Best Reverb Pedal 2019 – Reviews and Top Picks

There is no better way to juice up a guitar’s sound than add a reverb pedal to your setup. Whether you are already a high-class musician or you have just purchased an instrument and decided to master it, this guide will help you to choose the best reverb pedal for a guitar that will be perfect for you.

There is a wide variety of reverb pedals on the market. It’s very easy to get lost in the modifications and spend quite a large sum of money on something that doesn’t work for you. To my shame, I did just that. I had no idea which pedal was right for me and my needs and ended up spending about $800 in search of a perfect fit. So I decided to help you not waste your time and money and created this guide featuring the Top 10 best reverb pedals for guitars. Hope this guide will be of good use and will help you find the perfect match. Let’s get started!

Name
Bypass:
Reverb:
Weight:
Dimensions:
Price
Name
Bypass:
Reverb:
Weight:
Dimensions:
Price
№1
True Bypass
2 types
1.6 ounces
6 x 3 x 3 inches
№2
Buffered
8 types
1.98 pounds
10 x 6 x 3 inches
№3
True/Buffered Bypass
T8 types
1.32 pounds
3.5 x 5.1 x 2.8 inches
№4
True Bypass
3 types
1.19 pounds
8 x 8 x 5 inches
№5
True Bypass
4 types
1.3 pounds
3.2 x 6.2 x 7.2 inches
№6
True Bypass
6 types
1.19 pounds
5.8 x 2.5 x 4.8 inches
№7
True Bypass
7 types
10.6 ounces
4.6 x 3.2 x 2.1 inches
№8
Buffered Bypass
8 types
15.5 ounces
5.1 x 2.3 x 2.9 inches
№9
True Bypass
4 types
13.9 ounces
3 x 8 x 10 inches
№10
True Bypass
3 types
7.2 ounces
5.5 x 2.4 x 3.5 inches

The EarthQuaker Devices Afterneath V2 is designed for the most fabulous reverb. The manufacturer claims: «you can create wild and cavernous reverbs, or scattered, short, rhythmic delays with bizarre characteristics», and it is quite a truth. The pedal has six controls at once (Length, Diffuse, Dampen, Drag, Reflect, Mix), different combinations of which can create very unusual changes in the sound. Reverb Types are Room and Hall. This tool is more like a delay pedal; it utilizes multiple short delays and creates a quite unique ambiance.
The design is very witchy and dark, but not too spooky. If you are a fan of warm, dark sound and all the wizard-y stuff, this might be a great choice.

Bypass:
True Bypass
Reverb:
2 types
Weight:
1.6 ounces
Dimensions:
6 x 3 x 3 inches
PROS

Unique design

Six controls at once

Lightweight

Cons

The sound may be too warm and dark

True bypass only

The Electro Harmonix are known for making the best pedals on the market – and for a good reason. This pedal fully supports stereo and is equipped with stereo inputs and outputs. The sound of the Cathedral Stereo instantly captures the volume and immerse the listener in the created reverberation. It has eight (!) reverb types: Grail Flerb, Grail Spring, Hall, Room, Accu Spring, Plate, Reverse and Echo.
Bright and colorful packaging catches the eye. However, due to lots of details, it might be hard to see the names of controls while standing. The pedal has 6 controls: Blend, Reverb Time, Tone, Feedback, Pre-delay, and Mode. If the money is not an issue and you are already a good musician and want to perfect your sound, I advise you to buy this pedal.

Bypass:
Buffered
Reverb:
8 types
Weight:
1.98 pounds
Dimensions:
10 x 6 x 3 inches
PROS

8 types of reverb

Easy to use

Large controllers

Cons

Sensitive to settings

Expensive

It is an updated version of the TC Electronic Hall of Fame and has more types of reverb and TonePrint functionality. The new version was also added with «MASH» footswitch, functioning as a full expression pedal. It has 8 reverb types: Room, Hall, Spring, Church, Plate, Shim, Mod, and Lo-Fi. This fella is quite small and easy to use; the design is minimalistic, but still noticeable because of its bright red color. The controls are: Decay, Tone, Level and Reverb Types. If you want a bright, loud sound – take Hall of Fame 2 without a doubt.

