From the most faithful spring amp 'verbs to otherworldly pitch-shifted shimmers, the choice of reverb pedals available today is appropriately vast.
The effects we've singled out here each excel within their respective sonic fields: some cover all the bases, from small rooms to impossibly cavernous spaces, while others focus on capturing one sound with utmost authenticity.
Rest assured, all will flatter your guitar, and take your tone to whole new dimensions…
1. Strymon BigSky
The best reverb stompbox for those who want the highest quality tones
Price: $479/£409 | 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
The BigSky has fast become the weapon of choice for many pro players and, should stump up the considerable funds, you'll fast find out why. It's flexibility is astounding and considering the borderline academic nature of Strymon's research, you'd be disappointed if the BigSky sounded anything less than extraordinary. All that homework paid off: the 12 reverb machines are as natural or fantastical as you want. The atmospheric settings have made it a favourite among the post-rock crowd, but this is a pedal that is capable of endless adaptation – and convincing with it, too. The functionality is staggering, but it's the sounds that make your jaw drop and your playing soar - and it's that which could end up justifying the lofty asking price.
Read the full review: Strymon BigSky
2. TC Electronic Hall Of Fame 2
The infinitely versatile compact reverb pedal
Price: $149/£94 | Controls: Decay, level, tone, type | Sockets: Stereo input and output, USB | Bypass: True bypass (switchable to buffered) | Power requirements: 100mA 9V DC
The original Hall Of Fame adopted a kitchen-sink approach with multiple options and the addition of TonePrint (which enables you to download user-made profiles for other reverbs) for even greater functionality and flexibility. The Hall Of Fame 2 picks up where it left off, bringing a new shimmer octave reverb mode to the table and adding a ‘MASH’ footswitch that functions somewhat like an expression pedal. What remains are the quality of reverb sounds, which are simply fantastic and cover all the bases you could wish for.
Read the full review: TC Electronic Hall Of Fame 2
3. Boss RV-500
Take care of your reverb and delay needs with one stompbox
Price: $349/£293 | 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: Buffered Bypass or True Bypass | Power requirements: 225mA 9V DC
The RV-500 can be thought of as Boss' take on a BigSky-like one-stop reverb toolbox. With three footswitches, 12 reverb modes and digital delay options, not to mention a massive range of editable parameters, you won't run out of tonal options any time soon. We get the classy reverbs of all varieties that Boss/Roland is capable of but they have also thrown in a Space Echo multi-head tape delay emulation for extra flexibility and an alternative to the delays with the reverbs. There’s plenty to be explored in this immensely practical pedal that brings reverb and delay together. With all that memory and the various footswitching options it’s the perfect tool if you need different ambiences for different songs.
Read the full review: Boss RV-500
4. Electro-Harmonix Oceans 11 Reverb
One of the best and most versatile compact reverb pedals
Price: $147/£120 | Controls: FX level, time, type, tone, mode switch | Sockets: In, out, infinite pedal in | Bypass: Buffered | Power requirements: 9V 150mA
Given the price, you might not expect much of the Oceans 11, but don’t underestimate it. There’s a plethora of settings, from mod and shimmer, to the wild polyphonic octave, but also a rogue’s gallery of standard options like echo, plate, spring, hall and reverse. While reverse has been out-of-vogue on compact pedals, the demand from shoegazers has remained, and the 11 is likely to be hit based on this mode alone. It’s a brilliant effect, whether you’re playing psychedelic music or just looking to throw in a wacky solo. The core hall and plate sounds are excellent, too, so it’s not just a one-trick pony.
Read the full review: Electro-Harmonix Oceans 11 Reverb
5. Eventide Space
The ultimate stage and studio reverb pedal
Price: $499/£445 | 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: DSP Bypass, Relay Bypass or DSP+FX Bypass | Power requirements: 500mA 9V DC
What you get with Space is 12 effects from the Eventide H8000FW and Eclipse V4 rackmount processors. Some of them are pure reverb, but others are combinations where it's paired with delays, pitch-shifting, tremolo, modulation and spatial effects. If you want a stompbox for reverb and other ambient effects, Space is the most comprehensive around and if you have a home studio, you'll get tons more out of this in stereo. The price may be high, but rather than compare the Space to other stompboxes, think instead of how much a rackmount reverb processor or the best quality plug-ins cost, and suddenly it doesn't seem that bad a deal, especially when Space sounds so good.
