Pedals by brand

Pedals by brand

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I do love Strymon. And I love the blueSky reverb, which you may consider to be like the little brother of the Strymon bigSky, which is, by no means, the best reverb pedal I’ve ever played.

Producing the most lush, majestic and stunning reverbs ever

The philosophy behind our blueSky Reverberator is simple—take a ridiculously powerful SHARC DSP and dedicate it to doing one thing only: producing the most lush, majestic and stunning reverbs ever. Many hours and sleepless nights in the Strymon sound design labs were devoted to developing the complex reverb algorithms found inside blueSky. We squeezed every last drop of processing power available.

Whether you’re a classic spring reverb fan or a studio rack aficionado, you’ll find your mojo here. blueSky provides three different reverb types, each with three modes, for a total of nine completely unique reverb experiences. blueSky even delivers an extremely versatile plate reverb, a rarity for a stompbox pedal. A full pre-delay and damping section provide deep reverb tone shaping. Add the mod and shimmer modes and you’re in store for unending reverb bliss. Couple that with 24-bit 96kHz converters and 115dB typical signal to noise, blueSky is equally at home on top of a studio console as it is in front of a tube amp.

I’m sure that is true.

Features and controls

The features of the blueSky are reduced with regard to those of the SkyVerb. You won’t have that many reverb machines, nor that many controls and parameters, and you won’t be able to store presets. It is more like any other regular reverb pedal. But it is not just like any other reverb pedal…

You can check the differences between the two Strymon units in this great video by Shnobel.

The Strymon blueSky is also true stereo. You’ll find the four jack connectors in the back of the pedal, aligned with the power supply socket. The blueSky is powered with a standard 9V negative power supply, and you will need to feed it with at least 250mA. It is an awesome pedal, so you’ll need an awesome power supply too.

The pedal have 2 small switches, one of them controlling the type of the reverb (plate, room, spring), and the other to add an additional effect to the reverb: norm (no effect added), mod for some modulation, and shimmer. It also has 5 knobs: Decay, Mix, Low Damp, Pre-Delay and High Damp, and two stomp switches: one for activating the pedal and the other to select a preset, where you can store your favorite sound.

This pedal is true bypass and the dry signal stays fully analog.

This is how the controls work like in the blueSky:

  • Decay controls the length of the reverb. Set low for small rooms, plates and short springs. Roll it up for cavernous sounds, big plates and longer springs.
  • Mix adjusts the balance between the dry (fully analog) signal and the wet reverberated one. You’ll get a 100% dry at lowest, and 100% wet when turned all the way up. The 50/50 mix occurs at about 3 o’clock.
  • Low Damp controls the amount of low damping in the wet signal. When turned counter clockwise you’ll reduce the amount of low end in the reverb decay trail.
  • Pre-Delay sets the delay time between the dry signal and the apparition of the reverberated one. This control is great for recreating different environments.
  • High Damp controls the amount of high damping in the wet signal. When turned counter clockwise you’ll reduce the amount of high end in the reverb decay trail.

Sound

You’ll have amazing experiences when playing through any Strymon pedal. I took it easy trying this pedal in a guitar store in Paris during a work trip, and I got shocked. You won’t have such a great dynamics with another pedal, it responded great to both Strat and Les Paul.

It is a little pricy too, but you have to pay for the best stuff.

Apart from my poor english vocabulary (I’m sorry for that), there is nothing I could say that makes justice for how this pedal sounds like. As it’s said, a single image is worth a thousand words, so check out the videos in the playlist below to listen to the Strymon blueSky.

Simply one of the best reverb pedals you can get.

Strymon blueSky playlist

Should you buy this pedal?

As always, it depends.

If you’re looking for a spring reverb pedal, you have better options out there. The blueSky has also a Spring reverb mode, but the Catalinbread Topanga Spring Reverb, the Wampler Faux Spring Reverb or the Mr. Black Deluxe Plus are better alternatives for that.

If you want to add an ambient reverb to your tone and don’t want to get lost among tons of knobs, presets and parameters, the blueSky is the best choice for that.

Alternatives to the Strymon blueSky

That is hard to say.

You may find similar functionalities in both the Electro Harmonix Cathedral and the TC Electronic Hall of Fame. Both are stereo too, and will let you play with different reverb modes. However, you won’t find in them the pristinness you’ll experiment with the Strymon. But, they are cheaper, so definitely something to consider if the price is an issue.

It the price is not an issue, the alternatives are simply the big guys: the Strymon bigSky and the Eventide Spice Reverb. Those are, without any doubt, the best reverb pedals.

