Top Reverb Pedals – Guide & Comparison
If you don’t have enough time or you simply don’t have the patience to look through all the reverb pedal reviews, this quick guide will help you find the best reverb pedal out there. Our team has put in the effort to analyze the most important models on the market. They checked the quality of the reverb they produce, the effect variations, and the ease of use and they found out that the TC Electronic Hall of Fame pedal is the one you should look for. It’s one of the most compact models out there, leaving you plenty of room on your pedalboard for other pedals. It has a TonePrint feature that lets it offer a huge variety of effects and you can use its editor software to customize the sound that you want. If you can’t find our first pedal, you should look for the Caroline Guitar Company Météore, which is next on our list.
Our Top Choice
The main advantage of this pedal is that it’s extremely compact and it will leave a lot of space on your pedalboard for other pedals. Its controls are simple and it can offer a lot of variations using the TonePrint options. You can use the tone editor software to create the sound that you want and upload it into the pedal.
It’s not a reverse reverb pedal; it cannot offer that function and that is slightly limiting.
This is a basic pedal that can be used with ease by beginners and offers enough variety for professionals players.
It is a durable device and it looks great. The pedal can give you the classic reverb sound that most people like and it can also offer newer effects. You can adjust the 4 knobs to obtain nearly any kind of reverb effect. The Havoc switch is something that most pedals don’t have and it adds a lot to the effects.
The switches are too soft and you can’t really tell if you pressed them as there is no indicator.
Being suited more for ambient or other reverb-oriented music, this pedal is pretty and lively sounding.
Great circuitry makes this pedal a robust one that offers quality sound in a small body. Each knob is precisely labeled and the device is simple to use. The sound that it offers is a natural one, even when the controls are set to the maximum. It offers both a reverb and a delay and you can mix those two or use them separately.
It does well to offer both reverb and delay, but two separate pedals would do that better.
Offering the possibility to achieve two effects with one device, this pedal will save you space on your pedalboard.
Highly Recommended Choices – Reviews & Comparison
We decided to review some of the most sought-after and quality reverb pedals out there and here they are below. To get the most detailed description, we had a look at what experts have to say about these models, we analyzed sales figures, and we considered what the user reviews looked like.
TC Electronic Hall of Fame
This model is a highly compact and efficient reverb pedal. It offers ten separate modes of use and thus plenty of variety. Besides that, it has the brand’s known TonePrint options. Despite the simple design, the pedal is very adaptable and can provide a lot of sound-enhancing options.
It offers a Decay button that lets you alter the duration of the reverb, an FX button that can be used to modify the intensity of the effect, and a Tone button that you can use to set how dominant the pedal’s sound is.
It is an interesting pedal because it lets you modify the sound to range from the effect of finding yourself in a massive hall, to just adding a bit of ambiance to your sound. Having the possibility to choose between ten pre-existing options lets you find the perfect tone, while still making your task easy.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($131.98)
Caroline Guitar Company Météore
Similar to many other Caroline models, this pedal can offer the classic reverb sound and many newer sound effects. From the start, you can observe the amount of attention to detail that has been put into making this device. The graphics on it are eye-catching and it looks and feels solid.
An interesting thing about the pedal is that it showcases the Météore icon and that leaves no space for labeling the knobs, so you will have to guess what each one of them does. Thus, you should know that the knobs are for Level, Attack, Regeneration, and Size. Alongside these, there are two footswitches for Bypass and Havoc and a switch for Bright or Dark tonalities.
It’s quite a complicated model, but fortunately, it comes with a comprehensive instructions manual. Depending on how you place this pedal on your pedalboard, you should know that it doesn’t always work well with other pedals.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($199.99)
EarthQuaker Devices Dispatch Master V2
The digital design that can be found in this pedal is impressive. The circuitry is great and somehow the manufacturers managed to fit it into such a small body. Furthermore, the device is so simple to use, with each knob being precisely labeled.
