With six lush and full sounding reverb modes, strong build quality, true bypass, stereo operation, and multiple comparisons drawn to the EHX Holy Grail, the Biyang Tri-Reverb's low price tag is almost ridiculous.
Incredibly full featured with beautiful lush reverbs, the BigSky’s gorgeous sounds coupled with its virtually unlimited configurations and superb build quality make it ideal for musicians looking to create intricate soundscapes.
A premium pedal in every aspect, the Space from Eventide sounds wonderful and can create and tweak any reverb sound you can imagine. This is a professional grade pedal that delivers sound, build quality, and personalization.
»High marks for customizability, great sound, and a great price.
The TC Electronic Hall Of Fame 2 Reverb pedal hits the sweet spot between versatility, durability, quality, and price. The Hall Of Fame 2 does everything the original Hall Of Fame did, plus adds MASH technology, Shimmer reverb, and three total TonePrint slots.
TC Electronic makes solid gear, and this pedal is no exception. It’s solidly built, and a workhorse of a pedal. It’s also True Bypass, so the pedal won’t mess with your guitar’s tone when it’s switched off. The Hall Of Fame offers stereo ins and outs, which is a nice option if you record or run a stereo rig.
Operation is very simple, with four knobs and a small toggle switch. You’ve got DECAY (how long the reverb is), TONE (adjusts brightness or darkness of just the reverberated signal), FX LEVEL (how much reverb vs dry signal), and an 11-point selector knob to pick the reverb style. There is also a small toggle switch to change the PRE-DELAY from short to long (this basically means how long it takes for the reverb to start sounding after you play a note, which if set to long helps preserve the attack of the note). Three of the 11 reverb types are TC Electronic’s TonePrint slots, which let you load up custom reverb tones into this pedal via USB, or even beam them wirelessly to the Hall Of Fame using their iOS app. There are dozens of TonePrints available to use on TC Electronic’s website, many crafted up by famous artists. This is not a gimmicky add-on, and it truly adds to the versatility of the Hall Of Fame. Even if you can’t find a reverb you like from the built in styles, using TonePrint you can dial in your own. TonePrint is elegantly designed, and it is a pleasure to use.
The TC Electronic Hall Of Fame is not the best at any one reverb sound, but it is great at a lot of sounds. The Hall Of Fame can generate some big epic reverbs with the Hall, Plate, and Church settings, and some more funky stuff with Mod and LoFi. The Decay and Tone knobs respond beautifully, as does the FX Level to balance it out, which lets you dial in the exact reverb character you want. With this much versatility it’s going to take you a while to explore everything the Hall Of Fame is capable of.
There are better reverb pedals out there if your aim is to achieve a crazy amount of ambience. The Hall Of Fame’s Spring reverb emulation is not as good as, say, the EHX Oceans 11. The Spring reverb is passable, but not its strong suite. Another minor annoyance is having to remove the bottom panel to access two switches to control optional buffering of signal, and a wet-only setting for use in effects sends. But we are being extremely picky, since we still appreciate those options.
The MASH feature, which essentially turns the pedal’s on/off footswitch into a pressure-sensitive expression pedal - the harder you press on it with your foot, the more intense of an effect you achieve - is awesome. A small LED light labeled “MASH” in the middle of the pedal lights up brighter as you press harder. Each of the built-in reverb types responds differently to MASH, but typically it has something to do with affecting the level and decay of the verb. Using the freely available TonePrint Editor for PC or Mac, you can assign different parameters to the MASH control, which gives you a staggering amount of options. At worst MASH is fun to play with, but given the TonePrint Editor you can turn it into something useful for whatever style you play.
Notable artists using the Hall Of Fame on their pedalboard include Robben Ford, Steve Vai, Joe Perry, Jared Followill, Albert Lee, and Troy Van Leeuwen, amongst many others.
Bottom Line: The TC Hall Of Fame 2 Reverb is fantastic because it’s a Swiss Army Knife of reverb. There are more specialized reverb pedals out there, so perhaps the Hall Of Fame 2 is not the best choice if you’re looking for one particular sound. The reason the Hall Of Fame is so good is because it sounds lovely across a variety of reverb modes.
»Beautiful Lexicon-powered reverb, solidly built, and versatile.
The DigiTech Polara Reverb Pedal is DigiTech’s update of their RV-7 HardWire reverb, which in itself was already a great value for the money. With the Polara, it gets even better. One of the big reasons why is that Harman, the company that owns DigiTech, also owns Lexicon, who are legends in reverb. This pedal has access to both companies’ know-how, which combines to form a mashup of Reverb awesomeness. Smart move for Harman, as it brings together two of their companies’ expertise and the whole is definitely greater than the sum of its parts, in this instance.
