Top 10 Reverb Pedals On The Market
In Honour of one of the first effects pedals to ever be released and now used by almost every musician in the world, we have decided to create a blog post all about reverb effects pedals out in the big wide world of music – here are our favourite ten reverb pedals here at Sound Affects!
No. 10 – Oceans 11 Reverb (EHX)
Starting off the list is the recently released Oceans 11 Reverb pedal. Released at the start of June 2018, this new addition to the ever-growing EHX pedal family is a brilliant addition to any pedal board. Complete with 11 different reverb types (hence the name), including ‘Reverse’, ‘Dynamic’, and the classics – ‘Hall’, ‘Spring’, and ‘Plate’, this pedal can be moulded to fit any sound that you want to create, and with the extensive options the pedal offers, you’ll be spending so much time on playing with the different options on the pedal, you may as well marry it.
In my opinion, the ‘Spring’ option is the best out of all 11. It emulates a 1962 Fender 6G15 reverb unit, and really makes your guitar bounce, making you feel like you’re part of The Beach Boys.
The Oceans 11 also features a secondary knob mode where the user has access to a whole new layer of reverb on top of the primary options through the same knobs used in a different mode.
Five options out of the Eleven each have different modes under the reverb, indicated by the LED colour located in the centre of the pedal.
With a retail price of £136, this is a pedal crammed with effects for a price that is considerably lower than most other high-end reverb pedals on the market.
No. 9 – Afterneath V2 (EarthQuaker Devices)
One of our favourite pedal companies, EarthQuaker Devices, have hit the nail on the head here with their brilliant Afterneath V2 reverberator. Even with only one option of reverb compared to the previous eleven from the Oceans 11 Reverb, this beauty of a pedal provides the same, if not even more versatility in the sounds that it produces. Featuring six unique knobs to control the sound being produced, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
When turning the ‘Drag’ knob slowly, you can recreate the sound of a pitch shifter. This is perfect for moments where the sound needs to go from darker to lighter, as the knob is well suited to seamlessly shifting between the two.
The knob features:
Length – Controls the decay of the reverb.
Diffuse – Controls whether you get a sharp reverb or a softer reverb depending on the position of the knob.
Dampen – Controls how bright or dark the reverb you get is.
Drag – Since the reverb consists of many micro delays, this knob controls the time between each micro delay. turning to the left means you will hear the individual delays, where as turning to the right means you’ll hear one big reverb sound.
Reflect – Controls how much the reverb regenerates. (this is basically the knob that controls the percentage of volume you get back from the reverb)
Mix – Wet/dry blend. Unfortunately with the Afterneath you can’t get a full wet signal, so that may be one of very few cons to this pedal.
Retailing at £225, the Afterneath is a fairly simple reverb pedal, suited for the musicians wanting to add some grace to their sounds, to make them float like a butterfly without the stinging of the bee.
Have a look at this short but amazing demo of the Afterneath in action:
No. 8 – Immerse Reverberator (Neunaber)
From the lovely folks at Neunaber, comes the Immerse reverberator. Released in February of 2017, the Immerse reverberator has become a foundation in reverb pedals everywhere. Featuring 8 great reverb options, including ‘+echo’ and ‘+detune’ (a couple of our favourites), this pedal will have you begging on your knees for the mercy of the reverb gods.
This pedal is greatly packed with many features, including a physical spring housed in the pedal for the real spring reverb tone, unlike many pedals that digitally recreate a spring tone, often leading to poor spring reverb features.
As a first of this blog, the two inputs and outputs of the pedal can be used for stereo reverb, ever increasing the sound of this mind-blowing reverberator. With each effect, the knob located in the bottom right of the pedal, also known as the Effect Adjust knob, has a unique function. this means that instead of having the knob set to one specific variable, like the other knobs, the effect adjuster has a different function for each reverb setting, these are as follows:
- Wet & Hall: modulation
- Plate: pre-delay
- Spring: low-cut
- Shimmer A & B: shimmer level
- +Echo & +Detune: reverb level
the +Echo and +Detune modes are wet reverbs with added Echo and Detune respectively. These options produce amazing sounds that are parallel to even the best of pedalboard setups, and add so much versatility the pedal, we just had to add it in to the list.
With a mighty range like this, the Immerse is a favourite for musicians needing several types of reverb with only a small pedalboard where space is at a premium.
with a retail price of £229, it’s a bit on the expensive side, but we can assure you that you will not be let down by the dreamy reverbs it produces.
Check out a review of the Immerse Reverberator here:
No. 7 – Flint Tremolo & Reverb (Strymon)
To start, with each feature there is a 3-way switch controlling the style of tremolo and reverb.
For the tremolo, it’s ’61 Harmonic, ’63 Tube, and ’65 Photocell. For the reverb, it’s a simple ’60s Spring Tank, ’70s Electronic Plate, and ’80s Hall Rack, all producing different sounds from different reverb amps of the respective decade. Quite usefully, the pedal comes with a separate bypass pedal for both effects, so you can use the pedal as a tremolo on its own, a reverb on its own, or both together (which we highly suggest).
