Do you own an amplifier that doesn’t have a built in reverb?
Maybe you do have a spring reverb built into your favorite amplifier, but now you’re interested in all the other forms of the effect?
You’re in luck, as we have compiled a list of our favorite picks to help you pick out the best reverb pedal no matter what style or budget you’re working with.
Snapshot: Best Reverb Pedals in 2020
- Dan Electro Spring King – Best Analog
- TC Electronic Hall of Fame Mini 2 – Best Mini
- JHS 3 Series Reverb – Best Under $100
- Flamma FS02 Reverb – Best Budget Option
- Walrus Audio Slo – Best High-End Option
- Caroline Meteore Lo-Fi Reverb – Best Spring
- Boss RV-6 – Best Overall
Choosing a Great Reverb Pedal for Creating Space
We’ve all experience reverb in our day to day lives. Sound reverberates off of walls, so reverb exists in some way or another in just about any space you’ve ever walked into.
Reverb pedals play a really cool trick on the listener, because they essentially recreate spaces that don’t actually exist. This is why there are a number of different kinds of reverbs that have evolved over the years.
When compiling this list, I wanted to include some reverb pedals that had multiple kinds of the effect available so that players can choose their reverb type for whatever suits their music at the time.
Regardless of the reverb type, I decided to focus on pedals that were dedicated to reverb alone. There are lots of multi-effects pedals that include reverb along with delay, but those deserve a list of their own.
I also kept in mind that reverb pedals can get expensive. Thankfully, there are a bunch of great digital reverbs that are getting made with quality parts at low prices, so budget reverbs also made it onto my list.
Reverb is an extremely cool effect that for me is a must have, and I think it should be for you as well. Let’s help you pick out a reverb pedal, shall we?
The Best Reverb Pedals On The Market
1. Dan Electro Spring King Reverb Pedal Review – Best Analog
- Thick spring reverb
Unless you’re using a spring reverb from your amplifier, reverb is almost an exclusively digital effect. One of the few exceptions to this rule is the Dan Electro Spring King, which houses a mini spring in a pedal form to give you all the dripping, bouncing reverberation that that springs are known for.
The Dan Electro Spring King is one of the handful of truly analog reverb units available, as it house a proper spring tank inside of a pedal enclosure. One of the unique side effects of this design is that the spring rattles even if you don’t have it turned on (just like in an amplifier).
Dan Electro leaned into this idea and added a kick pad so that you can intentionally rattle the spring. This is a hungry pedal, as it requires 300mA of current and can supposedly drain a 9V battery in under an hour, so an adaptor is a must.
The Spring King keeps it simple in the controls department, with knobs for Volume, Tone, and Reverb. The Volume knob works like a mix control, blending in the wet reverb sound with your dry signal. The Tone control only effects the EQ of the reverb signal and the Reverb knob sets how long the reverberation lasts for.
Of course, there is also the kick pad, but I think you can figure out how that works.
This is a truly unique and special kind of spring reverb sound. It doesn’t sound exactly like what you will find in amplifiers, as it is a short spring tank. However, it offers the squishy, coiled percussion/attack that only the best digital reverbs can hope to emulate.
The kick pad adds something for the adventurous types as well. I find that even maxed out settings on this pedal sound good under the right circumstances.
- Effect Type: Spring Reverb
- Signal: Analog
- Power Requirement: 9V DC (300mA) or 9V Battery
- Dimensions: 10.5 x 7.5 x 3”
- Features: Spring Tank, Kick Pad
Final Thoughts on the Dan Electro Spring King
The Spring King is a truly unique pedal in terms of sound and design. It’s a big pedal that sucks up a lot of power, so it may be best reserved for the studio unless you’re a diehard fan. If you like spring reverb better than any other reverb type, and you are looking for a novelty that is surprisingly affordable (considering it’s a discontinue pedal now) then this is a fun product.
2. TC Electronic Hall of Fame Mini 2 Review – Best Mini
- PROVIDES UPDATED ALGORITHMS - The Hall of Fame (HOF) 2 Mini delivers the same high-quality effects sound as its predecessors plus an all-new Shimmer Reverb for an unearthly octave pitch shift.
If you’ve done any previous research on reverb pedals, you’ve more than likely heard of the Hall of Fame in at least one of its forms. The newest, the Hall of Fame Mini 2 improves upon its predecessor, the HOF mini, with added controls and even more sounds, while taking up just as little space on your board.