Bypass:
True/Buffered Bypass
Reverb:
T8 types
Weight:
1.32 pounds
Dimensions:
3.5 x 5.1 x 2.8 inches
PROS

«MASH» technology

Switchable bypass

Cons

Requires some time to get used to

It doesn’t matter what type of reverb fan you are, because this little baby of Strymon sound design can meet the demands of almost everybody with its three different reverb types (Plate, Room, Spring) each with three modes. What does it mean for you? You get nine unique reverbs, buddy! blueSky is a luxurious reverb pedal that combines all the advantages of analog circuits and a digital processor.

Bypass:
True Bypass
Reverb:
3 types
Weight:
1.19 pounds
Dimensions:
8 x 8 x 5 inches
PROS

Convenient size

9 unique reverbs

Cons

True bypass only

Expensive

Imagine taking a well-known and beloved Holy Grail reverb pedal with its famous Hall and Spring reverbs, and adding incredibly lush Plate reverb and sonically adventurous Revers reverb. There are four types of reverb: Spring, Hall, Plate and Reverse. That’s what you get in Holy Grail Max! With this pedal, your quest for the perfect, portable reverb pedal is answered.

Bypass:
True Bypass
Reverb:
4 types
Weight:
1.3 pounds
Dimensions:
3.2 x 6.2 x 7.2 inches
PROS

Plain design

Different types of sound

Cons

No tune control

Pricey

Despite the simple and small design of this pedal, it is actually one of the best reverb pedals for guitars in my opinion. Very easy to use, great sound, six different high-end reverb styles all changing with just one Tone knob. Only three controls (Decay, Tone, Mix) and 6 types of reverb (Plate, Spring, Room, Epic, Mod, Pad). The Reverb includes 100% wet mode, stereo input and output capability, and true relay or trails bypass.

Bypass:
True Bypass
Reverb:
6 types
Weight:
1.19 pounds
Dimensions:
5.8 x 2.5 x 4.8 inches
PROS

Easy to use

Natural sounding

Sumptuous reverb

Cons

Rather expensive

True bypass only

It is compact, full of different reverb types, from warm Room to cascading octaves of new reverb “Halo”. Years of experience of DigiTech is put inside this little box. With its True Bypass and 9V DC power supply, you can easily integrate it into your working pedalboard. Seven types of reverb (Room, Plate, Reverse, Modulated, Halo, Hall, Spring) and four controls (Level, Liveliness, Decay, Type).

Bypass:
True Bypass
Reverb:
7 types
Weight:
10.6 ounces
Dimensions:
4.6 x 3.2 x 2.1 inches
PROS

The new «Halo» mode

Lightweight

Stomp lock knob guard

Vacuum-style footswitch

Marvelous design

Cons

The labels are hard to read

Works from a 9V battery

Suitable for both advanced and beginner guitarists, Boss RV-6 is a great pedal to spice up your music. It has eight different presets (Modulate, Spring, Plate, Hall, Room, Delay, Shimmer, and Dynamic) and may probably be named the best shimmer reverb pedal. The device, presented in a small but very strong case, will help you to discover the full meaning of the word «reverb».

Bypass:
Buffered Bypass
Reverb:
8 types
Weight:
15.5 ounces
Dimensions:
5.1 x 2.3 x 2.9 inches
PROS

Easy to use

Best shimmer reverb pedal

Can be connected in stereo or with a separate pedal

Cons

Poor design

Spring reverb is not always great

Fathom is a multi-functional reverb, it has four reverb algorithms – Lo-Fi, Hall, Sonar and Plate. It creates a good ambient sound with some warm notes in it. The switch allows you to select the amount of modulation, dampen button – to adjust the tone attenuation.

Bypass:
True Bypass
Reverb:
4 types
Weight:
13.9 ounces
Dimensions:
3 x 8 x 10 inches
PROS

Deep, multi-layered sound

Good balance between digital and natural sound

Cons

Overpowering reverb

Similar character of sounds

Choose between Room, Hall and Spring reverb presets, as well as 2 versions of the previously mentioned presets. The sound is good and rich; controllers (Blend and Time) are easy to use. Honestly. I don’t understand why this tool is that cheap, because comparing to the other pedals in this review it is second to none.