Hidden behind this pedal, are plenty of juicy features. an EXP input is really a multi-function input. You can connect any three of an expression pedal, a tap tempo footswitch, or favourite switch.
The expression pedal gives you assignable expression control over any front-panel knob’s parameters, the tap tempo footswitch allows you to manually input the tempo at which you want the tremolo to pulse, and the favourite switch allows you to save a preset setting for easy tone switch between to songs if you’re gigging.
The singular input can be doubled to make the pedal run in stereo, all you would need to do is flip a jumper inside the pedal, use a TRS splitter cable, and hey presto, you’ve done got yourself a damn good stereo pedal!
Retailing at £299, we feel as if the price justifies the pedal. The incredible recreation of the different era reverbs and tremolos are top-notch, and by cranking up the intensity of the tremolo, you can get some shockwave like sounds coming out of your amp .
Give this short Flint demo video a watch to get a feel for how it sounds!
No. 6 – Hall Of Fame 2 (TC Electronic)
TC Electronic aren’t usually known for being a top of the range pedal builder, and they generally produce budget pedals, but the Hall Of Fame 2 rivals even the most expensive and high quality reverb pedals on the market. The Hall Of Fame 2 is an amazing sequel pedal to the original Hall Of Fame, and TC electronic have managed to jam so many amazing features into the newest version.
To start the never-ending list of the fantastic features of this pedal, the Hall Of Fame 2 has TC Electronic’s Toneprint algorithm available to use. Toneprint is a fantastic feature from TC, that allows you to completely customise the parameters of the effects knobs of the pedal, with tens of millions of combinations. You can access it via your PC or your IOS or Android phone, allowing you to change the tone of the pedal on the go. Just like TC Electronic themselves say, the pedal truly has no limits.
Another feature of the Hall Of Fame 2 is the MASH footswitch. the footswitch is both a regular on/off stomp, and an expression pedal built in one. with the MASH expression, you can add expression to your reverb when playing, and with the footswitch being pressure sensitive, you are able to add as much or as little onto your existing reverb, giving the pedal even more versatility than you could ever imagine coming out of such a small box.
The shimmer reverb setting on the pedal has been taken from the ‘Sub N Up’ octaver that TC also make. this adds a spine-chilling higher octave to the reverb, and when you hear it working, you’ll understand why we’re so excited by it.
Retailing at £141, this is one of the cheapest reverb pedals on this list, but being packed with so many features, we think it is worth much more.
Take a look at the Hall Of Fame 2 demo below:
BOSS have created the god of all customisable reverb pedals, the RV-500. The amount of customisation of sounds on this pedal is even larger than that of the Hall Of Fame 2, and with 12 modes and 21 reverbs, the RV-500 has more options than the Hall Of Fame 2’s 11 modes.
One of the fantastic features about this pedal is that absolutely every option in each of the reverbs is fully customisable, and that’s not an exaggeration. You are able to fully edit parameters such as how long the reverb lasts for, how long the pre-delay lasts for, and the hold time, along with many more options.
The RV-500 has an A/B Selector switch, useful for if you have two different reverb sounds needed within one song, so that you can switch between the two seamlessly.
Included in the RV-500 is the dual mode. This fantastic mode provides two independent reverbs at once; you can feed them both with a full-range input, or with divided frequency ranges on each input to build rich, multi-range sounds, creating resonating reverbs fit for a king.
Retailing at £290, once again this isn’t the best budget pedal, but the customisation options validates the price.
No. 4 – Descent (Walrus Audio)
The Descent from Walrus audio is a highly effective 2-in-1 Reverb and Octave pedal that opens up the gates to reverb heaven, with the ability to alter the dry and wet signal to your liking. Unlike most of the pedals I have already spoken about, the Descent only has three reverb types; Hall, Reverse, and Shimmer. However, even with the lack of number of reverbs, Walrus have made up for it with the Octave abilities, and the amazing Wet and dry signal knobs.
With the Descent, there is the option to have a fully wet signal, which enhances the ethereal sounds of the descent when added with both an octave up and an octave down on top of it.
There is an option to use an expression pedal, to where you can set the outer boundaries of the roll of the expression pedal to be able to fade in and out of these parameters using the expression pedal. This feature can be used with every knob on the Descent.
Unfortunately with great tone comes great estate, and the Walrus Audio Descent takes up a lot of room on a pedalboard. If you are more focused on saving space on your pedalboard, there is always the option of running an SPST switch to the front of your board to turn on the pedal with ease. It can also be difficult to find the exact sound you’re looking for. When messing around with this pedal, I found it difficult to navigate the knobs to control the sound properly when using it, but that might just be me.
This pedal retails at £279, which is a lot for only 3 basic reverbs available, but the functions of the knobs allows many more sounds to be produced by the pedal.
