Welcome to our reverb pedal buyers guide for 2018. We have reviewed all of the top contenders and provided our feedback on all of them. See the table of contents below to jump to a specific reverb pedal.
Table of Contents
- Electro-Harmonix Cathedral
- Digitech Polara Lexicon Reverbs Stereo Pedal
- TC Electronic Hall of Fame Mini
- Boss RV-6 Digital Reverb
- MXR M300
- Donner Digital Reverb
- Fender Marine Layer Reverb
- Catalinbread Topanga Spring Reverb Pedal
- TC Electronic Hall of Fame 2
- Holy Grail Max Reverb
- EarthQuaker Devices Avalanche Run
- J Rockett Audio Designs BOING
- EarthQuaker Devices Dispatch Master
- Zoom MS-70CDR Multistomp
- Electro-Harmonix Holy Grail Nano
- Wampler Ethereal
- Deadbeat Sound The VOID
- Mooer Shimverb Pro Twin
- Behringer RV600 Reverb Machine
- Biyang RV-10 Tri-Reverb
- ammoon MOSKY MP-51 Spring Reverb
- All About Reverb
- What to look for in a reverb pedal
- Types of reverb
- Reverb pedal controls
- Final thoughts
Our Top Pick - Electro-Harmonix Cathedral
Electro-Harmonix is among the greatest masters of effect pedals. EHX effects tend to earn top spots in the guitar effects hall of fame. The Cathedral reverb pedal is a true high-end unit that offers that little bit extra. The refined, versatile sound gives you a lot of creative freedom to get your ideal reverb sound.
It’s not a simple stompbox, the EHX Cathedral is a fully fleshed-out reverb unit that will take some time to get to know if you’re new to the reverb parameters. Even to an experienced reverb user, the pedal has its unique character that you’ll get familiar with over time.
The biggest testament to this pedal’s versatility is that it has 8 different reverb modes. Each one modulates a different type of reverb mechanism. Among the classic spring and plate options, you’ll find more experimental ones like the Grail Flerb and Reverse reverb.
This top reverb pedal also features something called Infinite Reverb. When you hold this switch down, the tone keeps ringing as until you release it. While it’s running its infinite loop, you can play clean melodies and chords over the lush ambience it creates.
The EHX Cathedral is a deluxe guitar pedal. It’s expensive, but it earns the price tag with its sound quality and versatility. It’s a good option for beginners and experienced guitarists alike, although may take some time for a novice to understand how powerful and diverse its sound can be.
It’s one of the best reverb pedals available and will cover all your reverberation needs. It has more or less every feature people seek in a reverb pedal. Including a tap delay echo which lets you set a tempo. However, this makes it quite a big and heavy piece of gear. So it’s not ideal for busking or small-scale touring. In addition to mode and preset selection, there are 5 knobs for refining the sound. These are Tone, Reverb time, Feedback, Pre-delay, and blend.
If you’re inexperienced with dialing in the perfect sound and want quick results, there are already great presets to use while learning the ins and outs of the pedal.Pros
- Many reverb types and knobs for customization
- Stereo I/O
- Fantastic presets
- Great sounding reverse and infinite reverb
- A bit pricey
- More clunky than most
If you have the money to spare and you’re looking for one of the absolute best reverb pedals out there, Electro-Harmonix Cathedral is a great candidate.
Digitech Polara Lexicon Reverbs Stereo Pedal
This is another example of those top reverb pedals that feature just about everything you can expect from a reverb pedal, plus a few unique extra features. The build is robust, efficient, and aesthetically pleasing. It’s built out of top-quality components and there’s nothing to complain about in the hardware department.
Musicians with an interest in production will recognize the Lexicon part of the name. The Lexicon algorithmic reverbs revolutionized the world of reverb decades ago and became the golden standard for many years. Its sound quality is great, with fairly convincing vintage emulations.
The famous hall setting is perhaps the flagship of this reverb pedal, but there are other great options to. Halo is a special modulated reverb that creates a choir-like ambience. There’s also a reverse reverb feature. Part of the organic feel comes from the Liveliness feature. This causes various reactions and imperfections in the different reverb sounds, which you can adjust with the corresponding knob.
It’s true stereo with a soft-click on/off toggle that prevents obnoxious clicking noises when you put the pedal in true bypass mode. Digitech Polara is a very versatile reverb with multiple reverb types (Room, Hall, Spring, Plate, Modulated, Halo, Reverse) and three control knobs (level, decay, and liveliness.) You can also toggle tails with a switch.