Bypass:
True Bypass
Reverb:
3 types
Weight:
7.2 ounces
Dimensions:
5.5 x 2.4 x 3.5 inches
PROS

Lightweight

Cheap

Great sound for its price

Cons

Takes 200mA to work

True bypass only

Small switchers

Buyer’s Guide

Welcome to the buyer’s guide where you can find everything you need to know to choose the best reverb pedal for you.

The Thing We Call Reverb

So, what exactly is a reverb? We know that the sound consists of different sound waves. When we are in a room (a studio, for example), sound waves reflect from surfaces around us, getting to our ears after a short delay. The delay is always there, even if it is so short as to be inconsequential. This effect is especially noticeable in a large space like cathedrals – we hear the choir even after the people stop singing. Slowly the sound gets quieter and quieter yet before disappearing completely as it reflects off of hundreds of surfaces. This effect is called reverberation, or reverb for short. To sum it up, reverb is the way sound waves reflect off various surfaces before reaching our ear.

Why Do You Need a Reverb Pedal?

Many musicians use reverb pedals all the time, but the settings are so low that you don’t even notice it. However, with the right setup, a reverb pedal may be a great tool to make your music more expressive, artistic. Reverb adds, let’s say, the third dimension into your sound, gives it more depth. You hear every note more naturally and clearly; your music is more natural.

Delay VS Reverb

First of all, let’s clarify – what is a delay and how is it different from reverb? A delay is basically an echo; a repeated sound. Imagine two children arguing. One says “You’re stupid!” The other replays “You’re stupid!” That’s a delay in simple words. For example, EarthQuaker Devices Afterneath V2 works similar to a delay pedal, but can also work as a reverb pedal.

Reverberation works a bit different. Reverb effect creates multiple echoes of one sound, which will be later absorbed by nearby surfaces.

Which one you should use? Well, it depends on the material that you’re working with and the result you’re looking for. Both reverb and delay are great for creating deep, multi-layered sound. To reiterate, a delay is a singular echo, while reverb is sound repeated and slowly receding. Another difference between the two lies in the interval between the sound and its echo, which barely exists in the latter. Yes, reverb can be considered as some type of delay but the time period between the actual sound and its delayed counterpart is almost non-existent. Of course, you can set up a delay pedal and have a reverb effect, but I think it certainly is easier to have a dedicated pedal from the start.

Types of Reverb: From A to Z

Let’s talk about all types of reverbs that you may find in a pedal setup.

Ambiance

As the name implies, ambiance reverbs aim to create the illusion of a room’s acoustic ambiance. Short decay times (0.5 sec or less), early reflections. EarthQuaker Devices Afterneath V2 has a wonderful ambiance effect. Ambiance reverb is usually used for creating a sound that is felt rather than heard.

Chamber

A Chamber reverb mimics the acoustics of a tiny room. It creates quite an uneven timbre, but I know people who like this kind of sound. It introduces a lot of texture and sounds wonderful on all tracks. If you need an example, check out some classic rock records.

Hall\Room

The name says it all: hall reverb emulates how your music will sound in large spaces such as cathedrals, halls or theaters. Pedals of this type offer a tumbler with which you can control the size of a room you’re «playing» in. Biyang RV-10 can be a good example of the room reverb. But be careful! This reverb should be used sparingly, as it tends to muffle and distort the music.

Pitch-Shifted aka Shimmer

A Pitch-shifted reverb is a technique of lowering or raising the pitch of the original sound to produce a feedback loop. If you have listened to much U2 since the mid-80s, you have heard it. If you are looking for this type or reverb, try Boss RV-6 pedal!

Plate

This type of reverb is mostly about a sheet of metal hanging in a box. I’ll explain. A metal sheet exists in two dimensions, correct? So, the echoes in it are the same density from the start of reverberation to the end. In a three-dimensional space (a box), there are discrete echoes at the front of the reverb tail and as the reverb tails out the echo density increases. Strymon: blueSky performs a great work with a plate reverb.

Spring

Spring reverb at the start used a real metal spring. Metal springs were jiggled by a little coil, with the jiggling captured by another coil at the far end. In a nutshell, spring reverb is an audio signal sent to one end of the spring, which creates waves that travel through the spring. It is a very common type of reverb, you can work with it using TC Electronic Hall of Fame 2, for example.

Where to Place a Pedal in a Signal Chain?