Conclusion

This is a short summary of the review:

PROS

  • It is Strymon
  • The sound is just amazing
  • It is true stereo
  • Dry analog path and high res ADC and DAC
  • Great responding five knobs
  • Made in USA

CONS

  • Price
  • You may not feel its full potential live

The Strymon blueSky is, by no means, one of the greatest reverb pedals for natural ambience sounds. It will show you its full potential in stereo, and it’s killer for recording, but it is great to play with at home too. If you can afford it and don’t (or can’t) go for the big fishes (Strymon bigSky or Eventide Space), get one!

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If you are looking for the best reverb pedal from Electro Harmonix, get an EHX Cathedral.

Then, you may think “why to think about buying another pedal from EHX whose features are included in the Cathedral?”. The answer is clear to me: because the EHX Holy Grail is an icon.  In this review, I’ve bring this pedal in its new (and smaller) version: the Holy Grail nano.

Before we get into the point, you can read a lot of reviews here.

Divine reverb for mere mortals

There isn’t just one Holy Grail. This pedal is based on the same circuitry as the Electro Harmonix Holy Grail, but in a smaller size, as many other icon stompboxes from the brand do (Big Muff nano, Memory Toy, etc.). It looks great, and just the most advanced high-resolution ears could tell any difference between the two versions of the Holy Grail (I can’t).

You’ll a better idea about what this pedal is all about by reading what the EHX people say about it:

Divine reverb for mere mortals. Down from the heavens comes the Holy Grail, a compact digital reverb guitar pedal that is priced so low thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s reverb tank any longer. 

The Holy Grail will make you a believer with its emulation of classic Spring reverb so faithful that even Dick Dale couldn’t tell the difference. Next, get lost in the lush spaciousness of the Hall reverb and ask yourself, “how did they fit Notre Dame into such a small package?” Finally, reach enlightenment with the haunting Flerb.

Features and controls

The Holy Grail features three types of reverb: Spring (the kind of spring reverb built-in vintage tube amplifiers), Hall, and Flerb, which is a cool mixture between reverb and flanger that you won’t find in any other pedal (apart from the EHC Cathedral). It will get right to the point because it is super easy to use: you just select the type of reverb and roll the Reverb knob for the amount of reverb you want. Easy.

This pedal is mono, and it’s powered with a 9V negative power supply. I haven’t tested the current consumption, but it’s for sure lower than the 200mA that you’re supposed to provided at least, according to EHX.

The Holy Grail has just a single Knob (Reverb) and a small switch, to select the reverb type (spring, hall, flerb). It also has a true bypass stomp switch.

  • Reverb is simply the mix between your dry and wet (reverberated) sound. If you roll this control up, the sound is fully wet.

Sound

As every single pedal made by Electro Harmonix, the Holy Grail sounds awesome. The easiest reverb pedal to use, just like the Reverb knob in any vintage tube amplifier with built-in spring reverb.

And know what? You won’t need any other control. For sure that additional tone and depth controls would give you more versatility with the reverb, but these parameters have been preset in such a natural way that you won’t miss them at all.

Another thing worth mentioning is the Flerb. It’s a unique feature, and it’s not just a reverb and a flanger blended together. You’ll discover that when playing with the Flerb and the Reverb knob there’s plenty of sweet spots than will take your playing to places any other reverb pedal will.

This pedal is essential…

Check out the videos in the playlist below, I’m sure you will love the Electro Harmonix Holy Grail.

Should you buy this pedal?

If you are looking for a reverb pedal, and you want something simple that just works, the Holy Grail is a safe bet. You won’t get lost by playing with too many knobs, because you will only have one. Just like in amps. But will have a little more versatility thanks to its three reverb modes.

If you don’t want to spend a fortune in a reverb pedal because you want something to just live it there so your sound gets warmer and more present, this pedal will do the job.

You will also want to buy this pedal if you love guitar pedals. This one is another myth, and will always fit on your pedalboard or in your gigbag.

Don’t think of this pedal if you want a more complex pedal that is able to provide you with plenty of different and complex reverb sounds. The Holy Grail has a Hall mode, but you have plenty of better alternatives to that.

You won’t like this pedal if you are serious about spring reverb. Even tough it sounds great, it doesn’t sound like vintage outboard spring tanks. You have better options for that.

Alternatives to the Electro Harmonix Holy Grail Nano

If you like spring reverbs, you have to check other pedals that are a little more complex than the Holy Grail, but are more indicated to recreate the sound of vintage outboard spring tanks. My top favorites are the Catalinbread Topanga Spring Reverb (the best one), the Wampler Faux Spring Reverb and the Mad Professor Silver Spring Reverb.

On the other hand, you have another pedal that is pretty similar to the Holy Grail: the Mooer Shimverb. It sounds pretty well and is tiny too. The sound is not that great though, but it has a Shimmer effect that can be very spiring. And its price is sooooo great

Conclusion

This pedal is a classic. And it’s just plug and play, here goes a little summary of what I think about it.