It all fits in a compact pedal with a beautiful design, making it more portable. The negative side-effect is that it’s difficult to read the labels, which can give it a steeper learning curve.Pros
- Excellent build
- Simple controls
- Seven great presets
- Stereo toggle
- The text isn’t very legible
- No dry mix
Overall, it’s one of the best reverb pedals on the market. It’s got a good selection of nice-sounding reverbs, and options to make the sound your own. While there are more specialized pedals that excel more in one specific type of reverb, those are more expensive and far from versatile. As you may have guessed from the design and special reverbs, this pedal best suits the psychedelic guitarist.
TC Electronic Hall of Fame Mini
This is a more specialized reverb pedal. It’s small and simple, only featuring a level knob and a true bypass switch. TC Electronix are known as one of the world’s foremost audio tech manufacturers and famous for making some of the best reverb pedals in the world.
While it may not look like much at first glance, there’s a lot going on inside its robust shell. The beautiful classic hall reverb is only the tip of the iceberg. Despite the lack of knobs, this thing can produce an impressive variety of reverbs.
It achieves this with its TonePrint functionality, which lets you load presets into the pedal with a smartphone app. You can choose between many famous guitarists’ signature sounds or create your own unique tone.
It doesn’t give you as many options as many of the other entries on the list, and it struggles with huge spaces, but it does a very good job for such a compact, simple, affordable reverb pedal.Pros
- Small and durable for great portability
- Amazing selection of presets via TonePrint
- Super easy to use
- Only one preset slot
- Minimalist design sacrifices some functionality
This is the perfect reverb pedal for the minimalist who wants something small and easy to use that still sounds good. It’s not for those who like to change sounds while playing.
Boss RV-6 Digital Reverb
Boss pedals seem to find their way onto articles about the best guitar pedals. This sequel to the almost over-used RV-5 is no exception. Being a Boss stompbox, it’s built to last through a lot of heavy use. It’s a robust and simple design, with controls that are easy to read and use without mistakes. RV-6 is a true stereo pedal with no stereo toggle.
There are very few surprises for those who are familiar with reverb pedals. You’ll find all the controls that belong on a quality reverb processor. No more, no less. From left to right, the knobs let you adjust the effect level, decay, tone, and toggle between the different modes.
It features three new modes not found in the RV-5; Shimmer, Dynamic, and +Delay. Dynamic matches the reverb depth to your playing velocity, making the reverb vibrant without clouding the whole mix. +Delay adds a delay.
The rest of the modes are the typical ones you find on modern reverbs, like Hall, Spring, and Modulated. Shimmer, Modulate, and Dynamic open up many possibilities for the experimental guitarist. As if that’s not enough, it also has an expression pedal input, so you can increase or decrease the reverb as you play. Its buffered bypass lets reverbs ring out, but introduces some sound artifacts when passive.Pros
- Very easy to use
- Great sounding presets (especially Shimmer)
- Expression pedal connection
- Inorganic, digital sound that doesn’t suit every musician
- The presets could be more refined
Just like the Polara, it may not be the very best pedal for any one thing, but it does a lot of things very well. The sounds are varied but not too crazy, making it a good fit for those who play multiple genres.
This reverb pedal offers six different reverb types, all designed by MXR’s award-winning sound design team. The stompbox itself is compact and only features three knobs. One of its crowning features is the analog hi-fi dry path which allows a whopping 20 volts of headroom.
Switching between the lush, detailed reverb sounds is as simple as pushing the tone knob. The spring mode stands out as one of the best emulations found in any multi-reverb pedal. And it morphs naturally with the tone knob without sounding fake.
The signature feature is the Epic reverb mode. It combines multiple analog-tone delay chains and weaves them together with rich modulation for a massive space effect. This is perfect for dramatic guitar solos.
Pad is another powerful, creative option. This mode combines two pitch-shifted echoes, one shifted down an octave, the other shifted up an octave. This creates a shimmering, rumbling ambience that sometimes resembles a big organ sound. If you like a really wet sound, this is one of the best reverb pedals out there. You can set either of the six reverbs to 100% wet and drown in the huge ambience.Pros
- Impressive sonic profile
- Expression pedal compatibility for lively reverb swells
- Great spring emulation
- Limited customization
- Lacking presets
This is among the best reverb pedals for hard rock and metal guitarists, making solos sound larger than life.
Donner Digital Reverb
This pedal stands out from most other entries on this list by being a lot cheaper. It’s quite impressive for its price range. It’s got a small foot print and a sturdy metal casing, not showing any signs of the sloppy design, loose parts, and lack of durability that tends to define budget effect pedals. However, you need a nine volt power supply to keep it running, and it’s not included.
This reverb pedal offers seven different modes of reverberation. There are four regular algorithmic reverbs (room, studio, hall, and church,) a modulated reverb, and emulations of spring and plate reverb. You get three knobs for adjusting the length, depth, and level of the reverb, as well as a mode selector and true bypass switch.