As a result of customer feedback, the folks at TC Electronic redesigned their famed HOF Mini (which topped off our list of the best cheap pedals) to include three onboard controls, as compared to the previous single dial. In addition to new algorithms, it also has the added feature of optional True or Buffered Bypass with trails, so that the effect continues after you’ve shut it off.
Just like previous models, the HOF Mini 2 is fully integrated into TC Electronic’s TonePrint app, which gives you dozens of reverb presets and practically infinite customization.
The newly added Tone, Decay, and Level controls make the HOF Mini 2 more like its big sibling, the Hall of Fame 2. It offers more control on the pedal itself, making it a better option for use on stage. These global parameters apply to whichever TonePrint you’ve selected, which can be beamed straight from your phone to the pedal through your guitar’s pickups.
Further customization is available on the TonePrint app so that you can create the reverb of your dreams.
Where do I even begin? The HOF TonePrint selection is vast and includes every model on the Hall of Fame 2, from Room, to Church, to Shimmer. It also features TC Electronic’s MASH technology, which allows you to manipulate any parameter by holding down the bypass switch, creating awesome oscillation or freezing effects.
The HOF does every type of reverb justice, even spring reverbs, with their top of the line algorithms.
- Effect Type: Reverb
- Signal: Digital
- Power Requirement: 9V (100mA)
- Dimensions: 1.9 x 1.9 x 3.7″
- Features: MASH, True or Buffered Bypass, TonePrint, Updated Controls
Final Thoughts on the Hall of Fame Mini 2
TC Electronics does reverb better than just about anyone else and they continue to distill more and more incredible sounds into smaller, more versatile footprints. I personally own the original HOF mini, and always wished it had more on-deck controls. It looks like my wish has been granted.
3. JHS 3 Series Reverb Review – Best Under $100
JHS hits another homerun from their budget geared 3 Series with the Reverb. Simple controls still allow for expansive sound possibilities and a build quality that is unrivaled in its price bracket.
If you are familiar with any of the other pedals in JHS’s 3 Series, you’ll notice that the Reverb looks almost identical to its counterparts, with simple black and white aesthetics. It doesn’t try to woo you with fancy graphics. It lets the reverberations do the talking, and they leave a lasting impression. The 3S Reverb is built with high quality components that are housed in a traditional pedal frame. It has lower, side mounted jacks, to make it fit in on your board and also has a low current draw of only 73mA with 9V of power.
The 3 Series Reverb gives you three essential controls: Verb, EQ, and Decay. The Verb knob controls the level of the reverb effect. EQ controls the tone and Decay controls how long the effect lasts. There is also a little switch for Pre-Delay, which adds a short delay before the reverb effect kicks in. These controls are very touch sensitive and have a wide array of sounds that can come from them.
I wasn’t able to pinpoint exactly what kind of reverb the 3S is modeling, but my ear tells me it is in the realm of a Hall reverb. That being said, you can get a wide array of great reverb sounds just by adjusting the knobs in different configurations. These range from a tiny room, to extreme, ambient washes. The Pre-Delay is a cool feature that can be manipulated for convincing slapback echoes as well.
- Effect Type: Reverb
- Signal: Digital
- Power Requirement: 9V DC (73mA)
- Dimensions: 4.42 x 2.38 x 1.22”
- Features: Pre-Delay, True Bypass
Final Thoughts on the JHS Pedals 3 Series Reverb
While maybe not cheap enough to be considered a budget option for all, the JHS Reverb gives you more than you pay for. You could put it in a blindfolded contest alongside competitors that cost twice and much, and it would put up a great fight.
4. Flamma FS02 Reverb Pedal Review – Best Budget Option
- 7 classic reverb effects: Room, Hall, Church, Cave, Plate, Spring, Mod. Each of them is also a storable preset slot that can used to edit and save as your own sound.
If Reverb is your favorite type of effect to where you want multiple varieties, customization and presets offered by high end modern pedals, but you have to do it on the cheap, look no further than the FSO2 from Flamma.
The Flamma FS02 is a bit of a marvel in terms of budget pedals. It has seven different types of reverb that include Room, Hall, Church, Cave, Plate, Spring, and Mod. It features a high quality buffer and low noise floor, meaning that your signal remains clear whether the pedal is on or off. It also has stereo in/out capability for added depth on stage.
One drawback is the pedal’s high current requirement of 300mA, so make sure your power supply can accommodate.
Each of the different reverb types is represent by a number, of which you use the Select button to scroll through. Once you have a setting you want saved, hold down the Select button to Save. There are knobs for Level, a powerful Hi and Lo Cut, Decay, and Pre-Delay.
These controls allow you ample control over each of the different delays, without having to redial in tones due to the pedals ability to save presets.