PROS

  • Simplicity. Roll the Reverb knob and sound great. Easy
  • Spring and Hall reverbs sound nice and warm.
  • Flerb gives you a unique tone
  • It fits on any pedalboard, it is tiny
  • Great price
  • It is a classic, an icon

CONS

  • It doesn’t have a Tone control
  • It is not true bypass

The Electro Harmonix Holy Grail Nano reverb is a safe bet if you’re looking for a simple pedal. Just select the reverb type you wanna use, roll the Reverb knob up and you will be ready to go. The Spring sounds pretty realistic, the Hall is ok, and the Flerb is cool. This pedal is a classic and the price is great.

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Mr Black Deluxe Plus

The Mr. Black Deluxe Plus is another example of a great spring reverb pedal.

It recreates the reverb of those holy spring tanks of vintage tube amps, but also the tube-driven tremolo of the early days. This pedal sounds vintage indeed. Without any doubt, my favorite old school spring reverb pedal along with the Catalinbread Topanga.

With the extra feature of having, in a single stompbox, a great sounding tremolo too!

The sun’s out and the surf’s up, broham.

Load up the woodie, get down to the beach an kick off your kicks, we’re gonna have some fun today.
Splish-splash with a dripping spring and ride the motion of the ocean with smooth bias-modulating tremolo.

Do em one at a time, or two in tandem for the double whammy.  Plus.

This is gnarly, dude. Gnarly.

Features and controls

Another feature that I love about this pedal is how it looks. To me, stompboxes are like small pieces of art, and the paint job of the palm trees at the top of the Deluxe Plus will remind you a beautiful sunny Hawaiian morning. It looks gorgeous, doesn’t it?

Just like in the vintage tube amplifiers that included both built-in reverb and tremolo, the tremolo stage comes after the reverb in the Deluxe Plus. But, in the case of this pedal, the controls have been implemented with much wider ranges.

Reverb and tremolo are two of the most distinctive sounds of the guitar history, mainly from the early sixties. They both sound great when mixed together, creating the characteristic guitar sound of what was called Americana music. In this pedal, you can use both effects at the same time, or each of them individually.

This pedal has instrument input and output mono jacks, and is powered with a 9V negative power supply, requiring 60mA of current to operate.

It’s also very simple with its controls. It has three knobs, one of them to control the reverb (Reverb) and the other two for the tremolo settings (Intensity, Speed). It also has a true bypass stomp switch. This is how the controls of the Mr Black Deluxe Plus Reverb work like:

  • Reverb adjusts the amount of spring reverb that is mixed with the dry sound. If you turn the knob all the way down, you won’t have any reverb out from the pedal. Roll it clockwise, and you’ll obtain a really wet, deep and bright wet sound.
  • Intensity controls the depth of the tremolo. Rolling it clockwise to get a more evident presence of the tremolo. Turn it counter clockwise to get subtle less abrupt amplitude modulation. If turned all the way down, the tremolo will dissapear.
  • Speed changes the speed of the tremolo, as simple as that.

Sound

As you will probably noticed if you read the other reviews from the best reverb pedal series, you will find better sounding pedals than the Mr Black Deluxe Reverb. But none of them is based on the concept of vintage tube amplifiers: a tremolo and a reverb with very simple control knobs, integrated in a single stompbox.

Some people my argue that this pedal would be more versatile if implementing two separate stomp switches, one for the reverb, one for the tremolo. If you need to switch the effects separately when playing live, this could be a drawback for you.

In any case, both effects sound great individually, and they feel great when blended together.

You can hear this pedal by checking out the videos of the playlist below.

Should you buy this pedal?

If you are looking for a combination of spring reverb and tremolo in a single pedal, the Mr. Black Deluxe Plus is a great choice. You will get what you may expect having in Fender Blackface amps.

In my opinion, this is one of the best spring reverb sounds in a pedal. Of course it is not going to be like an outboard tube-driven tank, but is sounds great anyway. However, you’ll be able to adjust the amount of reverb (kind of like a dwell tone, just like in amps), but not the tone or mix. Be aware of that.

And concerning tremolo, it sounds really warm and is very responsive to the controls. If you are looking for a simple tremolo, this pedal is great too. But, you have to think if you’ll need to activate the two effects separately. If so, this pedal is not for you, as it’s got a single stomp switch.

Alternatives to the Mr. Black Deluxe Plus

I tried this pedal in my particular research for the best reverb pedal. Then it also appeared to have a built in tremolo. You have a serious alternative to the Deluxe Plus in the Strymon Flint, another great (as everything Strymon does) pedal. However, I haven’t had the opportunity to play with this guy. The price of it is higher, but it sounds awesome too (as far as I’ve heard from youtube videos).

