Malekko introduced the Spring Chicken reverb back in 2009 to great acclaim. It quickly gained popularity amongst reverb fans with its authentic emulation of a reverb tank. the Spring Chicken was short-lived though, as Malekko only made them for a very short period of time.
The Omicron series Chicklet spring reverb emulator makes up for this though. Malekko somehow crammed a great spring reverb circuit into a tiny enclosure that will fit on anyone’s pedal board.
This buffered bypass pedal allows the “tails” of the effect to round off nicely when the pedal is switched off, unlike the true-bypass Spring Chicken, so there is no nasty cut-off on the effect. The Mix control gives you the power to manage the wetness of the effect, and Dwell control allows you to adjust the depth of the reverb effect. These two simple controls allow you to dial in anything from slightly wet subtle reverb, through to full on cavernous sound.
I’m not the biggest fan of pedal reverbs, as I like a nice dry guitar tone most of the time. In saying that I had a great time testing it out, as it pushed me to play (badly) some styles of guitar that I don’t usually play.
Adding a bit of ambience to a guitar sound is what a lot of guitar players want from a reverb pedal, and the Chicklet delivers here too. Setting the Mix and Dwell controls to around 9 o’clock gave a nice big room feel to my guitar sound, both clean and dirty.
Crank the Mix and Dwell right up and you can go from stadium sound through to giant cave or sewer tunnel madness. The Chicklet will really allow you to live out any reverberating madness you may want.
The Chicklet works nicely both in the effects loop, and in front of the amplifier. The loop provides a slightly cleaner overall reverb effect, and using the Chicklet in front wields an ever so slightly dirtier, perhaps more organic tone when playing clean. I personally preferred to use it in the effects loop, as when I engaged distortion from both my amp and pedals I didn’t find the reverb to be as pleasing to my ears. It got a bit too dirty and unnatural sounding. Some may love that effect though.
Like all of the Malekko gear I have checked out, the Chicklet is built from nice sturdy parts, with a solid aluminium housing, nice heavy duty 3DPT switch, and nice smooth pots. The over the top glittery pink paint work really stands out too. The only real issue I noticed with the Chicklet was that when initially engaging the effect it seemed to emit a quacky ‘popping’ sound. It isn’t really a major problem though, as once the effect had been engaged once in a session it seemed to be all good from there on in.
Overall the Malekko Omicron series Chicklet spring reverb emulator is a nicely built, authentic sounding spring reverb effect. It’s amazing that Malekko manage to cram so much amazing tone into such a small enclosure, and as such is perfect for those with packed pedal boards, and really anyone in general looking for a high quality, well priced reverb unit.
Thanks to Anthony from Niche Music Supplies for providing the Chicklet for me to review.