A few weeks ago, I met an electric violinist who told me about the Eventide Space reverb pedal she was using for live performances. Immediately I was curious and bought one to try with my NS Design 5-string electric cello. The first impression was pretty good, but after some research online, I discovered that there were more people who were raving on about Strymon Big Sky and other websites doing head to head reviews on these two top-class reverbs. So I bought the Big Sky as well, just to see what the fuss is about and not to miss out on something potentially better!
Here is my (humble) take on both:
Build: Eventide Space is built with rugged edges and knobs, fit for on the go and on the stage. Big Sky doesn't have rubber feet, corners or knobs and feels more like a studio pedal than for the stage. The knobs on the Big Sky are more delicate and unnecessarily raised a few millimetres above the pedal, which adds to it feeling. Space wins.
Look: The display on the Space is big and red, very 80s, while the display on Big Sky is much smaller and has less characters. Space wins.
Ease of use: Navigation on the Space seems easy, using presets from 1-100. Each time you land on a preset, it flashes momentarily the reverb type that it is based on. On the Big Sky, you can see what reverb the preset is based on because of the green light. Each reverb is named on the pedal with a light. Both are equal.
Sound: Now, sound-wise, this is where it becomes most interesting. For experimental and ambient digital reverb sounds, the Space wins, but for the sound of a real-life reverb, Big Sky is clearly the winner. The sound is just so pure. I can imagine that the Space sounds amazing as an effect for synths, and for specific studio recordings, but I think Big Sky is just an amplified musician's dream to play live with.
Conclusion: overall the Eventide Space is more user-friendly, better built and better all-rounder, but purely from a sound perspective, Big Sky is the ultimate top class reverb pedal and cannot be surpassed.
Eventide Space is selling for € 531,- and Strymon Big Sky for € 520,- at https://www.bax-shop.nl
The cello in the photo is the NS Design CR5 5 string electric cello by Ned Steinberger.