I have always been someone who was never satisfied with her tone. No matter how good was the sound I created, there was at least one thing I would not fancy. That is why I became an explorer. I searched for various devices constantly in order to find the complementary sound. I turned into a hungry wolf scavenging for food. I would purchase every new model that brands came up with and play with them for hours. Somewhere on that way I came across reverb pedals. I tried the first one and was amazed by the versatility it could offer. My haunt for perfect sounds became less of a haunt and more of a pleasure. I would turn on Pink Floyd and start my journey of finding the best reverb pedal. If you want to do the same thing, keep on reading, because this article will give you all the basic information you will need.
Top 10 Best Reverb Pedals
Wampler created Ethereal Delay and Reverb with simplicity in mind. They decided to deliver all the features, that would be very easy to adjust. This pedal is quite unique when it comes to its sound. Combining both Delay and Reverb, it lets you layer on different tones to create something special. The part where this pedal really stands out is its double delay circuit. This means that you can have one delay lingering on all the time and add another one on top (by switching between Delay Modes). The Trail Button allows you to maintain your effects even when pedal is switched off. The knobs are very easy to adjust: Delay controls the delay time (up to 1s); Feedback sets the amount of reverb added to your signal (everything from slow repeats to outraging self-oscillation); Delay Mix and Reverb Mix let you combine these two effects; Ethereal Delay and Reverb offers a lot of different sounds without over complicating features.
- Thick and clear reverb
- Very easy to use
- Beautiful and unique tone
- It cannot be operated with battery
- Does not have a tap tempo
If you are looking for infinite reverb options Electro Harmonix Cathedral Stereo Reverb is for you. This versatile pedal has combined every single detail in itself. Cathedral offers 8 different reverb modes and ability to load and save. Since it is also a stereo, pedal has true stereo inputs and outputs. With Cathedral Stereo Reverb you get smooth and bouncy vibes. Different reverb modes help you to alter the sound and make every note special. Sonority is clear so you do not deliver corrupted sounds. Damping/Tone mode really mixes up with reverb effects creating wonderful composition. With Tap/Infinite button you can control the delay time or freeze your sound creating unique piece. True stereo sounds reveal your inspiration and the programmability of the pedal gives the chance for creativity. Whether you are playing in a small room or in the concert hall, Cathedral is your best companion.
- Wide range of modes
- Sound clarity
- 2 second delay time
- Does not have on/off button
- Needs plugging in/out after every use
When experimenting with Catalinbread Topanga Spring Reverb you dive into the magical tones of early ‘60s Fender. It possesses authentic and extraordinary sounds and gives you the opportunity to dive in real rock music. Spring signal amount is easily controlled by Dwell knob, while Tone knob creates unique brightness of tones. By setting it to minimum, you will find the hidden modulation mode. Mix knob extends the reverb units, because the aim of the pedal is to be 100% wet. If you are looking for drippy splash, fluttered sounds, playing which feels like performance with famous rock bands then Catalinbread Topanga is the pedal for you. You can easily mix up old school sounds adding generous amount of boost by volume knob. Pedal offers persistent integrity of sonority and tone control, creating outstanding music, that describes your rebel soul.
- Very defined spring reverb
- Allows you to create tube-like tones
- An array of lush sounds
- Would be better if hidden modulation had separate on/off switch
Reverb wizard Afterneath Reverberation is one of the most ethereal sounding pedal. It allows the instrument to create expansive, altered sounds that go from light and bright to really dark and deep. Afterneath pedal is the beast of reverberation since it offers wide range of scattered, wild sounds with short delays creating extraordinary vibes. In addition to cavernous reverbs, pedal has multiple programs. Length knob controls the length of reverb, while with Diffuse knob you adjust sharper or washy sounds. Dampen knob alters the brighter or darker tones. Drag knob is the most interesting feature of Afterneath, because it gives you the opportunity to create stuttering sounds either with delays or reverb. Reflect knob assists you to create wavy sounds and control its strength. In short, Afterneath reverberation pedal is truly a magic device, with original design and special sound.
- Offers a lot of sonic possibilities,
- Controls are very responsive
- Creates powerful tone
- The abundance of features might be confusing
- It might be hard to dial in the same note twice
When it comes to TC Electronic, the very first word that pops in mind is versatility. Even though their pedals offer a lot of features themselves, they link TonePrint to it, taking the versatility even further. Now, T2 itself has four knobs, giving you full control over your tone. Decay, Tone and Mix are no different from other pedals and control the time, intensity and blend of your tones. However, T2 is much more than that. It features a big knob on the right, which will leave you stunned for days. This single control offers up to 10 reverb styles, letting you dive into all kinds of reverbs. It ranges from clear plate-like reverbs to sustained, juicy ones. As I have mentioned already, TonePrint adds even more features and with its editor, you can truly shape your sound the way you want. For me, T2 is one of the best reverb pedals on the market.