The other alternative I’d consider if looking for a spring reverb pedal is the Catalinbread Topanga Spring Reverb. This one sounds vintage, you can read tons of positive opinions in forums like this. If you’re serious with surf guitar (and want a backup solution for your outboard unit), the Topanga is a must.

Conclusion

This is a brief summary of the review

PROS

  • You’ll get two great sounding effects in a single stompbox (spring reverb and tremolo)
  • The spring reverb sounds really well
  • Warm-sounding bias tremolo
  • It is true bypass
  • It is hand made in Portland, Oregon

CONS

  • The trem slightly drops the volume
  • You can’t switch on both effects independently

As a conclusion, consider the Mr. Black Deluxe Plus as the perfect solution to include, in a single stompbox, a spring reverb and a tremolo, just like Fender blackface amps do. It sounds really good and vintage. Some may find it pricy, but what you expect for a handmade quality pedal?

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Wampler Faux Spring reverb

Pedal designer Brian Wampler, owner of Wampler Pedals, is fanatical about great tone.

The Wampler Faux Spring Reverb is a great example of that. It goes right to the point: instead of including reverb modes that you’ll never use (like reverse plate reverbs) unless you’re bored at home, you’ll get the sound of an old school, vintage spring tank.

As simple as that. The vintage sound of the sixties electric guitar. Well, that is what I thought at the beginning. However, the more I payed with the pedal, the more modern (less vintage) it sounded to me. Keep on reading…

You can read here what other people say about this pedal.

You can have your reverb be as bright as a day, or dark as night

This is what they say at Wampler Pedals about the Faux Spring Reverb:

The great thing about the Faux Spring Reverb is that it retains the Analog base tone, doesn’t send your signal through digital/analog converters and back again (wrecking your tone completely) allowing you to be as springy as you like without your sound becoming lifeless, dull and… well, bad. 

With the tone control, you can control your sound completely and have your reverb be as bright as day, or dark as night… As lively and bright as a small hall, or as deep as the biggest cathedrals.

However, I would say that this pedal sounds more like the spring reverb you could find built-in in the fender black face amps of the sixties, rather than the more aggressive and wet reverb from outboard units like the ’63 Fender Tube Reverb tank.

Features and controls

As most spring reverb pedals, the Faux Spring Reverb is very simple when speaking about connectivity. It’s got mono in and out, and is powered with a 9V negative power supply, requiring about 80mA of current to operate.

It includes the common knobs that you’ll see in most spring reverb pedals too. In this case, you can adjust the level, length and tone of the reverb with 3 knobs: Level, Depth and Shade controls. It has a single stomp switch too (true bypass).

  • Level controls the amount of reverb mixing with your dry signal.
  • Depth adjusts the size of the reverb.
  • Shade is like a tone control, which will allow you having more sparkling brighter tones when turning clockwise and darker, warmer, more analog tones when rolling counter clockwise.

Sound

This is another great sounding pedal. As it is true bypass and the dry sound stays fully analog, its presence will remain unnoticeable until you need it.

Despite it may seem a little pricy for “just” a single mode reverb pedal, you can be sure that, if you love the vintage old school sound of a spring tank, you will be happy spending what it cost.

Perhaps one thing that some people may find a little annoying is the length of the reverb. It goes up to 2.8s, which could be a little short for those lovers of cavernous deep sounds.

Check out the videos in the playlist below and see how it sounds like.

Should you buy this pedal?

That is a really difficult question. First of all, I’ll assume that you’re thinking of buying a reverb pedal. Now, are you looking for simply a spring reverb pedal? If not, perhaps you need to look for more versatile units, like the JHS Alpine Reverb, the Electro Harmonix Cathedral or the TC Electronic Hall of Fame. All of these are within the same price range than the Wampler Faux Spring Reverb, but include a few reverb types.

If you want a spring reverb pedal, you have to check if you prefer vintage spring tanks (a bit darker sounds) over more modern sounds (although preserving the sound of spring tanks, you get more like a HiFi reverb). If you prefer the second option, this pedal may be for you.

On the other hand, if you like older sounds like those of surf music in the sixties, you may prefer other options (see the next section for alternatives).

Alternatives to the Wampler Faux Spring Reverb

If you are looking for a great spring reverb pedal, you have plenty of awesome options out there: a very similar sounding pedal may be the Mad Professor Silver Spring Reverb. It will be a matter of personal taste what will make you to chose one over the other.

Now, if you are a spring reverb geek and are looking to emulate the sound of vintage outboard spring tanks, you have better alternatives. My personal favorite spring reverb pedal is the Catalinbread Topanga Spring Reverb. This one is really great, it sounds old school.

