A good Reverb unit is one of the most basic requirements of any pedal board. Today we’ll discuss the Top 12 Reverb Pedals from the Year 2023. We’ve meticulously put together pedals from all budget ranges and brands, including Behringer, TC Electronics, Boss, Zoom, Strymon, MXR, T-Rex, Keeley Electronics, Walrus Audio, Catalinebread, Death By Audio, and Fender.
In a nutshell, here is our selection of the best room reverb pedals:
The great thing about reverb, in general, is that there are so many types of reverb effects out there that are equally important to have access to. For this purpose, most pedals use several switches and control knobs to offer a wide range of sounds and just enough parametric controls to shape your tone the way you like.
Some of the more common reverb types seen on most pedals are Room and Hall. These emulate the acoustics of smaller setups and large concert halls digitally. Some pedals also attempt to bring classic sounds from Plate reverb units and Spring tanks from the 60s to life with decent precision.
We’re now going to get into today’s topic and see what features each of these reverb pedals possesses. However, before that, a few questions need to be answered to gain more familiarity with Room reverb pedals and their importance to your existing setup.
What Does Room Reverb Pedal Do?
You’ll experience different kinds of acoustics depending on the environment where you’re playing your instrument. Reverb pedals are all about mimicking the sound characteristics of different surroundings. More specifically, Room reverb pedals create digital effects and reflections that would be experienced in a small room.
The reverb trails are limited, and the overall feel is that of a room where there’s less travel in the sound and everything seems very close and compact compared to Hall reverbs which are more ambient and immersive.
Are Room Reverb Pedals Worth it?
When you’re not using reverb, your guitar signal will sound dry and uninspiring. Adding reverb to your dry signal creates a new dimension of depth and natural-sounding acoustics. Room reverb units are especially significant in providing a small studio or room feel if that is the sound you’re going for.
Top 12 Room Reverb Pedals 2023 (Fender, Strymon, Ibanez..)
1. Behringer Digital Reverb DR600
The Behringer Digital Reverb DR600 offers six different types of reverb.
Behringer is always a great option if you’re looking for a pedal that’s affordable and offers many features. The DR600 unit is an excellent example of that as you get plenty of customizable parameters and multiple modes to let your creativity run wild. Furthermore, the interface is uncluttered and easy to navigate right out of the box.
Measuring 2.12″ x 2.75″ by 4.8″, the pedal is a bit bulkier than the typical mini pedal but won’t require too much rearrangement on your pedalboard. And with all the available modes, the DR600 has the potential to become your go-to pedal for all things reverb.
- Level & Tone
You’ll find four knobs on the DR600 pedal. Starting from the left, the “Level” knob controls the volume of the reverb effect, ensuring that the wet signal is not lost in the mix. The “Tone” parameter works like a one-knob equalizer. Labeled “Lo” to “Hi,” the knob controls how bright or dull the tone of the reverb effect is. Moving the control to the right emphasizes the treble frequencies and vice versa.
Next to the Tone control is the “Time” knob. Through this parameter, you can control the reverb time or the length of the reverb, setting how long the reverb trail will linger on. It is recommended to start at the far left and slowly rotate the knob clockwise to select the desired reverb time for the situation.
- Room Mode
The most essential knobs on the DR600 control the “Mode.” The six modes include “Spring,” “Plate,” “Hall,” “Gate,” “Room,” and “Modulate.” While every environment reacts differently to sound, the pedal can emulate the acoustics of a small room in the Room mode. The vibrations feel close, and the reverb effect is very subtle.
- Spring Mode
If you want a taste of the classic Spring reverb, switch to the Spring setting. Classic Spring reverb units would have a large chamber with springs suspended on either side. The vibrations of the dry signal traveling through strings would give way to a unique kind of reverb which was dubbed “Spring” reverb. The DR600 emulates this digitally with great accuracy.
- Plate Mode
Gigantic Plate reverb units from decades ago would have large sheets of suspended metal. The audio signal would be channeled through these plates to create vibrations that delivered what later came to be known as the “Plate” reverb. But don’t worry; the DR600 recreates the same sound but in a much more compact form factor.
- Hall & Gate Modes
While the room setting mimics the acoustics of a small closed-off room, the much broader sounding Hall mode creates the tonal illusion of playing in a large concert hall. The mode gives you a feeling that you’re surrounded by the notes being played, making your playing experience quite enjoyable and immersive. The Gate mode offers a short decay time as the notes being played have a short sustain and then disappear abruptly. The concept is that of an effect falling short of the threshold on a gate.
- Modulate Mode
The last mode is the Modulation mode. As the name suggests, the pedal modulates whatever is being played by altering the pitch of the notes. You’ll notice that the reverb tails will sound slightly detuned as you play. The mode also conjures up a Chorus effect that blends nicely with the other parameters of the DR600.
The pedal is flanked with dual quarter-inch inputs and outputs. Both inputs can be used simultaneously for stereo applications. If you wish to plug in a guitar and operate in mono mode, “IN A” can be used. “Out A” and “Out B” outputs can also be used in stereo to send signals to two separate amps side by side, or you can choose Out A for connecting to a single amp. In addition, the pedal operates through a top-mounted 9V power input and can be powered with a 9V battery that can be inserted by removing the pedal switch.
In this one pedal, you get six types of reverb, all of which sound decent and have enough controls for further modification. The DR600 is highly affordable and provides excellent value for money. In addition, being battery-powered is a great feature, as you can set up shop anywhere on a live stage.
Hardly costing anything, the pedal seems to be made of cheap plastic and doesn’t have a sturdy feel. Also, the Volume control keeps the tone colored even at very low settings. However, feel free to buy this just for the heck of it, as it won’t set you back by too much and is a decent reverb pedal for sure.
2. TC Electronics Hall of Fame 2 Reverb
The Hall of Fame 2 Reverb pedal is much more than just another 4-knob pedal.