- Extremely wide range of tones
- Addictive (once you get hooked up, there is no way back!)
- Flexible and easy to use
- Would be better if reverb styles were labelled (instead of being numbered)
And we are back to EHX. Holy Grail Nano is so easy to use, even a newborn would figure something out. It comes with a Reverb knob, that adjusts the amount of reverb added to your tone. It also has a switch with three different modes. Spring and Hall bring those vintage tone back to modern times and add warmth to your music. The improve the tone in a way that creates something very pleasant to listen to. Flerb, therefore, is quite different from the other two. Basically, it merges Flanger and Reverb, producing a unique effect. Holy Grail Nano stands by the idea, that usually simple is better. It does what it is supposed to without too much fuss and effort. Could it get simpler?
- Great combination of vintage and modern sounds
- Extremely durable
- Enhances your tone without making it louder
- The reverb has a longer tail compared to others
When it comes to Boss, there is not much left to say. The quality and sound it offers usually speak for themselves. But anyway, let’s dive into the specifics of RV-6 and see, what’s so special about it. The first three knobs on this pedal are quite typical: Tone, Level and Time adjust the parameters, such as time of the effect, its range of tones and overall output. However, RV-6 has something very interesting, namely, its reverb styles. It offers everything from subtle effects to extreme modifications. Spring, Hall, Room, Plate offer thick, juicy tones, while Delay, Shimmer and Dynamic add some character to your music. Modulate is the most Bossy among these styles and has longer decay with a touch of chorus. It goes without saying that RV-6 is a powerful pedal that will quickly turn into a statement on your pedal board.
- Built like a tank (I bet you are surprised by this feature)
- Deep tones
- Some types of reverb sound very similar
- Balance between shimmer and reverb is not adjustable
At first glance, Mooer Reecho Pro Twin looks like a complicated piece of gear that will be hard to adjust, but don’t be afraid my friend, there is nothing that scary about this pedal. It offers 5 Reverb effects and allows you to add some shimmer to it along with 2-voice pitch range. The level of control it provides is mostly the result of separate Dry and Wet, Low and High Cut controls. You can control the pre delay and decay time as well. The best part is, you can save your effects with preset function, enabling you to get back to those beloved tones. Mooer Reecho Pro Twin is a true bypass, which can be substituted with buffered one with a toggle switch. In short, this pedal offers a lot of tone control and will let you explore different sonic environments.
- Quality sound
- Metal body
- Big size
- Can develop a bit of hiss
If you are looking for something more than a simple reverb pedal, then NUX Atlantic Delay & Reverb will be the best choice for you. This compact fella has everything you could ask for and then some more. Not only does it offer reverb and delay, but it also comes packed with three different types of each: 70’s, 60’s and 80’s delays paired with Hall, Plate & Shimmer and Spring reverbs. Shimmer is just a simple addition that steeps your sound with more character and brightness. Atlantic Delay & Reverb operates in Serial or Parallel modes, meaning that you can choose which effect is added first to your sound, or route them in parallel loop and employ them simultaneously. What is more, this baby has dedicated footswitches for each effect, as well as tap tempo for delays. The control set is pretty typical: we have separate Level encoders for reverb and delay, Decay, Delay Time and Repeat. All of them are pretty self-explanatory, so I will not dive into details. Atlantic Delay & Reverb can be utilized in stereo, meaning that you have countless options to explore. All in all, the feature set of this pedal will be hard to beat for the price. It is definitely worth considering.
- Great build quality
- Versatile features and options
- Two-in-one pedal
- Amazing sound
- Might develop some distortion at certain settings
Last but not least, we have TC Electronic Hall OF Fame Mini Reverb. If you do not have a lot of money but cannot get rid of the desire to play with reverberated sounds, then you can purchase this one without any suspicions. This compact unit manages to deliver versatile sounds through a tiny enclosure that will take up hardly any space on your pedalboard. Though on-board controls are limited, there is a lot to explore via TonePrint App and Editor. The combination of these two turns Hall Of Fame Mini Reverb into a diverse beast. When you add true bypass, analog-dry-through and spectacular sonic palette on top of the package, you realize that you cannot live a day without this pedal. If you loved the original, I have a good news for you: the mini version sounds exactly the same! Could it get any better? I doubt it. Unfortunately, this fella cannot be powered with batteries, but that is only natural considering its size. I will not be exaggerating if I say that compromising the on-board controls is well worth it, since this pedal is really hard to beat at this price point. If you are short on pedalboard space, definitely give this one a try!