There is the main knob that controls the Reverb and lets you vary the sound ambiance from the effect of a small room to an impressive reverb that makes you feel like you’re deep in a cave. There is another knob labeled Time and that one controls the delay time, ranging from a classic analog one to almost two seconds of delay.
Although a digital pedal, it feels so organic and the sound is a natural one. Even at maximum settings, the end result is one that still feels quite natural and not distorted. Because this is a delay and reverb pedal, it is quite hard to control both of these effects separately.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($199)
Catalinbread Talisman Classic
Plate reverb has been a continuous presence in effects in the studio, but guitarists have relatively few sources of obtaining such an effect in an authentic manner, directly from the guitar. However, this pedal is made to offer that. It is one of a limited selection of plate reverb models and this is why it is one of the most impressive compact reverb pedals.
With the simplest adjustments to the Time and Mix features, you obtain a sound that has a huge reverb that can remind anyone of a cathedral style effect. The model offers a unique Pre-Delay knob and this one is used to create the perfect timing when the actual delay kicks in. This means that even with an imperfect timing, the result is one pleasing to the ear.
The High-Pass control knob will help you achieve a clearer reverb, as the low-frequency sounds are pulled out of the end mix.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($199)
TC Electronic HOF Mini
Being just a bit larger than a toy car, this pedal is surprisingly small. This is why it’s ideal for those overcrowded boards, where you must fit something tiny for your reverb effect. Because it’s a mini reverb pedal, it cannot operate on batteries, and it needs to be connected to a 9V power supply.
Although tiny, the pedal has the technology needed for the TonePrint system. This allows you to download predetermined settings made by professional players and upload them onto your pedal. This offers a great variety and excellent results. You can do that directly from your smartphone, by placing your phone’s speakers into the guitar’s pickups.
Thus, you will have the possibility to choose almost any effect you want and still have a small pedal to provide that to you. At first, the pedal doesn’t offer much, and you will need to master the art of modifying everything digitally so you can get the best out of the pedal.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($99)
Eventide Space Reverb
Described as “Reverb and Beyond”, this pedal is something like a metaphor made to remind you of space and its infinity. This concept and the design offer it a mysterious look and feel. Weighing about 2 pounds and having rubber pads attached to its base, this model is suitable for any floor.
The case is made of solid metal and the switches are sturdy, meaning everything will work just fine after years of use. Running almost the full length of the device, the display is huge and allows the user to see the effect being used, even from a standing position.
Because of the quality build, the pedal is comfortable while offering mono output, and full stereo as well. In terms of power, the device requires a 9V adaptor, as it cannot use batteries. Because this is a digital pedal, you can use the USB port it offers to update the software or import MIDI data.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($499)
Catalinbread Topanga Spring
This model reminds of the famous 6G15 spring Fender reverb pedal that first started to be produced in 1961 and had dominated the market for a long while. As was the case with that pedal, the Catalinbread Topanga Spring has a Dwell knob that controls the level of the guitar signal that gets to the pedal’s springs.
Tone modifies the high frequencies and the Mix control alters the balance between dry and reverb signals. In addition, the pedal offers a volume control knob. For a better sound, the pedal also has a preamp feature added. Even when the pedal isn’t producing reverb, this preamp adds to the clarity of the dry sound.
What’s interesting about this pedal is that you can’t really place other effect pedals before it, with the exception of fuzz boxes. However, placing modulation pedals after it will provide a unique, mysterious sound.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($209.99)
Zoom ZMS70CDR MS-70CDR
This is not only a reverb pedal but a “multistomp” one, meaning that it can do much more. It provides a good reverb, but also delay and a chorus effect. There are 3 push-button knobs present on the device and they affect the parameters. You also have 4 cursor keys that can be used to scroll through effects.
You can combine up to six effects together and save them as one of 50 patches of effects. After you do that you can scroll through all these patches using the footswitch. It’s all simple and intuitive. All the effects are impressive, but because this is mainly a reverb pedal, the reverb is its highlight.