It does have a compressed, digital sound which becomes very distinct at higher volumes, and it can introduce a lot of hum and buzz to the signal. Although it’s still a very convenient option if you don’t need premium sound quality.Pros
- Cheap and small
- Good build for the price
- Seven different reverb modes
- Cheap sound and noisy signal
- No preset slots
If you’re a beginner or a hobbyist looking for something cheap rather than the highest-grade option, this might just be the best reverb pedal for you.
Fender Marine Layer Reverb
Fender grabs a spot on this list with this interesting reverb pedal. Much like their legendary guitars and amplifiers, this lively and responsive reverb pedal will really shine on stage. The designers took requests from players, and it shows. It even shines in the literal sense due to the LED-backlit knobs which let you see your settings with ease on a dark stage. There are four of them, letting you control reverb time, pre-delay, damping, and level.
You get three different unique reverb circuits in one unit. Two regular hall and room reverbs, and a special reverb that sounds similar to a shimmer reverb. Two additional switches let you toggle the reverb filter and the dry signal, giving you the option to play with a massive, wet ambience. The main footswitch disengages the reverb but lets the tails fade out with a natural feeling.
The build is robust with a rugged, anodized aluminum casing that can endure lots of very rough use. It runs on nine volt batteries, and the clever new design of the battery compartment makes it easy to switch batteries in almost no time. The battery door is magnetic and comes off with ease, and it snaps back into place.Pros
- Lush, organic reverb sound
- Sturdy, rugged build
- LED backlight for control knobs
- Innovative battery compartment for easy changing
- The big price tag
This is a top choice for the analog reverb lovers. It’s also one of the best reverb pedals imaginable for those who mainly want a fantastic reverb for live use with electric and/or acoustic guitars.
Catalinbread Topanga Spring Reverb Pedal
Speaking of Fender and reverb, the first thing that comes to many people’s minds is the Fender 6G15 spring reverb. The Topanga is a modern copycat inspired by the sound of this legendary reverb. For those unfamiliar with the 6G15, it’s “that guitar sound” in all the old surf rock songs and spaghetti western movies. Fender achieved the sound with a bulky outboard unit containing actual springs and other awkward analog hardware. Catalinbread chose instead to replicate the sound with modern effects modeling methods.
Other than this, the features are the same. There’s a “Dwell” knob that determines the length of the reverb, and a “Tone” knob that filters out the highest frequencies. You also get a dry/wet mix knob which is modified to allow for 100% wet sound. The Topanga also has an additional volume control not found on the original spring reverb.
The pedal has a subtle, warm preamp drive effect when you feed it a loud signal. Playing with the “Dwell” knob doesn’t only change the decay time, but alters the whole tone of the reverb. Overall, this pedal produces a convincing ‘60s sound that also welcomes a number of modern adaptations.
There’s an internal switch that lets you toggle between true bypass and buffered bypass. The latter adds that nice, warm retro tone to your guitar signal even when there’s no reverb.Pros
- Authentic-sounding retro spring reverb
- Easy to use
- Filter and separate volume and mix knobs lets you get the sound just right
- Very limited sound options
This is a specialized reverb pedal with only one type of sound that may not suit everyone. If you seek a retro sound for your music, this may very well be the top reverb pedal for you.
TC Electronic Hall of fame 2
The original Hall of Fame reverb by TC electronic has earned its name, and this upgraded version aims to take its place in that figurative hall from which they draw their name. The first improvement to note is that the HoF2 pedal has updated reverb algorithms that produce a better sound. The new shimmer mode yields a bright, dreamy atmosphere that draws the listener’s mind to the skies. This makes it suitable for ambient tunes, space rock, and worship music alike. The “hall” and “church” reverb modes can also produce huge, airy soundscapes fit for similar purposes. The LoFi reverb mode gives you a degraded sound that’s better suited for indie music. The other six modes are familiar and straightforward reverb sounds of different kinds. The mode selector has three more slots, each containing custom presets you make with the dials or get from the TonePrint app.
Unlike the Hall of Fame Mini listed above, this reverb pedal comes with a full set of controls. You can adjust the decay time and tone of each sound and set the overall level. There’s also a switch that lets you choose a longer or shorter pre-delay.
The most impressive feature of this reverb pedal is the mash footswitch. Unlike an ordinary bypass toggle, this upgraded, pressure-sensitive switch can act as an expression pedal. You can use it to control the volume, tone, or decay to create swells and other effects as you play. You get a choice of stereo and mono for both input and output. This gives you the option to have the dry signal summed to mono with a wide, lush reverb.Pros
- 8 reverb modes and many controls
- 3 custom preset slots
- Expressive footswitch
- Access to presets from famous guitarists
- The high cost
- The jack-of-all-trades approach may not please audiophiles
This is a very versatile reverb that grants a lot of control and creative freedom. It’s a perfect choice for advanced musicians and venue owners.
