From the most faithful spring amp 'verbs to otherworldly pitch-shifted shimmers, the choice of reverbs 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
Type: Digital Reverb | 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
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
Type: Multi Reverb | Controls: Decay, level, tone | Sockets: Stereo input and output, USB | Bypass: True Bypass (switchable to buffered) | Power requirements: 100mA
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
Type: Multi Reverb | 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: 225 mA
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. MXR Reverb
Compact reverb pedal with six top-shelf sounds
Type: Multi-reverb compact | Controls: Decay, Tone, Blend, Stereo/mono (internal) | Sockets: In, Out, Exp pedal in | Bypass: True Bypass | Power requirements: 240mA
MXR's Reverb might not break new ground, but it does offer a solid set of superb tones in compact form, thanks in no small part to a studio-grade 96kHz sample rate. It has the usual reverb types you'd expect - plate, spring, room and modulation - as well as two rarer beasts: the Pad setting, similar to octave-up shimmer on other pedals, and Epic, which sounds like a multi-tap delay with added reverb. An expression pedal input and stereo out add some useful connectivity, making this a great choice for those prizing great tone and functionality over unfathomable menu options and endless tweakability.
Read the full review: MXR Reverb
5. Eventide Space
The ultimate stage and studio reverb pedal
Type: Multi Reverb | 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:
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
Type: Multi Reverb | 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
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
A flexible dual reverb pedal in a modest footprint
Type: Dual multi reverb | 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
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 Wet Stereo Reverb
The best easy-to-use reverb pedal
Type: Compact reverb | Controls: Mix, Tone, Depth | Sockets: In/out | Bypass: True Bypass (Buffered trails option) | Power requirements: 100mA
The Wet Stereo Reverb pedal features in the rigs of some serious players. The stereo inputs and outputs and the expansion port open up a world of versatility, or you can still use it in mono. Meanwhile, Neunaber's reverb algorithm is unique and has a US patent. The real-world space or device it's designed to sound like isn't specified, but the software editor lets you replicate spring, hall and plate. All in all, it's a very nice-sounding reverb that can go from just a touch of ambience to massive spaces, all with a tone knob that can soften or brighten to suit your needs, keeping it sitting in the background or adding a touch of surf spring splash.
Read the full review: Neunaber Wet Stereo Reverb
9. Mooer Ocean Machine
The best option for those that want tweakability without menu diving
Type: Delay/reverb/looper | Controls: Shimmer, Decay, Tone, R. Mix, FeedbackB, TimeB, ToneB, D.MixB, FeedbackA, TimeA, ToneA, D.MixA, Menu, Reverb, Delay A, Delay B | Sockets: Stereo In/Out, MIDI In/Thru | Bypass: True Bypass (Buffered trails option) | Power requirements: 500mA
Mooer's collaboration with Devin Townsend, the Ocean Machine, packs two independent delays, a reverb and a looper. In all, you get 15 different delay types and nine different reverbs as well as 44 seconds of loop recording time. Tonally, Hevy Devy and co have tweaked this one to near-perfection. All the usual suspects – digital, analogue, tape et al – are present and period-correct, while the reverbs are similarly broad and equally stellar. Controls-wise, the crucial knobs are easily accessible on the face of the pedal, but hit the menu knob and you’ll be presented with a host of additional parameters. It’s an admirable performance: the range and sound quality is certainly up there with the big boys from Strymon, Empress and Boss. Dismiss at your peril.
Read the full review: Mooer Ocean Machine
10. EarthQuaker Devices Afterneath
Not your typical reverb pedal - seismic sounds
Type: Digital reverb | Controls: Length, Diffuse, Dampen, Drag, Reflect, Mix | Sockets: In/Out | Bypass: True bypass | Power requirements: 74mA
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