- Extremely compact
- Countless options with the help of the TonePrint App and Editor
- Sounds the same as the original
- Limited on-board controls
- Cannot be powered with batteries
Types of Reverb
Let’s start by defining the reverb itself. Every building or place you walk into has a certain feedback of sound. This means that when you give off tones, sound waves travel around the place, get reflected on the surface and get back to you. This creates a certain audio effect called reverb. It is made possible by the nature of surroundings – their ability to reflect or suck the tones. Reverb is characterized by repeating notes that decay after a period of time. Oftentimes, this effect is confused with echo, but they are two different things. The main factor that distinguishes these two is the speed of feedback. Echo occurs 50 to 100 ms after the initial sound, while reverberation happens in less than 50ms. Reverb can be achieved by placing microphones in a specific way (used by Pink Floyd in early years) or using dedicated instruments such as pedals. When it comes to the sound, different types of reverbs have different outcomes. Now, I will discuss some of them in order to help you understand what kind of sound suits your music the best.
If you have ever been in a concert hall, you know what this one means. It strives to replicate the reflecting sound of the latter, which tends to have long reverberation. The device with hall reverb will do the same. By elongating the reflections of your sound signal, hall reverb adds thickness and texture to your music and is great for adding three-dimensional character to it.
As with any other effects, you should not get overboard with this one either. If you overuse it, your sound might get muddy and distinct, which, I am sure, all of us are trying to avoid. However, when used correctly, hall reverb can alter your game and take your music to a whole new level. Achieving this is made easier with modern technologies, that add depth to your tone without depriving it of clarity. In most cases, the devices producing hall reverb come with modulation or other sound-tweaking features making your signal even richer.
When it comes to technical specifications, room reverb is pretty much the same as hall reverb. The former is a more modest version characterized by shorter and faster reverberations. To grasp the sonic difference between the two, try comparing the sound of chatter in a room to the one in a church or a huge space. You will notice that the feedback in the latter is more noticeable and distinctive. Because of these features, room reverb is considered to be more realistic. It creates the illusion that the music played in various environments was actually recorded in a room. In other words, if hall reverb intensifies the sense of space, the room reverb decreases it.
This effect can be utilized in many ways. It will add some precision and proximity to your tones. If you find silver lining, it will assist you through many situations. When used in a wrong way, it can make your sound too small or suppressed and create reverbs that do not really suit your signals. Just experiment with room reverb with your effects pedal until you find the tone tailored to your preferences.
Plate Reverb is where things get a bit more complicated. They try to recreate the sound generated with rudimentary techniques in earlier days. In ‘60s and ‘70s, when this effect was still taking its first steps, musicians experimented with various things to achieve desired results. One of the methods of creating the reverb was using reverb plates. Basically, they would take a plate (with specific design), equip it with all the needed features (like contact mics) and transmit the sound into it. Highly sensitive mics would discover the vibrations and send them to preamps. Different contact mics were used for left and right channels, creating a pseudo stereo output. It is a simple technology that is quite hard to explain with words, but I think it is more important to understand what they do in terms of sound.
Plates generate a thick tone somewhat similar to hall reverb, but they are more two-dimensional. Clean, bright sounds they generate work really well with vocals, but can be used with any instrument as well. Pedals, which offer plate reverb try to recreate those vintage tones and deliver it in the form of a stomp box. All in all, this is a type of reverb that will stand out in any mix due to its strong character.
Spring Reverb works on the same principle as plate reverb, since in both cases, sound is transferred into specific devices, but instead of mics incorporated in plates, spring reverb uses the reverberation of spring coils. It has a characteristic, unique sound, which resembles a ringing tone. With the ability to feedback in themselves, spring reverbs provide a room for wide sonic capabilities.
This effect can be used with individual instruments, such as guitar, in order to display its full potential. It might get lost in the mix or apply unwanted resonances to the sound. But spring reverb will add a nice touch of warmth and depth to pianos or organs.
Nowadays, you do not really have to choose between these effects. The majority of reverb pedals offer the combination of each of them. With a twist of the knob or the tweak of the toggle, you can jump from one style to another adding even more uniqueness to your music. When you first get your pedal, go on and experiment with all the modes. Play as much as you can, because most of the time, the things we expected the least suit us the best. This might be the case with music as well. Nothing is easier than exploring in this day and age, so why would you miss the opportunity to perfect your sound? Be it a spring, hall, room, plate or any other reverb, the way they sound depends on how you use them.
In conclusion, reverb pedals can be your ticket into the world of legendary music. They are extremely flexible and versatile, allowing you to create multidimensional music. There are reverb pedals for everyone, featuring the things that will satisfy even the pickiest players (a.k.a. me). Hopefully, I have provided all the information that will be useful for choosing the best reverb pedals. If so, you have a great adventure ahead of you, my friend. Do not be afraid to risk and let those creative juices flow. Use your reverb pedals wisely and trust me, you will be able to achieve any desired results. After all, your music knows the best what it needs.