Holy Grail Max Reverb
Electro-Harmonix have a reputation for creating unique, high-quality pedals that stand the test of time. The Holy Grail Max Reverb is a good example and one of their best reverb pedals so far. While it’s a rather big, studio grade reverb pedal, it won’t be hard to fit onto your pedal board. And its sturdy die-cast casing means it’ll survive many years of heavy-handed (or footed) live use. The design is simple with a bypass toggle and a dial each for reverb style, time, and blend.
You can get four different reverb styles out of it: Hall, Plate, Spring, and Reverse. Due to the clever circuitry path of the dry signal and sidechain, your dry guitar tone remains analog, and you can adjust the dry/wet mix with the blend knob without altering the overall volume. This makes it easy to add a nice reverb in no time, and you can get lots of it.
At higher time settings, the vibrant reverb tails become huge and provide a cool resonance that would really shine in a psychedelic rock context or on an epic guitar solo. When you play with the reverse mode, the time knob will lengthen and delay the tails and things can get very trippy. It’s got one the best spring reverb emulations available, and it lets you make the sound really long and wet. The constraining factor here is the true bypass, which will cut of your lush reverb tails if you switch the pedal off. This pedal does not take batteries, it only runs with the enclosed power supply.Pros
- Great reverb sound and audio quality
- Sturdy, simple, elegant build
- Superb circuitry maintains signal integrity and volume
- Limited reverb options
- Somewhat clunky and expensive
While the EHX Holy Grail doesn’t provide as many different sounds as some competitors, what it offers is more than enough for most. It’s an ideal reverb for psychedelic musicians in particular, but a great choice for anyone who wants a basic, curated selection of high-grade reverb sounds.
EarthQuaker Devices Avalanche Run
This pedal fits a different niche than the earlier entries on the list. Rather than offer different types of reverb, it provides the player with a malleable mix of decay and reverb. The manufacturer’s intention was to combine the characteristics of their favorite reverbs and delays into one elegant echo pedal.
You get a delay with a maximum delay time of 2 seconds and a tap tempo function that lets you sync the echo to various subdivisions of the chosen tempo. Now for the reverb itself, it’s a vibrant stereo reverb that gives you a fair amount of control over the sonic characteristics. The usual tone, decay, and mix knobs do what you expect, while the mode selector has a pair of cards up its sleeve. Flip it to the left, and the echoes reverse while the lush spatial effect remains unaltered. This is a rare phenomenon and allows for a lot of creative expression, most of all for psychedelic music. When you flip the switch to the right, the pedal responds to the dynamics of your playing and pumps the volume of the whole signal up and down.
Regardless of mode, high decay settings can produce “infinite” reverb tails that descend into LoFi madness as they loop. You can use this effect for cool musical build-ups by using the Flexi-Switch footswitch in momentary mode. Unlike the typical bypass toggle, this switch lets you add the effect just where you need it by holding the switch down. When you let it go, it bypasses the pedal. If you click the switch, it latches the normal way.
Avalanche Run lets you choose between true bypass and buffered bypass so you can let things ring out or cut them off as needed. This pedal offers so many creative spatial effects and strange echoes, making it ideal for space rock, dub, and any guitarist who’s looking for a way to stand out. It also accepts an expression pedal, which lets you control different reverb and decay parameters for even more innovative sounds. As a sidenote, holding down the Tap button turns the echo into a self-oscillating noise machine. The stompbox comes with its own power supply but works with standard nine volt DC power supplies.Pros
- Features a decay with tap tempo
- Lots of unique, responsive sound effects
- Great creative control
- Only one reverb type
- Not the highest sound quality
If you’re the type of musician who likes to experiment with effects, this is one of the best reverb pedals you’ll find. Ideal for space rock and ambient music.
J Rockett Audio Designs BOING
Here’s another interesting retro spring reverb emulation. This one offers a fixed, warm, medium-length reverb similar to what you’d get out of a Fender Deluxe. The pedal design is extremely simple. There’s a bypass switch and a big knob for setting the effect level. That’s it. And it’s all you need for that cool vintage sound. Just like an actual spring reverb, it acts in different ways depending on the input volume and effect level.
At low levels, up to about 11 o’clock, the spatial effect is smooth and subtle. You can use it as a tone enhancer and keep it on at all times for a warmer and slightly bigger sound. If you crank it up past 2 o’clock you start introducing various spring quirks and artifacts. You’ll notice some spring flutters and splatters that remind you of why they named the pedal Boing. The pitch will swing and warble a bit on high settings. These effects can add a nostalgic and trippy dimension to many types of music, especially indie or experimental rock. And if you like Rockabilly, you may be looking at the best reverb pedal for you.
