Sep 22, 2018

In the recent past our blog covered in depth the best reverb pedals available on the market, organizing them in several categories: Best Spring Reverbs, Best Multi-Mode Reverbs, Best Ambient “Experimental” Reverbs.

However, some of the best reverb stompboxes out there are not “pure” reverb circuits, but feature other effects that are often used with it – without necessarily being a “do-it-all” reverb workstation like the Strymon Big Sky.

For example, when you think of vintage ambience, it’s impossible not to conjure up thoughts of spring reverb combined with tremolo, vibrato or fuzz, and some guitar pedals specialize in recreating those sounds.

If you lust for those classic modulated and dirt-encrusted reverb tones, or are looking for something more edgy than a clean reverb, the lists below should satisfy. Here you’ll find reverb mixed with tremolo and other forms of low-frequency modulation, and with old-school fuzz, distortion and EQ filtering that lets you emphasize bass or treble frequencies. While many of the entries here feature both classic and modern styles of reverb, a few are satisfyingly spartan, allowing you to conjure up vintage ambience by turning just a few knobs.

As always, a click on the pedal’s thumbnail will open a video.

Reverb Pedals with Tremolo
This combo is too classic to be called “hybrid,” so we created a dedicated page for it here.

Reverb Pedals with Modulation

Reverb in tandem with vibrato remains a popular way to emulate the classic late-’60s and early’70s sounds of swirling Leslie rotary speaker tones. In delay pedals, modulation is often used to mimic the irregularities of the old tape echos, but can add a pleasant character to reverb as well. The pedals in this list marry these two effects.

EarthQuaker Transmisser
The Transmisser is a modulated reverb with an extra-long decay fed to a highly resonant filter. It does not do subtle, but it you’re looking for warm modulated reverb, look here. There are controls for Decay, Darkness (tone of the reverberated signal), Freq (frequency of the resonant filter), Rate (modulation speed) and Mix (blend). The key here is the Warp control, a slew control that makes the filter deeper and more resonant, the decay longer and the modulation wider as you turn it up. An Expression input lets you ride the Warp with your foot.

Old Blood Noise Endeavours Procession
A haunting and creative reverb featuring three modulation settings: Flange, Filter and Tremolo). Hold switch is a momentary footswitch that when pressed, will lock in whatever note is being played through the reverb effect. The Mix and Reverb knobs control the mix of dry/wet signal and the decay of the reverb, respectively, while Speed and Depth control the modulation.

Keeley Electronics Vibe-O-Verb
Featuring a four-knob interface with controls for Depth, Rate, Blend and Decay, the Vibe-O-Verb combines reverb with modulation to let you summon uncommonly deep sounds that are fresh,  yet recall the vintage tones of yesteryear. The pedal offers three modes: Harmonic, Vibrato and Phaser reverb. Harmonic is like a vintage Fender brownface amp, delivering choppy waves of reverb-drenched tremolo. The Vibrato mode creates everything from mild chorus to spacey bayou tones, making it perfect for modern psychedelic rock, while the Phaser modulated reverb gives the illusion of the reflecting wall morphing from carpet to wood, then to steel and then glass and back again. The Vibe-O-Verb is a wild way to put a new spin on vintage tones.

Mr. Black SuperMoon
With a reverb tail lasting from 300ms to more than 30 seconds, SuperMoon has a perpetually deep ambience. The pedal evokes the sense that your sound is drifting through the galaxy as millions of microscopic echoes that converge into a fluid dark matter, whose trajectory is then warped by the gravity of orbiting planets. Controls consist of Reverb (mix), Sway (modulation) and Decay (length of reverb tail), making it easy to dial in exactly what you need in seconds.

Hungry Robot The Starlite
Features an atmospheric, present reverb with self-oscillation capabilities and thick, pulsating modulation whose speed can be set via Tap Tempo. V2 incorporates a fully redesigned LFO section with smoother modulation and quieter operation as well as the addition of a ramp-up/ramp-down knob.

MOOER Modverb
An affordable mini-pedal that offers Flanger, Vibrato or Phaser with a clean digital reverb. Tap tempo button allows to quickly dial in the modulation speed. Holding down the footswitch activates frozen mode causing sustained feedback.

