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Origin Effects MAGMA57 & RevivalTREM review

Amp and modulation combos that offer coolly authentic vintage sounds

Origin Effects
(Image: © Future / Phil Barker)

Our Verdict

The MAGMA57 nails the legendary vibrato sound of vintage Magnatone amps, while the RevivalTREM takes a heady trip through Fender amp tones of yore, offering some unique sounds and plenty of territory for the adventurous player to explore.

For

  • Both offer rich and unique vintage tones.
  • Tweakable designs.
  • Top-quality build.

Against

  • Expensive.

Origin Effects, purveyor of classy compressors and RevivalDRIVE pedals, has launched a series of all-analogue ‘amp in a box’ pedals. 

These new additions – likely the most solidly constructed pedals we’ve ever seen – are derived from RevivalDRIVE technology, but they focus on a specific amp known for a particular onboard effect, recreating that complete amp signal path and modelling it using analogue circuitry. 

The MAGMA57 recreates Magnatone combos and their unique vibrato effects from the late 50s, while the RevivalTREM presents 1962 Brown Fender Deluxe sonics with its distinctive tube bias tremolo. 

Each has a similar two-footswitch layout (one for overall bypass, one for modulation effect) and incorporates a Post-Drive EQ output filter to set the pedal up for whatever you are plugging it into. 

The choices are P/Amp (power amp, mixer, audio interface), EQ1 (Fender-style amp) or EQ2 (Marshall-style amp); the latter two can be fine-tuned via a small knob. Each also has an input for an external footswitch or effects switching system.

Origin Effects MAGMA57

Origin Effects MAGMA57

(Image credit: Future / Phil Barker)

Magnatone is perhaps better known in its native USA, but users of its amps have included Lonnie Mack and Neil Young, who has regularly had a 280 in his stage setup. This pedal delivers the celebrated pitch-modulating vibrato that is a signature tone of the 280 and 260 amps, offered here in three different modes. 

The first mode is faithful to the original amp sound and offers pure vibrato that’s elegantly watery and smooth. Another mode combines dry and wet signals in phase, delivering a sound not too far removed from the chorus setting on a Uni-Vibe, while the third combines the signals out of phase for a rotary speaker-like flavour.  

All the sounds work wonderfully well in conjunction with the amp drive, which is based on the Troubador 213 amp. It’s not overly gainy but has a solid midrange character and tightly controlled bottom-end. There are some eminently playable tones, both clean and with a frisson of grainy edge, culminating in a rich crunch at the highest reaches of the Drive knob.

Verdict: The Magnatone sound is the Holy Grail of vibrato for many players and this pedal delivers it. Superb.

  • PRICE: $459 / £360
  • ORIGIN: UK
  • TYPE: Amp simulation and vibrato pedal
  • FEATURES: Buffered bypass, silent switching, tap tempo and remote vibrato on/off via optional external footswitch, LED flashing synced to speed
  • CONTROLS: Output, Tone, Drive, Intensity, Speed, Blend switch, Multi switch, Post Drive EQ switch, Post Drive EQ adjust, Bypass (On) footswitch, Vibe footswitch
  • CONNECTIONS: Standard input, standard output, standard (TRS) footswitch socket
  • POWER: 9V DC adaptor (not supplied) 100mA
  • DIMENSIONS: 93 (w) x 147 (d) x 60mm (h)

Origin Effects RevivalTREM

Origin Effects RevivalTrem

(Image credit: Future / Phil Barker)

Switch in the pedal and you’ll get a nicely authentic Fender tone that can run from almost clean through to the sound of a Deluxe with the wick fully turned up, dialled in with a Tone knob to set the presence just right. The bias tremolo that’s found in certain Fender tweed and brown-panel amps is generated by modulating the bias voltage supplied to the power valves. 

The RevivalTREM accurately replicates this tremolo, with a unique responsiveness to playing dynamics that becomes more pronounced and apparent the more driven the sound is. Basically, you can ‘play’ the tremolo. Play gently and you hear it clearly, but when you hit things harder it recedes into the background to fade back in as your note/chord dies away. 

It’s wonderfully expressive, both with the classic vintage-style sine wave or the choppier asymmetrical waveform. There’s ample range of depth and speed, the latter (and any external tap tempo switch) working in conjunction with a Multi switch, which offers quarter-note, eighth-note or eighth-note triplet modes.

Verdict: A unique pedal with a delightful interaction between drive and tremolo that just has to be heard.

  • PRICE: $459 / £360
  • ORIGIN: UK
  • TYPE: Amp simulation and tremolo pedal
  • FEATURES: Buffered bypass, silent switching, tap tempo and remote tremolo on/off via optional external footswitch, LED flashing synced to speed
  • CONTROLS: Output, Tone, Drive, Intensity, Speed, Shape switch, Multi switch, Post Drive EQ switch, Post Drive EQ adjust, Bypass (On) footswitch, Tremolo footswitch
  • CONNECTIONS: Standard input, standard output, standard (TRS) footswitch socket
  • POWER: 9V DC adaptor (not supplied) 100mA
  • DIMENSIONS: 93 (w) x 147 (d) x 60mm (h)
  • CONTACT: Origin Effects