The Best Reverb Pedals + Delay Reverb Combos

The Highest Rated Reverb Pedals

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Reverb is a naturally occurring phenomena that has been turned into an effect for use in audio processing and production. Guitarists in particular are fond of using reverb, most of whom use it for adding spatial depth, while others use it to craft complex sound textures and expansive ambience.

Here we provide a detailed look into current market favorites, including a section dedicated to top rated delay plus reverb combo pedals. This 2022 edition sees long time dominant brands retaining their positions, including Strymon, Walrus Audio and EarthQuaker Devices.

Whether you're looking for an easy to use plug-and-play reverb, or you want something more complex, you'll find the best rated ones in this guide.

The Best Reverb Pedals - 2022.09

Author & Contributors

Alexander BrionesAlexander Briones

I've written about and researched music gear for many years, while also serving as a music director at my local church, in addition to teaching guitar, bass and mentoring young musicians.

The Best Reverb Pedals

Walrus Audio Fathom Multi-Function Reverb

97
GEARANK

97 out of 100. Incorporating 225+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$199
Walrus Fathom Multi-Function Reverb

Cons

  • Steep learning curve

Pros

  • 4 reverb algorithms in one unit
  • Lush and full sounding
  • Allows for deep tweaking of parameters
  • Works great for both clean and overdriven tone

The Walrus Audio Fathom packs 4 reverb algorithms in one unit. Most notable of which is the Lo-Fi mode which is essentially a filtered reverb with control over filter width.

It also has a distinct Sonar mode that adds low and high octaves with blend control, resulting in unique textures that are not found in conventional reverb pedals. It also has traditional modes which include Plate and Hall, both of which allow for pre-delay time adjustments.

The reverb sound is lush and full, and works great for both clean and overdrive use. It simply sounds more premium than it actually is.

In addition to these modes, it gives you deep control over the effect. There are so many ways to shape the reverb response and blend it to the dry signal to taste. Another cool feature of this pedal is its switchable trails mode, which lets you cut off the reverb tail instantly when you bypass the pedal, while the other footswitch lets you control sustain and play over the reverb effect. With this you can hold a chord and let its reverb ring out while playing other parts.

All these features add up to make the Walrus Audio Fathom a versatile reverb pedal, capable of everything from subtle reverb to ethereal ambience. Note that it will take a bit of time to master the controls, but learning them will let you make the most out of this pedal.

Build quality wise, there's not much to complain about. And it also helps that it has a distinct look that makes it easily stand out. If you're looking for a reverb pedal that can go from traditional hall and plate reverb to complex controlled ambience, then this is for you.

Specifications

  • 4 Reverb Algorithms: Hall, Plate, Lo-Fi, Sonar
  • Controls: Decay, Dampen, Mix, X, Mod (Switch), Program, 2 x Footswitches (Bypass & Sustain)
  • Input: Stereo 1/4"
  • Output: Stereo 1/4"
  • Power: 9V DC 100mA Power Supply (Sold Separately)
  • Bypass Type: Smart Bypass (Trails On or Off)
  • Dimensions (HxWxD): 1.39" x 2.6" x 4.77"
  • Weight: 0.79 lb

Rating Source Highlight

Website Source *Rating Value
Guitar.com Michael Watts 90/100
*Displayed values are prior to the Gearank Algorithm's adjustments it makes when evaluating the source.

Strymon blueSky Reverberator

97
GEARANK

97 out of 100. Incorporating 850+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$299
Strymon blueSky Reverberator Pedal

Cons

  • A bit pricey for its feature set
  • Bulky and heavy

Pros

  • Expansive echoes via shimmer reverb
  • 3 great sounding reverb types
  • Premium build quality
  • Great for use with clean tone

The Strymon blueSky pedal is the smaller and more affordable sibling of the popular Bigsky. And like its big brother, it is doing very well in the market with its highly tweakable and expansive sounding reverb.