The DigiTech Polara looks quite striking, with its unique art nouveau style graphics. Unfortunately, we’ve been able to confirm several owners complaints about not being able to read the knobs, since the graphics make the already small text even harder to see. Speaking of knobs, there are no big surprises with the Polara. Level adjusts the wet/dry mix, Liveliness controls the brightness of the verb, Decay is how long the reverb tail continues for, and the fourth knob lets you select between seven styles of Reverb. All the usual reverb suspects are available including Room, Plate, Hall, and Spring, and some fancier, more extreme verbs like the very unique Halo setting. The TAILS toggle switch is very cool, as it lets you control what happens to the reverb tail when you switch the pedal off. You can have the reverb continue, or have it stop completely.
And speaking of switching the pedal off, you’ll be pleased to know that it’s True Bypass, and the footswitch is a wonderful “soft-click” style which doesn’t make an annoying clicking noise when you press it. After experiencing this, we wish all footswitch style pedals had this and we bet you'd agree. In terms of build quality, while we don’t have a gig-tested model handy, it feel well-built, and the knobs turn smoothly. The Polara reverb pedal features stereo in and out, which is awesome since many players have reverb as the last effect in the signal chain, and you can have a stereo out to your amps with no issues.
At its core, the DigiTech Polara has Lexicon reverb algorithms, and this is massively important, because they sound awesome. For us, the quality of the reverb tones goes toe-to-toe with its boutique mom & pop shop equivalents. The Hall setting sounds fantastic and is our personal favorite, it’s tasteful, simple, and warm. For something a little more out there and extreme, the Halo setting is very enjoyable, it’s a modulated reverb that we can best describe as a choir backing you up - very cool stuff. The Spring reverb sounds pretty good, definitely a notch better than the TC Electronic Hall Of Fame spring. Each reverb type responds a bit differently to the Liveliness and Decay knobs, so it’s definitely worth experimenting. The reverb knowledge of Lexicon really shines through, and makes for reverbs that sound incredibly lush. One small downside - the Modulated reverb is not infinite, so if you’re really after experimental atmospheric ambient sounds, perhaps looks at other reverb pedals.
Bottom Line: The game changer here is the inclusion of Lexicon’s legendary reverb algorithms. There are truly very few downsides we could think of when playing with the DigiTech Polara. It sounds fantastic. Sure, some boutique, more specialized “one trick pony” pedals that cost twice (or more) as much might sound better in the end, but it’s difficult to complain here. This versatile pedal will have something you love no matter which style of reverb you are into. If you don’t care for the Hall Of Fame’s TonePrint customization, we would recommend this one for a superior reverb sound.
»A gorgeous Shimmer reverb and Boss quality make it great.
The Boss RV-6 Reverb Pedal came in a dead heat with the DigiTech Polara in our final tally, and when we spent some quality time with the RV-6, it totally makes sense. All the things to love about the Polara - the build quality, the gorgeous reverb sounds, the versatility, and the attractive price tag - the Boss RV-6 has them too.
One immediate and obvious advantage of the RV-6 is that it’s a Boss stompbox, and that equates to quality craftsmanship and reliability. Built like a tank, as people like to say. You can throw Boss pedals out of 20 story windows and they’ll remain intact and gig-ready (though, we strongly recommend you don’t do that). This is also a very attractive pedal, with a pewter Boss enclosure.
The controls on the Boss RV-6 won’t surprise you at all. Nothing here is out of the ordinary - you’ve got E.LEVEL which stands for effects level, and is just the volume of the reverb sound. TONE is the sound coloration of the reverb, TIME adjusts the length of time of the reverb sound, and finally the mode knob selects the reverb effect mode you want from eight different types: Modulate, Spring, Plate, Hall, Room, +Delay, Shimmer, and Dynamic. The RV-6 is the successor to the Boss RV-5, and those latter three are new reverb modes introduced in the RV-6. There are no extra toggle switches, and like the Hall Of Fame and Polara this is a stereo in/out reverb pedal.
The fun started when we got the chance to plug in our electric guitar and hear this thing in action. We were blown away by how good the RV-6 sounds. All eight reverb modes are very good, and have their place. Our favorites are definitely Modulate and Shimmer, which are a perfect fit for more ambient/atmospheric/spacey applications. The +Delay mode is fun too, since it combines reverb and delay (although truth be told we prefer a dedicated delay pedal). Here’s a great tip:
I discovered you can use the 'wet channel' (plug in the Input B and Output A) to record whatever you like with no presence of the dry sound.
