decent price.

For

  • Compact size.
  • Two reverb engines.
  • Eclectic range of reverb types.
  • Plenty of editable parameters.

Against

  • Hands-on operation can be somewhat fiddly.
  • Limitations in how presets are configured.

Guitar World Verdict

With two independent or combinable reverbs in a pedal that won’t take up much space at all on your ’board, this is a potent ambience tool at a decent price.

Pros

  • + Compact size.
  • + Two reverb engines.
  • + Eclectic range of reverb types.
  • + Plenty of editable parameters.

Cons

  • - Hands-on operation can be somewhat fiddly.
  • - Limitations in how presets are configured.

When we took a look at the Oceans 11, we were aware that its lack of stereo outputs could be a dealbreaker for some potential users. 

Now, Electro-Harmonix is back with a version that can not only run in stereo if required but actually features two simultaneous, independent stereo reverb engines, A and B, which can run in series or parallel should you wish to use both together.

If you prefer to operate in mono, the spare input and output can be used as a send/return loop either pre- or post-reverb, so you can add in another pedal to alter the reverb sound.

There are, of course, 12 different reverb types to choose from here, each with two instantly accessible program-dependent parameters as listed on the front panel. Each type also has two or three variations known as modes; the tremolo reverb, for instance, can have triangle, square or sine waves. There is also a bunch of general adjustments for each, specifically via four white knobs that have dual functions. 

Electro-Harmonix Oceans 12

(Image credit: Future / Olly Curtis)

These cover eight parameters including pre-delay and reverb time, but there is also a Tide control for stereo image alteration and a Lo-fi control for a grainier tail texture. What’s more, an accessible Tails switch determines whether the reverb effect fades out naturally or cuts out abruptly on bypass. Your created sounds can be stored in 24 presets – 12 for reverb A and 12 for reverb B – but these are limited to one for each reverb type.

The 12 single reverbs offer everything from a twangy emulation of a vintage Fender 6G15 outboard spring unit, through reverb combined with echo or modulation, to infinite shimmery ambiences – plenty to cover most needs without even getting into the intriguing combinations possible from using two together.

Add in some very useful performance features – such as expression pedal capability, optional momentary footswitch action, tap tempo, plus the infinite reverbs that can be played over with a different reverb effect – and you have a very flexible pedal.

Specs

  • PRICE: $241 / £189
  • ORIGIN: USA 
  • TYPE: Reverb pedal
  • FEATURES: True bypass, 24 presets, 12 reverb types (Room, Spring, Plate, Reverse, Echo, Trem, Mod, Dyna, Auto-Inf, Shimmer, Polyphonic, Resonant) CONTROLS: Reverb Type selector, 2x parameter knobs, Fx Level/Inf Level, Predelay/Send Level, Time/Lo Fi, Tone/Tide, buttons for Exp Mode, Moment, Tails, Function, Mode and A/B Select, Reverb A footswitch, Reverb B footswitch
  • CONNECTIONS: Standard inputs  (L/Mono, R/Return), standard outputs  (L/Mono, R/Send), EXP/FSW 
  • POWER: Supplied 9V adaptor (not supplied) 150 mA
  • DIMENSIONS: 119 (w) x 97 (d) x 60mm (h)
  • CONTACT: Electro-Harmonix