Speaking of tweakable, it features three reverb types, plate, room and spring, along with a variety of controls that allow you to personalize your reverb sound. These controls include high and low damping, dry/wet mix, decay, pre-delay, mix and dedicated switches for modes and reverb type.

What makes the blueSky special though is its mode switch, which lets you add modulation or shimmer to the reverb. Adding modulation to the reverb effect makes the resulting sound larger than life, without compromising clarity and sonic integrity. It sounds great when used with clean tone, but it adds a bit of mud when used on an overdriven signal. The Shimmer mode emphasizes the highs of the sonic reflections, which results in expansive echoes.

While it does sound good, the features it provides is a bit limited given its price tag. It's also quite bulky for a 3-mode reverb. Still, its bulk makes the pedal feel solid and premium.

If price and space is not an issue, then the Strymon blueSky's boutique quality reverb sound is definitely worth taking a closer look.

Specifications

  • 3 Reverb Types: Plate, Hall, Spring
  • Controls: Decay, Pre-Delay, Mix, High Damping, Low Damping, Mode (Norm/Mod/ Shimmer) switch and Type (Room/Plate/Spring) switch
  • Input: Stereo (2 x 1/4")
  • Output: Stereo (2 x 1/4")
  • Power: 9V DC 250mA power supply
  • Bypass Type: True Bypass
  • Other: SHARC DSP
  • Dimensions (HxWxD): 4" x 4.5"
  • Weight: 1.19 lbs

Rating Source Highlight

Website Source *Rating Value
YouTube Devan Bishop 94/100
*Displayed values are prior to the Gearank Algorithm's adjustments it makes when evaluating the source.

Strymon BigSky

98
GEARANK

98 out of 100. Incorporating 650+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$479
Strymon BigSky Reverb Pedal
At publication time this was the Highest Rated Guitar Reverb Pedal.

Cons

  • Steeper learning cruve
  • Bulky and heavy

Pros

  • Huge and spacious reverbs
  • 12 reverb types
  • Deep control with preset management
  • Allows for more experimental and creative use of reverb

The California based boutique pedal builder Strymon has built quite the reputation for their quality effects, and the BigSky Multidimensional Reverb is one of their most sought after products.

From recording artists to church musicians, there is so much hype surrounding the brand, and the high ratings that the BigSky receives only helps to confirm and further establish their popularity.

With 12 reverb types to choose from, you have a wealth of virtual space options for your guitar signal, while the expanded control options allow for deep customization. And it does all this while keeping sound quality high, much like having a premium studio rack reverb, but in pedal format. All the reverb types sound impressive to my ears, but my favorites are the Hall, Cloud, Shimmer and Chorale - all of which add impressive space to the echoes while maintaining a clear sound.

The controls allow you to fine tune the echoes in a detailed way. Some of the knobs even function differently depending on the reverb type you are using. The pre-delay knob in particular is useful for pushing the reverb a bit later, so that your guitar signal doesn't get drowned out. The mod knob lets you add modulation effect to the reverb, which makes the echoes sound bigger and wider. It also has three footswitches that give you handsfree control over presets. The downside to all these features is its steeper learning curve, but if you really want to make the most out of this expensive reverb pedal, then you need to take learning the parameters seriously.

Other features that make this pedal a true professional's favorite include advanced input/output options, 300 customizable presets, noise-free operation, and MIDI compatibility. This pedal has a long list of professional artist users including Dweezil Zappa, Dave Kilminster, Tom Quayle and many more.

When budget is not an issue, and you're looking for a top shelf reverb pedal that can double as your studio reverb rack, then get the Strymon BigSky.

Specifications

  • 12 Reverb Types: Room, Hall, Plate, Spring, Swell, Bloom, Cloud, Chorale, Shimmer, Magneto, Nonlinear, Reflections
  • Controls: Value, Decay, Pre-Delay, Mix, Tone, Param1, Param2, Mod, Type
  • Input: Stereo 1/4", Expression Pedal
  • Output: Stereo 1/4"
  • Power: 9V center-negative DC 300mA Power Supply
  • Bypass Type: Configurable to True Bypass or Buffered
  • Presets: 300 customizable
  • MIDI: MIDI Controllable
  • Other: SHARC DSP
  • Dimensions (HxWxD): 6.75" x 5.1"
  • Weight: 0.66 lbs

Rating Source Highlights

Website Source *Rating Value
Sound On Sound Ingmar Kiang 98/100
MusicRadar Michael Brown 90/100
*Displayed values are prior to the Gearank Algorithm's adjustments it makes when evaluating the source.