We did not experience any “tone suck” or degradation at all from the RV-6. None of the reverb settings disappoint. Lots of guitarists judge a reverb by the quality of its Spring reverb setting, and we can report that the RV-6 is good. If the Polara does an 8/10 Spring emulation, the RV-6 would be a 6.5 or 7.
For subtle general reverb, the plate setting is great.
Bottom Line: What the Boss RV-6 is not the best at everything it does, it’s great at a lot of things and is consistently good. It is not the most unique reverb offering, but it adds a lot of arrows to your quiver for a very reasonable price. Moreover, they are almost all useable. All these qualities make the RV-6 a can't go wrong reverb.
»For the ambient player looking for lush modulation in a traditional pedal.
The Walrus Audio Slö multi texture reverb is a modulated reverb with three different algorithms that allow ambient players to create soundscapes with lush reverbs. The controls include the knobs DECAY, FILTER, MIX, which includes a helpful line around 2 o’clock where the wet and dry signal is 50/50, X, and DEPTH. There is a toggle switch with three different reverb modes; DARK, RISE, and DREAM. The input and output jacks are mounted on the top of the pedal to save space on your pedal board.
You can also use the toggle switch to select different wave shapes between SINE, WARP, and SINK. Sine is a smooth wave, while warp pitches up asymmetrically and sink detunes down. The Slö features two footswitches for BYPASS and SUSTAIN. The sustain switch momentarily ups the decay and maxes the trails until you release, except in DREAM mode, where it controls latching.
The Slö can engage and disengage trails mode by holding the bypass switch for 1 second while applying power to the pedal. As with all things Walrus, they recommend an isolated 9V power supply and the Slö has a 100mA minimum draw or there is a risk of glitching.
DARK mode adds a lower octave to your reverb trail, and sounds wickedly cool. In this mode, the X knob sets the level of the lower octave signal. This sound is foreboding and created some menacing sounds and sounds amazing combined with some dirt. Hands down, this was our favorite mode. It can sound uniquely sinister and haunting in isolation. With some distortion added in, we could create some synth-inspired space sounds.
RISE mode by contrast gives you an ambient auto-swell where the X knob sets the swell time. Rise sounds like big blooms under your original note, and it sounds best with plenty of spacing to breathe. We found that with tighter notes, much of the subtly of the gorgeous swell was lost. The rise and fall of this mode is beautiful and it makes chords sound terrific.
DREAM mode is a latching pad where the X knob sets the depth of vibrato on the trail. This mode is really unique and fun for ambient players with super long trails. It creates huge soundscapes by latching on to your notes and will hang on until you tell it to stop with the footswitch while playing over the top. The texture you can get from this layering is deeply satisfying. Also, with the vibrato on the trail set high, this mode has very interesting dynamics.
Bottom Line: The Slö is a very cool ambient focused reverb with three modes. It can cover subtle useful verb to hyper modulated ambient creations. It is best suited for players looking for sleepy long trails and ambient sounds, although with the decay set low, all three modes are more versatile than you might expect from an ambient pedal.
»For the ambient knob tweaker searching for an epic cavernous sound.
The EarthQuaker Devices Afterneath otherwordly reverberator uses tons of delays that blend into a giant cavernous reverb. EQD’s “wizard in a cave in a box” shouldn’t be mistaken for a traditional reverb. EarthQuaker fans generally know the company pushes the creative envelope, but from the jump you should know it doesn’t do classic spring, hall, plate, etc. This reverb is for ambient players that want something completely different that is simple with not a lot of secondary menus.
The controls are straightforward by ambient reverb standards. LENGTH controls the decay. DIFFUSE adjusts the spread of the reverb from a sharp attack to an ambient wash. DAMPEN is basically a tone control. DRAG separates the delay lines on the Afterneath. Since this pedal is based on a bunch of digital delays, this is the magic knob on this pedal. More delay is counterclockwise and more reverb is clockwise. REFLECT controls the regeneration of the reverb, which self oscillates and gets wild as you get into high levels. MIX blends your wet and dry signals.
The build from Akron feels great. It is powered by a 9 V drawing 74 mA and has the input and output jacks on top. It is true bypass and has a limited lifetime warranty. The illustration of a cave is spot on. Some potential limiting factors for an ambient pedal is the Afterneath is mono, and there is no expression control.
This is definitely a pedal for getting weird in the studio, and it is so much fun. Even with a heavy wet mix the original guitar tone remains bright and clear. For all the textures the Afterneath affords, it is remarkably responsive to picking dynamics. Just selecting different pickups really altered the sound to a noteworthy degree.
The drag response is definitely the control that most dramatically alters the tone, choosing the balance between reverb and delay. It’s fun to hear the sound warp as you twist the knob and create big ambient sounds.
