A Guide to the Best Reverb Pedals Organized By Type
Reverb pedals never seem to go out of fashion, maybe because reverb is something that’s part of our daily lives and each one of us can relate to it. We can experience the pleasant sonic properties of reverb in any enclosed spaces (often without even realizing) and this effect was used for music centuries before the advent of the electric guitars: any sparsely furnished, more or less rectangular room is a reverb-generating environment, and larger spaces like temples or theaters can produce particularly lush and gorgeous results.
Humans started emulating this natural phenomenon in the 1930s with spring and plate reverb tanks, and, since then, the technology has progressed immensely in its attempt of recreating it, with guitar pedal manufacturers playing a major role in it.
Find the Best Reverb Pedals for Your Needs
As you probably realized, there are several reverb stompboxes on the market for different budgets and needs, but also for different “brains” – yes because different guitarists appreciate different features, independently from their needs.
The goal of this article is to help each one of our readers find the category of reverb pedal that’s best for them. We’ll highlight the three most popular pedals in each category and then link to a more in-depth article featuring dozens of other similar pedals in that category.
So, what kind of reverb do you need? Here are your options, click on the one that answers this question for you and you’ll jump to our recommended pedals.
• A Classic Reverb That is Easy To Use
(3 Spring Reverb categories: digital; real springs; affordable)
• A Flexible Do-It-All Pedal offering Many Flavors of Reverb
(7 categories: deep functionality; compact/streamlined; fewer modes; dirty cheap)
• An “Out There” Experimental/Psychedelic Reverb
(3 Categories: ambient/shoegazer; reverb/delay combos; reverb/distortion combos)
• A Lush Hybrid Reverb with Modulation
(2 categories: reverb/modulation combo; reverb/tremolo combos)
The lists in this article are based on the ratings of each pedal from various online music stores
Best Reverb Pedals that are Classic and Easy To Use (Spring Reverb)
A slight amount of reverb makes your guitar sound beautiful, adding a sense of space to your parts. Here’s a quick example of an electric guitar played with and without traditional reverb. By “traditional” here we mean spring reverb, which is the kind of reverb-emulating circuit that was installed in guitar amps in the ’60s and that started the whole reverb-mania. Spring reverb is universally accepted as the “classic” type of reverb for electric guitar.
Spring reverb pedals normally feature a warm sound, very few knobs, and are divided in large analog stompboxes with real springs and more compact digital ones with circuits that emulate springs.
Genres Spring Reverb is good for:
Almost anything traditional: Blues, Country, Alt Rock, Folk, Rock’n’Roll, but mostly… Surf!
These are the best reverb pedals you can buy in the spring niche, we organized them in 3 categories:
A. BEST SPRING PEDALS (Digital)
These are digital pedals that recreate the original sound of spring reverb devices found in old guitar amps.
- J. Rockett BOING – $149 – [Buy new here – Look for used deals here]
- Wampler Mini-Faux Spring Reverb – $149 – [Buy new here – Look for used deals here]
- Catalinbread Topanga Spring Reverb – $210 – [Buy new here – Look for used deals here]
B. 3 BEST REAL SPRING PEDALS (Analog = Real Springs Inside)
The pedals in this list are analog and contain real spring inside, just like the original amp unit. This is why they all have a rather large footprint.
- Danelectro Spring King – $117 – [Buy new here – Look for used deals here]
- Spaceman Effects Orion – $399-469 – [Look for used deals here]
- Crazy Circuits White Whale – $369 – [Support our site, buy it here]
C. 3 BEST SPRING REVERB PEDALS UNDER $100 (Digital)
These are also digital, but for the guitarist on a tight budget!
- Tone City Tiny Spring – $55 – [Buy new here – Look for used deals here]
- Mosky Mini Spring Reverb – $35 – [Buy new here – Look for used deals here]
- TC Electronic Drip Spring – $65 – [Support our site, buy it here]
Best Reverb Pedals for the Do-It-All Guitarist (Multi-Mode)
Spring reverb is not the only kind of reverb that can be used on a guitar. Other common types of reverb include Plate, Room, Hall, and Chamber, but a lot more variations are possible with a little creativity, like Reverse and Gated reverbs.
Because of this, some more comprehensive pedals offer guitar players more than one mode to choose from. They are normally referred to as “Multi-Mode” reverbs (or Multiverbs), but some are more multi than others…
Genres Multi-Mode Reverbs are good for:
Lots of genres, depending on the modes offered.
A. 3 BEST MULTI-MODE REVERB PEDAL WORKSTATIONS (lots of modes, deep tweakability)
These studio-grade pedals are highly recommended for the guitarists who have the patience to explore various settings and kind of reverbs. They are extremely powerful, great-sounding digital machines, but require some dedication to learn how to unleash their potential.
- Strymon BigSky – $479 – [Buy new here – Look for used deals here]
- Electro-Harmonix Cathedral – $222 – [Buy new here – Look for used deals here]
- Source Audio Ventris – $397 – [Buy new here – Look for used deals here]
B. 3 BEST MULTI-MODE COMPACT REVERB PEDALS (lots of modes, limited tweakability)
In this list, do-it-all pedals that are more compact, easier to navigate, more streamlined in features, and therefore also a lot more affordable than their bigger brothers above.