With less controls, but sounding like fender blackface amps too, you have the Mr. Black Deluxe Plus reverb. It’s a reverb+tremolo pedal, with the controls you had in this kind of vintage amps by Fender. The reverb sounds great too.

You may argue with that, but in my opinion, the Wampler Faux Spring Reverb (and the Mad Professor Silver Spring Reverb too) sound kind of more modern to me.

Conclusion

This is a brief summary of my review of the Faux Spring Reverb:

PROS

  • The Faux Spring Reverb is true bypass
  • The dry signal stays fully analog
  • Great build quality
  • Sounds like a classic Fender Blackface amp

CONS

  • It is a bit expensive
  • The maximum decay time may be too short (2.8s)
  • You may argue it doesn’t sound vintage

As a conclusion, the Wampler Faux Spring Reverb is great sounding pedal, although a little pricy and kind of modern-sounding for some people. In any case, it sounds awesome from the moment you start using it because its knobs react very naturally.

You can check the best prices for this pedal here.

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The Earthquaker Afterneath is not, strictly speaking, just a reverb pedal. This pedal essentially provides a special kind of reverberated sound that is made up of a bunch of short delays.

An otherworldly reverberation machine

It is described by Earthquaker Devices as an otherworldly reverberation machine that uses a swarm of short delays to create wild and cavernous reverbs and scattered, short rhythmic delays with bizarre characteristics. The reverb created is beyond massive and goes well beyond the territory of most reverb pedals.

The end result is an ethereal, ambient wash that goes from hall to an infinite glitched-out orchestra pit warming up in a canyon at the bottom of another canyon inside a well.

I love that.

Even though is not like the other guys in the best reverb pedal buying guide, I decided to include it just because it’s different, and it’s great. It is worthy bringing here just because of the fact that it’ll take your playing to places you wouldn’t go otherwise.

But you can be sure about this: you’ll either love it or find it useless. You can read what other people say about this pedal here.

Features and controls

It is powered with a 9V negative power supply, and it requires a minimum current of 65mA. It as mono connections at both input and output.

The controls of this pedal are very different from what you may see in any other reverb pedal. It has 6 knobs: Length, Diffuse, Dampen, Drag, Reflect, and Mix. It also has a single (true bypass) stomp switch:

  • Length controls the length (i.e. decay) of the reverb.
  • Diffuse adjusts the spread of the reverb. You will hear more the delays when turned counter clockwise, and more wash ambient as you turn it clockwise.
  • Dampen is something like a tone control. Roll it clockwise for brighter tones, counter clockwise for darker tones.
  • As said by Earthquake Devices (and as you will probably agree) Drag is the coolest control on the Afterneath. It separates the delay lines creating a stuttering, pingy effect. More delay as you turn it counter clockwise, more reverb as you turn it clockwise.
  • Reflect acts as a feedback control in a delay pedal. It controls the regeneration of the reverb: turn clockwise for more echos. You can make the sound self oscillate if turned up high.
  • Mix blends the wet signal into the dry. You won’t strictly get a fully wet sound by rolling it all the way up, but it would seem like you do. It is because the dry sound level will decrease as you turn the knob clockwise.

Sound

I can’t just say that this reverb pedal sounds great, but it does. Put another way, this reverb can’t sound great (from a pure reverb sound perspective) because it isn’t like other reverb pedals, but it sounds great because it is a crazy device that will take to unexpected places when you play with it.

You can check the videos in the playlist below to see what this pedal is capable about and think about if you like what it does more than the classic reverb tones will give you.

One thing is clear: the Afterneath is not a simple device; you will have to spend some time to catch up with it, but you’ll enjoy doing it…

Should you buy this pedal?

This question is difficult to answer in the case of the Afterneath. It’s not a typical reverb pedal, so you won’t want to think about it if you’re looking a pedal that recreates springs, plates, or even room reverbs.

When you listen to this pedal (or try it taking your time) you’ll either love it or hate it. If you love it, you’ll buy it, because you won’t find anything similar from other vendors. The Afterneath is unique, and when you play with it, it will inspire you and will take your playing to places that you wouldn’t go otherwise.

If you like playing with knobs researching for new sounds, this pedal may be a good pedal to consider.

Alternatives to the Earthquaker Devices Afterneath

I had written about some alternatives to this pedal but it was just bullshit. There ain’t no alternatives to the Afterneath, it is a unique device. You better see my list of the best reverb pedals if you’re looking for a more conventional stompbox.