The Afterneath sound has a similar flavor across its settings compared to the pedals on this list that cram tons of reverbs in one pedal. Where the Afterneath sounds best is for folks that love epic depth. Ambient players will love maxing the mix and playing with regeneration, while people that just want a fuller signal can roll back, but if that’s all you plan to do we’d suggest a different pedal.
It is so unique it feels strange to call the Afterneath a reverb pedal. It feels like an infinite stack of delays to craft these vast soundscapes, so it’s difficult to classify compared to other reverbs.
Bottom Line: In context, you can make it subtle and add a nice layer to most styles of music, but that is not what makes the pedal great. If that is what you are after, go for a Boss, Oceans 11, Hall of Fame, or a reverb that flexes well into different capabilities. The Afterneath, on the other hand, shines when taken to extremes to create huge ambient cavern reverb. This is for the experimental player that wants ambient, textured sounds that are impossible to achieve with a standard reverb.
»Six full sounding reverb modes, true bypass, stereo operation, and ridiculously low price.
One reverb pedal that surprised us with its price-to-quality ratio is the Biyang RV-10 Tri-Reverb Pedal. Right from the unboxing you can see Biyang keeps things simple with the Tri-Reverb. This Chinese-manufactured pedal is rather small, but don't let the underwhelming looks fool you. Thankfully, the build quality feels good. The pedal feels well-built and looks to have quality components (we watched a video which confirmed the external and internal components are indeed high quality).
The Biyang has two primary knobs - BLEND which is responsible for the wet/dry mix, and TIME which controls the length and size of the reverb. The top 3-way toggle switch lets you pick between three types of reverb - Hall, Spring, and Room. The bottom 2-way toggle is for an A and a B mode, which are two distinct reverb modes of the type of reverb you have selected. A mode is a bit darker, grittier, and bass heavy, while B is more of the classic reverb sound.
The Biyang RV-10 Tri-Reverb is true bypass when switched off, and operates in stereo; both very nice inclusions for a pedal in this price range. The blue LED light is also nice and bright.
The Biyang Tri-Reverb sounds good. Incredibly good if you factor in its price point. While it doesn’t have all the atmospheric and modulated reverb types that other pedals might offer you, it covers the basics well. The Hall, Spring, and Room are all fairly lush and expansive. Spring is a bit of a weak point to our ears, and we definitely favor the Spring from the Boss RV-6 or DigiTech Polara. Still, the Biyang is nothing to scoff at.
All in all the reverb here is solid, lush, and very usable. We would compare it to the EHX Holy Grail, which is high praise.
Bottom Line: In this price range, it’s hard to find a better reverb. The controls are slightly unintuitive with the A/B toggle switch and you don’t get fancy modulated reverb tones. However, if you need an inexpensive classic reverb then this is a fantastic option to add to your pedal board.
»Incredibly full featured with beautiful lush reverbs, the BigSky is ideal for creating intricate soundscapes.
The Strymon BigSky is one of, if not the, most popular premium full featured reverb. Strymon stuff typically sounds great to us, so it’s no surprise this reverb sounds amazing. This pedal is a jam packed customizable reverb. You may know that Strymon already produced a great reverb called the blueSky, but this takes optionality to a completely new level. What we mean by that is with this pedal, you can really tweak and modulate the reverb to your taste with an astounding degree of customizability. The BigSky can create unbelievable sounds based on 12 distinct reverb machines; Hall, Plate, Spring, Swell, Bloom, Cloud, Chorale, Shimmer, Magneto, Nonlinear, Reflections, and Room. Since the descriptors can be non-obvious, head to Strymon’s BigSky page to read full descriptions and listen to audio sample’s of each.
The BigSky’s gorgeous sound coupled with its ability to be configured to ridiculous levels make it perfect for the player that heavily incorporates the effect and relies on lush reverbs for creating soundscapes.
The Type knob lets you navigate the reverb type via a green LED indicator. When you click the type knob, you can manipulate the values of the various parameters in each patch. These different reverb types can then be individually manipulated via the seven front-panel tone shaping knobs: Decay, Pre-Delay, Mix, Tone, Mod, Param 1, Param 2 (The Param knobs are assignable per the preset selected).
The memory bank allows 100 presets to be saved and named per each of the 3 channels. Yes, you read that correctly, there are 300 easily accessible and namable presets. That is one reason why this pedal is so popular with players that want customizable reverb effects to create lush soundscapes. That is where this pedal dominates simpler (even if excellent sounding) one trick ponies. The sheer volume of options the BigSky offers are unreal. It can do everything, and it doesn't do anything poorly.
