Those of you in the vast world of guitar playing should understand about the equipment that comes along with playing a guitar, and that includes a reverb pedal. Reverb is useful to adding more depth and ambiance to the music. A quality reverb pedal can turn any performance into professional-level, but a poor pedal can change the sounds from a guitar for the worst.
Discovering what pedal works best for your needs isn’t the simplest thing due to the dozens on the market, so the following reviews address five top-rated reverb pedals to determine how well they suit your playing styles. In addition, the buying guide that follows is intended to help you discover what features to look for when shopping for a reverb pedal.
Best Reverb Pedals of 2019
|TC Electronic Hall of Fame 2 (Editor's Choice)||Reverb pedal for guitar and bass||MASH footswitch and shimmer effect||5 x 3.5 x 3 in||12.3 ounces|
|Electro-Harmonix HOLY GRAIL NANO||True bypass reverb pedal||Emulation of classic spring reverb||7.8 x 4.3 x 4.3 in||10.6 ounces|
|MXR M300 EQ Effects Pedal||Analog reverb pedal||Six meticulously crafted reverbs||5.8 x 2.5 x 4.8 in||10.6 ounces|
|NUX Atlantic Multi Effects Pedal||Multi effect reverb pedal for ambient guitar||3 delay effects - 70’s analog, 60’s tape and 80’s digital; 3 reverb effects - spring, plate and hall||5.5 x 5.3 x 2.8 in||1.37 pounds|
|Boss RV-6||Delay/Reverb pedal||8 highly musical reverb effects||5.1 x 2.3 x 2.9 in||15.5 ounces|
1. TC Electronic Hall of Fame 2 – Best Inexpensive Pedal for Guitar and Bass
Coming off of the success from its predecessor, the TC Electronic Hall of Fame 2 Reverb Pedal takes all the features that make the first one great and expands on them. The MASH technology allows a greater level of richness and expression. There’s no need to bend down to change knobs as the pedal’s effects adjust by the amount of pressure to place on it.
The next-generation reverb algorithms make the sounds more authentic. This Hall of Fame 2 has a brand new Shimmer reverb algorithm gives your signal an octave pitch shift. Combined with the other effects such as the Tone Switch that goes from bright to dark sounds, or the FX level to adjust the intensity, you’re able to create authentic-sounding reverb no matter where you play at.
In addition, the pedal is TonePrint ready to connect with the TonePrint App. This way, you can beam FX right to your device. If you want to try your hand at some more creativity, there are three slots available. Each one gives you a different parameter so you can make signature effects, and with the eight studio-level reverb presets, your options are almost endless. The TonePrint editor is compatible with iPad, Mac, and PC.
The TC Electronic Hall of Fame 2 Reverb Pedal offers increased articulation and expression compared to the pedal that came before it. Alongside that, the TonePrint allows for customization for more experimentation.
2. Electro-Harmonix HOLY GRAIL NANO – Best User-Friendly Pedal for Guitar
The Electro-Harmonix HOLY GRAIL NANO Reverb Pedal is one of the easiest, straightforward pedals on the market today. There’s a single reverb knob along with a 3-way reverb mode switch. Increasing how much reverb you hear, while subsequently making your instrument less dry, is done gradually by turning the knob from its minimum setting to the maximum at the 12 o’ clock position. Though much of the sound is digital, there’s the True Bypass tech potentially improves tone quality.
This pedal boasts several features that might benefit those just starting out. For one thing, it’s compact and light in weight. Carrying around is an easier task, but it’s also built well enough to withstand frequent traveling. Unlike some other pedals, this also comes with its own power supply so you don’t have to purchase one separately.
Three Reverb Algorithms
The pedal offers a variety of reverb sounds depending on how you want to play. It provides fine Spring reverb that can sound almost similar to classic guitar amplifiers. There’s also the new Hall algorithm that has a more lush sound. Lastly, you get the Flerb (flange plus reverb) sound that’s more than adequate.
Though the price point for the Electro-Harmonix HOLY GRAIL NANO Reverb Pedal can fluctuate between high and low, it’s generally fair priced whether you’re a beginner or a professional looking to add to your equipment. It can produce flexible sounds that are generally user-friendly.
3. MXR M300 EQ Effects Pedal – Best Warm Analog Pedal with Spring and Plate Effects
A versatile machine, the MXR EQ Effects Pedal M300 is simplistic with only three knobs. It’s a stereo pedal that has one input and one output. Because of this setup, you should have two sets of TRS cable splitters so that the pedal properly connects with your gear. It’s a cleaner setup overall though and may help keep your space tidier.
