Review: Electro Harmonix Holy Grail Plus

July 1st, 2009 by Andres Gallo

Holy Grail Plus


A great design is something the guys at Electro Harmonix seem to have become masters of. They are consistently creating stompboxes that are not only incredibly simple to use, but which in spite of their simplicity pack a whole load of awesome tones. Fortunately, the Holy Grail is no exception, featuring only three knobs in their usual tank like durable container. It does not get any simpler than this, yet the control and range of tones possible is still pretty amazing.
The controls include a “Blend” knob, an “Amount” knob, and another knob which controls the type of reverb. The types of reverbs available are, the famous “spring” reverb, Hall Reverb, Room Reverb, and an odd sounding “Flerb.” The blend knob controls the mix of the reverb in contrast to the dry signal, while the amount controls the depth of it. With those two knobs you can get a wide range of different sounds which I will discuss in the sound section.
It’s simplicity is really beautiful for the sounds you can get out of it. Even when it’s off, with its True Bypass switching you can feel calm as your tone will be intact. Unfortunatelly, it was only close to perfect, as I can see people complain about it’s inability to use batteries.


“OMG…” Well yeah it really sounds that good. The spring mode is absolutely beautiful, with its thick yet clear shimmering tones. As much as I dislike putting thick and shimmering in the same description, I can’t see any other way in which to describe its sound. Shimmering sounds tend to be thin, but here the sound is really thick, and as it decays it just turns into a really nice shimmer bringing a new level of life to your clean tones. It gets most of this character when used through the amps FX loop where the reverberations come through more naturally. It works awesome with distortion as well, though to be honest if not set correctly it can make the sound mushy. Don’t let this scare you, however, as it can also beautify you lead tones.
One mode I see many people complain about is the flerb mode. In this mode, the holy grail does not sound like a reverb, but rather as some sort of modulation effect. I personally love the flerb mode because it is extremely unique. These modulations sound really cool when playing slow arpeggios with the guitar tone’s knob down creating cavernous creepy landscapes. I think this mode just requires some extra creativity from the artist as it sounds very odd, which then again is its best characteristic.
All the modes, are great in one way or another, but the spring mode alone makes the holy grail worth its price.


Like usual its built like a tank; a really small tank, but one nonetheless. You probably seen me write this of another Electro Harmonix stompbox, but then again, most of their pedals share the same physical design.

Customer Support

Electro Harmonix customer support is very good. They have always been quick to respond to my emails, and have provided me helpful answers to my questions.

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