There’s a lot more to it than meets the eye. The pedal offers true bypass so you can be sure of no coloration in sound when the unit is bypassed. There are a lot of hidden features under the hood, and the shimmery reverb algorithms the pedal uses are nothing short of mesmerizing.
TC Electronics has made several changes to the newer version compared to the original Hall of Fame reverb pedal. The V2 unit has eleven different reverb modes that can be selected; however, some older reverb modes have been replaced with more usable options. All in all, this red reverbing beast is very powerful and versatile.
As you glance at the user interface, you’ll notice 4 black knobs that stand out over the bright red background. Starting from the left, the first knob controls the “Decay” of the reverb effect. Depending on which mode is selected, the Decay parameter will help decide how long the reverb stays until it eventually fades away.
- Level & Tone
A typical control on all reverb pedals is the “Level” parameter. You can use this knob to set the volume of the reverb to help it cut through the mix. The Level control also acts like a blend control as the reverb signal is merged with the dry signal. The “Tone” knob can be used for equalizing the tone. As the knob is moved clockwise, the treble frequencies are emphasized. Turn the knob the other way, and you’ll hear more bass frequencies.
- Modes: Room & Hall
The final and most powerful knob on the interface changes the different modes. In the “Room” setting, the characteristics of a small room are mimicked. The reverb has a lesser sustain than a furnished room would allow. The “Hall” setting is quite the opposite. The reverb feels larger and more expansive, creating the acoustics of a large hall with a longer sustain for ambient guitar playing.
- Modes: Spring & Plate
The “Spring” mode revives the sound of vintage Fender amps from the 60s that had chambers for the sound to travel through springs to create reverberations. Similarly, the “Plate” setting is designed to digitally recreate the characteristics of reverb associated with large plate reverb units from the classic era of music.
- Modes: Church & Shimmer
The “Church” mode takes things a step further. The pedal’s internal circuitry emulates the sonic characteristics common to large churches that have more sound and offer a more prominent feel than the regular Hall mode. When the “Shimmer” mode is activated, the results are unique. Every time you hear feedback, the reverb shifts another octave higher, creating strangely wonderful alien sounds open new dimensions of experimentation.
- Modes: Mod & LOFI
In the “Mod” or modulation setting, you’ll hear a Chorus effect merging with the reverb effect. This way, the sound is given more warmth and thickness, helping it pierce through the mix. The “LOFI” setting delivers a Low-Fidelity reverb signal making things muddy. This, too, creates rather interesting tonal results.
The last three settings on the Mode knob indicated by the numbers 1, 2, and 3 refer to the “Toneprint” app. For those unfamiliar with the concept, TC Electronics has an app that loads presets directly to the Hall of Fame V2 via the USB port on the back of the unit. But what’s unique about the Toneprint app is that it has actual presets designed by infamous guitar wizards like Vai, Petrucci, Paul Gilbert, and the like. So, the three numbered slots can be used to load and save these artist Toneprints directly onto the unit.
- Pre-Delay & Mash
Sitting between the four knobs is a “Pre-Delay” switch that toggles between “Short” and “Long” modes. The switch essentially controls the time between the original signal and the reverb. You can select a long or short gap between the two depending on your goal. Apart from activating and bypassing the unit, the footswitch engages the “Mash” feature. You can keep the footswitch pressed when you want certain reverb effects to continue as trails. The switch is pressure sensitive, so pressing it lightly or with more pressure will produce different results.
With a plethora of Reverb modes, the Hall of Fame 2 is perhaps more than enough for all your reverb needs. The Toneprint app is great for loading gig-ready patches prepared in collaboration with famous guitar maestros worldwide. Finally, the pedal offers dual inputs and outputs for stereo operation and can be powered by a 9V battery.
The Hall of Fame 3 reverb is such a happening pedal that little is wrong with it. However, the reverb algorithms may seem a bit robotic to those with highly trained ears. Although all the reverb modes are very workable, other units in the market sound more natural and organic.
3. Boss RV-6 Reverb
Few can compete with Boss when it comes to innovativeness and execution.
Purely designed to dish out state-of-the-art reverb tones, the RV-6 measures 2.37″ by 2.87″ by 5.12″ and weighs 1lb. The knobs are clearly labeled, and the interface avoids clutter making it extremely easy to operate without going through the user manual in detail.
The build is sturdy and everything functions as it should on this dark-colored behemoth. The RV-6 has a reverb engine that is fully capable of recreating classic reverb tones from the 60s and a modern-sounding modulation mode that keeps things nice and exciting.
The RV-6 pedal is exceptionally gifted when it comes to input and output options. You can find the 9V power jack at the top of the unit. On the right are two quarter-inch inputs. “Input A” is used separately for Mono operation. Both inputs can be used simultaneously for stereo applications. There’s also an input labeled “EXP” that can accommodate an expression pedal if required. As a precaution, only a Boss EV30 or Roland EV5 must be connected to this jack to avoid damage to the unit. On the opposite side, you’ll find 2 quarter-inch jacks for sending the output signal to two different amps. You can also use the mono output to connect to a single amp or the next pedal in the effects chain.
The “Check” light on the user interface indicates when the pedal is activated. It also doubles as a battery monitoring tool by dimming as the battery is nearly drained. Undoing the thumbscrew at the base of the pedal switch opens the battery compartment. Simply insert a 9V battery, and you’re good to go.
The pedal has a row of four knobs on the user interface. The first one, marked “E.Level,” controls the level or volume of the reverb effect. Next to this is the “Tone” knob. If you want to add more treble or bass to your sound, you can cut or boost these frequencies by adjusting the Tone value. Moving in a clockwise direction brightens the sound.
As you may have guessed, the “Time” control refers to the reverb Time. Simply put, you can determine how long the reverb lasts by adjusting this parameter. The Time value increases as the knob is moved in a clockwise direction.
- Modes: Overview
Finally, the most crucial section of the pedal is the Mode adjustor. There are as many as eight different reverb types to choose from. The list includes “+Delay,” “Shimmer,” “Dynamic,” “Room,” “Hall,” “Plate,” “Spring,” and “Modulate.”
