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best reverb pedals

Best reverb pedals: Give your guitar tones some space

Reverb is one of the most versatile types of effects. From the subtle slap of a spring, to pleasant plate resonance, all the way to the ethereal skyscapes of shimmer it seems reverb and guitar is the ultimate tandem for great tone. 

Let’s dive into some of our favorite reverb pedals. And here’s a secret…they’re not all just for guitar!

Best reverb pedal overall: Strymon BigSky

Strymon Bigsky
Best reverb pedal overall
Strymon BigSky
From the DSP aces at Strymon, the BigSky is one of their reverb stations that has 300 presets, powerful editing, and versatile I/O.
Pros
Peerless DSP
300 presets
Powerful editing capabilities
Mono, stereo, MIDI I/O
Cons
Expensive
Large enclosure

If you’re familiar with the DSP geniuses at Strymon at all, you know they craft some of the best digital signal processing in the industry. Powered by their SHARC DSP you get 12 high-quality reverb sounds across 300 different presets that can be customized.

Editing is as in depth as it gets. Each knob has two control parameters, and there is a Value control that lets you set certain parameters to be global or more specific. Through the Mod control you can dial in as much modulation as you’d like no matter what preset you’re on.

Everything can be controlled through the three footswitches, over MIDI, or via an external expression pedal. There’s a lot to unpack with the BigSky and it’s quite an investment, but the great sounds and wealth of features makes it more than worth the price point.

Best reverb pedal workstation: Eventide Space

Eventide Space
Best reverb pedal workstation
Eventide Space
Space is for those that need everything from their reverb. From normal to abstract settings, versatile I/O and controls, and customizable switching.
Pros
Eventide signature reverb algorithms
HotSwitch allows custom control
Great I/O
Unbalanced and balanced I/O
Can be used as outboard reverb for recording
Cons
Expensive
Large enclosure
Too complex if you just want simple reverbs

Reverb is such a diverse effect that sometimes you need a full workstation pedal to bring ideas to life. The Eventide Space is just that. It features 12 of Eventide’s signature reverb algorithms including some gnarly settings like Blackhole and MangledVerb.

There are a host of controls for each setting like a 3-band EQ, Pre-delay, Size, and Decay controls, wet/dry mix, and three knobs that are program setting dependent. The HotSwitch lets you assign a specific control setting to it, so you can dramatically change a sound parameter on the fly or engage it with latching.

With rich I/O including MIDI, USB, mono or stereo, and high impedance and line level inputs and outputs it can easily slide into any signal flow. Through the line level I/O you can even use it as outboard gear in the studio. True analog bypass takes it out of the signal when it’s disengaged.

Eventide clearly meant for this to be a one stop reverb shop. Whether you’re putting it into your guitar or bass rig or want to use it as an outboard processor, 12 state-of-the-art algorithms and a whole lot of customizability make it a perfect ‘verb workstation.

Most versatile reverb pedal: Electro-Harmonix Oceans 11

Electro-Harmonix Oceans 11
Most versatile reverb pedal
Electro-Harmonix Oceans 11
If you need a versatile reverb in a small format the Oceans 11 is it. There are three variations of each setting and ways to access “hidden” features for more customization.
Pros
11 of the best reverb sounds
3 different variations for each setting
Secondary knob mode accesses “hidden” controls
Cons
No tracking control for settings like Shimmer
Mono only

Most reverb pedals focus on a few types of reverb sounds and do them really well. The Oceans 11 is that and much more. Sure, the usual suspects like spring and plate are here. But it’s the more esoteric options like Reverse, Dyna where your playing articulation controls the attack of the effect, or Shimmer that adds pitch shifting to the signal. 

What’s more, the Mode switch lets you dive into three different variations of each setting! You can turn off the reverb tails via a switch, which is great for reducing wash in the sound. There’s also a secondary knob mode that lets you tap into hidden controls and settings.

One of the only downsides is that you can’t control the tracking of settings like Shimmer so you’re stuck with how EHX designed the tracking system within the circuit. It’s also mono only, though a stereo version is available.

If you need a lot from your reverb, or only have the budget to invest in one, the Oceans 11 is one of the most versatile you’ll come across.