Unlike many digital reverb pedals, the BigSky keeps an analog dry signal path and then mixes a digital processed signal on top of that clean dry signal. It sounds pristine.
What differentiates the BigSky to us is how organic it sounds. The blend of the wet signal never comes off as artificial, even with more ethereal effects. Algorithms like Cloud and Chorale produce heavenly ambient tones that still mix with the guitar in a way that somehow never sound cheesy or overproduced. Classic reverbs like spring, hall, and plate sound great and play well with every effect we stacked with this reverb.
Strymon has an stellar reputation in the premium pedal market that is well-deserved. The craftsmanship, build quality, and the materials used and are on point. The stump switches feel solid and tactile. The anodized aluminum chassis speaks to the quality and looks great to boot. Everything from the pots to switches is quality and feels sturdy.
Bottom Line: If you’re the type of player that has to be able to adjust every detail and aren’t scared of tweaking knobs, this pedal is an absolute dream. If you want the most versatile reverb pedal on the market and nothing but the best will do, you’ve met your match.
»11 reverb types with multiple modes makes this EHX's best reverb yet.
The Electro-Harmonix Oceans 11 holds way more capabilities than its small form factor would suggest. It’s the same size as the Holy Grail, which was featured on a previous version of our best reverbs list, but has way more functionality.
As the name would suggest, the Oceans 11 has 11 different reverbs which are accessed through the rotary REVERB TYPE knob; hall, spring, plate, reverse, echo, tremolo, modulated, dynamic, auto-infinite, shimmer and polyphonic effects.
The other controls are the FX LVL or output, the TIME knob, the TONE knob, and the MODE button. There is also an internal TAILS switch that can be accessed by removing the back plate. We should also mention that in addition to the standard input and output jacks, there is an INFINITE jack, which allows you to plug in a momentary footswitch. It is mono, so if you absolutely need stereo out, this isn’t your pedal.
The pedal comes with an included power supply, the EHX 9.6VDC-200mA and draws 150mA.
Five of the reverb types (echo, tremolo, modulated, dynamic, and polyphonic) have more than one mode. When you cycle through these by pressing the mode button the LED indicator will change color to keep you in the know.
As if that wasn’t enough, every reverb type has parameters that can be tweaked using the secondary knob mode, which is accessed by holding down the mode button for a second, that changes the TIME and TONE knobs functionality.
If you’re thinking this is a lot of controls for a stomp box with no digital display, you are correct. It took us some time tinkering with this pedal to memorize some of the adjustments. Thankfully, EHX included a helpful reference sheet on page 8 of the instruction manual. While we’re at it, presets would be a welcomed upgrade to this pedal because of how deep you can go in various settings.
They reverbs produced by the Oceans 11 are amazing, even by Electro-Harmonix’s standards. The spring reverb, based on a 1962 Fender 6G15 unit, does a really convincing emulation and has that authentic drip sound. In this mode, you can even double tap the footswitch to simulate the sound of kicking the amp.
Another standout is the shimmer. EHX describes it as “a rich octave-shifted wash of harmony in a reverberant cloud.” We would say that is an accurate description. The infinite reverb effect, which is engaged by holding down the footswitch, is available on most of the reverb types. Using this effect in shimmer brings into existence a dreamy soundscape shoe gazers and ambient players are sure to love.
The echo reverb on the Oceans 11 is a digital delay and plate reverb combination that can be set with tap tempo. The Modulated setting is where the old Flerb setting from the Holy Grail is located, along with some other more extreme sounds, like Flerb and chorus combined. EHX also provides some sample settings for the Oceans 11. We had more fun that we would have suspected pretending the guitar was an orchestral instrument with the Cello setting.
Bottom Line: The Oceans 11 is of the best sounding and most full-featured reverb pedals you can get in a small chassis. The lack of presets and limited knobs means it does take some time to dial in custom sounds but the Oceans 11 produces studio quality sounds, many better than pedals that cost multiple times more.
»Professional grade pedal that delivers sound, build quality, and personalization.
Building from a great track record based on their rack based effects, Eventide put the best of their effects into a stompbox. Think of the Space Reverb like the Eventide H8000 in a form factor that will fit on your pedalboard.
It’s hard to find fault with the Eventide Space. Just as with the BigSky, it is popular with both guitarists and producers running synths through it alike. It also has 12 styles of reverb basic algorithms that can be configured to your exact specifications. The styles are described as; Room, Plate, Spring, Hall, Blackhole, Shimmer, Reverse Reverb (a really interesting sounding delay and decay… going backwards), ModEchoVerb (Modulation section feeding into an echo feeding into a reverb), DualVerb (two separate reverbs that are individually adjustable), MangledVerb, DynaVerb, and TremoloVerb.
