A reverb effect is the sound of ‘space’, although this might sound a little ambiguous, a true ‘analog reverb’ occurs through sound reflecting off of different objects. For example, if you’ve ever shouted down a canyon and heard your voice echo back at you, that is essentially what the effect of reverb is.
Over the years, audio engineers have used different materials to create different types of reverb. Some common examples include Spring Reverb, most famously used in Fender and Vox Amps in the 60s and 70s.
This type of reverb is created by sending an audio signal down a physical spring (or several), this then creates sound waves that reverberate through the spring. The same concept has also been used with plates and halls. Some studios even have dedicated ‘reverb’ rooms.
However, over the past decade or so, studio engineers realized it isn’t practical to have dedicated spaces for whenever they needed a specific reverb effect, so they started to emulate these effects through digital technology.
This first started out with rack units created by companies such as Lexicon, Eventide, and TC Electronic and then eventually migrated into smaller units such as plugins and guitar pedals.
Using reverb pedals gives you an extra dimension to your sound and can allow you to create ambient textures that inspire and move you as a musician.
In this article, we’re going to show 10 of the best reverb pedals on the market, how to find the best reverb pedal for you as well as some helpful tips and tricks that will improve your guitar tone.
The following reverb pedals all work great with electric guitars and are guaranteed to enhance your tone.
Best Guitar Reverb Pedal
TC Electronic Hall of Fame 2
When it comes to reverb effects, TC Electronic is the best in the business. TC electronic reverbs have featured in films such as Lord of The Rings and have been used by artists such as Mark Knopfler, Mateus Asato, and Robben Ford.
With such a rich history of innovative audio technology, it makes sense that TC electronic has produced one of the best reverb pedal effects on the market, the ‘hall of fame 2’.
As reverb pedals go, the ‘TC Electronic Hall of Fame 2’ is a modern classic and a sequel to the original ‘Hall of Fame’ pedal.
This digital pedal comes with a variety of reverb types such as Room, Hall, Plate, Spring, Church, Modulate, and Lofi.
Furthermore, this pedal comes with level, decay, and tone knobs and a toggle switch that changes between a short and long pre-delay. Whether you’re looking for a subtle reverb or a huge cavern, the high quality of the Hall of Fame 2, delivers easily.
What sets this pedal apart from its predecessor is the addition of the ‘mash’ footswitch and the 3 tone print slots. The ‘mash’ footswitch is a momentary switch that allows you to adjust certain parameters of the pedal.
For each reverb type, the mash button affects a different parameter, for example on the ‘Room’ setting the mash button affects the overall reverb level. When pressing on this button, the light will go brighter the harder you push. Although this is an excellent addition, some users may find this hard to use.
Furthermore, what sets this product apart from the others is the ability to adjust the parameters within the ‘Toneprint App’.
Connect your pedal via USB to your PC or phone and freely adjust every parameter you can think of. Once you’ve settled on a sound, you can then save this in one of the three tone print slots on your pedal.
Despite this being a really cool feature, some users may prefer to have each of the adjustable parameters on the pedal, but bear in mind, if that was the case, the product would be four times its size. Overall, this is one of the best reverb pedals available and is perfect for studio or stage.
- It’s an extremely versatile reverb with lots of different reverb types.
- You have the ability to change the level, decay, and tone via the onboard controls.
- The pedal offers true bypass and buffered bypass.
- The ‘mash’ feature allows you to change parameters on the fly.
- It offers mono or stereo operation
- The mash footswitch can be difficult to use.
- Some users have found issues with TC Electronics customer service.
Best Mini Reverb Pedal
TC Electronic Hall of Fame Mini
Over the past few years, mini pedals have become favored amongst electric guitar players. The drive to save on pedalboard real-estate has excelled the popularity of these products and almost every manufacturer now has a mini pedal in their roster.
TC Electronic has been at the forefront of the mini pedal trend and has been providing great tones for professionals and amateurs alike. One of the best reverb pedals in the mini category is TC Electronics HOF mini.
Using the same algorithms as the full-sized hall of fame reverb, the TC electronic HOF mini is a fantastic reverb pedal that is simple in design and sounds fantastic. This reverb pedal is a great choice for musicians who crave simplicity and want to get playing as quickly as possible.
In the stock setting, the single knob simply controls the overall level of the reverb. This is an extremely simple design that works well in practice.
However, the tone chasing doesn’t stop there. With the addition of the tone print app, you are able to beam other digital reverb algorithms into the pedal via the use of a smartphone or computer.