- Modes: +Delay & Shimmer
The first mode is “+Delay,” This setting is ideal if you want to add some delay to your existing reverb settings. If you’re a fan of bright sparkly, shimmery reverb sounds, the second mode is designed to deliver broad, immersive reverberations especially suitable for ambient guitar.
- Modes: Dynamic
When the pedal is in the “Dynamic” mode, the internal circuitry observes the style of play and responds accordingly. The primary purpose of this mode is to create deep reverberations while maintaining sound clarity and articulation. You can have a lot of fun accentuating chords through the Dynamic mode.
- Modes: Room & Hall
Commonly found on more reverb pedals, the “Room” setting creates the acoustics of a small studio or room setup. The reverberations in this setting seem close and exhibit decent warmth. The “Hall” setting mimics a much larger setup, delivering a lot of width in the reverb effect.
- Modes: Plate & Spring
Can’t afford the classic plate-style reverb units from the 60s? The “Plate” mode gets you exactly what you want in a more compact size and a highly affordable pedal. You can also experience digital representations of vintage “Spring” reverb units packed in a single versatile unit, the Boss RV-6.
- Modes: Modulation
Finally, the last mode on offer is the “Modulation” setting. This setting takes the hall reverb characteristics further by adding modulation to create feel-good, happy music that uplifts your audience’s spirits. Try this mode when playing with a band that plays ambient music.
As is usually the case with most Boss pedals, the RV-6 is a solidly built unit that sounds great. Apart from the three control knobs that shape different characteristics of your reverb sound, the available modes are great for any situation you might find yourself in. The unit isn’t very large, so it won’t take up much space, and being battery-powered is a bonus.
Some connoisseurs with trained ears will notice that some reverb effects sound too robotic and digital. There is noticeable chirpiness in the reverb tails of some of the modes. However, with all the pedal brings to your setup and the affordable price, perhaps this con can be overlooked.
4. Zoom MS-70CDR Multistomp
Written on the interface of the Zoom MS-70CDR are the words “Chorus,” “Delay,” and “Reverb.”
Comparing the Multistomp to other pedals on the list, you’ll notice the truckloads of additional features this pedal offers. Looking at the single footswitch design, it’s easy to think of this unit as being a single-effect pedal; however, looks can be deceiving.
As you switch the pedal on and cycle through the effects, you’ll notice that you have your foot on a multi-effects processor. The available effects are grouped into categories for easy navigation, including Chorus, Delay, Reverb, and Dynamic/Filtering.
Placed on the right panel are two quarter-inch inputs. The left input acts as a mono connector and takes the signal from a guitar or an effects unit. A similar configuration can be found in the output section on the left. The left output can be used for mono operations. You could also simultaneously send the signal from both output jacks to separate amps. On the top panel, you’ll find the 9V input jack and a USB port connecting the device to a computer for firmware updates. Finally, the battery cover on the base panel can be removed to insert 2 AA batteries. With the batteries inserted, the pedal will turn on automatically when a quarter-inch cable is connected to the unit.
- Display & Parametric Knobs
On the top section, you’ll find a display that shows a digital representation of the selected effects. The three parametric knobs below the screen correspond to various aspects of the displayed pedals. The first knob opens menus and rearranges or removes the effects in the chain. Through the second knob, you can access the memory to edit and save patches. Finally, the third knob helps scroll through pages and make parameter changes.
- Footswitch & Cursor Keys
The footswitch on the MS-70CDR performs many different functions. The first and most apparent usage is turning and bypassing the pedal. Secondly, when long-pressed, the switch will activate the tuner. Finally, tapping on the footswitch can set the unit’s tempo. Surrounding the switch are four cursor keys. The up and down keys help scroll through the effect types. You can long press the button to dive into the current effect category. Pressing the left/right cursor keys will show you the different pedals in the effects chain.
- Reverb Effects
Scrolling through the effects, you’ll notice that the MS-70CDR is loaded with several Reverb types. There are as many as 29 different reverb types that can be selected. The notable ones include Plate, Spring, Room, Hall, Air, RevereRV, SlapBack, and Shimmer. You’ll also find some unique variations of these standard reverb types like HR Hall, Church, Cave, Arena, TiledRoom, Chamber, Spring63, and more.
- Chorus & Delay
There are 27 different chorus patches on the MS-70CDR. You’ll not only get resounding choruses like Super Chorus, Mirage Chorus, Stereo Chorus, and Ensemble, but you can also merge other effects with chorus sounds like Flanger, Vibrato, Phaser, and Auto Pan. In addition, the Delay category is just as vast, with 26 different variations, some of which include Tape Echo, Analog Delay, Stereo Delay, Reverse Delay, Slap Back Delay, and a ton of other options.
The Dynamics/Filter section isn’t as vast but has all the necessary options to get a well-crafted tone. Zoom’s ZNR noise reduction tool does an excellent job of cutting out the noise without compromising the tone. You’ll also find 6-band and 7-band graphic equalizers in this section to shape the tone to your heart’s content.
Designed to be exceptionally versatile, this modest-looking monster of a pedal is full of wonderful effects. Whether in a studio setting or a live stage, you’ll find all the Reverb, Chorus, and Delay-related effects you’ll ever need. In addition, each effect is fully customizable, and saving and recalling patches is a cinch on this fantastic unit.
Your preference will play a massive role in deciding whether to buy or skip this pedal. If you aim to get a jack of all trades that offers a taste of everything, you can’t go wrong with the MS-70CDR. That is if you love tinkering and are willing to review the menus and the detailed GUI to find what you need.
5. Strymon blueSky Reverberator
The ever-promising Strymon brand has a lot of unique pedals in its product portfolio.
The brand offers several comprehensively designed effects units, including the Cloudburst Ambient Reverb, TimeLine Multi Delay, Morbius Multi Modulation, Iridium Amp Modeler/Cab, Compadre Compressor/Boost, and a lot more.