Conclusion

This is a brief summary of my review of the Afterneath:

PROS

  • It is a unique pedal
  • True bypass
  • Fully analog dry signal
  • Hand made
  • It will take your playing to unexpected places

CONS

  • It is a little pricy, but it is unique anyway
  • It would be so cool if it was stereo
  • Difficult to use

I’ve said it a couple of times already, but I will summarize my review by saying that the Afterneath is a unique pedal. It is not just like any other reverb pedal, either it emulates spring reverbs or natural room ambiences. You will either love it or hate it. If you’re looking for a more classic reverb pedal, buy one. But get an Afterneath too!!!

You can check the price of the Earthquaker Devices Afterneath here.

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T-Rex only makes high quality pedals. And this one is another example. The T-Rex Room Mate Junior is something like the little brother of the T-Rex Room Mate, another great top-of-the-range reverb pedal with an awesome tube-driven analog circuitry.

Without the tube, but with great quality analog circuitry, the digital signal processing of the Room Mate Junior does a great job emulating warm and realistic reverberation ambiences.

The Room-Mate Junior will eradicate any speculations about unwanted noise and vibrations in a live-setting

With some amps their built-in spring reverbs often can make the sounding very trebly as well as having to deal with noise issues. The Room-Mate Junior will eradicate any speculations about unwanted noise and vibrations in a live-setting. This is what it sounds like when you marry cutting-edge digital technology and superior analogue craftsmanship to deliver a superb vintage reverb sound. Have you ever wondered what it sounds like when angels sing? Try the Room-Mate Junior and you’ll get the idea!

This is another great versatile pedal. The sound quality is great (as usual with T-Rex devices) and you’ll get the best out of it straight away. It’s super easy to use and the knobs will respond just like you want them to do.

Features and controls

The Room Mate Junior will let you play with four modes of reverb: room for small studio-like ambients recreation, hall for emulating bigger (up to huge) venues, spring for the old reverb sound of the vintage spring reverbs that were built-in in vintage tube amps from the sixties, and LFO, that will add some chorus to the mix.

A cool feature of the Room Mate Junior is that it includes an Input Gain knob on the side of the pedal. As you’ll probably guessed by its name, it’ll let you tune the input level of the signal coming to the pedal. On the side of this knob there is a red LED to indicate clipping if present. This is a pretty unique feature among reverb pedals, and it comes handy when placing the T-Rex within your effects loop.

As I’ll describe later, you can adjust the output level of the signal coming from the output of the pedal too. The Room Mate Junior will get along extremely well with any amp and the other guys on your pedalboard thanks to this adjustability.

The Room Mate Junior is powered with an standard 9V negative power supply, requiring something about 85mA of current for its operation. It has three jack connectors, one for the input and two for a stereo output.

The controls that you’ll see in this pedal are simple. It has five knobs: four of them are on the top of the pedal (Mix, Level, Decay and Mode) and the other is on the righthand side (Input Gain). It’s got a single (true bypass) on/off stomp switch.

This is how the knobs in the pedal work like:

  • Mix controls the bluend of the dry and wet signals.
  • Level is the volume (overall) of the signal coming out from the Room Mate.
  • Decay sets the length of the reverb.
  • Mode sets the reverb mode (spring, room, hall, LFO).
  • Input Level. You can adjust the input level of the signal entering the pedal, so you don’t overload it in case you place in an effects loop.

Sound

This pedal sounds pristine. The rooms and halls are warm and they reproduce real reverberation ambiences.

On the other hand, the Spring Reverb sounds very clear, and not noisy at all. Well, this might be good for some, but not for me. I love how vintage spring tanks sound, and they are many things but clear a noiseless… Some means of changing the high frequency response of the reverb could be great for having darker sounds.

However, the Room Mate Junior could be a great choice to use it with other acoustic instruments. In fact, as you may see in the pedal’s user manual, the LFO mode is a Reverb embellished with chorus, perfect for acoustic guitar.

Check out the videos in the playlist below to see if this pedal is for you.

Should you buy this pedal?

The straightforward answer to this question is: it depends. If you are looking for a pedal recreating natural room ambiences, this one sound great. Both Room and Hall modes sound pretty natural, but you have to take into account that, although it has an stereo output, the input is mono. It may be ok for you if you are using just reverb for your stereo path, but think about it if you’re going to use another stereo pedal (like an stereo delay) in front of the reverb: you might prefer a true stereo reverb in that case…

If you are into vintage sounds, you may prefer a pure spring reverb pedal. There is plenty of options here, just check out the following section to see the alternatives to the Room Mate Junior.

If you are not serious about reverb and you are looking for a pedal that will enforce your sound by giving some presence to your sound, this may be a great option. Just adjust the knobs to have the sound you like, and forget about it.

Alternatives to the T-Rex Room Mate Junior

Considering the features of the Room Mate Junior, the alternatives you might be considering are those offering several reverb modes (sounding great).

