Best Reverb Pedal 2016

When one is trying to decide which is the best reverb pedal turning to guides online is a nice option available these days. Knowing that the market is saturated with variety and brand offering is not a helpful tool in most cases. Rather they make the idea of another purchase an undesirable chore. We here at Musical Advisors are here to help lessen the burden while helping others to gain knowledge and understanding.

How to choose the best reverb pedal?

Not enough reverb in your life? Not liking the current pedal selection that you currently have available? These and many more questions have more than likely bounced off your mind while trying to decide exactly what it is that your music has been needing or missing.

What is reverb?

Reverb or reverberation can be defined or described as is the continuance of sound after a sound has been produced. However, when it comes to making musical sounds that definition falls rather flat and unlistenable to most.

Reverb is used to create space or distance within the music. As a rule, low-frequency sounds are not given much if any reverb as it tends to make a muddy mess out of the sound. Reverb, when used in the most correct of ways, can both the beauty and majestic wonder found in most key musical components.

Behind the Scene

A musician must take a lot more aspects of sound into consideration in order to make a desirable note that can then be turned into the basis for music. When you take the time to think about a sound, tone, beat, or riff of music as the musician must it gives a better understanding and love to the music we hear.

Types of Effect

Musically speaking there are three main types of effects. The dry effect, the wet effect, and the reverb effect. The dry effect is a sound that travels straight to a listener’s ears. Sounds that are 100% dry are said to be clean only.

A wet effect is a sound that becomes reflected or bounced about within the room or area in which it was made. Sounds that are 100% wet are said to be the effect only.

The reverb effect is a combination of both wet and dry sounds that has been allowed to build up as it was reflected and is then allowed to continue moving until it reaches the listener’s ears and beyond.

Delay and Decay

Decay can be best described as the amount of time it takes for a note of music once made to become heard. The delay is the time in which it takes to hear a notes reflection or bounce. Both decay and delay play a huge part in the making of reverb sounds that come across as intended rather than muddy and unrecognizable once heard.

Space and Sound

When it comes to creating music each and every time a sound is made it then becomes uniquely made much like a snowflake, a fingerprint, or DNA strains. The space in which it was made must also be factored, considered, and even remembered as every change or variation alters the sound that is made, even if only in the slightest of degrees.

The best way to further describe this would be to think of your favorite song. There is a very core feeling felt and heard as it wafts into your ears in LP form. As you already know this is very different when heard in its radio and most noticeably live versions or varieties.

Space, sound, delay and decay are all very important and huge factors behind the dramatically different change of sounds.

What is a reverb pedal?

Now that the theory of sounds has been briefly described it clarifies the fact that reverb is heard in so many aspects and parts of what we hear each day. The reverb pedal is used in the creation of reverb most often in regards to guitar sounds and effects but is also used elsewhere as well, in vocals, bass and even in keyboards to mention a few.

Using the standpoint of the guitar, reverb is considered a very basic. Reverb is used in the creation of music’s natural sounding depth. The reverb pedal and settings are how this sound is made, controlled, and set prior to becoming amplified loud enough to become sensed, heard, and often felt.

Common Features to Look for in a Reverb Pedal

1. Reverb Modes

Not all of the best reverb pedals offer the same reverb modes but generally all reverb pedals offer a knob or button to switch between modes offered.

2. Connectivity

Connectivity is the means by which the pieces being used are hooked into one another to create sound. Input and Output are obvious connectivity needs on a reverb pedal. Mono sounds are found in a pedal with a single input and a single output. Stereo sounds are found in a pedal that has a single input and double (L/R) outputs. True stereo sounds are found in a pedal with double input and double output jacks.

3. Pre Delay

This knob on reverb pedals is used to control the lengths of time that are found until the reverb sound is heard or will happen.

4. Mode

When there is a mode button found on the reverb pedal it is used to change the reverb type and begin the implementation of it. Some of the examples of the types of reverb that might be found include Room, Gate, Modulated, TonePrint, Ambience, and Hall.