Considering the fact that this pedal has seven different reverbs in it, I have to admit that it comes across somewhat one dimensional. The Room, Hall, and Church settings sound like they are all voiced the same, but with different decays.
The Cave and Modulated settings add some spice to the mix at least. Thankfully, this voicing that carries across all the modes is a well-made one and you do get the power to shape it with all its controls. For a cheap pedal, it has some cool tones to offer.
- Effect Type: Reverb
- Signal: Digital
- Power Requirement: 9V (300mA)
- Dimensions: 2.75 x 4.78 x 1.99
- Features: Trails, Buffered Bypass, Presets, Stereo In/Out
Final Thoughts on the Flamma FS02 Reverb
While the FS02 doesn’t have the warmth or depth of more expensive pedals, you get some pretty solid functionality and versatility considering the price point. This is a great pedal for someone who is just starting out getting a board put together on the cheap.
5. Walrus Audio Slo Review – Best High End Option
- Allows players to create lush, modulated, sleepy and ambient soundscapes
Walrus audio follows up their amazing, deep sea exploration themed Fathom Reverb with a stargazing themed, multi-function reverb called the Slo. This pedal is a shoe gazer’s dream.
Walrus audio describes their Slo pedal as a multi-textural reverb, and I think that barely scratches the surface of what this pedal can do. It features three different voices: Dark (octave below), Rise (volume ramp), and Dream (Vibrato) as well as three secondary functions with different wave forms.
Among other features, the Slo has the ability to sustain reverb for nearly infinite time frames. The pedal is impeccably well built, with top mounted jacks, beautiful artwork, and multiple controls without ever getting too overwhelming.
To cover all the functions of this pedal, you will need to read the manual. The global parameters include Decay, Filter, and Mix. The Filter works as a low pass filter, specifically tuned in for each algorithm. Turning to the left darkens the tone and turning to the right brightens the tone. The mix control has a line on it that represents a perfect 50/50 mix.
The X knob has the most variety to it, as it changes its function depending on the mode you’re in (Dark X sets the -1 octave level. Rise X sets the swell time. Dream X sets vibrato depth). The Depth control adds a ton of character as you can dial in modulation sounds ranging from subtle to unsettling.
Finally, the Sustain button ramps up the reverb trail to create expansive, never ending, even oscillating reverb tones.
Unlike many reverb pedals that try to do justice to archetype reverb algorithms, Walrus has traveled off the beaten path to create their own, unique effects unit. Each of the voices are spectacular, with the Dark voice adding serious depth even in the lowest settings due to that octave down effect.
The Rise setting practically negates the need for a volume pedal for spacious swells. The Dream setting is my personal favorite, as it adds movement to the reverb in a truly lovely way. Whereas some vibratos can get a bit nauseating, this one always remains musical, like a warped vinyl type effect.
Finally, I have to point out that the low pass filter is perfection.
- Effect Type: Multi-Textural Reverb
- Signal: Digital
- Power Requirement: 9V DC (100mA)
- Dimensions: 4.77″ x 2.6″ x 1.39″
- Features: Latching, Trails, Modulation/ Swell/Octave reverbs, and much, much more.
Final Thoughts on the Walrus Audio Slo
I’m a huge fan of Walrus Audio and while they do every effect well, I think that they do reverbs especially well. The Slo doesn’t just fill a need for reverb that every guitar player seems to have. It is a character and if your rig were a play, it would be the shining star. A corny sentiment, perhaps, but this pedal truly does stand out.
6. Caroline Meteore Lo-Fi Reverb Review – Best Spring Reverb
- We’ve kept your original signal path analog and pure
There are some pedals that do a good spring reverb among other things. There are pedals like the Dan Electro Spring King that are ideal, dedicated analog springs. However, the Caroline Meteore Lo-Fi gets the award for best spring reverb because it pushes the effect into a refreshing new direction.
At its core, the Caroline Meteore is a spring reverb with built in overdrive and feedback controls. In practice, the effect can be much more than that. It shares the same build construction as the Kilobyte Lo-Fi Delay, but sounds nothing like it.
Finding specs on this pedal was rather difficult, as Caroline spend little time on technical aspects and focus on sounds and aesthetics, as once can gather from the graphics (rather than words) that represent each parameter.
What I can tell you is that the pedal has top mounted jacks, built like a tank, has analog dry through, and it was named after a line of the Paris Metro Subway.