You will have to look to both Electro Harmonix Cathedral and TC Electronic Hall of Fame. These offer a few more reverb modes though, and both a true stereo. They sound great too and have some more versatility, and their price is lower.

On the higher end, you should have a look to the Strymon blueSky. I’m serious here, this is one of the greatest reverb pedals. Strymon pedals sound like nothing else and you will love them from the moment you play with them.

You have, of course, its bigger brother: The T-Rex Room Mate. Tube-driven, sounds great, but it discontinued, although you can still find some deals in amazon.

Conclusion

This is the brief summary of my review of the T-Rex Room Mate Junior:

PROS

  • It is true bypass
  • The Room and Hall reverbs sound warm and natural
  • The LFO reverb (blended with a chorus) is very cool for acoustic instruments
  • It is noiseless; high quality built
  • The input level can be adjusted with an additional knob on the side of the pedal
  • The T-Rex is built like a tank

CONS

  • The input could be stereo too
  • You have plenty of alternatives for spring reverb
  • A little pricy, although you can find good deals on amazon

As a conclusion, the T-Rex Room Mate Junior is a good reverb pedal offering several types of reverb. It sounds great when recreating natural ambiences (with Room and Hall modes), and the LFO is a cool feature too. You may think though that the spring reverb doesn’t sound like old school vintage outboard units… For some people, the ability of adjusting the input level with a dedicated knob will be very cool, specially when placing the pedal within FX loops.

Although you may find it a little pricy, you can find good deals in amazon.

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Electro Harmonix Cathedral

The EHX Cathedral is one of the most popular choices for reverb, due to its versatility and sound quality. It has 7 different types of reverb and an echo mode. You can also set one preset for each mode, so you can save all your favorite tones and recall them by pressing the mode knob.

You can read what other people say about the Cathedral here.

Enter the Cathedral and surround your music with the aria of divine presence

This is what Electro Harmonix says about this baby: Enter the Cathedral and surround your music with the aria of divine presence. True stereo reverbs reveal your inspirations while programmability recalls your spirit of creation. 

The Cathedral is the performer’s mantra creating the perfect space for your instrument or voice while offering an elegance that takes your music to a higher ground.

Something is clear with the Cathedral: it’s great not just because I think is great. Some of the most prestigious magazines definitely agree that this pedal is one of the best reverb pedals out there.

In fact, this pedal was chosen as the 2009 Stompbox of the year by musicradar.com, it was marked as “top gear” by Top Guitar Musician’s Magazine, and was also rewarded the Guitar Player Magazine Editor’s Pick award for outstanding sonic performance, among others.

Features and controls

The Cathedral has a 9V negative power supply, drawing a current of 200mA. It has true stereo input and output connectors, and it is true bypass. Thanks to its 24-bit ADCs, the effect of the pedal is totally transparent.

The EHX Cathedral has 7 controls: blend, reverb time, damping/tone, feedback, pre-delay, and mode. It also has 2 stomp switches, one for activating the pedal, and another one with tap/infinite features.

  • Blend is essentially the mix between dry and wet sounds.
  • Reverb time changes the length (decay) of the reverb.
  • Damping/Tone control makes the reverb to sound darker or brighter, and is available for each reverb mode.
  • Feedback controls the amount of reverb signal that is sent back to the input section.
  • Pre-delay adds a delay to the reverb sound. This control can be changed with the knob and with the tap tempo switch.
  • Mode allows you to change the type of the reverb. The modes are Grail Spring, which is the same sound as EHX’s Holy Grail reverb; Accu Spring, based on a 17″ Accutronics spring tank with 6 springs; Hall, Room, Plate, Reverse, which mimics the popular reverse reverb effect, Grail Flerb, a reverb combined with a flanger, again taken from the Holy Grail, and Echo, which turns the reverb into a digital echo/delay.

Sound

I love this pedal (it is on my pedalboard…)

It is very versatile thanks to the built-in reverb modes and its controls. However, it may result a bit difficult to make it sound great at the beginning, but you won’t be able to stop playing with it and will get its juice right away.

It added magic to my amp, and you will get amazed if connected it stereo. I enjoy every day playing with the knobs coming across new sounds.

Apart from the two Strymons (BigSky and blueSky) and Eventide Space Reverb, I haven’t heard such as 3D ambience in any other reverb pedal I’ve had the opportunity to play with.

Check out the videos in the playlist below to see how it sounds.

Should you buy this pedal?

First, you must decide if the Electro Harmonix Cathedral fits within your budget. You can check the best price here.

If you are reading this review is because you are thinking of buying a reverb pedal. Your amp doesn’t have a built-in reverb? Your amp has a built-in reverb but you want more versatility in your sound?