And the delay is also impressive, providing effects that sound like they are produced by an analog reverb pedal and not a digital one. The chorus effect is not quite as if it was produced by an analog source, but it still offers enough flexibility.
Buy from Amazon.com
Empress Effects Reverb
Right from the start, you should know that this pedal features an impressive list of 24 effect combinations that you can choose from. Furthermore, because this is a digital device, as more presets become available from Empress, you will be able to load them into the pedal using an SD card. So in terms of versatility, this model offers great possibilities.
You can see 12 mode settings on the pedal and they all have different sonic qualities and some of them have different variations. Each of them sounds great with the control knobs turned at 12 o’clock, but you can modify them as you wish by adjusting the knobs to your delight.
There are different footswitches too. Use the Scroll button to go through your presets and choose the one you want using the Select button. The Bypass switch turns the reverb on and off in a True Bypass or Buffered Bypass mode.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($449)
Digitech Regular Polara
The Digitech Regular is very compact and weighs only one pound. Featuring an awesome looking paint job, the interface is straightforward, being composed of a small toggle switch and 4 classic aluminum knobs, marked with their function. There is also the mandatory footswitch.
The Level knob controls the reverb amount, going to almost 100% reverb. There is a Liveliness knob that modifies how bright the reverb sounds, focusing more on high frequencies or less. The Decay knob influences how much the reverb is present until it fades away.
But one interesting aspect is the fourth knob, and that is the one that selects from different preset algorithms. You can choose between 7 such presets and they range from the sound of a room to the one of a hall. There are some that sound natural and others that are very futuristic.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($169.95)
Walrus Audio Descent
Coming out of the box, this pedal looks amazing. The chilly blue color and the well-made graphics really catch the eye. If you want to get a stereo sound from it, you have to activate the stereo switch located inside it. There are so many controls, and you will need to read through the instructions manual to find out what every one of them does.
You can select an effect you like from 3 different presets. And you can do that using the footswitch to choose one of them. You can use a remote switch to save place on the pedalboard and modify the parameters you want from a distance.
The pedal offers a deep, cavernous sound and, using the Descent function, you can find nearly any kind of reverb you want. You have the possibility to modify everything as you want and test the results.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($299)
Weighing in at 3 pounds and being covered in a solid metal casing, this pedal is made to endure being stomped. There are two settings that can be activated using two separate switches, and these are the Reverb and Shimmer effects. Offering the possibility to use presets, this pedal lets you play with it without having to fear that you will lose a sound that you found and love.
It operates with a stereo input and output so the sound quality is great. You can use the on/off switch if you want to bypass the pedal. There are two big knobs, each placed above the Reverb and Shimmer switches respectively.
The left one controls the level of shimmer while the right one can be used to select between 5 types of reverb. Then there are 6 small knobs, each offering the possibility to alter the effects even more.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($165)
Yearly Guide & Report
From faint, almost silent reverbs to high-pitched shimmers, there are a lot of reverb effects that a pedal can offer. In the past, people used massive machines to create reverberations, but nowadays digital pedals make that job a lot easier. Here are some important elements that you should look into when searching for a good reverb pedal.
Analog reverb vs digital pedals
You might ask yourself why should you bother with getting a reverb pedal when you already have such an effect in the amp that you own? The short answer to that is if you have a tube amp with a spring reverb inside, there isn’t any use for a reverb pedal unless you want some extra tweaks.
However, the reason why you should get a reverb pedal is that you can’t really use your home amp on stage, and there is where the pedal shines. It offers the quality and the effects needed in those situations. When you become more experienced with reverb, you will notice that each pedal and reverb has its own style and nuances and you will be able to choose the best guitar reverb pedal based on your style.
Experienced players say that digital reverbs generally sound too sterile, while analog ones are a bit dull or narrow in range. Managing to find the effect that you like can take some time. There are amps that offer built-in digital reverbs, but those are only good for home practice, as they lack in quality.