Don’t worry, I won’t list all the 100 factory presents or all the artist presets. Guitarists like St Vincent to electronic musicians like Richard Devine and countless others have presets on Eventide’s website. Combining all these effects with delays, reverse decays, or anything your heart desires makes effectively infinite combinations of possible tones.
With H9 Control, you can manage parameters, presets and settings with an easy to use interface. Get instant access to over 500 presets that push the boundaries of delay, reverb, pitch-shifting, modulation, distortion and more. H9 Control is available on Android, iOS, Mac and PC.
The app provides a really clean interface to play with the endless possibilities the Space gives you. However, you can also alter the tones on the board. All of the effects are Tap Tempo adjustable and work with and MIDI Clock Sync/Generate so hook it up straight to your computer, use it with a midi controller to control your selections, or use an expression pedal to blend multiple effects. There is line level inputs and outputs, and mono or stereo operation. The downside here is all these options add complexity and it takes some time to learn how to manipulate the pedal, but that time investment is well worth it and allows you to create lush and exotic layered custom reverbs.
The Eventide definitely sits in the premium pedal space and the rugged cast metal construction remind you of it. Fiddling with it, everything felt great and well made, as it should at this price point. It feels durable enough to properly stomp on it whilst energetically rocking out. It also works well on your production desk if you’re planning on using it with synths thanks to it’s rubber bottom. The LEDs and screen are bright, big, and easy to read, which is great when there are so many options to explore. Arguably, if you like the minimal look, it could be considered the handsomest pedal on the list.
Bottom Line: Without question, the Space and the Strymon BigSky are the two pedals with the most capability. You can lock yourself away in your studio and not emerge for weeks just playing with reverb options (It’s a great time in history to be a guitarist). And yes, these two are the most expensive options on this list by quite a margin. However, we feel compelled to add that while they are definitely premium products, the price per the options available to customize the sound isn’t bad at all. You get unparalleled options in a small footprint. Ultimately, it all comes down to your budget and playing style. If your reverb is switched on non-stop and you’re experimenting with custom shoe gaze sounds, we whole heartedly endorse getting something like the Space. If on the other hand, you use reverb sparingly, we’d opt for the still versatile but budget friendly options like the Hall of Fame 2 or Boss that come in at less than half the price.
» Ultimate tonal dexterity in an easy to use package.
The Neunaber Immerse Reverberator MKII has the authenticity and clarity of an analog pedal while still possessing the range, versatility, and precise control of a digital pedal.
The Immerse is laid out so neatly and labeled so well that even a pedal newbie will be able to make sense of this reverb.
The versatility of the tones available on the Neunaber Immerse Reverberator is exceptional. There are 8 types of reverbs available including W3T, HALL, PLATE, SPRING, SHIMMER, ECHO, SUSTAIN, and DETUNE. Using these you can create a wide range of tones that will cover every possible genre of guitar music out there. The algorithms used to create these effects have been optimized meticulously to ensure that the effects change uniformly with every adjustment you make and that there are none of the spikes in the tone that is sometimes associated with digital pedals. Anyone skeptical of the digital nature of this pedal can rest easy.
The quality of the tone is studio grade and each of the available modes is incredibly useful.
A pristine sounding versatile reverb pedal that comes equipped with 8 different modes, including Neunaber's famed W3T reverb.
The ease of use is also incredible. Reverb is one of those effects that can be tricky to master. There are so many types of reverb and each of them has unique characteristics. The Neunaber Immerse Reverberator solves it in an elegant manner. There is a 'control' knob that controls a specific parameter unique to the type of reverb that is chosen. The pedal case color-codes what the controls do for the type of reverb you select. This makes the Immerse one of the easiest to use reverb pedals without sacrificing quality or tonal range.
The small things on this pedal are what complete the package. There is a switch to completely kill the dry signal while another allows the effect to trail off when it is disengaged to create a more gradual release.
Bottom Line: If you want an easy to use reverb pedal that doesn't complicate things and sounds amazing, the Neunaber Immerse MKII is a safe bet. It achieves a wide range of phenomenal tones. All of these qualities make this pedal well worth its price.
» A gorgeous plate reverb for those looking for a core reverb.
The Catalinbread Talisman is based on the legendary EMT 140, the defining plate reverb of the 1970s. It is relatively simple as it only does one thing, but it does that thing extremely well. If you love the sounds of the EMT 140 but don't have room for a 7 foot plate in your studio, this is it in a stomp box.