Unlike most digital recreations, many users find this pedal’s tone blends into the overall sound of the instrument and amplifier, making it sound more authentic. Some have described its sound as darker and simpler than many modern options, which can be either good or bad depending on your tastes. It still goes deeper and wider than the typical spring reverb.
Some musicians with long, complex effects chains have noticed that it introduces a bit of hiss and degrades sound quality somewhat when set to around 12 o’clock. This isn’t unusual for these types of reverb pedals, and it’s worth noting that real analog reverbs are even noisier. Boing runs best on a nine volt power supply, anything else can harm the device.Pros
- Very easy to use
- Nice retro sound
- Very limited sound options
If you’re looking for that charming vintage tone, this is a great reverb for you. It’s not for those who crave creative freedom and versatility.
EarthQuaker Devices Dispatch Master
The second list entry from Earthquaker grants a lot of effect in a small package. It makes no attempt to be anything it’s not, and why would it?
This isn’t a spring emulation and it’s not a multi-reverb pedal with a dozen controls. Dispatch master offers a big, lush room reverb that can make you feel like you’re in an old cathedral or a huge warehouse. Whichever sounds more appealing to you... It achieves this without having any notable impact on signal quality. Its true bypass circuitry lets it pass unscathed.
Despite being a compact digital effect, the reverb sounds full and organic. The spatial effect gets intense even with a slight nudge of the reverb knob, and if you push it further you get a huge sound. There’s also a delay built into the pedal. The two effects work in harmony, so much so that you control the length of both with one knob.
There are four knobs altogether. One is for the amount of reverb, one for the number of echo repetitions, one sets the length of both effects, and the last knob is the overall dry/wet mix. Playing with the repeat while the decay isn’t engaged still has some interesting effects on the reverb which can make it more vibrant.
If you want a compact two-in-one spatial effect, this could be the best reverb stompbox for you. It’s easy to use and the effect seems to fade out in a beautiful, natural manner no matter what settings you use. Anything from a light slapback to a huge space ambience is easy to get with this reverb effect pedal.Pros
- Compact and space-efficient
- Big, lush reverb effect
- Built-in delay effect
- Only one reverb algorithm
- Limited controls
If all you need is a big spatial effect that’s easy to use and sounds pleasant, this is a great choice. If you need varied sonic properties, you’re better off with a more elaborate option.
Zoom MS-70CDR Multistomp
This one is a bit of an oddball on this list of the best reverb pedals. When it comes to guitar pedals, Zoom are best known for their multi-effect pedals. While those tend to prioritize quantity at the expense of quality, the MS-70CDR has a different approach.
At first glance, it’s a 3-in-1 delay-based sound processor with reverb, chorus, and delay effects. But there’s even more to this pedal, namely a noise gate and a basic equalizer that let you clean up noisy signals and sculpt the sound. It also has a tap tempo feature for syncing the echoes. In fewer words, it’s all you need to breathe life into a stale guitar tone. And it has a trails feature for nicer transitions.
Unlike most pedals of its type, this one has a sturdy metal casing and overall durable feel with a firm footswitch. And it won’t take up much space on your pedalboard.
You get 29 reverb presets, and you can adjust the decay, pre-delay, and wet mix with the three knobs. The multi-function knobs do various things depending on what you’re doing. Using the four buttons around the main footswitch, you can navigate various menus on the pedal’s display. Looking at the screen lets you know what each controller does in the given context. This makes the device very easy to use and fun to play with.
You also get 16 types of chorus effects and 26 delay variations that help beef up your juicy reverb space. Combining the various presets makes it easy to get the tone just right for what you’re playing, even if you’re not familiar with the qualities and parameters of either effect. The main downside to this versatile reverb pedal is that picky musicians may find the sound a bit “cheap and plastic” compared to more specialized reverb effects.Pros
- Other effects included
- Stereo input and output
- Lots of nice presets and combinations
- Easy to use
- Somewhat inorganic, digital sound
- Some may find it complicated to use
Considering how much you get for the money and pedalboard space, this may be the best value option on this list. Unless you need studio-grade reverb, this reverb pedal is a smart pick.
Electro-Harmonix Holy Grail Nano
This guitar reverb is a more condensed version of the classic Holy Grail pedal, but it differs from the other one mentioned above in a number of ways. All there is on the surface of the hard, rugged metal casing is one three-way switch, one knob that says “REVERB” and a bypass footswitch. The three-way switch is for choosing the reverb mode, while the knob determines the effect level.
The three modes all sound smooth, organic, and musical. The spring reverb is warm and springy without harsh overtones. The hall reverb creates a huge, wet “seaside cavern” type spatial effect. Last but not least, the flerb sounds mysterious and haunting with a flanger-like modulation that brings old sci-fi movies to mind at high levels. All three reverbs seem like they would sound great in more or less any configuration of gear and style. The reverbs are deep, wet, and airy.