Best mid-priced reverb pedal: MXR M300 

MXR M300
Best mid-priced reverb pedal
mxr m300
The M300 doesn’t overcomplicate things, but that doesn’t mean it can’t hold its own. It has a solid mix of regular and esoteric reverbs and provides unique ways to control sound parameters through an expression pedal.
Pros
Expression pedal offers unique ways to control multiple settings
Good mix of standard reverbs and ambient sounds
Cons
Mono only
Trails can’t be turned off

The M300 might be small, but it’s got a lot going on under the hood. It features six different reverb settings as well as a number of ambient modes. 

Expression pedal input lets you control your reverb in real-time and opens up some really creative ways to manipulate things. You can set two different control levels for toe up and toe down of the expression pedal and use the sweep in the middle to mix between the two.

The trails can’t be defeated altogether, but there is a nice decay when you bypass the effect so it does as little as possible to step on things once the effect is disengaged.

It’s not a mini pedal, but the smaller footprint saves pedalboard space without skipping on features. It works in mono or stereo to integrate with different signal flow setups. If you need a good workhorse without breaking the bank, it’s one of the best reverb pedals for it. 

Best budget reverb pedal: TC Electronic Hall of Fame 2

TC Electronic Hall of Fame 2
Best budget reverb pedal
TC Electronic Hall of Fame 2
This great budget stereo reverb offers a number of useful sounds. TonePrint lets you load custom settings, and the Mash footswitch is an innovative way to control the effect.
Pros
Stereo I/O
TonePrint lets you load settings onto pedal
Mash footswitch lets you use bypass switch to control different sounds
Cons
No dedicated expression pedal control

Considering the technology it takes to create a good reverb, at just over $150 the Hall of Fame 2 is in the budget category when it comes to reverbs. And TC Electronic really packs in the features to the second generation of their popular compact design.

It has the eight reverbs from the standards you’d expect to more esoteric settings like Lo-fi, Shimmer, and Modulation. Mash footswitch technology allows you to use the bypass switch with expression, like fading the reverb in and out. You can also assign specific settings to the footswitch.

One of the best features of TC Electronic pedals is the TonePrint capabilities. The Hall of Fame 2 offers three different slots to load presets onto it, create your very own bespoke reverb sounds, or engage with the online community. All three can be used simultaneously, giving you access to more sounds in the moment.

It also comes in a mini version that has a few different ways to dial in sounds. It offers mono and stereo routing and considering the options that open up with TonePrint and the unique way to engage with the footswitch this is one of the best budget reverbs on the market.

Best bass reverb guitar pedal: BOSS RV-6

boss rv-6 reverb guitar pedal
Best bass reverb guitar pedal
BOSS RV-6
A simple but powerful reverb pedal that’s easy to dial in and perfect for bass players.
Pros
Easy to dial in
Stereo with dry analog channel
Expression pedal input
Cons
Not as many adventurous settings as other options

Reverb is far from the first effect that comes to mind when you think of bass guitar. With that in mind, bass players don’t need a reverb pedal that’s as robust as a guitar player does.

And the BOSS’ RV-6 is perfect. There are eight reverb types powered by DSP with updated algorithms from the previous model. It’s stereo, with one analog dry channel. An expression pedal input lets you control the effect in real time.

It doesn’t get easier to dial in than this. After you select the reverb style just set tone, time, and level. There aren’t as many options as other modern reverb pedals, but like all BOSS pedals it sounds great and is built to last.

FAQ

What are reverb pedals good for?

Reverb pedals are great for adding space to your guitar sound. Not all amps come with onboard reverb, so adding a pedal is a great workaround. Some models give you the option of unique effects like shimmer and reverse reverb sounds. 

What is the best setting for a reverb pedal?

The “best setting” for a reverb (or any pedal) is subjective. If you’re using it in place of your amp’s reverb, more conservative settings will probably get the best results. If you’re using it as a distinct effect there really are no rules!

Are reverb pedals worth it?

Absolutely. They provide your guitar sound with space and depth that makes the tone more interesting even if you use a reverb pedal in conjunction with amp reverb. 

Do bass players use reverb pedals?

Reverb isn’t the most common effect you see on a bass player’s pedalboard. But there’s always room for space in the low end. Reverb pedals add a unique atmosphere and ambience to a bass guitar tone.

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