5. Level

The level may be referred to as Blend, Mix, Level, etc. This knob is used to change the reverb volume. The dry signal occurs when this button or knob is turned to the off or most minimal setting. If you only wish to hear pure reverb turn this to the maximum position or setting.

6. Time

Controlling the decay is done with this knob or button on the reverb pedal. The larger the time the larger the room; the smaller the room the smaller the time.

7. Switches

When switches are found on the reverb pedals they are used in the same way as alternate knobs, buttons, or switches found in that they change operations, functionalities, or modes of operations. The actual uses will vary on the manufacturer and design.

8. LED Light

The LED light is an indicator light that can be found on certain models and types of reverb pedals. This typically indicates, when lit, that the effect selected is currently activated. This is especially helpful when one has stage pauses between songs or sets as it is easy to forget if the effect is still on.

Top 3 Reverb Pedal Reviews

1. TC Electronic HOF Mini Reverb pedal

​2. TC Electronic Hall of Fame Reverb Pedal

3. Electro-Harmonix Holy Grail Max Reverb


1. TC Electronic HOF Mini Reverb pedal

​At first glance, one might severely underestimate the power, options, and functionality of the TC Electronic HOF Mini Reverb pedal and later become angry at themselves for passing it over. Having only one knob and button on the unit you might make the mistake of thinking that there is only one available option for use. Looks can be deceiving and the HOF Mini is a great example of that deception.

​Options on the HOF Mini by the TC Electronic company are very similar to the options available on the full sized Hall of Fame reverb pedals in that this pedal also comes with TonePrint, all ten of TC’s standard reverbs, as well as the TonePrint Editor. The best part of the TonePrint options is that one only randomly must have the internet or Wi-Fi setting for usage, primarily for firmware updates and new downloading of tracks they are made available.

The TC Electronic pedal family products that come having pre-installed TonePrint programming can be described as one of a kind pedals thanks to all the options that can be installed upon them. Friends, fans, and family alike can become enthralled by your superstardom playing once told that this mini pedal has been custom rewired and outfitted by John Petrucci, Paul Gilbert, Steve Vai, or Guthrie Govan.

Coming in dead last in regards to unit price the HOF mini is a cheap reverb pedal option that can be purchased without putting a large dent into the wallet or debt ratio. Thanks to the mini variation of this HOF reverb pedal little space is needed on one’s pedal board. The power supply is a standard 9 V DC, centre negative >100 mA but unfortunately does not come included with the pedal and must be purchased separately.

Check out this video of the TC Electronic HOF Mini Reverb pedal:

Check out the following pros and cons of the TC Electronic HOF Mini Reverb pedal:

Pros

  • No Velcro required mounting ability
  • Lightweight, compact, weighing 5.6 ounces
  • Super simple controls with only one switch and button
  • Free preloaded TonePrint and TonePrint Editor
  • Minimalistic internet or Wi-Fi time only randomly needed

Cons

  • Must have TonePrint to change reverb settings
  • Knob on the pedal controls only the effect
  • 9V batteries have short lifespan
  • Power source sold separately
  • The TC Mini reverb pedals offer mono only

2. TC Electronic Hall of Fame Reverb Pedal

​If you have been searching for a reverb pedal that has a wide range of uses and functions than the TC Electronic Hall of Fame Reverb Pedal is the best reverb pedal for you on the market today. This old-school looking style reverb pedal is anything but old-school in regards to functionality and quality. Decay tone reverb parameters come as a highlight on this Hall of Fame reverb pedal. It is outstanding that with just three controls, tone, decay, and level, one is creating such wide range tonal sounds.

This little pedal offers a rotary ten dial switch that has reverb sounds factory offered by TC Electronic for the Hall of Fame Reverb pedal that includes Lo-Fi, Room, Gate, Modulated, TonePrint, Ambience, Hall, Spring, Plate, Church, as well as Tiled Room. TonePrints are freely available and have load functionality options that utilize a wireless smartphone beam, USB cable method, or a TonePrints app option.