The “Sky” series of pedals from Strymon includes the slightly smaller blueSky and its elder brother, the BigSky, both of which are amazing in their own right. Built-in sturdy metal, the beautifully crafted blueSky offers some nice combinations of reverb modes and types.
A lot is going on on the user interface of this beautiful blue pedal. The first knob on the far left controls the “Decay” time. You can set this value on the lower side to create an ambiance in a smaller room. Moving to the left will also deliver plate reverb-like tones. As the value is increased, however, the opposite seems to occur. This setting is ideal for delivering large hall-type reverberations or even large-scale spring reverb.
The “Mix” knob controls the blend between the dry and wet signals. You can turn the mix knob entirely to the right for 100% reverb or turn it down completely to hear the dry signal. However, you’ll want to stay somewhere between the 10 to 2 0’clock position to get the right mix of both signals.
- Low Damp, Hight Damp & Pre-Delay
The “Low Damp” knob is next on the interface. Tasked with changing the tone, the parameter focuses on the reverb tail and increases or decreases the presence of lower-end frequencies. The “High Damp” knob works similarly, lowering or adding treble frequencies to the reverb tail. Finally, the “Pre-Delay” parameter is a time-based feature that decides the time it takes for the reverb signal to come into effect after the original note is played. To hear what the knob does more clearly, simply reduce the mix value.
- Mode Switch
There are two switches on the user interface. The first is the “Mode” switch which offers three selectable options. “Norm,” “Mod,” and “Shimmer.” In Norm mode, the pedal takes into consideration the current settings of the knobs to deliver the reverb effect only. In the Mod mode, the Strymon blueSky adds mesmerizing modulation to the current reverb settings. Lastly, the Shimmer setting can dial up some hauntingly beautiful pitch and octave shifts which, paired with the reverb type switch, create unlimited possibilities.
- Type Switch
The second switch controls the “Type” of reverb. The options here include “Plate,” “Spring,” and, of course, “Room.” Plate and Springs settings both mimic the tonal characteristics of the respective vintage reverb units. In the Room setting, you can create acoustics of a small setup and even add enough width to make the sound more immersive to give a large hall feel. In addition, the age of the Spring tank can be modified by using the Damp controls.
- Connectivity & Footswitches
All the inputs and outputs on the pedal are top-mounted. Starting from the left, you’ll find a pair of quarter-inch inputs. Next to these are two quarter-inch outputs and a 9V power input. The blueSky has a dual footswitch design. The left “Favorite” switch acts as a save and quick recall button. Simply dial in your settings and long-press the switch to save these settings as “Favorite.” Then press the switch whenever you need to recall the preset. The switch on the right can activate or bypass the unit, but when long-pressed while turning the unit on, it activates trials.
It’s all about making more features available for the customers. The BlueSky adds three reverb modes and many reverb types, so you can experiment with multiple combinations. Use the quick recall “Favorite” feature to instantly set your most preferred reverb sound and add trails by long pressing the bypass footswitch.
If the blueSky doesn’t tickle your fancy, you might want to pay slightly more and get the bigger, badder flagship unit, the BigSky Multi Reverb. Not only do you get 8 adjustable parameters and 13 different reverb types, but you get all this in a three-footswitch unit that blows the blueSky right out of the water.
6. MXR Reverb M300
The M300 is designed so that it packs 6 different reverb effects in a single unit.
This three-knob pedal is easy to dismiss for being too basic, but upon close inspection, it’s easy to see that there’s plenty of magic going on under the hood. The column of led lights in the middle who 3 pairs of reverb types that can be cycled through easily through the innovative controls on the interface.
Also concealed inside the unit is a switch specifically designed to toggle stereo or mono mode. But that’s not all. This little unit is highly flexible and allows features like “Wet” mode, where only the reverberated signal is sent to the amp as output. You can even decide if you want the reverb trails to stop abruptly or smoothly fade away when the unit is bypassed.
- Decay, Tone & Mix
Rotate the “Decay” knob to control how long the reverb tail stays before it fades away. As the knob is rotated to the right, the decay time increases. The “Tone” control is a tool to enhance treble or bass frequencies depending on which side you rotate the knob. Turning clockwise will add brightness to the tone. The Tone control can also be pressed to switch between 6 different reverb modes. Finally, the mix knob helps set the ratio between the original signal and the reverb effect.
- Room & Pad
The last pair includes the “Room” and “Pad” modes, where the green light depicts the Room while the red light indicates the Pad setting. In Room mode, the reverberations are limited and mimic how the sound would bounce back off the walls of a room setting or a small-sized studio. The Pad setting lets you experiment with octaves mixed with reverb. The tone knob can be used to increase or decrease the octave interval.
- Plate & Spring
Whenever the Tone knob is pressed, a green or red LED will show which one from the labeled pair of effects is selected. The “Plate” and “Spring” modes are paired together. The M300 delivers an extremely accurate depiction of older plate reverb units. If you want to get your surf on, press the tone knob again and ride the waves to your heart’s content.
- Epic & Mod
The next pair includes “Epic” and “Mod.” When the green LED lights up, the Epic mode is selected. And indeed, it sounds epic because of multiple modulated delays mingling with each other alongside the current reverb settings. Press the Tone knob again to enter the “Mod” setting, which adds modulation to the Plate reverb setting.
The right panel hosts a single quarter-inch input. However, the left panel is where the action is. Apart from the quarter-inch output that carries the signal to an amp or the next pedal in the chain, there’s also an expression pedal input. Although the connected pedal won’t be able to change the reverb type, the usage is quite innovative. First, you set the treadle to the heel-down position and adjust the settings. Then you press down at the toe and set the knobs differently. The treadle will now transition between both settings when rocked back and forth.
Don’t judge the book by its cover, as the M300 MXR is a lotta pedal. You can run it in stereo or mono mode and get access to six different reverb types. You can even decide to set just the wet signal to your amp, which creates terrific ambient soundscapes. The controls are managed well without complicated switches or button combinations.