Alongside the output and input, this pedal is designed with a 100% wet mode. It also has true bypass and trials bypass modes with a 100% analog dry path. Using these along with the other features is simple, making this pedal highly accessible.
Six Reverb Types
The pedal offers six different reverb types to toy around with. There’s the plate, spring, mod, epic, pad, and room. There are pedals that offer more effects, but these six may provide the average guitarist exactly what’s needed in order to cover the standard bases. It can be useful for various types of songs, and can provide a warmer delay overall.
The MXR EQ Effects Pedal M300 may provide a good amount of versatility for the average guitarist to get the sounds that they need, offering six different reverb types. It has a clean setup, it’s relatively easy to use with the three-knob design, and it provides a good, warm delay that many budding guitarists may appreciate.
4. NUX Atlantic Multi Effects Pedal – Best Quality Sound Delay Pedal for Ambient Guitar
The NUX Atlantic Multi Delay and Reverb Effect Pedal features an appealing and durable design that may withstand heavy use gig after gig. It has numerous of delays, and with the Smart Tap Tempo, you can instantly synch all your delays. All it takes is a tap of the foot. This pedal also has a 6.35mm stereo input and two outputs.
With this pedal, you get three classic delays and reverbs along with an extra shimmer effect. In addition, the pedal has inside routing as well as secondary reverb effects so that you can choose which of the effects come first. Paired with the Serial Mode, you can create a deeper reflection reverb that has either dry or wet repeats. You can also split your guitar signal.
This pedal includes the brand’s latest Core Image Technology that provides pro-level sounds. You get 70’s analog delay, 60’s tape, and 80’s digital. The 70’s blends retro and modern to better capture a retro-like feel, while the 60’s provides warmth and the ability to give a vintage quality to any sound you may create. Meanwhile, the 80’s gives clear digital repeats so you can mix with other effects such as colorization or modulation.
The NUX Atlantic Multi Delay and Reverb Effect Pedal sells at a reasonable price while offering numerous of features to create powerful, professional-quality sound. Cycling through the delay effects and the three reverb effects is simple as well as the ability to choose which effect happens first.
5. Boss RV-6 – Most Versatile Pedal for Guitar and Bass
The Boss RV-6 Digital Reverb has several updates from its previous models from adding new ones to enhancing on features it already had. To start, there are eight different reverb types which include three new ones: shimmer, delay, and dynamic. The pedal also employs Boss’ latest technology to provide instant reverb tones and wide-range versatility.
This RV-6 Digital Reverb is compact in design, which can help it take up little space around the rest of your equipment. Controls are also simplistic, yet intuitive enough so you can quickly dial in quality reverb tones. This has support for both mono and stereo operation as well.
Rich and Expansive Sounds
With updated algorithms, the pedal gives you eight reverb effects such as room and plate. Each may add a different level of richness and depth to your overall sound, which is enhanced further by the modulation effect. If you want something with a more vintage feel, you can opt for the spring effect instead. Meanwhile, modes such as dynamic and delay+reverb for a modern sound.
The Boss RV-6 Digital Reverb is a professional-level pedal that provides the latest technology for quality reverb algorithms. It still can offer user-friendly controls without sacrificing the level of sophistication the pedal can give.
Buying a Reverb Pedal – What You Should Know
Since reverb pedals offer a number of different advantages and disadvantages, choosing the best one may be a difficult task. Guitarists might be better off finding what’s best for their particular situation and needs. To help with that task, the following guide addresses important things to look for when buying a reverb pedal as well as any other features to keep in mind.
Types of Reverb
Reverb pedals are designed with various amounts of effects, with some offering five while others boasting eight or more. None are truly better than the other, but their benefits vary based on how you’ll use the pedal.
Most pedals include the following four types:
Spring reverb is an analog reverb that usually offers a sharp sound. It’s typically more metallic or digital in sound.
Much like spring, plate reverb has a metal sound, but this replicates sound through a metal plate. More often than not, this type is fuller and smooth.
The room reverb is fast-acting, usually lasting a second or shorter. It may be more beneficial for in smaller settings.
Lastly, the hall reverb emulates that of a concert hall. They’re usually warmer compared with other reverb types.
There are other types of reverb you may find on pedals such as shimmer, an effect that appears to be growing in popularity over recent years. It’s almost otherworldly-like, providing reverbs and harmonies that many guitarists may find useful when trying to capture a specific, ethereal sound.