Check out the Descent demo below:
No. 3 – Multi Reverb (Empress)
The Empress Multi Reverb Machine is absolutely crammed full of features – 12 reverb modes (with their own submodes) each with unique features using the ‘thing 1’ and ‘thing 2’ knobs – controlling features within each submode (modulations, early reflections, pre-delay, sparkle, octave level, delay time, and feedback) – the ability to save up to 35 presets, which are all accessible from the pedal itself, no need for a separate MIDI controller. And to top it all off, all of these features are packed into a pedal barely larger than the size of a new iPhone.
I could go on forever about this beast of a pedal, but there’s a character limit, so I can’t. There’s even an SD card slot!!! why, you may ask? For when you want to update the firmware of the pedal to continue growing the available sounds and updating the firmware to be able to keep the pedal at the forefront of innovation.
The ‘thing 1’ and ‘thing 2’ knobs are the best surprises you’ll have witnessed in a while, I guarantee it. With each mode and submode, these two knobs change functions to give you the most versatility when creating your own personal sound. Since there’s so many functions of the two knobs, I won’t go through all of them, however, these are a couple:
The Green submode of Sparkle is called “Glummer” with Thing 1 acting as an octave down amount and Thing 2 acting as an octave up amount.
Destroyer Pad, which is the third “beer” mode. It mixes your dry signal with a detuned wet signal. Thing 1 is “Robot Screams” and Thing 2 is “Pitch Shift.”
The sounds that come out of this pedal are fantastic, you can delve into the depths of this pedal and find extra hidden effects, such as Chorus, Flanger, Delay, and many more.
There is one downside to this pedal though. £460 worth of downside, to be exact. This is rather expensive, but by the features mentioned above, it’s not a case of if you can afford this pedal, it’s a case of “when can I add this to my pedalboard?”.
Check out a demo of this pedal below:
No. 2 – Alpine Reverb (JHS)
The JHS Alpine is an evolution of Sky Pedal’s Cloud 9, and seeks to improve on the successes of the Cloud 9. A seemingly simple pedal when looking at it, the Alpine has a few hidden features below the surface which come as a shock to any new user of the pedal.
The Alpine is a Spring reverb that is all digital, yet sounds like it could be analog with the immaculate sounding reverb that it produces.
Five simple knobs:
Reverb – Controls the wet/dry signal.
Highs – Controls the high frequencies resonated by the reverb, turning it anti-clockwise gives you a more mellow tone.
Shift – Exclusively used with the footswitch on the right of the pedal. when using the footswitch, you can instantly switch between two reverbs seamlessly, allowing you to enter a new part of the song without any breaks for messing with the knobs.
Depth – Controls the reverb’s spaciousness.
Length – Controls how long the reverb will continue for. Turning this clockwise as far as it will go will give you near infinite reverberations.
Now, let’s talk price. At £189, the price just isn’t justified. As a simple pedal, you would expect either a smaller price, or more on offer from the pedal itself. However, JHS have a brilliant build quality, and never fail to impress us at Sound Affects with the tones you can achieve.
Check out the Alpine Reverb demo below:
Last but by no means least, possibly the most well known reverb pedal on the market, the Strymon Big Sky Multidimensional Reverb. Used by all the best musicians, the Big Sky has a reputation of being one of, if not the best reverb pedal out there.
The Big Sky is perfect for those who seek out of this world reverb tones, and want to accompany a Sci-Fi soundtrack. Featuring modes such as ‘Cloud’, ‘Chorale’, and ‘Magneto’, the Big Sky is packed with unique modes to make your mouth water.
Just like the RV-500, the Big Sky has a huge amount of customisation available, to fine tune your tone to exactly how you want it to be, with the ability to save your favourites as a preset to load whenever you’re in need of it. Did I mention that you can save up to 300 presets?
Adding on from the Empress Reverb Machine too, are the ‘Param 1’ and ‘Param 2’ knobs, which unlike the Empress reverb, are completely programmable to each preset, meaning that you can choose their functions within each preset, and connect an expression pedal to seamlessly sweep through the boundaries of the pedal.
There’s also an optional Speaker Cabinet emulation, useful for direct-to-PA gigs or when recording, to add some real warmth to your sound, and make it sound more realistic.
This pedal will set you back £479, but with the amount of time that it’ll take you to find every sound in the expansive range of this pedal, it’l probably be £5 for every hour of messing around on the Big Sky, absolutely worth it.
Check out a demo of the mode ‘Cloud’, just one of the many features of the Big Sky:
So, there are some of the top reverb pedals on the market currently. While they may not be the cheapest pedals out there, they are almost all definitely worth the price. From the JHS Alpine spring reverb, to the Big Sky and the RV-500, with these range of pedals you will be able to recreate any reverb sound you like, as the features in each of these pedals are perfectly suited to every genre of music out there.
You can purchase all of these pedals at the Sound Affects website through the links dotted throughout the blog.
Thanks for reading!