It’s a true bypass pedal and doesn’t seem to introduce anything bad to the signal, and it comes with a power supply included. This, combined with its minimalist design, makes it one of the best reverb pedals for easy-going guitarists who want to think less and play more. It’s also one of the more affordable reverbs on this list, without sacrificing much in the way of sound.Pros
- Small and simple
- Great value for the price
- Beautiful, musical reverb sounds
- Limited sound options
- Can’t let tails ring out when switching off
Overall, EHX did a great job packing their beautiful sounds into such a small and affordable unit. A top choice for those who want a small selection of great-sounding reverbs without complicated settings.
Ethereal is a good word to describe the sound this pedal makes. It’s one of those guitar pedals that puts a slight new spin on spatial effects.
This guitar stompbox presents a clever combination of delay and plate reverb in a sturdy, compact box with plenty of controls. It’s built from high-quality components, with a top-mounted jack that reduces space requirements, and relay true bypass switching which spares your dry signal.
The reverb and delay work each on their own or together in a number of interesting ways that take the listener through complex acoustic spaces. There’s only one reverb algorithm, but the generous controls and interplay with the delay give you many ways to create different sounds. Playing with the tone and feedback knobs will give you everything from dark, wet cave sounds to bright, shimmery spaces. Thanks to the trails button, you can let the tails fade out naturally when you toggle the effect off.
The delay goes up to one full second, and there’s a second delay line that follows the first one in one of three ways you can choose with the central soft switch. This can create rhythmic, syncopated echoes, such as the classic “dotted eighth notes over quarter notes” combo. At short time settings, this can act like a second reverb, producing an even thicker sound. Wampler Ethereal blurs the lines between reverb and delay in a rather literal way, making it a great tool for those who love effects.Pros
- Clever, high-quality build
- Interesting delay and reverb combinations
- Choice between buffered and true bypass
- Plate reverb only
- Limited reverb controls
It’s one of the more unique reverb pedals out there, no doubt. If plate is your favorite reverb type and you like playing with creative echo effects, this is the pedal for you.
Deadbeat Sound The VOID
Most guitar effect pedals fall into one of three categories. There are fancy boutique pedals that do one single thing in a flawless way for a lot of money. Then there are more versatile jack-of-all-trades pedals that offer more bang for the buck. The last category is budget pedals that tend to do a mediocre-at-best job but cost a lot less.
The VOID doesn’t belong in either of these categories. It finds a rather desolate middle ground between the first and last. It focuses on producing a specific, beautiful reverb sound that fits brilliantly in a modern mix, while keeping it simple and affordable. The build quality is good for the price range, different from the infamous “plastic and loose parts” design of most cheaper pedals.
The reverb itself is a lush, modulated digital reverb, that seems to combine the characteristics of plate and spring. There’s a distinct chorus-like quality to it, giving it a more aquatic sound that borders on the psychedelic. You only get two controls, decay and mix, and the reverb doesn’t get too long or resonant even at high decay settings. When you crank the mix level, subtle spring-like modulations appear. This makes it a good reverb for sprucing up lead guitars in almost any genre without clouding the overall mix. It’s a nice, compact size and strong enough for use on stage. The pedal also comes with a nine volt power supply and two patch cables.Pros
- Good value and build
- Beautiful, unique reverb tone
- Very easy to use
- No trails or analog dry signal path
- No tonal control
This pedal supplies a very fixed sound, but this sound fits almost every type of music really well. Among the best reverb pedals for guitarists who want a versatile, modern reverb with minimum effort.
Mooer Shimverb Pro Twin
Musicians who seek a complex ambience effect with plenty of creative freedom will love this pedal. In addition to its five reverb modes, it features a shimmer function that can improve the reverb or work as its own separate effect. It’s quite a big and heavy pedal with many knobs and two footswitches, one for each effect. Stereo input and output jacks offer a wider, more vibrant sound and more control. The outermost knobs in the back control the dry and wet level respectively. Next to the dry mix there’s a low cut frequency knob, followed by a high cut frequency knob for tonal sculpting. Then you get separate pre-delay and decay knobs for better spatial control.
You can choose between room, hall, church, plate, and spring reverb. They work as expected, they’re beautiful reverbs without any bells, whistles, or errors. They’re not the highest-quality reverbs, but they’re far from bad. One slight issue is that it can cause clicks when you turn it off in true bypass mode, although it’s only audible at loud volumes. This is not unusual for reverb pedals.
The aforementioned control knobs let you make each reverb your own. Turning on the shimmer function will add another dimension to the sound. The shimmer knob lets you choose the pitch shifting interval. You have five options: 3, 4, 5, 7, or 9 semitones above your dry signal. The octave knob bumps it up another octave, and if you want a classic “one octave up” shimmer you turn the knob back to “off.”