All of the controls are represented by animations, so check your manual if you aren’t sure what they mean. From the manual and tutorials, I gathered that the four knobs control Level (wet/dry mix), Attack (sets gain on preamp), Size (sets initial reverberation. Interacts with regeneration knob and sets the speed of havoc onset), and Regeneration (decay with overtones and controls the intensity of havoc).
As you can see, all the controls are very interactive. There is a dark and bright switch, giving you two voices. The star of the show is the momentary switch, called Havoc, which creates all kinds of well… havoc.
The Meteore doesn’t just do a typical spring reverb sound. The reverberation is filled with overtones, even artifacts, that add juicy and interesting reflections to the sound. The preamp distorts in a way that allows the pedal to get its name: Lo-Fi.
It’s not quite like combining a preamp pedal or overdrive with a reverb pedal. The preamp interacts with the reverb in a dense and hearty way. It’s worth mentioning that this pedal has lots of gain on tap and can get very loud.
- Effect Type: Reverb
- Signal: Digital
- Power Requirement: 9V DC
- Dimensions: 4.75 x 3.62 x 2”
- Features: Momentary Havoc, Preamp Gain
Final Thoughts on the Caroline Meteore Lo-Fi Reverb
There is obviously many a time and a place for a typical spring reverb, but Caroline has done a fantastic job of pushing the limits of what spring reverb can do. I have a feeling that if all you had was a great guitar, tube amp, and this pedal, that you would be entertained for days and days.
7. Boss RV-6 Reverb Pedal Review – Best Overall
- Compact and versatile reverb pedal with rich, expansive soundDial in sophisticated, top-level reverb tones quickly with simple controlsNewly developed studio-grade algorithms powered by cutting-edge...
Boss was the first to bring us digital reverb in a compact pedal, and now their latest version is more powerful and amazing sounding than ever. Whether you like traditional reverb sounds or some forward thinking surprises, the RV-6 has you covered.
The Boss RV-6 features eight different digital reverb tones, including a “delay + reverb” setting. I said I wouldn’t cover dual delay/reverb pedals but considering that the vast majority of this pedal focuses on reverb, I made an exception.
Your dry tone remains completely analog, even though the effect is digital. The stereo in/out jacks offer some interesting routing possibilities in addition to traditional stereo setups, including a 100% wet sound when you plug into input B for optimal parallel routing.
The pedal also has an input for an external expression pedal for further control over the effect.
For being such a powerful pedal, the RV-6 has a rather simple and familiar control layout. There are knobs for Level, Tone, and Time (decay), as well as your reverb mode selector. Plugging in an expression pedal gives you the ability to change the depth on command for perfectly times, ambient swells.
Under the Delay+ setting, the Time/Level controls effect delay parameters and reverb parameters simultaneously.
There isn’t a bad sound in this pedal. You may want to make some minor tweaks depending on your guitar/amp combo using the Tone control, but the new algorithms in this pedal are simply world class. The spring reverb is one of the most convincing models I’ve ever heard, with ample drip and squish to it.
The Shimmer and Modulated modes offer excellent depth and complexity to traditional reverb tones in an approachable way. The pedal also plays really well with drive pedals, never getting too muddy in its tone.
- Effect Type: Reverb
- Signal: Digital
- Power Requirement: 9V
- Dimensions: 5 x 2.87”
- Features: Stereo Effects, Expression In, 8 Reverb Types, Delay
Final Thoughts on the Boss RV-6 Reverb
Though neither the most encompassing nor imaginative reverb pedal on this list, the RV-6 does everything it sets out to do with perfection. It is an approachable and inspiring pedal that is appropriate for beginners and professionals alike. It’s built like a tank and is appropriately priced. I wouldn’t expect anything less from Boss.
Creating Space That Isn’t There
Reverb, among all other effects, can be the most awe-inspiring. From the simplest spring reverb to complex, multi-layered plate reverbs, these pedals don’t just make your guitar sound like it’s in some other room. It can take you to other worlds and other times.
Spring tanks, plates, halls, small rooms, cathedrals, even ocean depths or outer space. Every space is an inspiration for guitarists to play in and to add depth to their sound. Once you have a good reverb, a dry amplifier just isn’t as fun.
For many, reverb is a must-have effect. I am one of those players that needs it. For this reason, picking out the best reverb pedal for my budget and my sound is an important and exciting decision. It is my hope that this article has made that decision just a little bit easier, whether you go for an industry standard or a pioneering boutique pedal. As always, trust your ears and use your imagination.
Wherever you want your guitar to sound like its being played from, there is a reverb pedal that can take you there.
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Davis Wilton Bader is a professional guitarist/writer based out of St. Louis, MO. He plays in the bands Lumet and The Outskirts.