While reverb aficionados will happily wax poetic about, say, their favorite plate or spring verbs, in general it’s not an effect that is regarded as exceedingly exciting or enticing. Rather, reverb tends to be thought of as, well, an afterthought.
But dig just a little below the surface and it quickly becomes apparent that there’s an endless array of sounds to be conjured and explored, from cavernous reverberations to shimmery soundscapes to mind-warping, unearthly echoes. As with other effects, today’s pedals will take you as far out as you dare to go—or, if you so desire, deliver a solid, unfussy reverb on a budget.
With that said, Guitar World is here to offer a list of 10 of the best reverb pedals currently available on the market. Prepare to enter the world of 'verb.
The Best Reverb Pedals You Can Buy Today
1. Boss RV-500
Boss’ most powerful reverb processor (plus delay) to date
Price: $349 | Controls: Mode, Time/Value, Pre-Delay, E. Level, Low, High, Bank Up/Down, Tap | Sockets: Stereo In/Out, Exp pedal in, USB, MIDI In/Out | Bypass: Selectable buffered or true bypass | Power requirements: 225mA 9V DC
Boss’ RV-500 is a large-format powerhouse, with 32-bit AD/DA, 32-bit floating point processing and 96 kHz sampling rate. The jam-packed unit boasts three footswitches, digital delay options and 12 modes with 21 unique reverb types—all with a wide range of adjustable parameters, from decay, density and modulation to EQ, ducking and more. For good measure, there’s also Roland classics like the SRV-2000 Reverb and RE-201 Space Echo.
Additionally, the RV-500 features an A/B Simul mode, making it possible to use two reverb patches at once, close to 300 onboard patch memories, selectable buffered-bypass or true-bypass operation and the capability to interface with MIDI control devices. A seemingly endless array of options and combinations, all in Boss’ most powerful and versatile reverb processor to date.
2. Electro-Harmonix Oceans 11 Reverb
Small device houses big sound and versatility
Price: $147 | Controls: FX level, time, type, tone, mode switch | Sockets: 1/4” input, 1/4” output, 1/4” infinite pedal in | Bypass: Buffered bypass | Power requirements: 150mA 9V DC
The lower left rotary switch knob on the Oceans 11’s front panel gives the strongest indication of the complexity lurking within this diminutive device. Here, users will find 11 different settings that consist of hall, spring, plate, reverse, echo, tremolo, modulated, dynamic, auto-infinite, shimmer and polyphonic effects. Several of these effects—tremolo, modulated and dynamic—have three different sets of parameters that can be selected with the mode switch. The mode switch also selects tap tempo divisions for the echo setting and engages either interval or mix edit parameters for the Poly setting. Other controls include an FX level, time (decay) and tone knobs, with the latter two also providing a secondary set of parameters that are accessible by holding down the mode button for about one second.
The sound quality of all of the effects is stellar, boasting smooth tails and pro studio-quality noise-free performance. The spring reverb setting is based on a 1962 Fender 6G15 reverb unit and delivers some of the best spring reverb effects you’ll ever hear. Echo combines delay and reverb, while tremolo applies a tremolo effect to both wet and dry hall reverb. Shimmer is an ethereal, octave-up reverb effect with a long, sustaining tail that produces a synth-like texture, and the polyphonic reverb applies two programmable pitch-shifts to the reverb tail to also generate complex, synth-like sounds. How complex are these effects? Let’s just say that they will even tide over the most discriminating reverb aficionados.
Whether you want outstanding versions of bread and butter reverb effects, complex and unusual special effects or a combination of both, the Electro-Harmonix Oceans 11 Reverb is a worthy and highly affordable contender for any pedalboard, large or small.
3. MXR M300 Reverb
Smart and straightforward entry from the storied effects company
Price: $199 | Controls: Decay, Mix, Tone | Sockets: 1/4" TRS in (instrument), 1/4" in (expression pedal), 1/4” TRS out (stereo via splitter cable) | Bypass: True bypass | Power requirements: 240mA 9V DC
It took MXR awhile to come out with a reverb pedal, but it was worth the wait. The M300 is a compact, low-noise unit constructed with the usual MXR attention to detail. The simple layout features just three knobs—Decay, Mix and Tone—with the last of those also employed to cycle through the pedal’s six verbs: Plate, Spring, Epic, Mod, Room and Pad.
There’s also a hi-fi analog dry path with 20 volts of headroom and an Exp jack that makes it possible to connect an expression pedal and blend between two different setting configurations. A trails bypass mode—a particularly cool feature—allows the reverb effect to fade out when you switch the pedal off, instead of cutting off the effect abruptly. Smart, straightforward and great-sounding, the M300 is an absolute winner.