Adventure Audio Whateverb V2
The Whateverb provides three usable and unique reverb options. It has modes for This (chorus/flange reverb with depth and rate controls for the modulation), That (room hall reverb with high- and low-pass filtering) and Otherb (shimmer reverb with dissonance and volume controls). There is a dedicated Decay control and two controls that change function according to the mode selected. In addition, the two LEDs are actually controls that govern the amount of Warp and Blend. If the Whateverb tickles your fancy, move on it fast: Adventure Audio has no plans to continue making it after the company runs out of enclosures.

If your budget allows it, you may also want to look at this list of Multi-Mode Reverb Pedals – many of them also feature a Modulation setting.

Reverb Pedals with Distortion or Fuzz

Psychedelic groups and garage rockers used reverb with fuzz and distortion pedals to create their spaced-out guitar tones, here’s a selection of pedals that combine these effects in one box.

Death by Audio Reverberation Machine
Death by Audio refers to its Reverberation Machine as “a synthetic atmosphere creator.” Its minimal knob set makes it possible to quickly change the character of the reverb to simulate different environments as well as add a degree of dirty gloom or pristine shimmer. The pedal has controls for Volume, Altitude (denoted by a triangle symbol) and Verb, as well as a Dark/Light switch. Altitude is similar to gain and can be used to create a more wide-open and distorted sound. Verb controls the reverb level, and the Dark/Light switch can take the ambience from cavernous to brightly shimmering in an instant.

Keeley Electronics Loomer
The Loomer is a wall of fuzz drenched in a wash of reverb. It has modes for Focus, Hall and Reverse reverb and Flat, Full or Scoop fuzz. The Hall setting adds octave regeneration in a feedback loop for “ascension shimmer” effects, while the Reverse mode works with the Decay control to create rhythmic reverse reverb. Soft Focus features a dense reverb with two parallel delays. The Tone control is loosely based on the Fender Jazzmaster rhythm tone control with a low-pass filter centered at 156.6Hz. Controls for Warmth, Depth (modulation), Filter (cut-off frequency) and Fuzz give you everything you need to sculpt a vast range of fuzz reverb tones.

Caroline Guitar Company Météore
The Météore (pronounced may-tay-or) is inspired by Line 14 of the Paris Métro and its sleek platforms of glass, steel and tile that add all kinds of cool sonic artifacts to the space. It features controls for (counterclockwise from upper left) Level (Mix), Attack, Size and Regen. Attack sets the amount of gain in the preamp, allowing you to overdrive the reverb, Size establishes the initial reverberation, and Regen extends decay and adds overtones. There is also a Dark/Bright switch to set the pedal’s voice, a Bypass footswitch (left) and a Havok footswitch (right) that can create extended or abrupt decays and gradual runaways, depending on the Size setting.

Rainger FX Reverb X
Subverting pedal routing commonplace, the Reverb X places an overdrive and a gate AFTER a reverb, rather than before. Both effects only affect the reverb sound, not the clean signal. The results are very intriguing, in particular when operated with the Igor expression controller to momentarily trigger the gate open. There are two reverb modes (bright and dark).

Noisemaker Industries Loveless
With its name and graphics obviously inspired to the legendary My Bloody Valentine second studio album, the Loveless is an explicit homage to the shoegazer genre. It consists of a fuzz fed into a washy reverb/delay, and a mix knob to balance the amount of the latter. If  your goal is to create an otherworldly wall of fuzz, look no further.

Electronic Audio Experiments Beholder
A pedal for sonic explorers, the Beholder features a mostly wet reverb circuit going into a dark, high-gain fuzz circuit, with the Dwell knob driving the input of the reverb circuit and a filter taming the highs as needed. A Feedback knob routes the reverb back into itself to increase sustain or achieve self-oscillation. The Drone footswitch increases the feedback loop gain for greater sustain or chaotic noise. Internal trimpots let you adjust the wet/dry ratio and the Drone footswitch ramp value.

We created a separate page for Reverb Pedals with Tremolo.

by Christopher Scapelliti

Did we forget something? Use the comment section below to suggest pedal additions for these categories!