Thanks to the natural reverberations we hear inside rooms, halls, and other enclosed areas, designers and sound experts were inspired to create algorithms that replicate them and turn it into, what we call, reverb effects today.
You’ll find it almost every studio, both recording and live. As time went on, reverb pedals became an essential tool to liven and brighten up a dead-sounding performance.
Because of this, a number of manufacturers flaunt each of their own reverb pedals. This makes it easy to get confused and have dilemmas on what reverb pedal to buy. Fortunately, below are 7 of the best reverb pedals in the market today.
7 Best Reverb Pedals
- EarthQuaker Devices Levitation Reverb Machine Guitar Effects Pedal
- Boss RV-6 Digital Reverb
- TC Electronic Hall of Fame 2 Reverb Pedal
- Digitech EQ Effects Pedal, Regular (Polara)
- Electro-Harmonix HOLY GRAIL NANO Reverb Pedal
- THE VOID Reverb Effect Pedal by Deadbeat Sound
- MXR EQ Effects Pedal (M300)
Inspired by the Levitation Music Festival in Austin, Texas, EarthQuaker Devices brings you the Levitation Reverb Machine Guitar Effects Pedal.
Bringing the psychedelic rock to life, the Levitation Reverb covers a vintage sound range that’s somewhere between dirty sixties chambers, classic spring, and the big, ringing plate reverbs of days gone by. It features controls and knobs that will keep you in tune with psychedelic rock themes.
The Levitation features four knobs that shape your solos the way you want them to sound. Particularly, the Atmosphere knob is the highlight of this pedal as it adds more harmony to your tone by feeding the upper frequencies back through. Other knobs include Mix, Decay, and Tone.
- Produces angelic and warm cascading trails
- Very easy to use
- Relatively less versatile
- Does not run on batteries
Following the great footsteps of its previous model, RV-5, Boss comes with the RV-6 Digital Reverb to help you shape your tone the best way possible. And because it’s made from Boss, you’re guaranteed to have a long-lasting build even after so much use.
The RV-6 features knobs for the effect level, decay, tone, and switch between different modes. You will also find that the RV-6 has three new modes that aren’t found in its previous model—Shimmer, Dynamic, and +Delay.
All of these new modes add more depth, delay, and vibrance to your tone. Lastly, the RV-6 has an expression pedal input so you can adjust the level of reverb as you play.
- Very easy to use
- Awesome new modes
- Expression pedal connection
- Not all musicians can appreciate its digital sound
- The presets could be more refined
An upgrade from the original version is the Hall of Fame 2 by TC Electronic. With lots of improvements and new revolutionary features, you can boost your solos and personalize them to your liking. It comes with a full set of controls so you can adjust the decay time and tone, and choose a longer or shorter pre-delay.
The Hall of Fame 2 comes with new features which are the MASH footswitch and Shimmer mode. The former is a pressure-sensitive switch that acts as an expression pedal and can be used to control the volume, tone, or decay.
The latter helps you produces a brighter atmosphere which is perfect for ambient tunes and worship music, giving listeners a brighter feeling.
- 3 custom preset slots
- Expressive footswitch
- Features presets from famous guitarists
- Pricey Has a jack-of-all-trades character
Featuring seven Lexicon reverbs, expect that the DigiTech Polara to give you the creative freedom you deserve. Expert in giving dimension and spicing up your tones, the Polara features flexible and different reverbs covering a full spectrum, showing you just how versatile the Polara is.
It also displays a new and updated design which features a vacuum-style footswitch and Hook and Loop pad locking it to your pedal board. The Polara features useful controls like Level, Liveliness, Decay, and Type.
It’s true stereo with a soft-click on-off toggle that prevents annoying clicking noises when you put the pedal in true bypass mode. Its compact size makes it very portable.
- Sturdy build
- Simple and easy to use controls
- Excellent presets
- Because of its design
- Labels might be hard to read
- No dry mix
True to its name, the Electro-Harmonix Holy Grail Nano is indeed a holy grail if we’re talking about reverb pedals. Both compact and affordable, the Holy Grail is a digital pedal that features its highly functional reverbs—Spring, Hall, and Flerb, which are all organic and musical.
All three modes have their distinct tones which help you shape your solos and techniques to your liking. All three reverbs seem like they would sound great in more or less any configuration of gear and style.