TonePrints are designed by TC Electronic, as well as a variety of famous guitar players and world class bassists. More information is available regarding TonePrints here. As an added bonus your phone doesn't need access to any phone carrier, company, or WIFI network. Any smartphone running the app with a working speaker can change the settings or to send its message down your pedal chain.

This Hall of Fame reverb pedals offering of TonePrint also offers an editor that lets you fine-tune things like modulation depth and pre-delay. The editor also allows anyone playing to create and record their very own reverb creations to added to the listings offered by TC Electronic as well as those made and recorded by famous musicians such as Steve Vai and many others. A few of the currently available artist sets include creations by Brett Scallions, Troy Van Leeuwen, Soren Andersen, Paul Gilbert, and Harry McVeigh.

Check out this video of the TC Electronic Hall of Fame Reverb Pedal:

Check out these pros and cons for the TC Electronic Hall of Fame Reverb Pedal:

Pros

  • Freely available TonePrints can be added to the pedal
  • Equipped with a pair of internal dipswitches for bypass selection
  • Ten settings available via rotary switch for reverb selection ease
  • TonePrints offer new reverb sounds never before available
  • Mac, PC, iOS, Android, or USB input availability options for TonePrints

Cons

  • Some computer recognition issues can arise
  • 9V power adapter is not included
  • Current draw, >100mA, drains batteries within hours

3. Electro-Harmonix Holy Grail Max Reverb

No matter the genre of music that you perform the Holy Grail, holds its own with all the best reverb pedals available on the market, even though it comes in as the most expensive of the three deals being reviewed. Brought to you by Electro-Harmonix company this reverb pedal has the power and functionality to make others feel your sounds might just be that of any stage idol or guitar god. This classy pedal helps maximize the classic reverb guitar sounds while adding a new depth ensure to impress.

​The Electro-Harmonix Holy Grail Max Reverb serves up amazing sounds in a nice, rugged and compact design. The sleek and compact style of the Electro-Harmonix weighs only 1.3 pounds so you won’t be weighted down. Mounting to your custom pedal board will be a breeze and it will shock you by just how quickly it will become your favorite stomp box of them all. This Holy Grail Max reverb pedal does not take batteries but is able to incorporate Boss® and Ibanez® style AC Adapters.

Circuits are set up in a way that your sounds will amaze even yourself. Multiple dial controls give more function and sound effect possibilities that most other brand pedals only wish to emulate. The ability to vary both the decay and reverse times are an exceptionable delight for any guitarist. Options included on the Holy Grail Max include the time knob, blend knob, reverb switch knob, footswitch and LED, input jack, AMP jack, as well as a 9V power jack.

Amazing studio-like sounds are achievable with this reverb pedal no matter where you go as demonstrated in the following video, featuring guitarist Jon Skibic, where he offers an exceptional explanation and demonstration of the four massively amazing reverb sound effects available in this high-quality and rugged pedal.

Check out this video of the Electro-Harmonix Holy Grail Max Reverb:

Check out these pros and cons of the Electro-Harmonix Holy Grail Max Reverb:

Pros

  • Four amazing studio-grade reverbs: Spring, Hall, Plate, and Reverse
  • True bypass for maximum signal path integrity
  • Excellent sound quality even the pros complement
  • Multi-function Time control lets you dial in your decay or reverse time
  • Compact Design with rugged die-cast chassis

Cons

  • Ac Operation Only
  • No battery options available
  • Slow response in certain musical tempos

Our Top Pick

Our top pick for best reverb pedal, of the three reviewed here, our favorite was the TC Electronic Hall of Fame Reverb Pedal. Of all three options, this reverb pedal has the most available options for the price. This pedal can be used on any amp with any input thus making it also great to use acoustically so long as your acoustic has a pickup.

As the mid-range reverb pedal pricing option that has been reviewed, this TC Hall of Fame is anything but cheap in regards to the things it can do, its craftsmanship, quality, or its overall functionality. If you are itching to be on stage making powerful sounds that in awe your guests then this is the best reverb pedal in which to perform.


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