What is the Best Reverb Pedal?– 2018 Reviews (UPDATED)
With a plenty of reverb pedals out there in the market, it becomes quite impossible to find a pedal that would work best. On top of that, when we are talking about pedals such as BOSS RV5 or the EarthQuaker, it becomes much more difficult to select just one. Frankly speaking, guitarists do have different ideas about different pedals and the same pedal may get very different reviews from different persons.
In order to find the best reverb pedals for guitar, we have come up with a list of reverb pedals that are currently trending in the markets and from there, we are going to provide short reviews on 5 different pedals that we found best. As a benchmark, we considered the pedal quality, features, price and customer satisfaction level.
March 2017 Update: A new guitar pedal has just released - MXR M300 Reverb Pedal. We are runing some tests with this pedal. Review coming soon!
Quick Comparison: Top 4 reverb pedals
While we looked to find the best one as far as the reverb pedals are concerned, we could find these following 4 pedals that are currently the best on the market:
**You'll find detailed comparison below, but you can also check the prices or read Amazon Customer Reviews by click the links above.
From the above list, we tried out each of these pedals separately with different electric guitars. After thorough extensive test runs on the above listed devices, we came to the conclusion that there were at least 4 different pedals of different price ranges that grabbed our attention. Here are those:
The Cheapest Reverb Pedal on the list:
Among the low price range reverb pedals, considering the customer satisfaction, product quality and overall durability, we have reviewed 2 products from the list basing on the performance on their initial test run. According to our team of experts, while these two pedals come pretty cheap, the range of options they offer are some of the best in the market. One is from TC Electronic and the other one is from Electro-Harmonix.
1. TC Electronic HOF Mini Reverb pedal
The first pedal we have here is one of the finest TC Electronic has to offer. The HOF Mini does have its perks and quite a lot of it! The best thing about the pedal is obviously its price and quality ratio – which is pretty awesome.
It is the best budget guitar pedal you will get your hands on in the current market swarming with reverbs of different qualities, especially with its free TonePrint features. It does come with free TonePrint Editor that helps the users to create their very own TonePrint pedal – which is also fully customized.
While it is true that the pedal itself is pretty small, but the HOF Mini comes equipped with really biggest reverb sounds which are otherwise available in only high-end pedals costing quite a lot of bucks more.
As for the features, the TC Electronic Hall of Fame Mini comes with different reverb sounds such as but not limited to – hall, plate, spring, room etc. Plus, much to our surprise, the HOF Mini comes with full TonePrint functionality.
There is also this true bypass technology that guarantees tonal transparency. Considering the price, overall customer satisfaction and our test run, we believe that the HOF Mini can certainly be one of the finest buys in the market.
Click here to read my review about TC Electronic HOF - The most popular guitar pedal
Best Mid-range Pedals:
Among the reverb pedals in the mid-range prices, we reviewed quite a few, including RV5 Digital Reverb and FRV-1 63 Fender from BOSS and Hall of Fame Reverb Signal Path from TC Electronic. Considering all the features, we came to the conclusion that both the Hall of Fame and RV5 would be the best to recommend. Here are the reasons why.
2. TC Electronic Hall of Fame Reverb Pedal
This Hall of Fame Reverb Pedal from TC Electronic is something that we could call the winner in this mid-range. However, the spot is shared with the BOSS RV5 Digital, the review of which will follow.
As for the HOF Reverb Signal Path, it is equipped with best in class TonePrint functionality – that provides you with instant access to various pedal-tweaks that are wholly customized.
It also has this true bypass technology, which enables excellent tone output. There is also this Stereo in and out facility, which ensures it can be plugged in without any difficulties.
The Analog dry through option ensures the tone does not distort a bit, making sure the clarity and integrity remains intact. As per our test run, we did not detect any signal degradation at any point, no matter where we plugged it in.
As for the pedal effects, the room, church, tile, gate and ambient – all these effects provide awesome sound quality. Definitely a good buy. This is one of the best sounding reverb pedals in the market!
Click here to read my review about TC Electronic Hall of Fame Reverb Pedal
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 guitar 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 Light, 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.
Best High range price Pedals:
In the high-price range category, we almost had a tie between the EarthQuaker Dispatch Master and Electro-Harmonix Cathedral. But considering the customer satisfaction level and range of features available, we had to go for the EarthQuaker Devices. A short review of the product is as follows:
4. EarthQuaker Devices Dispatch Master Delay/Reverb Effects Pedal
According to our test run, the EarthQuaker Dispatch Master is simply one of the best guitar effects pedals out there on the market today. It has this great functionality that enables it to run the analog direct signal path along with true bypass together or separately on demand.
In order to use the reverb function separately, all we had to do was to turn the time control knob down to its lowest point and had to adjust the reverb accordingly and voila!
We did get to hear this amazing reverb effect isolated from other effects. We feel that this is a very useful feature for any guitarist wanting to have unique soundplay.
Plus, it has this amazing delay time of 2 seconds (max.), which is incredible considering the price. The tonal quality that it produces is very good also and we may even call it on par with the very best as well.