The Best Delay Reverb Combo Pedals

EarthQuaker Devices Dispatch Master V3 Digital

96
GEARANK

96 out of 100. Incorporating 200+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$199
EarthQuaker Devices Dispatch Master V3 Digital Delay & Reverb Pedal
At publication time this was the Highest Rated Guitar Delay Reverb Combo Pedal.

Cons

  • Not for those who want to tweak
  • Limited reverb features

Pros

  • Quality Reverb + Delay in one pedal
  • Dense and natural sounding reverb
  • Organic sounding delay repeats
  • Streamlined and efficient controls

The Dispatch Master V3 houses both reverb and delay effects in a single pedal, and it does so with a straightforward set of controls which include four knobs and 1 footswitch.

This pedal lets you switch between reverb only, delay only, or blend both at the same time by simply turning the reverb and repeat knobs up or down. The main difference of V3 over its predecessors is the inclusion of flexi-switch technology, which allows for silent and on off switching and momentary switching (hold the switch for on, let go to run off). The input and output jacks are also now positioned at the top.

The reverb section has two dedicated knobs, mix and reverb, so there's no need to deal with multiple parameters just to get set your reverb. The mix knob is self explanatory, while the reverb knob goes from basic room to ambient shimmer. Both knobs are enough to cover the typical needs of guitarists. More importantly even with just these two knobs, the reverb sounds dense and natural. And it does so without taking anything away from your core sound, and without fighting or overriding the pedal's built-in delay. This simplicity is what makes the Dispatch Master a crowd favorite, but it also makes it unsuitable for those who want deep control over reverb.

The delay section is just as simple, with just two knobs for adjusting time and repeats. It has organic sounding repeats that work great with clean or overdriven tone, and it blends nicely with the reverb. All in all, the pedal's four knobs provide essential delay and reverb controls effectively.

Build quality is up to par with what you'd expect from a regular size stompbox. The top mounted jacks are a good change, allowing for better pedalboard positioning.

This is definitely a great pedal for those who just want a plug-and-play type pedal with reverb and delay.

Specifications

  • Reverb: 1 Reverb Algorithm
  • Delay: Up to 1.5 Sec Delay
  • Controls: Mix, Reverb, Time, Repeats
  • Input: 1 x 1/4"
  • Output: 1 x 1/4"
  • Power: 9V DC Power Supply (Sold Separately)
  • Bypass Type: True
  • Dimensions (HxWxD): 2.25" x 2.5" x 4.75"
  • Weight: 1.1 lbs

Rating Source Highlights

Website Source *Rating Value
YouTube ThePedalZone 96/100
YouTube Music Bliss Malaysia 97/100
*Displayed values are prior to the Gearank Algorithm's adjustments it makes when evaluating the source.

Boss RE-202 Space Echo Pedal

95
GEARANK

95 out of 100. Incorporating 175+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$420
Boss RE-202 Space Echo Delay and Reverb Pedal

Cons

  • No instant reverb type switching
  • Complex parameters and controls

Pros

  • Genuine sounding Tape delay
  • Great sounding reverb
  • Tweakable preamp saturation
  • Lets you set "Wow & Flutter"
  • Switchable tape age (new or old)

The Boss RE-202 Space Echo is a modern recreation of the iconic Roland RE-201 Space Echo released in March 2022. But instead of using actual tape, it uses digital modeling and algorithms to recreate the "wow and flutter" of the original, along with its other characteristics like preamp flavor, saturation and spring reverb.