You can turn trails on or off with a small flip switch in the middle, and there’s a memory bank for storing your favorite settings. The amount of creative control this pedal offers is nothing short of amazing.Pros
- Five nice reverbs in one unit
- Malleable shimmer feature
- Vast customization options
- Trails toggle for natural transitions
- Not the highest audio quality
- Some users report slight glitches in the sound
When it comes to creative freedom and versatility, this is the best reverb pedal on the list. If you want the ability to make custom acoustic spaces, look no further.
Behringer RV600 Reverb Machine
While Behringer often gets labeled as a manufacturer of dirt cheap guitar pedals with questionable sound, they offer a wide selection of nice audio gear. The RV600 is one of their better pedals, not to be confused with the much cheaper DR600 digital reverb.
It’s still a battery-powered budget build with a plastic casing. However, what you get out of this little pedal is impressive, a whopping 10 different reverb types. The usual suspects are all there: room, chamber, hall, cave, space, tile, plate, and spring. Then there are three special ‘verbs: ducking, echo, and ’63 sp. The ducking reverb produces the popular sidechain-compressed reverb sound that ducks and swells for a cooler sound and less clutter. Echo delivers a straightforward slapback type echo. ’63 sp mimics a Fender 63 tube reverb, producing a warm and smooth tone.
The sound is a bit muddy and it introduces some hum and hiss to the signal, but that’s to expect from something this cheap and versatile. While this may scare away audiophiles and professionals, it’s among the best reverb pedals for beginners who want to explore the world of reverb without spending a fortune.
This pedal offers a surprising amount of control. You get the usual tone, mix, decay, and time knobs. There’s also a trails switch, which you might as well leave activated at all times since there’s no benefit to turning it off on such cheap circuitry.
The mix knob can act a bit strange with overall volume levels, but in general, the pedal works and sounds great considering its price. You’re bound to like at least a few of the reverb sounds this tiny powerhouse can produce.Pros
- Great value for the price
- 10 reverb types
- Stereo input and output
- Lots of customization
- Lesser audio quality
- Lower-grade build may reduce longevity
This isn’t a good choice for audiophiles, but if you seek the best bang for the buck, there’s no doubt that this is up top.
Biyang RV-10 Tri-Reverb
As the name implies, this pedal offers three different reverbs; room, spring, and hall. The pedal can operate in two different modes, called A and B, which affects the overall sound. So it’s really more like six reverbs in one small package.
The build quality is great for the price, no junk components here. It has stereo input and output jacks and a sturdy footswitch. You can power it with batteries or a power adapter, but the latter is better since it’s a rather hungry pedal.
Now, the layout and controls on this stompbox are a bit unorthodox. You get a “BLEND” switch for adjusting the mix level, and a “TIME” knob that sets the size and decay time of the reverb at once. You switch between the reverb types with a three-way switch between the two knobs. Next to it sits another flip switch that changes between mode A and mode B.
The two modes are an interesting feature. Mode B has a deeper sound to it, with more emphasis on the low end and some gritty overtones. Mode A has more brightness and “air,” like a typical modern reverb. The two modes make up for the lack of adjustable filters and tone control dials.
Both the layout and the functionality is a bit odd, but it’s effective and simple to use. While the spring reverb isn’t the most convincing emulation, the vibrant overall sound will please most guitarists. You get a wide range of reverb intensity, from a subtle tone enhancer to huge overwhelming ambiences. All in all, it has a very rich and smooth sound to it, and some have described it as a cheaper Holy Grail replica.Pros
- Three nice reverbs and two tone modes
- Stereo input and output
- Great bang for your buck
- Limited control
- Some musicians have found it a little fragile
Biyang RV-10 gives you a lot of reverb at a cheap price. A great option if you’re on a budget and looking for a simple yet versatile reverb pedal.
ammoon MOSKY MP-51 Spring Reverb
This is something for the guitarists who just want a simple spring reverb at a low cost. The build is about as minimalist as they come. It’s a small metal stompbox with a true bypass footswitch, mono input and output, a dwell knob, and a mix knob.
For a cheap modeled reverb, the spring reverb sound is quite impressive. It’s drippy, quavering, and springy in general. Compared to proper spring reverbs, the tone is a bit dark and less metallic with more pitch drift.
Some find it hard to make slight adjustments to the effect level, and it’s better suited for full-on springy goodness than subtle retro flavor. If you want a really authentic sounding spring tone, you’ll have to look at more high-end pedals, but this is a great candidate if you’re on a tight budget.