A great, or for lack of better word – a massive reverb is what you can expect from this device. What we found to be the best in this pedal is that both the delay and reverb effects are unlike any other we have reviewed before.
As in, both these effects are industry-leading, and the RV5 that we reviewed from BOSS does not even come close in this respect. We also found out that during the use, the EarthQuaker DM maintains the chord articulation superbly.
The only issue that we found was that the reverb sound gives a bit too much room effect – but other than that, we found no problem with the one we reviewed. We still recommend it to be the best out there in this price range – it is that simple!
Click here to read my review about EarthQuaker Devices Dispatch Master Delay/Reverb Effects Pedal
If you are looking for more choices, please take a look at this infographic: Top 10 Reverb Pedals Infographic (2017)
Benefits of Using Reverb Pedals
- There are quite a lot of guitar pedals out there, including Wah pedals, Distortion pedals, Delay pedals, Reverb pedals etc. Each of these types of pedals has their own advantages or benefits. For example, the benefits of using a reverb pedal are never similar to the benefits of using wah pedals. What we mean to say is, each of these pedals has their own signature benefits.
- In short, any sort of dull or dry sound would feel much more alive when you are using a reverb pedal with your guitar.
Picking the Best Reverb Pedal - Step by Step Guide
There are quite a lot of ways you can determine which reverb pedal is the best one and therefore, pick that one over the others. It is very important to know the steps of finding the best reverb pedal because it ensures that you will always have the best output while playing in front of your audience. According to our experts, here is how you pick which reverb pedals are the best out there!
- First, ensure that you know just how wet or dry you want your guitar tones to sound. If you don’t know that, then it is possible that you will end up with a good reverb pedal that would not satisfy your needs.
- Check if the tone gets distorted when you are increasing the volume. A lot of reverb pedals on the market are likely to provide distorted tones when the volume is on the higher side. Pick the one that doesn’t sound distorted.
- Check and see whether the volume of the pedal differs when the pedal is turned on or off. It is imperative that the volume level remains constant.
- Check if the tonal transformation is too much for your taste. Most of the ideal reverb pedals would provide true sound that is much similar to the one originally produced by your guitar.
- Check if the echo and the delay effects are working properly. Measure how much time it takes for you to hear the bouncing back of the sound.
- Ensure that you properly hear what kind of sound the reflection is bouncing you back. Usually, rich sound with deep reverb gives away the best ones.
- Last but not the least, make sure you go through as many reverb pedal reviews that you can get your hands on. They are a failsafe way to get yourself a fine reverb pedal.
Tips for using Reverb Pedal
If you know how to use any guitar pedal, be it wah or distortion pedal, you will have a pretty good idea how to use a reverb pedal as well. However, if you still are new in this area, here are some tips that you could put into use when using your reverb pedal:
- The very first tip we have for you is that when you are using your reverb pedal, the simplest of touches can cause a big effect. So, the trick is not to go for the big reverb effect straight away. Increase the effect step by step. For most users, using just a bit amount of reverb is enough to make deep groundbreaking tones.
- Now, provided that your reverb pedal is equipped with a decent tone control knob, the trick for getting the best tone would be to tune the effect to a slightly brighter or darker shades which will provide totally different types of tones. This is the beauty of tone control.
- When using reverb pedals, do not ever use an adapter that does not come with the set. If you still pursue any, don’t use something that does not come with a pedal. Don’t use an adapter designed for computers or as such.
Does any of these reverb pedals have any issues with the computers?
In most cases, there are no issues in this regard, as most computers running proper OS do not have any issues recognizing the pedals. In case any issue occurs, try re-inserting the plug again.
Does any of these reverb pedals work with vocals?
Yes. All of these listed reverb pedals work well with vocals.
Which one of these pedals would work best with vocals?
All of these listed pedals would work perfectly with vocals. It only depends on the level of reverb effect used which will vary the sound to some extent.
Do these pedals work with keys and bass also?
All of these reverb pedals work perfectly with keys and bass. No issues reported there.
What kind of power supplies is usually needed for these pedals?
Most of these pedals come with the required power adapters. The usual power output is the standard 9 volts.
When these pedals are turned off, do they revert back to their default preset settings or do they remember the last configured settings?
No, they don’t. Most of these reverb pedals have built in memory that preserve the last customized settings for user convenience.
Like any other pedals, finding the best reverb pedal is quite a tough task indeed. However, when you are thinking along the same lines we did in this case, we sure hope that your quest to finding the best one will be accomplished without a hitch. We would still ask you not to hurry and try out each of these 3 pedals that we reviewed here.
We have often seen it happen that even when the best one is handed to you, you probably won’t even take a second glance at it – on the other hand, our least recommended pedal might be the perfect pedal you were looking for! You simply don’t know which one might click for you!
If you are looking for the Best Delay Pedal, we recommend you pick up the cheap Analog delay pedals from this post: Best Guitar Delay Pedals 2017