Read the full review: Eventide Space
6. Meris Mercury 7
Ambient highly adjustable reverb from a Strymon founder
Price: $299/£319 | Controls: Space Decay, Modulate, Mix, Lo Frequency, Pitch Vector, Hi Frequency, Swell, Bypass | Sockets: Input, Stereo out, Exp/MIDI control | Bypass: True Bypass or Buffered | Power requirements: 150mA 9V DC
The Mercury7 is a contribution to the high-end digital reverb market from Meris, whose team includes a founder of Strymon. The pedal offers a choice of two algorithmic reverbs, Ultraplate and Cathedral, with a host of sound adjustment features including pitch and modulation parameters. Capable of mono and stereo operation, the pedal has two sets of parameters for each of its six knobs, the second set accessed by pressing Alt. As such, it's a knob-twiddler's dream and you can dial up awesome reverb with many dimensions. If altered ambiences are your thing, this pedal does a wide range of them incredibly well.
Read the full review: Meris Mercury 7
7. Source Audio Ventris Dual Reverb
A flexible dual reverb pedal in a modest footprint
Price: $399/£375 | Controls: Time, Type, Mix, Pre-delay, Treble, Control 1, Control 2 | Sockets: Stereo in/out, MIDI in/out, USB, Exp pedal in, Control input | Bypass: True or buffered bypass | Power requirements: 280mA 9V DC
In the Ventris, finally, we have a pedal with a relatively modest footprint that contains two totally independent reverbs that can be used singly or combined in parallel, in series or Left/Right - with various modes of mono and stereo operation being available. There are 12 distinct reverb engines available from the front panel but, like previous Source Audio pedals, there are more available via the Neuro software. The outstanding impression of hearing the Ventris in action for the first time is the quality of its reverbs, but we also really like its pedalboard-friendly footprint and easy hands-on functionality. You can get as complex as you like with the Neuro editing app, but if you want simplicity it’s there straight out of the box.
Read the full review: Source Audio Ventris
8. Neunaber Immerse Reverberator
The best stereo reverb pedal
Price: $199/£249 | Controls: Effect select, effect level, reverb depth, tone (or echo time), effect adjust, kill dry switch, trails switch | Sockets: 2x input, 2x output | Bypass: Buffered | Power requirements: 70mA 9-12V DC
Where some digital reverbs can feel low on headroom, the Immerse is expansive, and can also be run at 12V. Five controls on the front panel govern level, time, depth, reverb type and an additional parameter that changes depending on the patch. You can kill the dry signal and you can run it in stereo. In mono, it’s a formidable beast, particularly in wet, hall and shimmer modes, but in stereo it’s peerless. The shimmer setting is huge, but it’s the wet mode that you'll return to most, with varying levels of modulation and depth for underlining clean arpeggios, or accenting sparse melody lines.
9. Mad Professor Kosmos
A compact reverb that excels at ambient sounds
Price: $229/£199 | Controls: Level, tone, time, control, type | Sockets: Input, output, power | Bypass: True bypass or buffered | Power requirements: 90mA 9V DC
Given its small footprint, the Kosmos is a surprisingly feature-rich unit. It’s billed as an ambient reverb, mainly because the footswitch pulls double duty - it’s not only a standard on-off switch, but when held also triggers ‘freeze’ functionality, resulting in infinite reverb. Changing to the swell reverb patches affects the function of the footswitch, allowing the user to trigger volume swells and other interesting momentary effects at will. Besides the standard controls for tone, level and time, each patch has a variable parameter governed by the control knob. While the swell modes are useful, the plate, room, hall and shimmer sound just too good to not be the main attraction, and the ability to crank the time and level, then ride the duck control to avoid things getting overwhelmed is fantastic.
Read the full review: Mad Professor Kosmos
10. EarthQuaker Devices Afterneath
Not your typical reverb pedal - seismic sounds
Price: $229/£219 | Controls: Length, Diffuse, Dampen, Drag, Reflect, Mix | Sockets: In/Out | Bypass: True bypass | Power requirements: 74mA 9V DC
The Afterneath is designed to provide otherworldly reverb effects, created by a collection of short delays working together and set up by juxtaposition of its six knobs. Three of these control standard reverb pedal parameters - the dry/reverb mix, the length of the reverb tail and how bright or dull it sounds, but the others offer more unusual tones. Diffuse blurs the repeats that make up the reverbs from sharp to soft and washy, while Reflect turns up the regeneration for an effect that lingers longer and will self-oscillate. Drag separates the delay lines ranging from 'a bunch of delays piled on top of each other' to a dense reverb. The overall result is a pedal that delivers massive crystalline washes of sound. A cool purveyor of ethereal soundscapes that envelop your guitar, but at this price, it's for committed sonic experimentalists only.
Read the full review: EarthQuaker Devices Afterneath