The Mooer A7 Ambience isn't much to look at, but secret weapons are supposed to fly under the radar. Time to get your security clearance.
The Mooer A7 is tiny but appears solidly built. The metal box and switches feel like they can take a beating. I don’t know if I can say the same for the plastic knobs, but I wouldn’t expect more for the price point. It’s too small for a battery so requires a power source and there is a small USB port that the manual indicates is for firmware updates. Not sure how much they can change in the future but judging by Mooer’s updates on their other offerings they may be able to add additional tones or upgrade the sound quality.
The A7 packs a lot into that little body. It features 7 different ambient reverbs that can be adjusted from barely there to completely overtaking the signal. It can also be adjusted to immediately cut when the effect is turned off or trail naturally. Holding the switch creates an infinite trail that continues until the player lets go. Each reverb can save one preset and blinks to let you know when you’ve changed it.
From top to bottom, the reverb effects are more traditional with plate and hall, while positions 3 through 7 are more extreme. “Warp” and “shake” are modulated verbs followed by a LOFI “crush” effect, an octaved “shimmer” and a flanged slow attack called “dream”. Each reverb can be adjusted for dry/wet mix, decay, tone, room size(X), and amount of effect (chaos).
The A7 has a ton of range. I found all the effects useful when dialed in properly but I did find the sensitivity of the knobs a bit of a challenge. For example, at 12 o’clock the mix would be just right and at 12:01 it would be way too much. The ability to save presets mitigates this issue but only having one preset on tap for each effect limits that mitigation. I think the sound quality is decent enough, maybe not as warm as a Blue Sky but plenty for my needs in both the live and studio settings. It also plays well with others and I found it a nice background addition in conjunction with my Dispatch Master reverb and delay. If there is one glaring omission it’s the lack of a pre-delay adjustment. Such big reverbs can be more useful when they create more room for the dry signal. Maybe this is something a firmware update can add?
The Mooer A7 fits both the tiny board and the tiny budget. In a worship setting, it can add musicality to light picking and create a nice backdrop for lead. Throw it on your whales sounds and butterflies and you won’t be disappointed. Hear it in action on the latest Worship Artistry song tutorials or pick up your own Mooer A7 here.
Update: After about a year use on the board that never left my studio, the A7 gave out. Maybe I shouldn't have expected it to last long at that price point but it's still disappointing. I guess you get what you pay for. Time to find a replacement. Stay tuned.