If you’re looking for a large amount of versatility, you may want to consider reverb pedals that have more than six types of effects to play around with. Otherwise, you can get away with having four or five if you’re in need of something more standard and straightforward.
Digital vs. Analog
Before getting into whether digital or analog is better for your needs, it may be best to break down exactly what each of them mean.
First, digital reverb pedals turns the analog signal from a guitar into a digital signal. Once that happens, the signal’s altered and returned to analog mode for the amp. On the other hand with analog reverb pedals, the guitar’s signal is simply modified using electronic components.
The main difference between these two is that with a digital pedal, the signal loses much of the original traits. Analog pedals allows for many of the original traits for a more natural sound.
Digital pedals do provide more versatility, however, when it comes to features and parameters that you can adjust. Analog pedals don’t have that same amount of adaptability as they’re limited in the range of the effect that’s applied.
Some may prefer the more natural, organic sound from an analog pedal while others don’t mind the artificial-like sound from the digital pedal due to the flexibility of it.
Reverb pedals have multiple control functions that are necessary to get used to if you want to get the full use out of them. Typically, reverb pedals offer the same type of controls across the board. You’ll see things such as predelay, levels, switches, time, and mode.
The predelay is simple enough as it controls the delay time before the reverb occurs. When you get to something like the level knob, usually referred to as blend, it can change the volume of the reverb. Using this may change your performance in a drastic way such as going from dry to wet.
Some reverb pedals have switches to allow for changes between functionalities or modes of operations. Time is another control that’s straightforward; by turning the knob, you can control the decay of the reverberation.
Mode is another one that’s almost standard in most reverb pedals. Since certain pedals offer different types of reverb effects, the mode knob just allows you to change between those different types.
Stereo vs. Mono Connectivity
Another feature in reverb pedals that usefulness is depending on personal preferences is deciding whether stereo or mono is more suitable. It’s simple enough to determine if one is needed over the other.
For those planning on using a stereo pedal board, then a stereo reverb pedal is needed. If not, then you may do well enough with a mono pedal. There are even reverb pedals made with the option of selecting either mono or stereo setup.
When considering these, it may be beneficial to focus on the input and outputs offered as well. Mono pedals only feature a single output, while stereo pedals usually have a single input and a double output. However, keep in mind that there are “true” stereo pedals that require double input and output jacks. These may demand extra equipment such as additional cables to set it up properly.
True Bypass and Buffered Bypass
True bypass and buffered bypass determines how reverb stops. With the true bypass function, it ensures that the reverb pedal doesn’t alter the guitar’s signal when it’s off. This is useful due to the fact that sounds from reverb continue on after playing ends, much like a delay.
By hitting the true bypass switch on the reverb pedal, it cuts the reverb out instantly. A buffered bypass instead allows the reverb to fade out naturally as intended. Which one you need is based on your uses. If you plan on using reverb at specific times, a buffered bypass may feel more natural. However, for active uses, a true bypass can assist in preserving the guitar’s original signal that the reverb can distort too much.
Other Factors to Consider
Even if you may understand the basics of reverb pedals, there are still some factors to consider before you purchase one of the pedals on the above list:
- Value: The price of reverb pedals fluctuates widely. So, it’s important to consider your budget in comparison to your needs. High-quality reverb pedals are usually high in price, but you may still find good ones available that don’t break your bank account.
- Construction: Beyond sounding good, a reverb pedal should be able to hold up over time. More than likely, you won’t be using it one place as you may be taking it from gig to gig. Quality reverb pedals have quality construction such as metal casings so that they can handle any bump you encounter.
- Flexibility: As stated previously, some reverb pedals offer more variety of effects and controls than others. Depending on your needs, you may require a few effects or a lot more. Keep in mind what you really need as getting too many may overwhelm you.
- Simplicity: This may be especially useful for beginners as you may not want to worry too much on fiddling around with the pedal. Some reverb pedals offer one or three knobs, making things far easier for a straightforward experience.
- Power Consumption: Reverb pedals can take on different power supplies. Some opt for battery usage while others don’t. In addition, some pedals can consume large amounts of power, so it’s important to have the proper supply to handle the power levels needed.
- Size: There are reverb pedals that are larger than others, featuring numerous of effects and knobs. Some still have several features while maintaining a more compact size. Smaller reverb pedals take up less space so that you have more room on your pedalboard.
Like stated before, there’s no one best reverb pedal available as what works for one musician may not work for another. If you take the reviews of the top-rated reverb pedals into account as well as the extensive buying guide, you may still be able to find the best reverb pedal for your specific needs to get the most out of your playing.