An amp modeler is a guitarist’s best friend, and for a good reason. Who wouldn’t love a portable box that has several amps to choose from?
Not only does the Iridium offer precise amp modeling, but it also functions as an IR Cab.
So, is it really worth it? Is it even the right choice for you? That’s what we’re going to find out in this Strymon Iridium review.
The Strymon Iridium At a Glance
If you’re looking for a compact, beginner-friendly format, the Strymon Iridium is definitely worth giving a shot, with 3 classic amp models and 9 surreal cabinet simulations.
- 3 precise classic amp sounds
- 9 super realistic cabinets
- Great for pedalboards
- Lets you set a favorite preset
- A high-current supply would’ve made it more competitive
The Strymon Iridium flaunts a minimalistic, compact design that screams premium without being too flashy.
The rear panel is where the audio inputs are. You get the option to pick mono or stereo audio, but you can also switch to Sum, which is simply mono output that’s summed from a stereo input.
Nine Unbelievably Realistic Cabinets
One of the best things about the Strymon Iridium is that it comes packed with nine hand-picked cabs that are perfectly curated to deliver unmatchable responsiveness and realism in outboard effects. Here’s a quick look at the nine cabs:
- Blues Junior 1×12″ – cabIR. Impulse of a 1×12″ Blues Junior cabinet, in addition to a Jensen® C12N speaker.
- Marshall 8×12″ AlNiCo – cabIR. Impulse of a 1965 Marshall 8×12″ reissue cabinet, coupled with Celestion T652 AlNiCo speakers.
- Mesa 4×12″ – Valhallir. Impulse of a 4×12″ Mesa Boogie halfback with 2 Celestion Black Shadow MC-90 speakers and 2 ElectroVoice Black Shadow EVM12-L.
- Vibrolux 2×10″ – cabIR. Impulse of a 1965 Fender Vibrolux 2×10″, coupled with Jensen C10NS speakers.
- Deluxe Reverb 1×12″ – OwnHammer. Impulse of a vintage Fender Deluxe Reverb 1×12″ open-back combo; plus a Fender CTS ceramic 12″ speaker.
- AC30 2×12″ AlNiCo – OwnHammer. Impulse of a Vox® AC30/6 and open back 2×12″ combo, in addition to 2001 Celestion® T0530 Blue AlNiCo speakers.
- 2×12″ Vintage 30 – Celestion. Impulse of a Celestion Vintage 30 in an open back 2×12″ cab.
- 1×12″ AlNiCo – Celestion. Impulse of a Celestion Blue AlNiCo speaker in a 1×12″ cab.
- GNR 4×12″ – OwnHammer. Impulse of a 1971 Marshall 1960B 4×12″ cabinet with 1971 Celestion T1221 G12M-25 speakers.
Iridium’s innovative matrix modeling process flawlessly captures the tonal qualities and unique characters of the 3 tube amps. There’s a lot of math going on here, and the result is top-notch precision that feels like you’re actually playing through the original amps.
That’s not everything; matrix modeling allows the Iridium to have an even higher drive range than the original amps themselves. Pretty awesome, right?
Oh, and to make your performance sound even more real, Strymon’s amp emulation boasts features like harmonic distortion, amp compression, and power-supply sag for the ultimate on-stage experience.
Room Ambiance Control
The Iridium allows for a natural sounding room with its 256ms stereo impulse response and reverb tank algorithm. You can even pick whether you want the room ambiance to sound like a small, medium, or large room.
Analog JFET Front End
The Iridium’s class-A JFET preamp circuit provides an outstanding analog gain of up to 20dB, giving you a discrete, low-noise gain similar to the Bantamp series from Joyo.
Moreover, the circuit gives you a dynamic interaction with your instrument and an unprecedented level of touch sensitivity. In other words, it functions as an analog front-end conditioner. It also does a great job of enhancing noise performance.
Are you a fan of stereo effects? The Strymon Iridium would be the perfect choice for just that. Its TS-mono/TRS-stereo input flaunts stereo class-A JFET preamp for the ultimate stereo sound experience.
Controlling the Iridium is as easy as it gets. It has dedicated knobs for bass, level, room, treble, drive, and middle.
Three Precise Classic Amps
With the Iridium, you get not one, not two, but three classic amps that perfectly imitate the real ones. Let’s take a closer look at each of them:
Fender Deluxe Round Amp
The Strymon Iridium’s round amp is based on one of the most popular amps of all time, the Fender Deluxe Reverb. The round amp isn’t just a regular amp; it’s super clean and bright. It’s also mid-scooped and has plenty of headroom.
Additionally, its normal channel features a round tone that makes it suitable for pedals.
Vox AC30 Top Boost Chime Amp
The second amp, a Vox AC30 Chime, boosts a mid control that literally functions like the tone cut of the original, in addition to having its complete gain range.
On top of that, the gain knob’s upper reaches maximize versatility by giving you more cab options to pick from.
Not to mention, the frequency-shaped front end does wonders when it comes to tightening the low end.
Marshall Super Lead Punch Amp
The third amp is based on a classic Plexi model, the 100-watt Marshall Super Lead. A Plexi sounds impressive on its own, but Strymon has gone the extra mile with an extra whomp for more gain.
You can up your game even more by using drive pedals.
Tone Stacks That Go Beyond the Basics
Controlling the tones with the Iridium is undoubtedly a delightful experience. You get the exact same interdependencies that you’d expect of original amp designs.
The amp EQ is quite advanced for an amp simulator of this size and price, delivering a wide array of tones to make your audience get the so-called goosebumps!
Turning the treble knob on the Iridium ensures that the subtle nuances of the softest fingerstyle playing are crystal clear.
The bass on the Iridium is so good that you won’t even realize there isn’t a real amp in the room until you open your eyes.
Leave Your Amp at Home!
The Strymon Iridium allows you to play the same tones you use at your studio, meaning that you don’t need to take your amp with you on stage. Just connect the Iridium to your PA system.
Not to mention, it lets you access several amps and cabs without the hassle of lugging them.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do I Reset the Strymon Iridium?
To reset the Iridium, all you have to do is to long-press the ON switch while the modeler is connected. After the two LEDs light up, turn the middle knob all the way from 0 to 100 twice.
Is the Strymon Iridium Suitable for On-Stage Performance?
Yes. The Iridium can definitely help you ace live, on-stage performances, but don’t expect it to be on par with a real amp like the Roland JC-22.
We hope that this Strymon Iridium review was helpful! For gigging and recording, the Strymon Iridium leaves nothing to be desired.
It may not be as sophisticated as amp simulators that give you a ton of amp, cab, and mic models; you get just 3 stereo impulse responses, which translate to 9 different combinations, but that’s the whole point of the Iridium anyway; to offer high-quality, precise amp modeling at a reasonable price. It’s also got all the controls you’d normally see on a real guitar amp.