The Tone control is a bit subtle. Maybe the next version could make it a bit more profound. Also, with reverb pedals, not having stereo outputs can be a deal breaker for some, especially when other units are stereo enabled and cost a lot less.
7. Fender Marine Layer Reverb
The Marine Layer Reverb by Fender makes use of three different algorithms each having two variations.
Since most of us guitar players are fixated on the amazing guitars and basses that the brand delivers, including the Strats, the Teles, the Jaguars, and the Jazzmasters, Fender’s guitar effects pedals may often be overlooked. Although not the cheapest, Fender pedals deliver great sound quality.
Be it Blues, Jazz, Rock, Metal, or Indie, the modern series from Fender includes great effects units for every genre of music. Each pedal seems to have exceptional build quality, user-friendly interfaces, and a great tonal range. On top of that, they look great and have solid controls.
- Type & Variation Switches
On this lovely aqua-colored reverb pedal, you’ll find three switches to toggle through multiple reverb base combinations. Starting from the far left, the Marine Layer Reverb has a reverb “Type” switch. Any of the three options from “Hall,” “Room,” or “Special” can be selected. For whichever one of these you choose, the pedal offers 2 variations.
- Room Variations
In the first variation, you’ll notice that the reverb engine generates acoustics similar to those experienced in larger conference rooms. The second variation is more modest and is about recreating classic reverb sounds from the 50s. The reverb trails are limited, with very few ambient characteristics.
- Hall Variations
The “Hall” setting has some fantastic variations. The first one is great for swells and chord work with wide-sounding reverberations. You can choose this mode as an always-on option. The second variation combines hall reverb with plate reverb giving way to spacious acoustics and a tonal response that stands apart in a mix. You could use this setting for lengthy Pink Floyd-like guitar solos.
- Special Variations
The first variation in this mode delivers the shimmer effect. The concept involves placing some pitch shifting and delaying effects post-reverb and routing the resulting sound through the reverb engine again. The second variation adds a great amount of modulation to the reverb sound, which causes a widely immersive feel.
- Damping & Filter Switch
The decay value of the reverb can be set through the “Damping” control. The reverb fades away sooner when the knob is turned to the right. When turned to the left, there’s a slower decay in the reverb trails. If there’s too much representation of the treble frequencies in the overall signal, you can cut these higher frequencies through the “Filter Switch.”
- Reverb Time
Using the “Reverb Time” knob, you can set the length of the reverb. This means that at a lower setting, you can make the pedal create room reverb, and when cranked up, you can conjure up wide, enchanting cavernous sounds most suitable for ambient music.
- Pre-Delay & Level
“Pre-Delay” is a time-based parameter. Through this knob, you can set how, sooner or later; the reverb effect is produced after the original note is played. In other words, you can create greater separation between the dry and wet signal by manipulating this control. Finally, the level knob sets the volume of the reverb effect.
- Dry Kill, LEDs Switch, and Connection Jacks
The back panel has two more switches. The “Dry Kill” button says what it does and eliminates the dry signal from the output signal. Fender has added a dedicated LED switch on the pedal that toggles the lights on or off depending on the situation and to conserve power. Coming to the connectivity options, the pedal has a quarter-inch input and output on either side. The power input is mounted on the top. In addition, the pedal’s base opens up to accommodate a 9V battery.
The Marine Layer Reverb pedal from Fender delivers great clarity and articulation or sound. There are tons of control to shape the selected reverb type. The onboard switches provide Hall, Room, and Special modes, each with two different variations. Finally, the knobs have LED pointers that help navigate the layout during low-light stage conditions.
While the pedal is battery-powered, you’ll soon notice that the 9V battery doesn’t last very long thanks to all the LEDs on the user interface. Also, as far as size is concerned, the unit measures 2.5″ by 3.75″ by 4.9″, which makes it a very bulky unit compared to other single footswitch pedals.
8. T-Rex Creamer Reverb
The T-Rex Creamer Reverb keeps things nice and straightforward, as is evident by the user interface.
The brand has an impressive range of pedals that cover effects like distortion/dual distortion, overdrive/boost, several variations of delay (studio, stereo, and tape), Octaves, Reverbs, and much more. The good thing about T-Rex, as far as the layout goes, is their direct approach.
There’s no beating around the bush, as all the controls are in your face and cover the basics well. Like most reverb pedals, the Creamer offers multiple reverb types and enough controls to tone-shape each version. Measuring 2″ by 2.4″ by 4.5″, you’ll find space for this pedal on your board.
- Type Switch: Room
The great thing about the Creamer is the switch that toggles between three different reverb types. The “Room” setting is a good place to start. Mimicking the sound characteristics of a small jam room, studio, or club, the Room mode keeps things compact with limited reverb tales and small feel reverberations.
- Type Switch: Hall
As large concert halls have completely different acoustics compared to smaller setups, the “Hall” setting is ideal if you’re looking for more width in the reverb effect. Pairing this reverb type with the other controls on board will fool you into thinking you’re performing in front of hundreds of metalheads at an enormous concert.
- Type Switch: Spring
How great were the vintage spring tanks with several springs connected to both sides to let sound pass through, creating mesmerizing reverberations? While it’s hard to get a hold of such equipment today, the T-Rex Creamer does it to perfection and at a fraction of the cost.
In addition to the reverb types, three controls onboard help change the different aspects of the Room, Hall, and Spring settings. The “Reverb” knob adjusts the intensity of the reverb effect. You can turn the knob to the left to keep the effect quiet or increase the reverb value to make it cut through the overall mix.
- Decay & Tone
The other two knobs on the pedal include “Decay” and “Tone” controls. The length of the reverb effect can be controlled through the Decay knob. In other words, enhancing the spaciousness of the reverb sounds can be achieved by rotating this knob to the right. The Tone control enhances the treble frequencies when turned towards the right. If the objective is to dull down the sound, the knob can be rotated the other way to emphasize the bass frequencies.
