It might be surprising for some but I like to sit down and go back in time. I make myself comfortable, grab a cup of my favorite coffee and just think about the past. Sometimes I drift away with such thoughts and contemplate about the glorious eras of music. It is so fascinating to think how much creativity flowed from people who did not have as much possibilities as we do now. They had to produce their own devices just to play the sounds they wanted. They had to engineer whole rooms in order to achieve audio effects. Such thoughts become real when I think about reverb and earlier mechanisms of its creation. And it feels me up with excitement and forces me to reconsider everything I have done throughout my life. It might be hard for some to understand why a simple effect makes me so enthusiastic, but it does and there is nothing I can do about it. From what I have just said it is not hard to imagine how excited I get about every single reverb pedal out there. Well, since I have tried a lot of those, today I want to present Boss RV-6 to you. There are many reasons why this baby is simply awesome. Let’s continue this article to see what grounds I have for appraising this stompbox!
Boss was not the most consistent brand in terms of creating newer reverb pedals. If you look back at history, you will find that (since there was not that much competition) they produced pedals decades apart. Those who owned and loved their RV-5 had to wait for 13 years for the newer version to come out. Luckily, RV-6 arrived exactly when it was needed (back in 2015). This baby combines everything we loved about its predecessors and adds the features that were lacking. It has analog dry path, which retains the original qualities of your guitar while the digital effect is blended in it. It can be operated in stereo mode, which is made possible with dual inputs and outputs. This way your sound becomes fuller than you could ever imagine. RV-6 is compatible with an expression pedal that can control the depth of reverb. Manual strictly suggests to use one from Roland, but I think we have to double check that. Additionally, this pedal offers eight different types of reverb, which gives you unimaginable versatility. They are not there just for quantity purposes – they do actually work wonders. Typically, RV-6 can be powered with the help of a single 9V battery or an adapter. It will drain the heck out of the batteries, so I would suggest sticking to the latter way of operation. I do not think I should be articulating this but in case you have not worked with Boss pedals before, this bad boy is housed in a rugged, durable enclosure that will not fall apart no matter how harshly you abuse it. The design is quite fancy with darker colors, so huge thumbs up to that!
Before describing and explaining the control section in depth I want to talk about one minor flaw here. Due to ginormous footswitch we have on all of Boss pedals, there is not usually much space left for the knobs themselves. For this reason, the names on RV-6’s mode selector are shoved there messily, which can be a bit hard to navigate through. If you are performing on a poorly lit stage, chances are you will not see what is going on in terms of modes. This is just a minor issue that may or may not bother you. Either way, I think you should know.
Now, moving on to more interesting stuff. First in the line we have E. Level, which modifies the volume of the effect and enables you to avoid any unevenness in your chain. Next comes the Tone, which modifies the amount of higher frequencies in your sound. In other words, it changes the color of your tone and makes it brighter or darker. Then we have Time, which alters the length of reverb. The final encoder here is Mode selector, which allows you to choose between +Delay, Shimmer, Dynamic, Room, Hall, Plate, Spring and Modulate. It goes without saying that there is a huge footswitch on the bottom part of the unit. Not that difficult, ha?
We have a lot to discuss in the sonic section of this article. Boss RV-6 offers so many different sounds to choose from, you might get a bit overwhelmed in the beginning. But once you actually start playing, they all envelop you in the most pleasant feelings. If I were to discuss all the modes in great detail, I would probably write a book. For this reason, I will go through them all briefly. The selling point of this baby is definitely Modulate. This beautiful mode blends together the qualities of reverb with the warmth and sweetness of modulation. There is something really special about this one – it manages to engulf you in its tones and never let go off you. Shimmer brightens your reverb to the point where you cannot see anymore. It adds an octave effect and creates very interesting sonic results. Plate, Hall, Spring and Room reverbs are all pure, clean and saturated. They do what they are supposed to perfectly. Dynamic is an amazing mode that relies on your playing. It feels up your performance whenever needed and saturates it with distinctive character. Lastly, + Delay mixes reverb and delay and produces an extraordinary thing to explore. Though some of you might find it hard to distinguish between all these modes, I do not really think they are similar. The sonic quality and versatility of RV-6 does not give us the right to complain about anything.
On the whole, Boss RV-6 is a real beast of the pedal and one of the best options for reverb enthusiasts. It is simple, powerful and diverse as hell. It is the perfect combination of everything we want from such units. Let’s all stop complaining about the minor flaws and enjoy the wonderful possibilities of this one. Good luck!
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