Guide to Finding the Best Reverb Pedal

So what exactly are these sturdy boxes of electronics? For those who aren’t sure, reverb comes from the term reverberation and at its most basic explanation; the idea is that it replicates the sound of a room. What we mean by this is that when you make music inside a room, the sound waves bounce against the walls creating echoes and send the sound comes back to you. This effect will make the guitar tone sound richer and fuller, as you can control the amount of reverberation to replicate.

Once you’ve played guitar for a while you might start to think about buying yourself more equipment to enhance your aural vocabulary. Obviously electric guitar players have an amp already, the same goes for electro-acoustic players. A popular choice and the next good investment to make, is often an effects unit. Whether it’s for playing live, playing at home either recording or just for pleasure, one of these boxes, in particular one with reverberation, is a great way to improve your guitars tone. Choosing a piece of equipment might seem difficult at first, but with a bit of research finding the best one for you should not take too long. There are several well-known manufacturers of these bad boys, so sticking with the established brands is often the best way to go.

A common question is whether to buy a pedal or a more expensive amp with the built-in effect. Over the past few years the digital technology has become more advanced and some of the best reverb pedals can reliably outperform or at least match these costly amplifiers. This effect effect can add a whole new layer to your music that’s compatible with almost any genre or style. It has become very popular to use it with an electric acoustic, adding extra depth to your instruments sound. A small level of it can be used at all times, while cranking it up for those epic moments in a song makes buying one of these even more worthwhile. Instead of very static sharp notes, it will blend these together a little more making the tone warmer and more complex.

In adding a whole new layer of sound to your instrument, it also adds and accentuates the emotion of the music. The key aspects of a good pedal are sometimes hard to spot. Perhaps the main concern with finding a good box is that the desired effect doesn’t go out of time, when this happens sound can go from amazing to terrible. Many units have a feature built-in to prevent this from happening, so checking the pedal your viewing to know if it will do this is important, however we will try to ensure that any products we list will feature this, and if not listed as a negative in the review. While the current trend is digital, many analogue options are still available and some players prefer these in their quest to find the perfect sound unique to them. We will review both types and offer our opinion to help you decide which type you would like.

How to choose best reverb pedal

Reverb is the acoustic atmosphere that surrounds a sound before reaching the ears of the listener. The natural reverb is available everywhere and its characteristics remain similar whether in a restroom or in the gymnasium. A reverb is made of a succession of closely spaced echoes. Sound waves bounce backwards and forward severally before they fade away. Several factors like the magnitude of the definite space, the construction design and the diffusion determines the sound of the reverberant area .

What is a reverb pedal like?

A reverb pedal is a vital guitar effect that is very essential for most musicians. The reverb pedals are added into a guitar to enhance its tone to be richer and fuller. Use of the reverb pedal is highly determined by the kind of music you are doing; it is not necessary in the Metallica songs. The only way to get a perfect reverb pedal is by having an experience with several of them and coming up with the best.

Reverb pedals occur in various types; the spring, plate and hall. The spring pedal is an analogue pedal that consists of metal springs in a metallic case that produces an outstanding spring sound. The others are made to imitate the original sound of reverberation of a room. The reverb pedals are categorized in both analog and digital models. Most reverb pedal users regard the analogue pedals more pleasant than the digital ones because their tone is more natural.

However the current digital reverb pedals are quite effective and convincing. The instrumentalists who use the reverb pedals have different tastes; some prefer pedals that produce a dry tone while others prefer the pedals that produce a rich tone.

Why you need a reverb pedal Reverb pedals play a major role in the process of producing music. Here are some of the benefits.

Add a touch to your music

The reverb pedal is the number one solution to obtaining a quality sounding tone. They offer an extra stand by steering your string bends into a tone. It is the only guitar effect that is needed by an improved acoustic guitarist. A reverb pedal is quite essential in holding up your tones together.

You can recreate depth and space

Unlike the old recording techniques used by our old legendries, the reverb pedal helps you to reinvent space and depth through the current technology. There are two ways that this can be achieved;

  1. Mono set up — the common modern reverb pedals are fashioned with a pre-interruption knob that is set to delay the inception of the reverb in a few milliseconds to give you a slap back that is similar to the room reflection.
  2. Stereo options

If you have a Neunabar wet stereo reverb pedal you should place it at the last sequence and send it to your two best amps to receive a seasoned tone.

Easy sustain

In the past the only available ways for guitar players to sustain notes in a fret boat was only by turning up the amp tube or increasing some wet reverb to their signal. Using the modern spring reverbs it is quite easy to achieve an epic sustaining sound from the amp.

Provides greater sound with several tones

With a profound ease of use the reverb pedal enables you to obtain an unbelievable reverb experience. It will provide you with an expansive sound and delay effects for your song.

It is a suitable acquaintance to your instrument

Most reverb pedal models make a provision of several pedals to give you the convenience that you deserve. It retains the original sound of your instrument as it enhances the normal depth of you sound.