The quarter-inch input and output jack resides on the top of the pedal, which keeps things easy and clutter-free when placing the unit next to other effects pedals with side-mounted I/Os. A 9V battery can also power the Creamer. However, the input for the power supply can be found on the right panel.
All in all, a decent pedal, the Creamer, gets the job done if you’re looking for a noncomplicated pedal that is easy to use and dial effects on. Although you won’t see as many reverb types here as some other units on the list, the Hall, Room, and Spring settings combined with the control knobs are more than enough for most situations.
The build quality on this pedal is a bit questionable. The footswitch seems unreliable and needs to be pressed by varying degrees of pressure to ensure functionality. Also, if you want more than three reverb variations, something like the RV-6 may be a much better option.
9. Keeley Electronics Omni Reverb
This solidly built reverb unit from Keeley Electronics can be a great addition to your pedal collection.
The pedal can be ideal for intermediate-level guitar players venturing into the captivating world of pedals and looking for worthy candidates to fill their first-ever pedalboard. This can be assessed because the layout is super easy to understand, and the price falls well within the realm of affordability.
Don’t get me wrong, though. The Omni Reverb is an equally good option for seasoned musicians as it can create smaller room-type acoustics, distinct plate reverb tones, and even shimmery spring reverberation, ideal for surf music.
- Level & Type Switch
The “Level” knob is simple in its function. You can increase or decrease the volume of the reverb effect by rotating the knob in either direction. A level knob comes in handy to give the wet signal more prominence compared to the rest of the mix. Between the two knobs sits a switch that toggles between the three available reverb types. These include “Room,” “Spring,” and “Plate.” As you’ll read below, the Dwell knob reacts differently with these reverb options.
- Dwell Knob: Room
The “Dwell” knob on the Omni Reverb has many responsibilities depending on the selected reverb type. The room size can be selected in the Room mode by rotating the Dwell control. When the knob is turned down, the pedal recreates the acoustics of a smaller space. Even a larger hall reverb setting can be achieved when going the other way.
- Dwell Knob: Spring & Plate
As seen on old Spring reverb units, the size of the spring tank plays a massive role in the overall reverb sound. In Spring mode, this size can be altered using the Dwell control. Characteristics of larger-sized spring tanks can be achieved by turning the knob clockwise. Finally, you can also dampen the sound of the Plate reverb setting by experimenting with the Dwell knob.
- Footswitch & Connections
The pedal has a single footswitch design with dimensions of 1.85″ by 2.63″ by 4.37″. Pressing the switch can toggle the pedal on or put it in bypass mode. Single quarter-inch inputs and outputs are on either side of the Omni Reverb. Finally, the 9V power input can be found on the back panel.
The beauty of the Omni pedal is that it provides the perfect blend between simplicity and versatility. With ease, you can toggle through three different reverbs and access Dwell and Level controls for further adjustments. The circuity inside can dish out subtle to immersive ambient tones in a cinch.
Not to take anything away from the Omni Reverb, the pedal does a decent job filling the space you left on your pedalboard for a reverb pedal. However, the options are limited regarding reverb types and other customizable parameters.
10. Walrus Audio R1 High-Fidelity Stereo Reverb
This beautifully crafted Walrus Audio Reverb unit sounds as impressive as it looks.
Covered in all black, the pedal measures 2.52 inches by 2.64 inches by 4.9 inches and brings a lot of reverb-related options to your pedalboard. The user interface is loaded with plenty of knobs and switches.
Everything is marked with great clarity for easy navigation, and the R1 pedal features a two-knob design to cycle through different features. The eye-catching central knob is where all the mesmerizing ambient sounds are created.
- Reverb Programs: Spring & Plate
The central knob labeled “Prog” is where all the magic happens. You can set the reverb type simply by rotating the knob from any of the 6 options. These include “Spring,” “Hall,” “Plate,” “BFR,” “RFRCT,” and “Air.” Indeed the two most common settings found on most reverb pedals, the R1 delivers accurate digital representations of Spring and Plate reverb, bringing vintage spring tanks and gigantic classic plate units back to life.
- Reverb Programs: Hall/Room & Air
Are you looking to create loud ambiances or waves of reverberation? The R1 is well equipped to dish out large “Hall” acoustics. Dialing everything down will give more of a smaller room feel. Pairing this setting with the “X” parameter creates more noticeable results. The “Air” mode dials in shimmer with great clarity and articulation. This model is great for guitars and works equally well for synths and keys.
- Reverb Programs: BFR & RFRCT
The “BFR” or Big F—— Reverb takes inspiration from the Hall setting but creates an even grander feel. The reverb effect fills around you as if you were playing inside a vast cavern. The “RFRCT” or Refract setting is slightly different because it offers a combination of glitches and diffusions to open doors to other creative possibilities.
- Footswitches and Connectivity
The pedal has quarter-inch inputs on the right panel. You can use the left input separately for mono operation or use both inputs side by side. On the opposite panel is a pair of quarter-inch outputs. You can connect directly to a single amp or simultaneously send the output to two amps. The top panel has a 9V volt input and a pair of jacks for midi in and out, which is rarely seen on most reverb pedals of today. Having a dual switch design, the first footswitch switches the pedal on/off and the second one enables the sustain when long pressed. You can also tap the switch to toggle between unlatch or latch modes.
- Decay & Mix
The length, of the reverb tail, can be set using the “Decay” control. When the knob is turned to the right, the decay time is increased. Moving to the other direction will shorten the decay time for a more natural sound. The “Mix” knob controls the blend between the dry and wet signal. When in the 3 o’clock position, you’ll hear 50% of each signal. The Mix level can be adjusted according to the selected reverb type.
The “Swell” control mimics the functionality of a volume expression pedal. You can turn to a higher value to increase the time for a volume Swell to fade away after a cinematic buildup. If you don’t intend to incorporate this parameter in your playing, you can eliminate it from the signal path by turning the knob fully to the left.