- BOSS RV-6 – $149 – [Buy new here – Look for used deals here]
- TC Electronic Hall of Fame 2 – $139 – [Buy new here – Look for used deals here]
- Electro-Harmonix Oceans 11 – $199 – [Buy new here – Look for used deals here]
C. 3 BEST MULTI-MODE COMPACT REVERB PEDALS (3-4 modes only)
Not as all-encompassing as the two previous categories in this section, these pedals offer a few reverb modes but quality ambiance.
- Electro-Harmonix Holy Grail Neo – $126 – [Buy new here – Look for used deals here]
- Walrus Audio Fathom – $199 – [Buy new here – Look for used deals here]
- Chase Bliss Dark World – $349 – [Buy new here – Look for used deals here]
D. 3 BEST DIRTY CHEAP MULTI-MODE COMPACT REVERBS (under $100)
Yes you can find some incredibly affordable multi-mode reverb pedals – the DigiTech Polara, in particular, is an incredible deal by a reputable builder.
- DigiTech Polara – $89 – [Buy new here – Look for used deals here]
- Joyo R-14 Atmosphere – $89 – [Buy new here – Look for used deals here]
- Donner Verb Square – $45 – [Buy new here – Look for used deals here]
Best Reverb Pedals for the Experimental/Psychedelic Guitarist
In the 1960s, reverb, together with delay, became the central effect of the psychedelic rock movement (early Pink Floyd is a testament to that). In its various reincarnations (like Shoegaze, Dream Pop and Avant-Indie) psychedelic music has been the most important driver of sonic experimentation in popular music, quietly propelling a race for reverb (and delay) pedals with “out there” sonic features. This list includes this kind of devices targeting guitarists with experimental and psychedelic leanings.
Genres Experimental Reverbs are good for:
Shoegazer, Ambient, Psychedelic Rock/Pop, Avant-Indie, Experimental.
A. 3 BEST SHOEGAZER REVERB PEDALS (clean)
In this list we included clean reverb pedals that are perfect for the shoegazer genre or other musical genres with big sonic soundscapes.
- EarthQuaker Devices Afterneath V2 – $229 – [Buy new here – Look for used deals here]
- Flux Liquid Ambience – $299-349 – [Support our site, buy it here]
- Walrus Audio Slö – $199 – [Buy new here – Look for used deals here]
B. 3 BEST REVERB+DELAY COMBO PEDALS
These pedals offer both Reverb and Delay IN ONE BOX, a classic combination in all music influenced by psychedelic and ambient.
- Keeley Caverns V2 – $179 – [Buy new here – Look for used deals here]
- EarthQuaker Devices Avalanche Run – $299 – [Buy new here – Look for used deals here]
- Wampler Ethereal – $199 – [Buy new here – Look for used deals here]
C. 3 BEST REVERB PEDALS WITH FUZZ OR DISTORTION
Reverb combined with any kind of distortion can create a variety of tones with the potential to intrigue guitarists with experimental tendencies.
This combo is particularly loved by psychedelic, shoegazer and noise-rock guitarists.
- Caroline Météore – $199 – [Buy new here – Look for used deals here]
- Death by Audio Reverberation Machine – $225 – [Buy new here – Look for used deals here]
- Keeley Loomer – $299 – [Support our site, buy it here]
Best Reverb Pedals with Modulation
A more recent trend in the pedal world is the one of pedal offering creative reverb devices with modulation, an effect that can add a feeling of lush, vintage warmth, or – at extreme settings – wildly alienating and detuned textures.
A. 3 BEST REVERB PEDALS WITH MODULATION
Ambient, Dream Pop, Mellow Pop, Synthpop.
- Old Blood Noise Procession – $199 – [Buy new here – Look for used deals here]
- Mr. Black Supermoon – $179 – [Buy it new or used here]
- EarthQuaker Devices Transmisser – $229 – [Buy new here – Look for used deals here]
B. 3 BEST REVERB PEDALS WITH TREMOLO
Reverb and Tremolo is a classic effect pairing for electric guitar. This combo was launched – once again – by amp manufacturers in the ’50s and ’60s (Vox AC15/AC30 and Fender Deluxe) and has, therefore, gained classic status. Here are some examples (with advice) about how this combination sounds.
Almost anything traditional: Blues, Country, Alt Rock, Folk, Rock’n’Roll, but mostly… Surf!
- Strymon Flint – $299 – [Buy new here – Look for used deals here]
- Fender Tre-Verb – $269 – [Buy new here – Look for used deals here]
- Mr. Black DeluxePlus – $180 – [Support our site, buy it here]
Here are a few videos that can help you understand the differences between the various reverb pedal offerings.
• Choosing the right Reverb Pedal (Reverb.com)
• 8 Tips, How to choose the Best Reverb Pedal (for you!) (Chords of Orion)