It enhances your performance

The reverb pedal is quite convenient to provide you with perfect effects when you are producing your music in a hall or a cathedral. There are quite unique models in the market that offer you the most fantastic experience in your performance.

Room Domination

Some people may want to ask why you will need a reverb pedal yet you are in a room. Well, a reverb pedal will enable you to counter any harsh reflections in the room as it shapes your tone into a pleasant sound.

Features of a reverb pedal

  1. They are made with controls for causing delays from Oms to 200ms. This gives you the chance to create the appropriate delay for your song.
  2. It has repeats that regulate the recreation of the delayed signals. The repeats also play a role in enhancing the reverb in terms of thickness, depth and the general nature of the reverb.
  3. It has a mix that is able to control the overall level of the designated signal. 4. It is featured with a true by pass switching to make the delay signal more convenient. 5. It quite easy to use and it will take a beginner only a few lessons to become a pro in using it 6. They provide crispy tones that dissolve simply into your sound. 7. Provides a glimpse of the vintage tape echo value. 8. They are featured with a silent operation mechanism such that they don’t produce some extra unnecessary sounds.

The best reverb pedal should contain features that will give you the uttermost convenience when you use it It should be capable of making your sound richer and fuller for your audience. It should also enable you to blend different tones together to bring out a unique sound. The delay effect is most vital when it comes to using a reverb pedal; it should have a convenient delay control.

reverb-pedal-review

All reverb pedal have their strengths and uniqueness– so let’s have a look at the most top rated guitar pedals on the market at this time.

ProductImagePriceOur Rating
T-Rex Tonebug$$5/5
TC Electronic Hall of Fame$$4.5/5
Electro Harmonix Holy Grail$$4.3/5
Boss RV5 Digital$$4.2/5

T-Rex Tonebug Series Review

The T-Rex Tonebug series pedal is a solid choice for those on a tight budget. The design is very simple with only a few settings to play around with, which for most is ideal but for those obsessed with tweaking their sound this might not be the one for you. Aesthetically it looks great, a nice creamy finish that gives it a vintage and elegant vibe. The build quality seems to a good standard, it’s quite heavy and for that reason it’s fair to assume it can take a bit of a battering. All the controls and the foot switch are sturdy and reliable so no complaints there either.

It features two modes – modern and the popular spring reverb. The former has a nice warm tone and adds the much needed dimension to your sound with no problems, cranking the knobs up high gives you the artificial echo sound if that is what you desire. The spring reverb setting does a decent job at copying that unique sound a spring reverb amplifier would give, but if you have the money we would definitely recommend the Boss FRV-1 ’63 Fender for that purpose.

Overall we are impressed with the pedals sounds and design. Powered by either 9V battery or mains, the T-Rex Tonebug reverb effects unit is one of the best options at this low price range and makes a wise first purchase for those wanting to just check out reverb and see if it’s something they like. If we make a budget top 5 list in future, be sure to see this at or near the top!

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TC Electronic Hall of Fame Review

If you’re after a professional reverb pedal, the TC electronic Hall of Fame is definitely a viable option to consider. Built-in it has many different available options, giving the user much more control than other alternatives on the market. One of its standout features is its TonePrint capabilities, allowing you to connect the pedal with your PC or laptop, in doing this you can download multiple different sounds and try to achieve a similar sound to well known artists.

TC Electronic is a highly-respected name in the audio industry world so it’s a safe bet when you are uncertain of which brand to buy. Their products are generally very reliable, I have had a TC Electronic chorus pedal that was given to me by a relative, and it has been working without fault for over 8 years now.

With 10 different reverb types and the aforementioned TonePrint, you will never be bored with the same sounds. There are the more common controls that you find on several other effects pedals such as decay, tone, FX level. The fourth knob control allows players to select the size and type of room they would like to emulate the sound of, from a large Echo magnet like a church, to a much smaller venue with a more subtle amount of reverb.

In our tests this TC pedal was incredibly stable and we found it hard to fault. Our setup was pretty standard on this one to try and emulate what the majority of customers might be playing it through., we decided to use a commonly available guitar – a mid-range Squier Stratocaster, along with a Marshall MG10, a casual setup for many budding guitarists. It’s built to last with good quality electrical components and a hard casing to protect them, we’re sure it would survive the typical wear and tear that occurs when doing a lot of live performances, it’s not made out of cheap plastic so it can with stand the odd accidental knock about (we didn’t do a full durability test because that hasn’t gone so well for us before!)

The true bypass works perfectly fine, an important feature for people recording or out playing live. It’s a snug size so for those players with hundreds of contraptions stuck to your pedalboard, making room for this one shouldn’t be too hard.

The only setting we unanimously agreed on that we could not find a use for was lofi, it doesn’t measure up against the other 9 fantastic options and we tended to avoid it after initial tests were carried out. This is such a small detail though compared with the top quality of the rest of the pedal.

We have a feeling this pedal will sit in the featured area of the site for quite some time as we love it so much. Here’s a useful link to a video demonstrating the platitude of various effects you can create. It really shows off the unit much more than we can through text, so give it a watch.