4. Eventide Space
Explore the outer limits of 'verb with this high-quality, high-functioning pedal
Price: $499 | Controls: Mix, Decay, Size, Delay, Low, High, Preset, Xnob, Ynob, FxMix, Contour, Bank up/down, Tap | Sockets: Stereo in/out, Exp pedal, Aux, In Lvl: Guitar/line, Out Lvl: Amp/line, USB, MIDI In/Out | Bypass: True analog bypass | Power requirements: 500mA 9V DC
Eventide’s Space boasts a wide variety of spatial effects, including basic reverbs, delays and unique combination effects, with 12 of the company’s studio-level reverb combo algorithms—Room, Plate, Spring, Hall, Reverse, Shimmer, ModEchoVerb, DualVerb, Blackhole, MangledVerb, TremoloVerb and DynaVerb—on board.
There’s also more than 100 factory presets, guitar and line-level in/out, MIDI control via USB or MIDI in, real-time control with 10 knobs, MIDI or an expression pedal, tap tempo and MIDI clock sync, mono and stereo operation and much, much more. And while Space doesn’t come cheap relative to other pedals, the unit can readily do the job of more pricey rackmount processors, making it an incredibly useful stage and studio tool.
5. Fender Marine Layer Reverb
The legendary brand offers up a solid entry in the 'verb market
Price: $149.99 | Controls: Level, Damping, Reverb Time, Pre-Delay, Type, Variation, Filter | Sockets: 1/4” in/out, 9V DC in | Bypass: Buffered bypass | Power requirements: 115mA 9V DC
Like all of Fender’s new pedals, the Marine Layer boasts a cool magnetic battery access compartment at the front of the pedal, as well as LEDs that illuminate the knob settings and can be turned on or off with the flick of a switch on the rear panel. The Marine Layer Reverb also adds in a Dry Kill on/off switch. Setting this function “on” sends only the “wet” signal to the pedal’s output, which is ideal for a parallel loop setup where a dry signal always comes through the amp and the wet, processed signal is blended in separately for maximum clarity.
Other features include hall, room and special reverb type settings that also each feature two variations, a filter on/off switch and pre-delay, reverb time, damping and level controls. The hall and room reverbs are exceptional, with smooth tails and realistic ambience, while the “special” effects—which include an octave reverb layer and modulated reverb—also provide creative sustenance for those who prefer something a little different—and without spending several hundred dollars to do so.
6. Strymon BigSky
Feature-packed pedal with phenomenal tones and options
Price: $479 | Controls: Value, Decay, Pre-Delay, Mix, Tone, Param 1, Param 2, Mod, Type, Bank Up/Down, Tap | Sockets: Stereo In/Out, Exp pedal in, MIDI in/out | Bypass: True bypass | Power requirements: 300mA 9V DC
One of Strymon’s “large-format” pedals, the BigSky provides 12 different reverb effects that encompass standard reverbs and special effects like swell, bloom, cloud, chorale, shimmer, magneto, nonlinear and reflections. Seven control knobs on the front panel allow users to instantly adjust parameters like decay, predelay, mix, tone, parameter 1, parameter 2 and modulation, while new settings can be saved in any of 300 preset memory locations. Presets are accessible in separate banks of three presets (A, B and C), which are accessible via the pedal’s three footswitches and/or the rotary value control knob. The large LED displays preset info, including its number and a programmable name. The LEDs surrounding the rotary reverb-type control change color from green to amber to let users know when a preset has been modified.
What’s more, the quality of the BigSky’s reverb sounds is simply phenomenal and actually much better than many famous digital reverb rack units from the past three decades. The reverb tails are incredibly smooth, and the special effects rank right up there with those usually found on studio gear costing well over $2,000. Playing through the Big Sky instantly provides that elusive professional sheen both onstage and in the studio.
7. Neunaber Immerse Reverberator MKII
Top-notch effects selection and sound quality
Price: $249 | Controls: Effect select, mix, depth, time/tone, pre-dly/mod/blend, kill dry switch, trails switch | Sockets: 2 x 1/4” input, 2 x 1/4” output | Bypass: Buffered bypass | Power requirements: 80mA 9-12V DC
Unlike most studio reverb units that require advanced degrees in physics and audio engineering to program and operate, the Neunaber Immerse Reverberator MKII has a simple “plug and play” design that delivers the goods with minimal effort. A rotary switch located dead center amongst the front panel controls provides eight distinct reverb effects: W3T (wet version 3), Plate, Hall, Spring, Sustain, Echo (reverb + delay), Detune and Shimmer. The other controls consist of mix, reverb depth and two other knobs that adjust different parameters (tone/echo time/hold time and pre-delay/modulation/blend) depending on which effect is selected.