The “Tweak” knob does exactly what it says. In this section, you can Tweak different reverb types using a combination of controls. The switch below the knob helps select “Rate,” “Depth,” and “Pre-Delay.” The idea is to select the Tweak parameter first through the switch and then adjust the value of the chosen parameter through the Tweak knob. The modulation’s rate and intensity can be set in the first two modes. The Pre-Delay value determines how quickly or late the reverb effect kicks in after the dry signal is fed through.
Finally, the “Tune” section is where all the equalizing takes place. Engineered much like the Tweak controls, the switch is used to select “Lo,” “High,” and “X” values, after which the Tune knob controls the intensity of the selected setting.
- Lo, Hi & X
When the Lo setting is toggled, you can adjust the intensity of the bass frequencies by cutting or boosting. When the knob is turned up, the reverb effect becomes thicker. Similarly, in the Hi setting, the treble frequencies can be enhanced or subdued according to what the situation demands. Finally, the X setting is versatile and equips the Tone control with different capabilities depending on the selected reverb program.
One of the most detailed pedals in terms of features, the R1 packs a real punch. Equipped with six different reverb programs, three Tweak parameters, an equalizer section, and several adjustable parameters, there’s little this reverb pedal is incapable of. You also get three slots for saving presets and a switch for quick recall.
The absence of a level knob makes things annoying at times. You may find yourself challenged by the Mix control, which causes a loss in output level that could otherwise be compensated through a volume/level control. Finally, some newbies may find getting acquainted with this pedal a time-consuming process.
11. Catalinbread Cloak Reverb and Shimmer
This eerie-looking pedal may give some of you the creeps but bear with us.
Taking inspiration from a paper written at Stanford University that covers what the ideal shimmer reverb should sound like, the Cloak Room Reverb pedal sounds amazing. If you want to be surrounded by an ocean of reverberations, this pedal is a must-have to create such expansive effects.
With no fancy switches to toggle through reverb types and variations, the quartet of controls on the Cloak Room Reverb keeps things relatively simple. Finally, having dimensions of 1.96″ by 2.36″ by 4.33″, the unit isn’t bulky by any means and will go nicely on your current pedal board.
- Room Size
The “Room Size” knob is what gets the Cloak Room Reverb on today’s list of reverb pedals. This knob controls the decay time or the stay of the reverb. A massively wide range of 250 milliseconds to 3 seconds can be set here. So in essence, by setting the decay time to a lower value you can get a feel of a small cramped room. As you move the knob to the right, you can even create wide concert hall-type acoustics.
Tasked with blending the dry and wet signal, the “Mix” knob is handy for any reverb unit. Moving to the far left eliminates the wet signal delivering 100% of the original sound. Conversely, the dry signal is eliminated, and you hear 100% of the wet signal. The best point to start is the 12 o’clock position. Experimentation is key of course.
You can throw in hauntingly beautiful harmonic overtones with the reverb by fiddling with the “Shimmer” control. You’ll notice how as many as three tiers of harmonics can be heard in the reverb trails when the knob is turned fully up. However, you can experience a richer room reverb in the counterclockwise direction.
- High Cut
The “High Cut” knob is handy as it tames the upper-tier harmonics in the signal when the shimmer knob is turned to the extreme right. Increase the High Cut to hear a lot of softness in the edges at higher shimmer values. You can also make your wet signal sound closed up or open and upfront using the High Cut control.
- Connections & Buffer Switch
The standard quarter-inch input can be found on the right panel, with the output jack on the left side. The pedal also has a 9V-18V power jack in the input section. Another feature hidden inside the pedal is the buffer switch, allowing you to toggle true bypass or buffered bypass modes. In true bypass, you’ll hear no coloration in your signal when the pedal is bypassed. However, in buffered bypass, the signal will go through a certain part of the internal circuitry which changes the tonal characteristics slightly.
The pedal sounds `beautiful in the Shimmer mode, especially when the High Cut knob is used to smoothen the highs. The wide range of decay time on offer opens doors to wonderful lingering trails that make chord playing an absolute joy. In addition, the Cloak Room Reverb is powered by a wide voltage range from 9V-18V.
This is undoubtedly an excellent pedal for Room, and Shimmer reverbs, as not many negative things can be said about it. Perhaps having an option of being battery-powered would be nice. Furthermore, granted that you won’t mess with the buffer switch once you’ve set it, making it easily accessible could be one suggestion for the next version.
12. Death by Audio Rooms
Built to last, this daunting-looking pedal is great for delivering some impressive stereo reverb tones.
With so much text and multiple controls of different shapes on the user interface, at first impression, the reverberator feels a bit intimidating. However, give it some time, and it’ll surely grow on you. Just hook up your guitar to this sweet-sounding pedal and let the good times roll.
Capable of creating multifaceted ambiances and otherworldly textures of reverb, the Rooms pedal will undoubtedly blow your mind. The unit exhibits a double footswitch design with dimensions of 5.9″ x 3.9″ x 3″. Unfortunately, you’ll need to rely on a power supply to power the pedal, as batteries cannot power it.
The mode knob opens doors to many different kinds of reverbs. The self-explanatory “Room” setting creates reflections/reverberations reminiscent of a furnished room or small-level studio. However, you can increase or decrease this value to generate larger acoustics found in concert halls.
- Digit & Peak
The “Digit” mode is about chopping the sound into pieces and looping them, delivering creative resonant tones. This setting works on the principle of filter matrix to create resonance and broken-down repeats. The “Peak” setting combines reverb with bandpass filtering to create uniquely ambient sounds.
- Gate & Wave
Combining noise gate technology with reverb, the “Gate” setting is engineered to deliver short reverbs or longer reverb trails that tend to freeze before fading away. The “Wave” setting is a bit of a mixed bag. It creates a mesmerizing blend of chorus, vibrato, and reverb.
The final mode is called “Gong” and is the most immersive of all the reverb effects. In this setting, you can create reverb sounds coming from galaxies far, far away. A trained ear can spot ring modulation merged with aliasing when an oscillator samples signals at varying speeds to create irregular waveforms.