What’s fantastic about this is, not only can you choose from TC’s stock presets, you can also download your favorite artist presets too. So whether you’re a fan of Guthrie Govan, Mateus Asato, or Robby Krieger, you can get your hands on their tone within seconds via the app.
If you feel like those reverb sounds don’t work for you, you can also get hands-on with the app and design your own tone print.
Overall, the HOF mini is a fantastic pedal at a great price, there’s no reason not to get hold of this tonal piece of magic.
- It’s easy to use due to the single reverb knob.
- It’s very small, meaning it can fit on any pedalboard.
- The ‘tone print feature allows you to load any type of reverb into it via USB or your phone.
- It’s true-bypass and has analog-dry through, meaning your tone will stay intact.
- The single reverb knob doesn’t offer as much flexibility as other competitors.
- Mini pedals aren’t for everyone.
Best Plate Reverb Pedal
MXR M300 Reverb
MXR has been around since 1972. Most famous for their Distortion +, Phase 90, and Dyna Comp pedals, MXR is one of the best effect pedal companies around. One of the best reverb pedals is the MXR M300 reverb.
The MXR M300 is an extremely versatile pedal consisting of six high-quality reverb algorithms. These include your standard emulations such as spring and plate reverb as well as some exotic effects including epic, pad, and mod.
This is great as not only does this pedal provide subtle ambiance, it also allows you to create massive soundscapes that are reminiscent of keyboard sounds.
The sparkle finish of the pedal looks classy and elegant and the MXR reverb is fitted in a standard-sized pedal enclosure allowing it to fit on all pedalboards.
Despite this pedal having complex sounds, it is relatively easy to use. It consists of three knobs that adjust the blend, decay, and tone of the reverb. To change the reverb types, you click the tone knob which cycles through each algorithm.
The ability to switch between true bypass and buffered modes allows this pedal to have reverb trails. Essentially, what this means is that if you strike your guitar and click the pedal off, you have the option of the effect completely turning off or the reverb tail continuing after you’ve played.
Although this pedal is capable of stereo operation on its input and output, the only way to do this is via a TRS cable. This can be complicated to set up and means extra cables on your board.
However, the MXR M300 reverb is a good reverb pedal that is worth considering if you’re looking to expand your tonal palette.
- Six high-quality reverb effects, including plate reverb, spring, mod, epic, room, and pad.
- The expression input allows you to adjust any parameter of the digital reverb.
- Can be switched between true-bypass and buffered bypass.
- Features stereo inputs and outputs.
- The pedal can be set to 100% wet, meaning it can create extreme ambient textures and be used in a studio setup.
- To use stereo, you have to use a TRS cable.
- The tone of the reverb effects in this pedal isn’t for everyone.
Best Ambient Reverb Pedal
Strymon was first founded in around 2004 under the ‘Damage Control’ brand. Since then they have been one of the pioneers of the modern-day effects market. Creating timeless pedals such as the ‘Flint’, ‘Timeline’ and ‘Mobius’.
Strymon is known for creating high fidelity effects which outshine almost every other brand on the market. One of their best reverb pedals is the ‘BlueSky’.
The Strymon BlueSky is one of the most popular reverb pedals on the market and is great for professional musicians.
This reverb pedal offers a spring reverb setting, room, and plate sounds, however, these can be manipulated further with the additional toggle switches. These toggle switches offer shimmer and modulated modes.
The BlueSky was one of the first reverb pedals to have a ‘shimmer reverb’. A shimmer reverb is when the decay of the reverb signal has an octave up placed onto it. This is fantastic for creating ambient sounds of an ethereal nature.
The modulated reverb mode offers the user the ability to add modulation to the reverb tails, this is perfect for creating pad-like reverbs which can fill out a mix.
As well as these, the BlueSky also offers onboard adjustment of the mix, high and low frequencies, and pre-delay. This enables you to really dial in your reverb tones. Once you’ve perfected your tone, you can then save this sound into the unit’s onboard ‘favorite’ switch.
Our only criticism of the BlueSky is that it’s very expensive for a single pedal, however, you cannot argue with the quality that Strymon offers. Overall, this is a great pedal for guitarists who are serious about their tone.
- Consists of three popular reverb modes (spring, plate, and room) with optional shimmer reverb and mod reverb.
- Extra tonal options with the onboard, tone, and parameter controls as well as secondary functions.
- The favorite switch allows you to store one preset.
- It’s stereo and has additional expression control.
- The effect quality is extremely high at 24bit, 96khz AD/DA conversion.