More importantly, the Immerse Reverberator MKII sounds extremely expressive and musical. The Plate, Hall and Spring reverbs are exactly that, each with the distinct character that defines those effects. The modulation of the Hall, Spring and Sustain effects is seductively rich, and the Detune effect generates lush chorused reverb with crystalline clarity. An impressive selection of effects with the sound quality of the finest pro-audio digital reverb units, in a compact format that’s both pedalboard and guitarist friendly.
8. TC Electronic Hall of Fame Mini
One-knob 'verb offers plenty of options
Price: $99.99 | Controls: Reverb | Sockets: 1/4” input, 1/4” output, USB | Bypass: True bypass | Power requirements: 100mA 9V DC
TC Electronic's Hall of Fame Mini is an extremely streamlined box, petite in size and boasting a simple one-knob design that comes preloaded with the company’s hall reverb. Through the use of TC Electronic’s TonePrint smartphone app though, any of the full-sized Hall of Fame settings and artist-programmed TonePrints—covering Spring, Hall, Room, Plate, Cathedral and more styles—can be beamed into the pedal.
Furthermore, with the free TonePrint Editor software, you can connect the stompbox to your computer and create your own TonePrints by adjusting a wealth of hidden parameters, and even assign which parameter the pedal's single knob controls. Though it looks small from the outside, there’s a wealth of 'verb options to be found in the Hall of Fame Mini, making it possible to send your sound into the furthest reaches of space—all while saving lots of it on your pedalboard.
9. Keeley Electronics Verb o Trem
Combined reverb and tremolo unit offered in compact and workstation designs
Price: $149 (compact); $299 (workstation) | Controls: Rate, Reverb, Depth, Level, three-way toggle (compact); Reverb Select, 2 x Level, Decay, Rate, Depth, Mod Select 1, Effect Blend, 2 x Morph, Reverb, Tap, Mod (workstation) | Sockets: 1/4” input, 1/4” output, 9V DC in (compact); 1/4” input, 2 x 1/4” outputs, 1/4" expression, 1/4" tap tempo, 9V DC in (workstation) | Bypass: True bypass | Power requirements: 65mA 9V DC (compact); 170mA 9V DC (workstation)
Designed in conjunction with session man Eddie Heinzelman, the Verb o Trem packs in eight different reverbs and eight different tremolo modes. The unit is available in pedal and larger workstation forms. The more compact pedal design features three variations: vintage-style reverb and tremolo, Mack (tube amp, pitch vibrato and spring reverb) and Harm (harmonic tremolo and spring reverb), while the Workstation boasts eight reverbs (two-spring, three-spring, plate, hall, chamber, room, fugue and slapback) and eight different modulations (sine wave, square wave, harmonic, dynamic harmonic, pitch vibrato, ramp trem, ‘Les’ rotary speaker and u-vibe).
There’s also built-in tap tempo, plus input for external tap tempo and expression pedal input, plus separate footswitches for reverb and tremolo effects. Additionally, both pedals feature separate engines for each effect, reverb and modulation.
10. EarthQuaker Devices Afterneath
'Verb like you’ve never heard
Price: $229 | Controls: Length, Diffuse, Dampen, Drag, Reflect, Mix | Sockets: 1/4” input, 1/4” output | Bypass: True bypass | Power requirements: 74mA 9V DC
The Afterneath is a novel stomp box that combines bottomless pits of reverb with self-oscillating warp-driven delays, which in turn create spatial soundscapes unlike anything you’ve ever heard. The length, diffuse and reflect knobs independently govern the digital reverb parameters, while drag hastens or slows its multiple pinging delays, and dampen and mix act like tone and wet/dry mix controls respectively. Six knobs may seem like overkill for a reverb, but the way the controls interact allows for sweeping aural pandemonium that’s fantastic for creating background ambience, static white noise or atmospheric layering.
It should be noted that it’s difficult to coax traditional reverb sounds from the Afterneath—even with the drag (short delays) and reflect (reverb regeneration) knobs fully counterclockwise, the pedal quickly begins to regenerate, with notes bubbling up to the surface and launching into a perpetual swirl. But the Afterneath is a captivating special effects pedal that pumps out cavernous reverbs and shimmering short delays for total orchestral-sounding ambience.