Hardware Reverbs Compared: GFI System Specular Tempus and Source Audio Ventris

This video, via Slenterende Beer, is a head-to-head comparison of how two reverbs sound with synths: the GFI System Specular Tempus and the Source Audio Ventris.

It’s not intended to be a comprehensive review, but a comparison of how the two devices sound using big, natural reverb settings with synths.

Here’s what they have to say about the video:

This is a quick comparison between the GFI System Specular Tempus and Source Audio Ventris.

I bought the Ventris to see if it could replace my Specular Reverb V2, but I also wanted to compare it to the Specular Tempus. The Tempus has all the reverb algorithms of the Specular Reverb plus some extra ones, and it also has 10+ delay algorithms.

This video is by no means an extensive review of the features of each of the pedals, there are plenty of videos on YouTube which offer just that. I thought it would be nice to hear the two side-by-side, so I tried to recreate the default algorithm on the Specular Reverb V2 (called “Spatium” on the Tempus) with the Ventris, using the “E-dome” setting. Here’s what’s in the demo:

00:00 – 01:45 : Volca Bass + Specular Tempus
01:45 – 03:50 : Volca Bass + Ventris
03:50 – 05:10 : Volca FM + Specular Tempus
05:10 – 06:30 : Volca FM + Ventris

Overall, the Ventris can sound much brighter (depending on the “Treble” setting) and its tone decays slower than the Specular. I think the modulation of the Specular gives it a more natural sound, but that’s something that can be tweaked in more detail on the Ventris – diffusion, modulation depth and rate, not all of which are available on the Specular Tempus – if I wanted to get closer.

I wasn’t too impressed with the extra things the Specular Tempus has to offer compared to the Specular Reverb V2 that I’ve owned for a year now. The additional reverb types are good, but in the end I just want that one huge ambient sound, and that’s already available on the Specular Reverb.

The delay algorithms to me all sound rather ‘synthetic’ – I’d rather get a delay pedal that sounds more natural. So I will return the Tempus, but I will not get rid of the Specular Reverb just yet. 🙂

As you may have seen on this channel, we also use the Strymon Big Sky. So, you’re probably wondering – which would I pick? For me that’s easy: the Big Sky. Nothing beats the Clouds mode, and the realistic reverb settings (room, hall, plate, etc.) all sound very natural. With the Ventris, I tend to think the realistic reverbs sound a bit metallic, or too clean, but from using them in jams I think that can add something very interesting to the overall sound.

If you’ve used one of these reverbs, leave a comment and share your thoughts on it!

5 thoughts on “Hardware Reverbs Compared: GFI System Specular Tempus and Source Audio Ventris

    1. Well, the algorithms of Empress as well as Specular Tempus are simply a lot better/deeper than the half-decade old Strymon. You lose the popular vote because ppl already have the Strymon and hence it HAS to be the best ever…… which has never lasted long in the digital world of anything.

  1. I’m glad the author mentions the Strymon BigSky – that’s my go-to reverb – and I wondered why it was missing from the video. Ultimately I think it just does way more than either of these two boxes.

  2. Well, they both sound quite nice to my ears. Agree with the final assessment though—if this is the kind of sound you’re really after, might as well save up a little longer for the BigSky.

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