- It is very expensive for a reverb pedal.
- At this price, it would have been nice to have more than one savable preset.
Best Multifunction Reverb Pedal
This review wouldn’t be complete without the inclusion of some Boss pedals. As you may know, Boss is one of the original pioneers of effects pedals.
Most famous for their compact-sized pedals, over recent years Boss has begun to rival companies such as Strymon by introducing the 500 series. The RV500 is arguably one of the best reverb pedals on the market today.
If you’re looking for a high-quality reverb pedal with all the bells and whistles then the Boss RV500 is a fantastic choice.
With over 12 reverb types, MIDI clock sync, tap tempo, support for expression pedals and external footswitches, and the ability to edit your patches via the pedals USB input, you’d be hard pushed to find a pedal that has more features.
On the surface, the RV500 can change between room reverb, hall reverb, spring, shimmer, fast decay, space echo, and many more reverbs.
The bass frequencies and treble frequencies of the reverb can be manipulated by the onboard low and high controls. In addition, you have the ability to adjust the level, decay, and pre-delay of the pedal.
However, the tweaking doesn’t stop there, by diving into the ‘edit’ function of the pedal, you can access adjustable modulation rates, reverb density, and much more.
As well as this, the RV500 is able to be run in stereo, parallel and you even have the option of sending different reverbs to different amps. As well as this, this pedal can be run in true-bypass or buffered bypass, ensuring that your guitar signal is kept intact and that reverb tails are easily achieved.
The only criticism that we have of this pedal is that it could be too complicated for some users. If you’re not a fan of diving into manuals, this pedal isn’t for you, but if you want a device that can conjure up any reverb imaginable, the RV500 is one of the best reverb pedals around.
- Extremely high DSP power with 32bit digital processing power.
- The ability to run dual reverb effects in a variety of configurations.
- Over 12 reverb types and 21 reverb algorithms.
- Each reverb patch comes with a digital delay.
- The ability to store over 200 presets.
- Offers a trails bypass mode and true bypass.
- This pedal may be too complicated for some users.
- The high current of the pedal could be problematic.
Best Mid-Priced Reverb
Electro Harmonix Holy Grail Neo
Along with MXR and Boss, Electro Harmonix pedals have been around since the early 70s. A New York-based company, Electro Harmonix has provided effects for artists as famous as Kurt Cobain, Robert Smith, and Billy Corgan.
One of their most iconic pedals is the ‘Holy Grail Neo’, a compact digital reverb that can be controlled with a single knob.
The Electro Harmonix Holy Grail Neo is perfect for the guitarist who wants a simple, no-nonsense reverb pedal.
The single knob controls the overall reverb mix, as well, it features three settings; spring, plate, and hall.
The spring setting emulates the sound of a reverb tank found in Fender and Vox amps. Considering the price of this pedal, the spring setting is surprisingly convincing and can easily conjure up tones reminiscent of surf music.
The hall reverb is perfect for larger reverb tones, so whether you want to create huge volume swells or pad-like textures, the hall effect will do this effortlessly.
The plate reverb is an effect that sounds great on vocals and other instruments, offering a smooth sound that will compliment your guitar tone.
Our only criticism of the Holy Grail Neo is that you cannot adjust the EQ or decay of the reverb. Some settings can often feel overly bright and a simple tone control would have fixed this.
As well as this, the level control can be a little sensitive, it can be hard to find the balance between subtle and too much.
Despite this, the Holy Grail Neo is one of the best reverb pedals in its price range and is worth considering if you want a simple reverb that will do the job. However, if you feel you need more from your reverb, you may want to also check out the Electro Harmonix Oceans 11.
- Extremely easy to use and comes in a small compact chassis.
- Low current draw of 75 ma.
- Emulates classic reverb effects such as spring, plate, and hall.
- It’s made in the USA and offers excellent value for money.
- The single knob doesn’t offer as much versatility as other pedals.
- There aren’t as many reverb options compared to its bigger brother the ‘Electro Harmonix Oceans 11’.
- No expression pedal control.
Best Spring Reverb Pedal
The sound of a reverberated spring defined the sound of early rock and roll records in the 60s. However, despite its unique sound, carrying a spring reverb tank around with you is heavy and impractical.
With new designs in pedal technology, manufacturers have begun to get closer to emulating this classic sound. One of our favorite spring reverb pedals is the Catalinbread Topanga.
When searching for the best reverb pedals, it’s hard to ignore the Topanga from Catalinbread. Authentic-sounding spring reverb sounds are always hard to find, however, Catalinbread has produced a fantastic replication of Fender’s 6G15 outboard reverb unit.
