This is an article exclusively focused on the best spring reverb pedals. For a wider-angle article on all types of reverbs, read this: Best Reverb Pedals organized by type.

Reverb is arguably the most useful effect in music, allowing musicians and producers to create a sense of space for individual instruments and entire mixes. Guitarists have been using it since at least the 1950s when the first standalone spring reverb units began to appear in guitar tube amps. Even if you don’t like your guitar swimming in ambiance, you most likely appreciate the added depth that even a touch of reverb can add to your guitar tone.

Best Spring Reverb Pedals

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Article updated on August 23, 2023

The Spring Reverb Variety—How It Works

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Best Reverbs with Real Springs (Analog)

Let’s face it: It’s nice to have a range of different reverbs to work with, but for many music styles, a simple spring reverb pedal will suffice. For many years, guitarists could choose from a number of digital spring reverb emulations, but these days several companies are packing real spring units into devices like the Spaceman Orion, the Surfybear series, and the Demeter Reverbulator RRP1 among others. Granted, they’re large, but if it’s true spring reverb you seek, nothing less will do.

Extra Large Reverbs with Real Springs

It’s an established belief among spring reverb “connoisseurs” that longer springs mounted in larger tanks produce a richer and lusher reverb sound. If you can afford the price tag of the units in this list, and have enough space to host them on or just outside your board, they represent the best option from a purely sonic perspective, although they are not as tweakable and portable as their digital counterpart.

  1. Surfy Industries SURFYBEAR Compact
    A real spring pedal with two analog presets from a builder specializing in this niche. It features useful controls like a boost (to make up for lost volume when the effect is on) and a double mixer (to switch between two reverb settings). The Dwell knob controls the amount of reverb and decay length. It also has a Tone knob. Check out also the even bigger SurfyBear Metal and SurfyBear Classic.
    Pros: the best-sounding reverb in this list, great two-preset concept | Cons: quite large and rather pricey.
  2. Demeter RRP-1 Reverbulator
    The first-ever reverb pedal with actual springs inside, and still one of the best-sounding, the RRP-1 uses two separate Accutronix spring tanks (long and short, each with different decay times), to provide multiple reverb options. A Phase switch flips the phase on the long decay spring, offering additional sonic possibilities. The two springs can be used individually or combined, which generates luscious, multi-dimensional ambiance sounds.
    Pros: the two, differently-sized springs open up a host of sonic possibilities | Cons: the controls on the front panel are not easily accessible.
  3. Anasounds Element La Brute
    A pedal concept based on an all-analog spring reverb transducer unit, which connects remotely to one of three different real spring reverb tanks (La Brute is the medium-size one, which is the most popular and best-sounding to most ears). The main box gives you the front end of a Fender Twin Reverb, for a super-clean pedal platform with tons of headroom, while the three tanks offer varying size/decay time options. The Spring Saturation toggle creates a unique fuzz/overdrive sound.
    Pros: the remote tank concept is brilliant and the three tanks are rather affordable | Cons: the larger tank is truly humongous, while the smaller one gets mixed reviews.

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Large Reverbs with Real Springs

  1. Crazy Tube Circuits White Whale
    A remarkably tweakable real spring reverb, with knobs for depth, speed, tone and dwell, plus three different springs for varied depth and character. It also features a 3-mode tremolo (Optical, Tube Bias, and Harmonic) triggered by a separate footswitch that can be placed before or after the reverb. V2 upgrades the preamp for a more dynamic and full response.
  2. Gamechanger Audio Light Pedal
    The first “analog optical spring reverb,” called Light, where an optical sensor is employed to “harvest the timbral and harmonic range of a spring reverb tank.”This technology are a wider range of tones compared to a regular spring reverb, including some entirely new effects like Optical Reverb Tremolo, Optical Reverb Modulation and Optical Harmonic Shimmer.
    Pros: genius concept, great range of immersive sounds. | Cons: it doesn’t really “drip,” more unique than authentic.
  3. Danelectro Spring King
    A sleeper real spring reverb from the ’90s that’s slowly become a surf rock guitarists’ favorite. Not the richest sounding of spring reverbs also due to the size, but it sure drips. It features the unique “Kick Pad,” which, when kicked, produces that classic cracking noise.
    Pros: very affordable and perfect for surf music. | Cons: a limited palette of sounds.