The controls are clear and laid out well. HIGH PASS takes out bass frequencies, which is useful if you are seeking more ambient longer decay tones because it helps avoid muddying your tone with excessive bass. TIME controls the decay, which can stretch out to infinite reverb.
While not the most versatile reverb, there is just something about the way this one sounds running on 18 volts that I absolutely love.
PRE DELAY can give you between 0-100ms before the reverb effect so your single notes can remain crisp and clear. The only other controls are a MIX control and a VOLUME knob.
The build quality from this Portland based company is great, and the green indicator led looks great with the pedals palette. The Talisman draws 62mA from a 9V or 66mA from an 18V DC. It sounds extra fine on 18 volts, so we suggest you run it on the higher voltage if you have the option.
There is no modulation, so if you want a dedicated ambient reverb, this isn’t for you. Just because this pedal is simple, please don’t dismiss it. It produces one of the best plate reverb sounds we’ve ever heard.
It sounds gorgeous whether you are thickening up your tone with some subtle settings (we loved it with the mix around 10 o’clock for this use case) all the way to lush infinite reverb. It really adds significant depth to your tone.
Bottom Line: If you play blues, pop, or rock and are a plate reverb fan (and how could you not be with such notables as Pink Floyd, Led Zepplin, and Van Halen favoring this effect), you definitely owe it to yourself to check out the Talisman. It produces a terrific all-purpose core reverb tone.
» A versatile and organic sounding reverb in a small package.
The MXR M300 Reverb delivers 6 different styles of reverb. PLATE, SPRING, and ROOM are three of the more common types or reverb included in this pedal. EPIC is a series of multiple interconnected modulated reverbs, and MOD is a modulated studio plate reverb. PAD is MXR’s take on a shimmer, with an octave up and down added to the signal.
There is no battery option for powering the M300, but MXR does include 9 volt power supply to satisfy the pedals 240mA power draw. The controls on the reverb are simple; DECAY, TONE, and MIX. Pushing the TONE knob cycles between the reverb modes sequentially. The pedal has three LEDs that light up green or red to indicate what reverb mode is selected. It is handy that these indicators are on even when the pedal is in bypass mode and not engaged.
What’s more impressive than the sheer number of reverbs included in this pedal is how warm and organic MXR has made them sound. These are quality reverbs that sound lush and rich. Not a single reverb sounded lackluster.
The dry path is 100% analog, but the M300 features a WET MODE, which allows the pedal to run 100% wet signal to your amp. There is also a TRAILS BYPASS mode to let the effect ring out after turning the pedal off and switches the pedal from its default true bypass mode to a buffered bypass.
The M300 can work with an external expression pedal and can work in stereo with TRS cables if you use cable splitter in the input and output. This requires flipping an internal switch that is defaulted to mono to stereo.
The critical thing about this pedal is it sounds great. The reverbs are lush, expansive, and versatile. In PAD mode the tone knob gives you the choice between an octave up, an octave down, or a blend of both. This coupled with the decay knob setting the synth pad reverb decay makes this one of the best sounding and most versatile shimmer type verbs out there.
Bottom Line: The MXR M300 is a versatile pedal with warm tones. It sounds terrific and there isn’t a bad sound to be had in this pedal. The interface is easy to operate and with stereo capability and expression pedal jacks this versatile pedal can handle anything.
» A unique sounding handmade pedal with two modes.
The Death By Audio Reverberation Machine is a handmade pedal from New York that features 2 types of reverbs. Death By Audio denotes them as Dark and Light. Dark is cavernous and deep while light is shimmering and bright.
The Reverberation Machine sounds a little unconventional, but that is what makes it special. We love the cool signature dark cave sounding reverb and it is good for adding wild character to your tone. With the Altitude Control, which functions as a gain level, set high, you get pronounced breakup and crackling. You can up the Verb mix and get experimental, but the dark mode is also great when subtly applied to add some depth to your core tone. Overall, the Dark star setting has loads of character, as the cavernous sound is unique to this pedal.
The Bright star mode is very pleasant, if less unique. Bright is a good descriptor of this reverb mode, since the tone was shimmering and full of springy treble.
It can be a noisy pedal. DBA warns when the battery is low noise can occur, and even if you have a full battery this reverb can create plenty of white noise depending on your settings. Here’s a warning from the creators:
When the altitude and verb controls are turned past 12 o’clock the pedal can produce potentially harmful volumes, white noise, and other artifacts.
The build quality is high. The knobs and switches are premium and rather than traditional paint there is a smooth metal plaque covering the top of the pedal, giving it a unique industrial feel. It reminds us of something NASA would have produced during the Apollo program. In the unlikely event the Reverberation Machine does break, it is backed by Death By Audio’s cheeky Guaranteed for Life philosophy.