It is essentially a vintage flavored tape delay effect that you can use without unwanted "tape hiss" and the hassle of maintaining an actual tape machine unit. Because of the analog flavor of tape delays, they can be used to produce ambience effects much like reverb. For example, the RE-202 can be set up for fast slapback style echo, for old school ambience that's great for rockabilly, country, rock and similar styles.

More importantly, the tape delay effect works in conjunction with the built-in spring reverb, which mimics the original, but with modern stereo. In addition to the classic spring reverb, the pedal lets you switch to different reverb types that include hall, plate, room and ambience. Switching reverb type is more of a hidden feature though, so it's not something you can do instantly, which is a bit of letdown.

Roland RE-201 Tape based echo
Here's a look at the innards of the original Roland RE-201

Like the original, it comes with the iconic 12-position mode selector that gives you 12 different types of echo rhythms. It also has a Repeat Rate knob which lets you adjust tape speed, it changes the echo pitch as you tweak the knob, behaving like a real tape machine. The Intensity knob lets you set the number of echoes, and can even self oscillate when set high enough. The Saturation knob lets you add in the analog preamp flavor of the old RE-201. What takes this pedal closest to an old tape machine is the Wow & Flutter knob, it lets you add tape speed variations that occur within tape machines, and this in turn subtly modulates the sound in a more musical and organic way.

It's not a strict clone though because it features enhancements like having a fourth virtual tape head, double the delay time and more. The Tape button is one of its coolest features, it lets you choose between new and old tape sound, which affects the overall tone and wavering of the echoes. The aged tape setting gets classic tape echo vibe down nicely, which works great for guitars and other sound sources. Speaking of sound sources, the unit has an input button that switches between guitar and line level input. Other modern features include preset management (4 onboard memory locations, expandable via MIDI), Tap tempo, switchable delay trail.

Having been made by Boss, you can be sure that this is a pedal that will last you a long time.

This versatile ambience producing pedal is definitely worth looking at if you're looking for classic tape delay and reverb effects.

Specifications

  • Reverb: 5 Reverb Modes, 12 Tape Modes
  • Delay: Up to 2 Sec Delay
  • Controls: Saturation, Wow & Flutter, Mode Selector, Bass, Treble, Reverb, Repeat Rate, Intensity, Echo Vol, Memory, Input, Tape, 3 Foot Switches
  • Input: 2 x 1/4" (A/mono, B)
  • Output: 2 x 1/4" (A/mono, B), 1 x 1/4" (control/expression)
  • Power: Power Supply (Included)
  • Bypass Type: True
  • Dimensions (HxWxD): 2.04" x 7.55" x 5.23"
  • Weight: 1.89 lbs

Rating Source Highlights

Website Source *Rating Value
Sound on Sound Paul White 96/100
Guitar World Trevor Curwen 90/100
YouTube Pete Thorn 95/100
*Displayed values are prior to the Gearank Algorithm's adjustments it makes when evaluating the source.

Things to Consider When Buying a Reverb Pedal

Reverb Types

Digital Signal Processing and Convolution technology have allowed us to better replicate the ambience of actual physical rooms, modify their parameters and even create our own rooms. Below are the most common reverb types along with a feature on special types that don't fall under the four main types.
  • Room

    As the name suggests, it replicates the quick sonic bounces of a regular room. With its early reflections and quick decay of no more than a second, room reverb is the most discrete of the lot, so it is often used for adding subtle warmth and realism.

  • Hall

    Hall reverbs are usually based on the actual acoustic space of a large music hall, only digitized for use with your pedal. Since the virtual space is bigger, the decay is usually longer, ranging from 1 to 3 seconds. It is usually employed to give the guitar sound a three dimensional ambience to emphasize certain parts. especially in rock music.

  • Plate

    The plate reverb mode found on guitar pedals is a digital simulation of an analog plate reverb which was widely used in the past. It works by sending your guitar signal to a virtual metal plate that vibrates to create the reflections and echoes that are usually very quick and full. This reverb type tends to be brighter, and is commonly used for subtle enhancement.