Compact Spring Reverb Pedals (Digital)

Humanity seems to have a problem with carrying bulky and heavy stuff. That’s why shortly after the spring reverb became popular, many pedal builders started looking for ways to recreate that sound in a more portable format. They soon found ways to emulate it through digital circuits, which, in recent years, have become more and more realistic and lush sounding thanks to the advancement in processing power.

Here’s an interactive gallery of some of the best digital spring-less pedals emulating spring reverb. This list only includes reverb-only pedals.

  1. Catalinbread Topanga
    An accurate, digital emulation of the legendary outboard Fender 6G15 spring reverb. Dwell knob controls how hard the springs are hit by the guitar signal. The Volume knob operates a discreet preamp for extra clean boost.
    Pros: wider range of tones combined with Mix and Volume control allow for perfect board integration. | Cons: not the “drippiest” in this list and problematic with high gain pickups and pricier than other options.
  2. EarthQuaker Devices Ghost Echo
    An original take on the vintage spring reverb sound with a peculiar attack knob that adds a space between 15-30ms between the input signal and the first reverberation. The Dwell control sets the length and thickness of the decay, the Depth sets the intensity of the reverb. Unlike most spring reverb, it can get long and cavernous for atmospheric effects.
    Pros: It seems like all those who try this pedal fall in love with its sound. | Cons: It may not suit the tastes of the most purist among spring reverb lovers.
  3. JHS Pedals Spring Tank
    An impressive design for the tweak-prone guitarist, featuring a second footswitch triggering two different mix levels. Knobs for Depth, Length, Highs, and Boost (to control your overall volume), allow tailoring the base sound to your needs. It also has an FX loop!
    Pros: A solid-sounding compact spring reverb with a simple and very useful 2-preset system. The FX Loop is a great plus. | Cons: Lacks a little in the drip department.

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Mini Spring Reverb Pedals (Digital)

For those with space (or budget) issues and simple needs, one of these mini pedals might be also worth a look. Oh, and no, there’s no trace of real springs in these, in case you are wondering…

  1. Wampler Mini Faux Spring Reverb
    A reduced version of the company’s Faux Spring Reverb, emulating the spring reverb used in many records from the ’60s.
    Pros: Great, wide sound in a mini enclosure | Cons: not as drippy as other pedals in this list; the knobs are so close is hard to turn them.
  2. Mosky MP-51 Spring Reverb Mini
    A super affordable, but rather popular, Chinese emulation of the Malekko Omicron Spring.
    Pros: Great for the price. | Cons: cheap build + not very authentic.
  3. Tone City Tiny Spring
    One knob, no frills but great sounding analog spring delay pedal.
    Pros: affordable and well-built  | Cons: not tweakable at all

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Spring Reverb + Tremolo Pedals

The combination of tremolo and spring reverb is a classic match found in historic tube amps of the ’60s—and countless classic records. Some of the best spring reverb pedals on the market recreate this marriage, so we couldn’t ignore them in this article, even though they are a little more than just “spring reverbs.”

We have a separate article about this, with the Best Tremolo and Reverb Pedal Combos in Mono and Stereo.

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Finally, we couldn’t help but award a bonus entry here to the feature-packed Knas Ekdhal Moisturizer spring reverb, which is not exactly a pedal (no footswitch!!!) but can be placed on a board. It’s big, it’s beautiful, and it’s expensive. But it may be just right for you.

Video Shootouts

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Article by Christopher Scapelliti and Paolo De Gregorio