A good analog pedal will probably last most of your playing career and it will provide a classic sound at all times. You can have a look at an analog Boss reverb pedal, for example, they last a long while.
Being some of the oldest ways of producing reverb, the plate reverb units were massive machines that delivered audio signals to hanging sheets of metal. The result was a sound produced to mimic reverb. This kind of reverb was more focused than others and it was capable of having long decay times.
One of the most famous such reverb machinery was the EMT 140, a device weighing 600 pounds. Due to their size, these devices were only used in the studio and their sound could not be achieved on stage. Fortunately, nowadays, the digital pedals are capable of simulating this sound.
Created naturally by a mechanical system, this is the effect that you can find in many guitar amps. Although difficult to incorporate into a small pedal, some companies have managed to do that and created their own spring reverb pedal and each of them is able to achieve this effect. The sound that this effect produces is a “boingy” one, as you might expect.
There are nowadays many reverb pedals that can offer a digital emulation of this effect and they are made to deliver the vintage sound of the amp style reverb.
Room, hall, and cathedral
Most digital reverb pedals have these effects as a preset function. Each of them simulates the sound produced in a room, each room having different dimensions. The first one, the room effect, is purposed to simulate the natural sound of a small, acoustic place. In this case, the reverb is a short one and dissipates quickly.
Larger spaces, like halls and cathedrals, will have reverberations of larger amplitudes and that last longer. As expected, such effects offer more reflections and way longer decay time.
Across the time guitar players have tried to experiment with the effects that pedals offer and that is how, in recent years, the Shimmer effect has become popular. It offers reverbs and harmonies to the initial sound of the guitar and that gives a feeling of otherworldly experiences. You will often find an outer-space thematic in pedals like these.
This reverb most often offers an upper octave interval that produces an ethereal, halo-like atmosphere.
The bypass function
More than it’s the case with other types of pedals, having the possibility to choose between a true bypass and a buffer bypass is important with a reverb pedal. Similar to delay, reverb creates a sound that keeps trailing after the string of the guitar has been struck.
If you stop the pedal using a true bypass while the sound is still trailing, it will be cut right off, before it naturally fades away. That gives a very bad feeling. This is why most pedals offer a buffered bypass, meaning that when the switch is turned off, the sound will stop only after the last reverberation has been heard.
When you keep your pedal active at all times that is not a concern, but when you alternate it between active or inactive, having a buffered bypass offers more continuity to the sound.
Frequently asked questions about reverb
What is reverb in music?
Reverb, short for reverberation, is the effect that certain devices can produce to resemble the sound of an instrument playing in a certain space. Every space, be it natural or man-made, has its certain sonic signature and the reverb effect intends to mimic that.
The role of this effect is to transform a certain sound in such a way that it gives the impression that the listener is in a certain room, be it small or big. Reverberations make the difference between the sound of high heels in a room and their sound in a large hall.
Who invented reverb?
When people first started to record music, reverb was just the natural effect of music being played in a room and captured by a microphone. Bill Putnam Sr. was the first one to use artificial reverb in one of his albums, in 1947.
He obtained reverb by recording in a bathroom. This pioneered the reverb idea and led to the appearance of specially created rooms for this purpose. However, the first machinery to produce reverb was invented in 1957 by the German company Elektro-Mess-Technik and it released the first plate reverb device, the EMT 140 Reverberation Unit.
How to build a reverb pedal?
Reverb pedals are pieces of intricate technology and that is why it’s best if you let the big manufacturers build them for you and you look for reverb pedals for sale. It is not advisable to make your own reverb pedal, especially if you have no experience with circuitry. Furthermore, even if you manage to make your own reverb pedal, chances are it won’t sound nearly as good as professional ones.
But if you really want to build a reverb guitar pedal, there are some kits available out there and they even come with a warranty. They offer you instructions on how to make a reverb pedal, but the end result is one that will sound like a cheap reverb pedal.