Posted by
Mar 21, 2021

Reverb pedals never seem to go out of fashion, maybe because reverb is an effect that’s part of our daily lives and each one of us can relate to it.

Updated on 07.26.2021

Reverb, the Origins

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. Since then, the technology has progressed immensely in its attempt to recreate it, with guitar pedal manufacturers playing a major role in it.

First, Understand What Kind of Reverb You Need

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.

So, do you know what reverb pedal do you need? Your options are on the Table of Contents at the top of this article, click on the one that answers this question for you and you’ll jump to our recommended list of the three best pedals in their category. Each lists links to a more comprehensive article about that category.

The lists in this article are based on the ratings of each pedal from various online music stores

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BEST CLASSIC AND SIMPLE REVERBS (Spring)

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:

Compact Spring Reverb Pedals (Digital)

These are digital pedals that recreate the original sound of spring reverb devices found in old guitar amps.

  1. J. Rockett BOING
  2. Catalinbread Topanga
  3. EarthQuaker Devices Ghost Echo V3

Check out our in-depth article about the Best Spring Reverb Pedals.
Go back to list of reverbs

Real Spring Reverb Pedals (Analog)

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.

  1. Surfy Industries SURFYBEAR Compact
  2. Danelectro Spring King
  3. Gamechanger Audio Light Pedal

Check out our in-depth article about the Best Spring Reverb Pedals.
Go back to list of reverbs

Compact Spring Reverb Pedals Under $100 (Digital)

These are also digital, but for the guitarist on a tight budget!

  1. Tone City Tiny Spring
  2. Mosky Mini Spring Reverb
  3. TC Electronic Drip

Check out our in-depth article about the Best Spring Reverb Pedals.
Go back to list of reverbs


BEST DO-IT-ALL REVERBS (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.

Multi-Mode Reverb Workstations (deep tweakability)

These studio-grade pedals are highly recommended for 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.

  1. Strymon BigSky
  2. Electro-Harmonix Oceans 12
  3. Source Audio Ventris

Check out our in-depth article about the Best Multi-Mode Reverb Pedals.
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Multi-Mode Reverb Pedals with 5 Modes or more

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.

  1. BOSS RV-6
  2. Electro-Harmonix Oceans 11
  3. Flamma FS02

Check out our in-depth article about the Best Multi-Mode Reverb Pedals.
Go back to list of reverbs

Multi-Mode Reverb Pedals with 3 or 4 Modes

Not as all-encompassing as the two previous categories in this section, these pedals offer a few reverb modes but quality ambiance.

  1. Biyang Tri Reverb
  2. Electro-Harmonix Holy Grail Neo
  3. Walrus Audio Fathom

Check out our in-depth article about the Best Multi-Mode Reverb Pedals.
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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.

  1. Flamma FS02
  2. Joyo R-14 Atmosphere
  3. Valeton Coral Verb 2

Check out our in-depth article about the Best Multi-Mode Reverb Pedals.
Go back to list of reverbs


BEST REVERB PEDALS FOR THE ADVENTUROUS 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 device targeting guitarists with experimental and psychedelic leanings.

Genres Experimental Reverbs are good for:
Shoegazer, Ambient, Psychedelic Rock/Pop, Avant-Indie, Experimental.

Reverb Pedals for Shoegazer

In this list we included clean reverb pedals that are perfect for the shoegazer genre or other musical genres with big sonic soundscapes.

  1. Walrus Audio Slö
  2. Meris Mercury 7
  3. EarthQuaker Devices Afterneath V3

Check out our in-depth article about the Best Ambient/Shoegazer Reverb Pedals.
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Reverb+Delay Pedal Combos

These pedals offer both Reverb and Delay IN ONE BOX, a classic combination in all music influenced by psychedelic and ambient.

  1. Keeley Caverns V2
  2. Source Audio Collider
  3. Earthquaker Devices Avalanche Run V2

Check out our in-depth article about the Best Reverb + Delay Pedal Combos (Mono and Stereo).
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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.

Popular Genres:
This combo is particularly loved by psychedelic, shoegazer and noise-rock guitarists.

  1. Caroline Météore
  2. Death by Audio Reverberation Machine
  3. Keeley Loomer

Check out our in-depth article about the Best Hybrid Reverb Pedals.
Go back to list of reverbs


BEST STEREO REVERB PEDALS

In real life we always hear reverb in stereo. While a mono reverb is good enough for most guitar-related applications, stereo reverbs better emulate reality and also open up a lot of creative options. Many of the pedals listed in this article are stereo (including all the Multi-Mode ones), in this list, we highlight 3 popular stereo pedals with a smallish enclosure.

Popular Genres:
Ambient, Dream Pop, Mellow Pop, Synthpop.

  1. Chase Bliss Audio/Meris CXM 1979
  2. Strymon Blue Sky
  3. Flamma FS02

Check out our in-depth article about the Best Stereo Reverb Pedals.
Go back to list of reverbs


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.

Reverb Pedals with Chorus or Flanger

Popular Genres:
Ambient, Dream Pop, Mellow Pop, Synthpop.

  1. Old Blood Noise Procession
  2. Mr. Black Supermoon
  3. EarthQuaker Devices Transmisser

Check out our in-depth article about the Best Hybrid Reverb Pedals.
Go back to list of reverbs

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.

Popular Genres:
Almost anything traditional: Blues, Country, Alt Rock, Folk, Rock’n’Roll, but mostly… Surf!

  1. Strymon Flint
  2. Keeley Hydra
  3. Fender Tre-Verb

Check out our in-depth article about the Best Reverb + Tremolo Pedal Combos.
Go back to list of reverbs


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)

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