We like to destroy things. So we build everything at DBA to last through the toughest beating. If you can possibly break it. We will fix it.
We love how the controls are laid out on this pedal and kudos to Death By Audio for clearly putting some thought into the design. The input, output and power are on the top of the pedal to save room. The selector switch between Light and Dark modes is placed above the three knob controls to minimize the chance of accidently breaking the switch while engaging the pedal.
Bottom Line: The Reverberation Machine is not a versatile one-size fits all reverb. It is a unique sounding boutique reverb that would be hard to replicate. The springy slap backs of the bright mode are pretty without question, but the dark mode is what really makes this pedal stand out. If you like the sound of an overdriven amp with a blown speaker in a cave (no doubt a unique situation), check out the Reverberation Machine.
It goes without saying that reverb is one of the most important and prevalent effects in the audio world. There are probably very few recordings out there that don’t have at least a touch of reverb applied. Reverb is basically the sound that “lingers in the air” after it happens, due to the sound waves reflecting off of surfaces. The more reflections happen and the larger the space you’re in, the more dramatic the effect. Picture being in a cathedral and letting out a yell. Your voice will reverberate quite a bit and it will sound like your yell is extended, and the volume will eventually taper off into silence. The same thing happens when you sing in the shower, though the reverb “tail” might not be as long as in a huge cathedral. Conversely, imagine you’re in a small sound deadening booth with foam walls. If you let out a yell, the sound waves will be absorbed by the foam and thus won’t reflect back to your ears, so there will not be a reverb effect.
Listen to Jeff Buckley’s Hallelujah for a great example of a song where the reverb gives his delicate guitar and vocals an immense sense of space and presence.
Reverb is not the same thing as echo! An echo occurs when a sound wave reflects off of a surface and reaches your ear past one tenth of a second after the original sound wave. Imagine you’re at the bottom of a canyon and yell “hello!” The sound wave might take some time to reflect off of a surface and come back to your ear, and you’ll then hear a distinct repetition of your voice saying “hello.” That’s an example of echo.
Types of Reverb
When you buy a reverb pedal, there’s almost always a knob that lets you select the type of reverb that you want. Here are some of the more basic types of reverb explained:
Hall Reverb: As the name suggests, this type of reverb emulates a concert hall, generally offering reverb that lasts between 1 and 3 seconds. Typically, hall verbs start with plenty of audible early reflections, followed by a full reverb body and then a tail that rolls off on the high end. For this reason hall verbs are often quite warm.
Chamber Reverb: Chamber reverb gives a short decay time, resulting in a little more clarity. Typically, chamber reverbs last between 0.4 and 1.2 seconds, and are also quite warm in sound.
Room Reverb: Room verb normally lasts between 0.2 to 1 seconds. Room reverbs are often quick acting, with lots of early reflections, and end with a quick decay and little frequency rolloff.
Plate Reverb: When we’re talking about digital reverbs, this is an emulation of an analog reverb in which sound vibrations were sent through a plate of metal that itself vibrated, resulting in reflections of the sound. Plate reverbs are often very full sounding and have a very “smooth” sound. They sound great on lead vocals, but also on guitar in situations where the reverb does not need to take too much attention away from the listener.
Spring Reverb: As mentioned before this is an analog reverb, emulated in digital verbs, that has a fairly sharp sound compared to other reverbs, with it seeming like there is a rolloff of bass frequencies.
Reverb tails, sometimes referred to as reverb trails, occur after the initial impulse and early reflections in a reverb signal. Think of the original sound, or initial impulse, as the dry signal. Next, you hear early reflections. Finally, the decaying sound is the reverb tail. This reverb tail is sonically denser than the early reflections and more complex due to the features of the space (or simulated space) and has different characteristics than the early reflections.
To learn more about the other factors and variables behind reverb, we recommend checking out Music and Computers.
How We Tested These Reverb Pedals
To bring you the best reverbs out there, we keep current and extensively research new products. We periodically review and revise this list as new pedals are released.
We run them through different combinations of guitars and amplifiers, since changing the signal chain can greatly affect the sound of a reverb pedal.
We ran these reverbs through our tube amps, solid-states, and even headphone amplifiers. In terms of electric guitars, we used a variety of single-coil and humbucker pickups, as well as solid body, semi-hollow, and hollow body guitars.
In short, we listened to these reverbs in as many signal chains as possible before formulating our opinions of them.
Michael bought his first guitar, a Fender California Series Stratocaster in Candy Apple Red, in 1998. He likes rock of all types, from classic to punk to metal. Michael co-founded Equipboard to satisfy his curiosity around what gear his guitar heroes use. Read more