- Freq & Depth
The “Freq” control creates frequency-based variations depending on which mode is selected. Secondly, the “Depth” controls the intensity of the reverb. The effect intensifies as the knob is turned to the right, whereas you’ll find a more subtle reverb effect on the other side.
- Time, Dry & Fx
The decay of the reverb effect can be set using the “Time” control. At lower settings, the reverb fades away quickly. However, when the knob is turned up, you’ll experience more spacious and roomy reverb trails. In addition, the “Dry” knob focuses on the original input signal and adds a gain of up to 20x. The “FX” works similarly but adds gain to the wet signal instead.
- ALT Mode
The Rooms Stereo Reverberator has a separate expression pedal input and offers a unique way in which it is managed. The right footswitch marked “ALT” activates the three mini knobs labeled “F,” “D,” and “T.” When in ALT mode, the Freq, Depth, and Time parameters are mapped to these smaller knobs, which will not shape the tone of the connected expression pedal. The left panel has an F/T switch by toggling which, you can set the effect the expression will manipulate, Frequency or Time.
- Inputs & Outputs
As highlighted in the name, this pedal has stereo functionality. On the top panel are four quarter-inch jacks. Two of these are stereo inputs while the other two are stereo outputs. The pedal also offers mono operation. Finally, apart from the expression input, the pedal has a 9V power input.
The powerful reverb engine inside can generate six different versions of reverb. How the expression pedal is handled is a game changer because you get additional parameters allocated to the external pedal. At the same time, the main controls are free for further manipulation. Furthermore, stereo inputs and outputs are always a great feature to have.
The user interface is full of clutter. You may inadvertently end up disturbing neighboring knobs when dialing a tone on the fly playing live. In addition, the unit is a bit on the louder side, so be sure to start at lower levels to avoid any damage.
Fender Hammertone Reverb
Pedals from the Hammertone series by Fender seem to have an instant recall and are easy to spot on most pedal boards.
The series includes pedals for effects like Overdrive, Metal, Delay, Distortion, Flanger, Fuzz, Chorus, Space Delay, and Reverb. The pedals look more or less similar and have a textured silver chassis measuring 2.2″ by 2.44″ by 4.24″.
Some of these pedals come in a three-knob layout, while others have four controls. The knob controls look great, with the famous Fender “F” logo on them. The reverb pedal offers several features including switches to toggle different effects and plenty of controls to get your sound just right.
- Type Switch
The absence of a fourth knob means you get a couple of toggle switches in its place. The “Type” switch on the reverb pedal is the most essential control. You can access all three reverb types here, including “Room,” “Hall,” and “Plate.” The Room setting offers a more subtle reverb effect, like a room where sound doesn’t travel too far. The reverb trails are limited. Like a concert hall, the Hall delivers a much larger ambiance with lingering reverb trails. The Plate setting is ideal for getting close to the reverb sound associated with vintage tape reverb units.
- Time & Level
With each of the selected reverb types, you can use the “Time” knob to set how long or short the reverb decay time is. When the knob is turned up, the time increases giving way to lingering trails. The “Level” control is simple but effective. Turn the level up to make the reverb effect sound louder cutting through with ease.
- Damp & Tone Switch
The “Damp” and “Tone” Switch are similar in function. With the Damp control, you can dial in or cut back on the shimmer effect in the reverb. When turned down, the Damp knob reduces the shimmer, giving way to a darker sound. As the knob is turned clockwise, the shimmer increases. The “Tone” switch is easy to operate. In the up position, the pedal operates in normal mode. When toggled, the treble frequencies are cut, and the tone darkens.
All the connection jacks are top-mounted on this Fender unit. To the right is the quarter-inch input jack, and next to it is a similar-sized quarter-inch output port. The center of the pedal is where the 9V input port is placed. The standard footswitch can be used to turn the pedal on or off.
The great thing about the Hammertone reverb is its affordable price. Combine that with the three different reverb types and the ability to make tonal changes, and you have a pedal that offers great value for money. Also, the pedal isn’t too big, so it’ll fit nicely on your pedalboard.
There are only three types of reverbs on the Hammertone pedal from Fender. Although all the basics are covered, some may want more fancy reverb options than the standard/common ones. However, looking at the price tag, this Fender unit does exceptionally well.
The cornerstone of any guitar setup has to be a decent ambient section. This is where reverb pedals come in. With an abundance of reverb types out there, it’s exciting to see each brand’s interpretation of a distinct, feature-laden reverb pedal.
A good place to start if you don’t want to face too many complications is the Keeley Omni Reverb, which offers few controls and basic reverb types. The T-Rex Creamer also has a similar approach in this regard. If you crave wild out-worldly shimmer effects, the Catalinbread Cloak Room Reverb does an exceptional job.
More often than not, you’re more than likely to see Boss and Behringer get represented on every post. They both have a similar strategy. So much so that some of their pedals are laid out almost identically. The Behringer DR5600 and Boss RV-6 are great examples of this. In such cases, more often than not, it comes down to the price. The Behringer unit is almost 1/4th the price.
The Fender Marine Layer and Hammertone Reverb are both decent in their own right. The smaller Hammertone offering doesn’t take much space, costs much less, and gives limited options. The Marine Layer is much more capable.
We then enter into the realm of insane reverb units that possess multi-functional mode knobs that offer all kinds of reverb effects, such as Plate, Spring, Room, Hall, Lo-Fi, Shimmer, and much more. These include the Walrus Audio R1, MXR M300, Strymon Bluesky, Death by Audio Rooms, and Hall of Fame 2 by Tc Electronic.
Or you could just get a deceivingly compact multi-effects pedal called the Zoom MS-70CDR, toss your whole pedalboard out the window and call it a day.
Sultan Zafar is a guitar player from Islamabad, Pakistan. He has been playing music with various mainstream musicians for over 20 years. He is a song writer and music producer. These days he spends his time exploring different music genres and collaborating with fellow musicians on various projects. Read more..