Different positioning of a reverb pedal in your setup can cause different effects. But the original setup is quite simple – do as nature does. How does the sound occur in physical space? Guitar amp distortion is made by turning an amp up enough to cause its circuits to overload, and any echo you hear appears after the sound hits surfaces around and comes back to your ear. So, logically a reverb pedal should be the last in a signal chain.

Even though it is a logical setup, don’t be afraid to experiment with your sound – who knows what may occur in your creative process!

Amp Reverb VS Reverb Pedal

One question that I hear quite often: if I already have an amp with a built-in reverb effect, why do I need a reverb pedal? Well, I have an answer. If you’re not satisfied with the sound of built-in reverb, you may want to have a separate tool. For example, if you have a tube amp with a real plate or spring reverb, you probably don’t need any extra setup. However, if you are an owner of a modeling amp with digital simulation, there is a possibility that the inbuilt rever effect doesn’t sound that good. Also, don’t forget that if you cannot control your built-in reverb it is practically unusable while playing on stage. Ask yourself: what do you actually want from your reverb pedal? Do you really need it after all?

Buffered Bypass or True Bypass?

True bypass means physical separation of the connectors when the pedal is turned off. This prevents any interaction between the signal and the circuit. The signal goes through the metal and not through the semiconductors. This should mean that the sound carries absolutely no loss when the signal passes through a turned off device. Therefore, signal loss is a non-factor. However, a true bypass has its downsides.

First one is a click when you turn it on. At the moment of pressing the button, we hear a distinct click in the amplifier. The use of old units and reverb with true-bypass is another painful subject. Turning them off, you will sharply chop off the tails — not in every situation, it has a musical effect. When using dozens of effects with true bypass, the signal will encounter high resistance provided by cables, connectors and switch contacts. The effect will be expressed in the weakening of the volume, as well as in the loss of high frequencies.

A buffered bypass turns a high-impedance signal into a low-impedance signal, allowing the sound to be restored after traveling over long cables and high-resistance pedals. It can positively affect the final sound. Try Boss RV-6 to hear the effect.

To avoid the tonal effects of an additional cable in a system, you need to buffer your guitar signal. True bypass is optimal for other effects after the buffer. However, if you have only one pedal in front of your amp, then it should use a buffered bypass.

How to Get a Maximum Effect from a Pedal?

After you have learned the basics of how to work with a reverb pedal, you might want some more advanced tips. Here are some useful tips for you:

  1. Level of Reverb. Always start your work by setting up all the equipment. It’s important to choose your ideal setting. Decide which level of reverb do you want to hear – will it be Hall, Chamber or Spring setting?
  2. Wet or Dry, Warm or Cold? Reverb pedals have knobs to fine tune the sound. An «FX» or «Reverb» allows you to control how wet or dry your signal will be. The higher the setting, the more intense is the reverb. With a tone knob, you can control the warmth of your sound. Try turning a tone knob all the way up to create an intimate atmosphere.
  3. Decay Time. Try to adjust how quickly your sound dissipates, use a decay knob. For example, a longer decay time will create a more reverberant effect if that’s what you’re trying to accomplish. Depending on the type of your music, you can go for very short echoes or long ones.

So, if you finally decided to get yourself a reverb pedal, I have one last advice for you. Be gentle with your music, don’t get too heavy on the effects. Sometimes just a touch of reverb is more than enough. But don’t be afraid – try, create and do whatever you want to do! Now, when you know all that basic stuff, go to the review part and find a perfect reverb pedal.

Conclusion

Let’s be honest, there are many pedals available. Find out which one is better, and especially the best is close to impossible. However, I tried to collect in this review all possible options for any technical requests, wallets and aesthetic preferences.

With all this information in mind, I hope you will find your perfect reverb pedal. Check your finances, decide which tech characteristics you want in your pedal. If you have a built-in reverb in your guitar, do you need a pedal at all? Which model you should go for?

I will definitely update this guide if any cool reverb pedals come out in 2019, so stay tuned and enjoy your music!

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By Max Hudson
    about author

    My name is Max Hudson, born and raised in Chicago. I'm 30 years old and like many other people, I discovered guitar in my teens and have never looked back since. It has quickly evolved into a passion and has given me a creative outlet, something to redirect my time and unlimited energy toward. I want this website to be a handbook for players of all skill levels. It can become a starting point for your new hobby, where you can find the right instrument, get tips for playing effortlessly or anything else music related.

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