This pedal is a fantastic choice for surf guitarists and guitar players who love vintage tones. The four controls on the Topanga allow controlling of the effect.
What makes this pedal stand out from other reverb pedals is how accurate its emulation is. This allows guitar players to carry authentic spring-tone, right in their pockets.
The dwell control adjusts how hard your guitar signal is hitting the ‘springs’, the tone control allows you to adjust the top end of the effect, ‘mix’ allows a vast reverb blend from 100% wet to 100% dry, and finally, volume controls the overall level of the pedal.
One downside of this pedal is that some users have mentioned that it works better with 18v than 9v. Not everyone has this type of power supply so that can be problematic. However, this is a fantastic pedal that is worth checking out if you are a spring ‘verb fanatic.
- Its four controls allow you to dial in the perfect reverb tone.
- Offers vintage sounds in a small, easy-to-use package.
- Can be run at 18v for extra headroom.
- You can also add modulation to the reverb trail.
- Can be expensive for a one-trick pony.
- You cannot manipulate the parameters with an expression pedal.
Best Reverb Pedal For Shoegazers
Walrus Audio Slo
A relatively new company, since 2011 Walrus Audio has been a trailblazer on the modern pedal market. Based out of Oklahoma, USA, Walrus Audio is known for creating analog and digital pedals with studio-quality sound and stunning looks.
When it comes to shoegaze and post-rock genres, they would be incomplete without reverb pedals. One of our favorite digital reverb pedals that helps achieve the tones of this genre is the Walrus Audio Slo.
The Slo Multi Texture Reverb is not your standard reverb pedal. It offers three unique modes, these modes are ‘dark’, ‘rise’ and ‘dream’.
The ‘dark’ mode is a reverb that uses a lower octave on the trail. This is dark, dreamy and creates enigmatic moody textures.
The ‘rise’ mode is perfect for guitar players who are into ambient music. This mode is a swell reverb. Essentially, what this means is that when you play a chord or note, the reverb will sweep around that note. This creates a beautiful bloom that evokes character.
Finally, the ‘dream’ mode allows you to use the ‘infinite’ switch. This allows you to freeze whatever chord you’re playing and then play over the top of it. This is great for creating ambient soundscapes and layered pads.
All of these modes offer creativity like no other reverb pedal on the market and are perfect for providing inspiration and creativity.
As well as this, as this reverb predominantly uses modulated reverb types, you can also change and manipulate the soundwaves of the pedal by switching through the different wave options. This can also be affected by moving the ‘X’ knob.
Our only criticism of the Walrus Audio Slo is that it lacks conventional reverb types, however, this pedal isn’t aimed at blues or rock players. It’s one of the best reverb pedals for guitarists who want to experiment with their sound in a unique way.
- The ‘infinite pedal’ function allows you to create cool ambient textures and pads.
- Unique reverb modes such as ‘dark’, ‘rise’ and ‘dream’ offer interesting reverb textures which can inspire your creativity.
- You have the ability to choose between sine, warp, or sink. These soundwaves offer unique modulated patterns that affect your tone.
- The ‘X’ and depth change some unique parameters of the pedal and allow you to tweak the overall texture of the effect.
- Can be run in true-bypass or buffered bypass modes.
- No ‘standard’ reverb modes such as plate or spring.
- Controlling the two buttons on the reverb can be challenging.
Choosing the best reverb pedals can often be overwhelming. The number of different features can often give you option paralysis.
However, don’t worry, in this buying guide we’re going to break down the most common features on reverb pedals to ensure you can master your reverb pedal purchase.
There are many different types of reverb, some reverb pedals can have over 10 different reverb effects. Let’s break down the main types.
- Spring – This reverb sound emulates the sound of a reverb tank usually found in vintage Fender amps. This is great for rock and blues guitarists.
- Plate – This reverb sound is the emulation of a metal plate. This effect was used in studios where engineers would transfer audio signals between metal plates. This effect sounds great on vocals and other instruments.
- Hall – A hall effect is exactly as it sounds, the sound of a concert hall. This is large reverb which is great for creating soundscapes.
- Room – This reverb sound emulates the sound of a small studio room. This is usually a small-sounding reverb which is great for tight guitar sounds.
- Shimmer – This is a modern reverb that uses an octave-up sound on the reverb decay. This is great for ambient music and is often used in a worship setting.
- Modulate – This type of reverb often has a modulation such as a chorus or a flanger on the decay of the reverb. This reverb type is used frequently by shoegaze guitarists.