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Electro Harmonix Holy Grail Review

“Down from the heavens comes the Holy Grail, a compact digital reverb guitar pedal that is priced so low thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s reverb tank any longer. The Holy Grail will make you a believer with its emulation of classic Spring reverb so faithful that even Dick Dale couldn’t tell the difference. Next, get lost in the lush spaciousness of the Hall reverb and ask yourself, “how did they fit Notre Dame into such a small package?” Finally, reach enlightenment with the haunting Flerb.”

We just had to include that rather outrageous summary from the manufacturer, be sure to read on to see why it has every reason to boast!

The Electro Harmonix Holy Grail reverb pedal is one of the finest and most popular choices for guitarists seeking a long lasting unit that performs far above the average product. It’s quite an achievement that given its compact size (ideal for creating more space on your pedalboard or if you plan to carry around gear), it still produces some of the best reverb sounds we have ever heard, and even more so shocking, at a price that won’t leave you broke til next months paycheck!

The 3 way switch gives you the choice of spring, hall and, the pleasantly surprising ‘Flerb’. This lastly mentioned setting which Electro-Harmonix appear to be very proud of, combines reverb with a slight amount of flanger, it can enable a unique and satisfying aural quality to your instrument, especially with the right pick of guitar (make take a little trial and error). Finding an effective way to use flerb might take a little doing and it definitely will not be to everyone’s tastes (it split some opinions from us), but regardless it’s a nice bonus addition to the two other solid reverb effects already present on the unit.

Using the Holy Grail is very much fire and forget: plug in guitar – set effect – set amount of reverb – play away to your hearts content. A simple and hassle free approach to get you playing as quickly as possible without wasting time fiddling with extra and somewhat unnecessary controls that claim to fine tune your sound further but really make little to no difference in most of our experiences. Perhaps our only quibble with this fine piece of engineering is that you do not have the option to power it using a 9V battery, which is most likely a sacrifice made in order to keep it as small as it is. Not a huge deal to most people other than those prone to accidents who are constantly tripping over wires and cables (we all know one of those types!). We advise using a mains connection for all effects units regardless of a battery option, as it provides a more stable output as batteries tend to have the habit of altering sounds as they lose their charge. The Holy Grail Nano pedals saving grace is that it does come supplied with the power supply so you do not need to splash out extra cash before you can use it.

It sounded great with the 3 electric guitars we tested it on, a Squier ’51, a Les Paul Junior and a Hagstrom Super Swede. It also performed exceptionally well with an entry level electro-acoustic we hooked it up to. Be sure to look at the videos at the end of this review to have an idea of what this little guy can do, baring in mind reverb usually sounds better in the flesh (recording equipment and video compression tends to lose some of that brightness, trust us on this one.)

Our last word are this…if the Electro Harmonix Holy Grail is good enough for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, it’s most certainly good enough for us! If you are looking for a simple, low priced best reverb pedal that does exactly what it advertises, this is definitely one of the few we can whole heatedly recommend.

Here are a couple of videos with the product in use (not the Nano but they are almost exactly the same besides the size)

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Boss RV5 Digital Reverb Review

For anyone looking to add reverb to their pedal board, the main things you want are efficiency and, of course, great sound. Fortunately for guitar effects enthusiasts, the Boss RV5 gives you both. This reverb pedal has fast been gaining in popularity and receiving excellent reviews, and after trying it out it will be easy to see why. This small and effective rig makes for an easy addition to any pedal board and packs a superb sound. For anyone who has been unsure of which reverb option to choose from for their setup, the RV5 is definitely what you’ve been looking for.

When it comes to transition, putting the Boss RV5 into action is as easy as tweaking a couple of knobs. This device packs eight separate reverb effects, each one offering a unique algorithm. These effects range from old-school vintage to crisp modern textures, and from room and hall to plate algorithms. Not only this, but the pedal also features a unique Dynamic Mode that automatically adjusts the ambience of your sound as you play. If you have ever suffered from the “mud effect” of having your sound weighed down by too much reverb, then you can escape this completely with the Boss RV5.

Integrating the Boss RV5 into any effects rig is incredibly easy. The device comes with auto switching that makes for seamless integration. You also have an expression pedal which makes for perfect input, and an analog signal path that always sounds great. This pedal truly gives you the widest range of reverb you can ask for. Players can go for that reverb-drenched sound by cranking up the tone super high, or can simply accentuate their tone with a dash of reverb by going for a lower level. Unlike with other popular reverb pedals, the Boss RV5 keeps track of your tone and adjusts it into different settings, making sure that the sound stays even for as long as you play. The Boss RV5 just never lets you down.

Finding the perfect reverb sound does’t have to be a long, frustrating mission of trial and error. You don’t have to experiment with many different pedals in order to see which one works best for your rig. For the most reverb settings, the highest quality of sound, easy integration into any effects rig, and dynamic control that will never let your sound falter, the Boss RV5 Reverb is the way to go.

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