  • Spring

    Like plate mode, the spring reverb mode is a digital emulation of an actual analog reverb unit that is driven by a metal spring. The resulting reflections are fast and decay quickly, while the bass frequencies roll off as the sound decays. This makes the resulting sound brighter than other types, making it the ideal reverb for many guitar styles that emphasizes the upper frequencies, including surf, country, and blues.

  • Special Reverb Modes

    With so much processing power at our disposal, manufacturers have been experimenting with other ways of providing reverb, outside of the usual room emulation. This has resulted in special reverb types that include Reverse (reverses the sound reflection), various types of Modulation (applies modulation effects to the reflections including flanger, chorus, phaser etc), Filter (applies sweeping eq filter effects to the reflections) and many more. These reverb types are usually employed for more experimental and modern sound ambience.

Parameter Controls

The general idea is that more control knobs allow for deeper editing and better personalization, at the cost more complex setup and interface. So if you are looking to add subtle reverb that's always on to enhance your sound, you're better off with tried and tested classic pedals with as few configuration controls as possible. The opposite is true if you want more control and options, be it for customizing or for crafting the textures of your sound reflections.

Budget and Pedalboard Space

Right at the get go, you can narrow down your choice by establishing a reasonable budget range. Note that you'll want to invest a bit more if reverb is a primary part of your sound, especially for ambient and experimental guitar styles. We know that pedalboard real-estate is also an important consideration, so we have provided the dimensions of the pedals above.

True Bypass vs Buffered

Some guitar tone purists look for true bypass pedals as they totally 'bypass' the pedal's circuitry when the effect is switched off - leaving it just like you're plugged directly in to the amp. However one thing to be aware of with reverb pedals is true bypass will cut off the reverb decay as soon as you hit that switch. Some people might find this a little jarring. Buffered bypass pedals continue to feed their output actively so the tail end of that huge cathedral sound can continue to sweep over as you're starting to play the next 'dry' part. A number of these pedals can be configured to either true or buffered bypass. Of course if you're planning to leave your reverb pedal switched on the whole time then it's always being buffered so there's no difference.

Best Reverb Pedal Selection Methodology

The first edition was published in 2016 and the current edition was published on September 30, 2022.

Only pedals featuring Reverb or Reverb & Delay without additional effects were considered for this updated edition, and only those that were sold by US based retailers. For this September 2022 edition, we ended up gathering over 13,400 reviews and ratings for the 30 pedals that were short-listed; see them in the Music Gear Database. All these data were then fed into the Gearank Algorithm to produce rating scores out of 100 which we used to narrow down the list to just the best of the best. For more information about our methods see How Gearank Works.

About the Author and Contributors

Here are the key people and sources involved in this guide's production - click on linked names for information about their music industry backgrounds.

Lead Author & Researcher

Alexander BrionesAlexander Briones

I've written about and researched music gear for many years, while also serving as a music director at my local church, in addition to teaching guitar, bass and mentoring young musicians.

Since I mostly play with a band, I usually stick with subtle and simple room reverb. The only time I switch to more ambient reverb is when I'm playing in a smaller group or when I have to play solo. While I'm in the subtle reverb user camp, I am impressed by guitarists who have made reverb to be big part of their sound.

Contributors

Jason Horton: Editing and Illustrating.

Media

Main/Top Image: By Gearank.com using photographs of the EarthQuaker Devices Dispatch Master V3, Boss RE-202, Strymon BigSky and Strymon blueSky.

The individual product images were sourced from websites, promotional materials or supporting documentation provided by their respective manufacturers.

The videos above have been embedded in accordance with YouTube's Terms of Service.

Comments

The selection criteria for

We only allow Reverb or Dual Reverb/Delay pedals in this guide and the Foxpedal Wave has reverb, delay and modulation effects making it ineligible.

The Foxpedal Magnifica Deluxe looks promising but we didn't find the reviews we needed to publish a rating for it so we couldn't recommend it at this stage, but it's on the short-list to be considered when we next update this guide.