Reverb Pedal Size
As pedal sizes go, they come in four common sizes:
- Mini pedals – 38mm x 95mm.
Mini pedals are great for the minimalist, the guitarist who wants limited parameter controls and just wants to set and forget their reverb.
- Standard size pedals – 170mm x 138mm.
Standard size pedals are perfect for guitarists who want that extra bit of functionality but don’t feel the need for larger pedals with extra options.
- Medium square size pedals – 114mm x 114mm.
Medium-sized pedals strike a balance between standard and large pedals. Often these pedals are feature-rich and offer more versatility than standard pedals.
- Larger pedals – 170mm x 138mm.
Large style pedals are perfect for the tone purist, the guitarist who wants to control every inch of their sound.
True Bypass or Buffered?
This is purely down to personal preference and what’s currently in your own guitar rig. Having a buffered pedal at the end of your rig will minimize the amount of capacitance in the cable, will drive the signal to your amp, and will also allow the reverb tail to ring out.
Having a true bypass pedal will ensure that your tone doesn’t change. However, having too many true bypass pedals can enable too much capacitance between pedals and can make you lose tone.
Stereo or Mono?
If you want to run two amps, having a stereo reverb pedal at the end of your signal chain is great as it allows you to split your signal.
Running a stereo rig can provide a big, rich sound that is perfect for creating huge ambient textures.
However, running stereo can cause phase issues and ground loops.
If your reverb pedal is mono, it means you only have the ability to run one signal to your amp. This is great for simplicity and ease of use but doesn’t have as deep a texture as running a stereo pedal.
Expression Control & Presets.
Some reverb pedals now offer an expression control input. This allows users to adjust the parameters of the reverb on the fly via an expression pedal.
This is perfect for guitarists who want to quickly change the level, decay, or tone of the reverb. However, having an additional expression pedal on your board can take up space.
As well as this, some reverb pedals offer saved presets. This is a great feature as it allows you to quickly save your favorite sounds and allow you to get playing as quickly as possible.
The only downside of this is that presets are often only available on more expensive devices.
Analog Reverb or Digital Reverb?
Analog reverb pedals are great, however, they are few and far between. The only practical analog pedal reverb is a spring. Companies such as Crazy Tube Circuits, Fender, and Anasounds all make great versions of these, their products even have a real spring in.
As reverb is all about emulating a ‘space’, it’s impossible to create a portable hall or cathedral reverb, the only way to get analog is to physically play in that space.
Digital reverb pedals offer extra versatility and are much more convenient.
Where should I place my reverb pedal on my pedalboard?
Reverb pedals are most commonly placed at the end of your signal chain before your cable goes to your guitar amp.
However, you can get some interesting effects by placing reverb pedals before your gain stages. As always, there are no rules when it comes to pedal order, experiment and see what you can come up with.
If you need some extra help, ‘That Pedal Show’ on YouTube has some interesting videos on how to make reverb work for you.
How do I choose the best reverb pedal for me?
When choosing the best reverb pedals, you must think about three key areas.
The music you play
Knowing what music you play will determine what type of reverb effect you need. For example, if you play rock and blues, a simple spring or plate effect will work perfectly.
But if you’re into more ambient genres, you may need something like a hall, shimmer, or church reverb.
Luckily, delay reverb pedals have lots of functions these days, so usually, you can get one reverb pedal that will master a lot of genres.
How much pedalboard space do you have?
Knowing how much pedalboard space you have will also help you determine what reverb pedal will work for you. If you need help with planning out your board, websites such as ‘Pedal Playground’ are extremely useful.
Although it may seem obvious, considering your budget will help you narrow down your choice.
For example, if you only have $150 to spend, you can instantly get rid of products made by Strymon, Source Audio, and Chase Bliss and consider products by TC Electronic, Boss, and Electro Harmonix.
When you do this, be realistic with how much you want to spend, it will help you make your decision quicker and will be less stressful.
What should I look for in a reverb pedal?
When looking for a reverb pedal, it must have:
- A level control – This controls how much reverb is in your signal.
- A decay knob – This controls how long the reverb is.
- A tone knob – This controls how bright or dark the reverb is.
These are the main parameters that should be on a reverb pedal and will allow you to manipulate your sound to whatever you want. Any other features are just personal preference.
What is the best delay/reverb pedal?
There are lots of delay/reverb pedals available on the market, some of our favorites include:
These pedals have a delay pedal built into them as well as a reverb effect too.