On its highly rugged metal housing, you can find a three-way switch, Reverb knob, and a bypass foot switch.
- Compact and easy to use
- Great value for the price
- Limited sound options
- Can’t let tails ring out when switching off
Considered as a guitar effect pedal that falls on the affordable side, the VOID by Deadbeat Sound is more than just a budget pedal. It offers a specific and beautiful selection of reverb sounds that is perfect for the modern musicians.
And although you’re paying for a cheap price, you would be surprised to know that its build quality is nowhere near cheap. This digital reverb features only two controls which allows you to adjust the levels of decay and mix.
Its size is compact and strong enough for stage use. The VOID also comes with a nine volt power supply and two patch cables.
- Great value for the price
- Very easy to use
- No trails or analog dry signal path
- Lacking tonal control
Featuring six different reverbs, the MXR M300 is a product of an award-winning sound design team. With only three knobs to shape up your tone, you’re off to achieve its full potential the easiest and simplest way possible. As its highlight, the M300 features an analog hi-fi dry path allowing a great deal of headroom.
The M300 has a spring, plate, room, epic, mod, and pad reverb selections, with two knobs to control the level of decay and your effects volume level. The third knob adjusts the tone and functions as the selector among six of the reverb options.
Each reverb has its distinct touch that will definitely enhance your music’s overall character.
- Remarkable sonic profile
- Great spring emulation
- Limited customization
- Lacking presets
Factors to Consider When Buying a Reverb Pedal
So, what makes a good reverb pedal? Before choosing the right one for you, it might help to know some of the basics when it comes to reverb pedals. To get one of the best reverb pedals in the market, you need to ponder on these factors below.
Main Types of a Reverb Pedal
Reverb pedals use an algorithm to turn a source sound into its reverb version. To make things easier, designers created some kind of a template for these algorithms. According to Mastering Box the main types of a reverb pedal are Room, Hall, Chambers, Plates, and Spring.
Room is the most basic type of them all, sounding very natural and lively. This type also sounds like a more intimate space and can give the impression that all of the music is being played right in front of you.
Hall relates the sound being heard in a concert hall. It usually refers to an audible cluster of initial reflections followed by a full body and a decay that ends with a roll-off of high-frequency content.
Plate reverbs uses plates to reflect the resonating sound back and forth. On the other hand, a chamber reverb has a higher modal density than a plate reverb. Chambers often give a thick and lush reverb, but not too overpowering.
Lastly, spring reverb usually gives a unique resonance and distinct sound. A spring reverb is similar to a plate reverb in that it is a man-made device that utilizes transducers to produce and receive sound waves via a spring.
Different Parameter Controls
Generally, the more control knobs you see, the more complex the setup and interface will be. And sometimes, all we need is just simplicity and great ease of usage, especially for beginners.
If you want to add subtle reverb to your sound, look for a pedal with as few knobs as possible. You’ll know is the reverb pedal is user-friendly and pretty straightforward if it features four knobs at most.
Simple reverbs have a knob for the effects volume, pre-delay knob, and decay. Some models have knobs for tone, and others have selector knobs for different types of reverb. But, if you want more options and wider selections, you’re better off with a reverb pedal that displays more controls and knobs.
True Bypass vs Buffered
So, which one is actually better—true bypass or buffered? Well, this matter is highly subjective. But, defining each one could help you determine which one is better for you.
A true bypass pedal leaves your guitar tone and signal as it is when the pedal is off. True bypass circuitry preserves your tone and leaves it uncoloured when the pedal is unused.
PMT suggests that a true bypass will serve you better if you want every nuance of your tone unaffected and clean.
On the other hand, buffered pedals continue to feed their output actively so the tail end of that huge cathedral sound can continue to sweep over as you’re starting to play the next ‘dry’ part.
These pedals strengthen your tone and drives it through the chain and restores the signal and tone to what it should be. Buffered pedals continue to do so even if it’s turned off.
In our recommendation, the best reverb pedal that is currently in the market today is EarthQuaker Devices Levitation Reverb Machine Guitar Effects Pedal.
The Levitation is made in partnership with the Levitation Music Festival, so expect to keep psychedelic music alive with its features. It features the Atmosphere knob which adds more harmony to your tone by feeding the upper frequencies back through.