While this reverb stompbox offers limited creative control, it does all you need for a cool, roomy effect. And you can make the sound bigger than you could with many other spring emulations.Pros
- Spring emulation at an impressive price
- Durable build
- Dynamic, vibrant sound
- Sounds a little cheap
- Minimal parameter control
Given the low price of this pedal, it’s a strong competitor for your spring reverb slot if you’re not too picky about your reverb.
Selecting the Best Reverb Pedal for You
Reverb can make the difference between sweet, mind-blowing music and dull strumming. Entire genres depend on its presence. It can breathe life into the stalest of sounds, but it can also drown an entire mix or ruin the tone if it’s not on point. This is why making an informed choice and selecting the best reverb pedals is essential to your growth as a musician.
Designated pedals tend to produce a much better reverb sound than anything that’s built into an amplifier. Once you get used to playing with a wide, ethereal soundstage behind your sound, you’ll never want to go back to playing without good reverb.
From subtle to massive, simple to complex, and everything between, reverb comes in many different forms. This article will familiarize less experienced guitarists with the concepts, and help beginner and master alike to find the best reverb pedal for their particular needs.
Let’s start with getting a better understanding of reverb and how to get the sound you want.
What to look for in a Good Reverb Pedal
Reverbs have been around for a long time, and they create their familiar reverberations by playing multiple delayed copies of the dry signal with subtle differences that combine into a lush, drawn-out resonant ambience. This simulates the way sound behaves in real spaces.
The original reverbs achieved this with resonant boxes containing springs and other such complicated mechanisms. These days, even the “retro” reverb effects are mere digital replications in most cases.
Types of Reverb Pedals
Not all reverbs are created the same. There are, in fact, a number of different styles and types of reverb. Let’s look at the common ones.
Also known as algorithmic reverb, this is the most basic digital reverb type. It simulates the sound of playing in a simple, physical room, as implied by the name. Many different reverbs such as cave and church reverb are really room reverb with different sizes and levels of diffusion. While many pedals treat these as separate reverb types, a good hall reverb with a size knob can produce them all.
Sound designers like to modulate reverb to give it more life and make it sound less like you’re in a metal box. The typical modulation is a chorus or flanger, both of which are close relatives of reverb with different delays that cause shifting phase cancellations. Other common modulations are vibrato and tremolo that introduce a slight wobble.
The original spring reverbs literally had metal springs inside them that would resonate and create a reverb effect. You can still find a few reverbs like this, often built into analog amplifiers. However, most spring reverbs use “analog modeling” to achieve the sound with digital means. This conserves space and money and grants more control. While early spring emulations weren’t very convincing, modern spring reverbs give you a great, authentic-sounding ‘60s reverb.
Early plate reverbs used plates to reflect the sound back and forth and resonate. Just like the spring mechanism, the plates have given way to digital emulation. It’s a simpler sound to mimic, so good digital plate reverbs have been around longer.
This is a special kind of digital reverb that shifts the pitch up to produce an airy layer of harmonic shimmer. It’s a more recent invention which has gained popularity throughout many genres. These are often the best reverb pedals for lone guitarists.
While it’s not as common in guitar pedals, convolution reverb is advantageous for emulating specific sound stages or amplifiers. This works by using a sample of a reverb impulse to modulate the signal and make it mimic the impulse response.
Reverb Parameter Controls
Most reverbs let you alter some of the parameters of the sound. Some give you a lot of control so you can tailor the sound to your liking. These are the common controls and what they do.
Mix (or Dry/Wet)
This adjusts how much reverb comes out. The “dry” signal is the original, unprocessed sound, and the “wet” signal is the processed effect. Higher settings yield more reverb. Certain pedals have separate knobs for dry and wet levels to give you more control.
Time (or Decay)
Time refers to the time it takes for the reverb to fade out. Sometimes it’s called “Rate” or “Length” instead. On some pedals, “Time” also changes how long it takes for the effect to fade in.
This delays the reflections of the reverb, which can both leave more space for the clean guitar and create a cool “slapback echo” effect. This delay is a natural phenomenon and using the parameter can give a more “realistic” feeling to the music.
Tone (or Filter)
A tone knob lets you emphasize certain frequencies to fine-tune the sound and give it a place in the mix. More elaborate reverbs often feature two filters, one to reduce bass frequencies and one to attenuate harsh treble.
Final Thoughts on the Best Reverb Pedals in 2018
Music really isn’t the same without a healthy splash of reverb. Getting it just right for your music and playing style requires making an informed choice of reverb pedal. The information and recommendations for the best reverb pedals listed above will make this selection process much easier for you.
Decide which type(s) of reverb you need and what your price range is. If you want a combination that’s not presented in one pedal, or if you don’t want a bunch of extra reverb types you won’t use, you could always combine a couple of the simpler, cheaper pedals. Whatever your preference is, your guitar playing will sound better with one of these pedals in your signal chain.