The Cathedral will be a good choice if you’re looking for a reverb pedal that allows you emulating different types of reverb with a lot of flexibility in its controls. Also consider this one if you want stereo-pristine reverb sounds without spending a fortune.

It is also a good election if you plan to use it with other instruments, or in your home studio. It is true stereo and nearly noiseless, so it’ll give you good results for synths, vocals and bass.

Don’t buy this pedal if you don’t like playing with knobs and want a straightforward sound. You’ll need some patience to get most out of it.

Alternatives to the Electro Harmonix Cathedral

You will find other alternatives to this pedal in this guide. Considering the versatility of this pedal and the high quality of its sound, it is hard to find great contenders.

If the budget is not an issue, you should check the two Strymons: the Stymon SkyVerb for the greatness of the best reverb pedal and the Strymon blueSky for another sidereal reverb, but with a few more features than its big brother.

Another pricy alternative is the Eventide Space, very similar to the Strymon SkyVerb. It has different features and is also full of features. You should like playing with knobs to get most of the Space too…

In a similar price range you will find the TC Electronic Hall of Fame. This is another great reverb pedal, and includes a cool feature: the Toneprint will allow you downloading (directly to the pedal) your favorite reverb sounds preset by your favorite guitarists.

Conclusion

Check out the pros and cons that summarize the Electro Harmonix Cathedral review:

PROS

  • Great versatility. Up to 8 reverb types very parametrizable with the knobs
  • Spring, Room and Hall reverbs sound very realistic
  • True stereo, very high sound quality (24-bit ADCs and DACs)
  • You can store a preset for each reverb mode
  • Power supply included, though you can use a standard low current 9V negative power supply

CONS

  • A little tricky at the beginning. You’ll have to play around with the knobs to get the best out of it
  • You can hear a little change in sound (it is slightly interrupted) when switching it off

My conclusion is that the Electro Harmonix Cathedral is a great device, one of the best reverb pedals out there. However, my opinion could be a little biased here, as I bought this pedal after my thorough research about reverb pedals.

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Mad Professor is a synonym of sound quality, and the Silver Spring Reverb is a great example of it. It has been designed to sound great with both clean and distorted sounds, something that is difficult in stompbox-size reverb pedals.

The dry signal stays fully analog and only the reverb is digitally filtered. It’ll be killer when placing it within your FX loop, but it won’t get nasty if placed before the overdrives and distortion pedals. It is super easy to use, and you won’t ged mad just trying to sound great.

Built the Mad Professor way: small footprint and big tone

This is what Mad Professor says about this pedal:

The SSR’s sound is exceptional with a clean signal, but was specifically designed to work equally well with the tougher performance requirements of distorted tone. The SSR can be used before distortion, although it was primarily designed to go after. If you use the SSR before distortion, you may want to use a lower Reverb (Wet/Dry) setting.

Built the Mad Professor way: small footprint and big tone.

Features and controls

As most of spring reverb pedals, the Silver Spring Reverb is mono, so you’ll only see single input and output connectors. On the other hand, this stompbox is powered with a 9V negative power supply, requiring at least 80mA of current.

The controls of the Silver Spring Reverb are pretty standard too. It has 3 knobs: Time, Tone and Reverb, and the true bypass stomp switch. This is how the knobs will affect your sound like:

  • Time sets the length of the reverb
  • Tone control adjusts the high frequency response of the reverb. It’ll get darker counter clockwise, and brighter when rolling it clockwise.
  • Reverb controls the amount of reverb mixed with the dry signal. You’ll get the dry signal when all the way down, but it won’t get up to a fully wet reverb if rolled all the way up.

Sound

I’ve already said that the Mad Professor Silver Spring Reverb sounds great. It’s capable of recreating studio-quality room reverbs with different sizes: from a small warm studio and a plated bathroom to a big church.

But here comes something that some people may argue about. Despite including the Spring word in its name, I don’t personally think that you’ll get a spring reverb sound with this pedal. At least, not the sound of the old school, vintage tube-driven spring tanks.

I didn’t have the chance to enjoy playing with it for a long time, but I wasn’t able to hear those characteristic sounds of springs anyway.

You won’t get disappointed if you’re looking for a simple reverb that just sound great, is simple to use, and can get along perfectly with your amp and distorted sounds.

Check out the video below to hear what kind of crystal clear room ambiences this guy can get you.

Should you buy this pedal?

Now this question is a little tricky in the case of the Silver Spring Reverb. If you are looking for a vintage spring reverb sound, you have better options than the Mad Professor. On the other hand, if you’re looking for natural reverbs, you have better options too (see the alternatives section).

But, if you are looking for a reverb pedal that does not color your sound and recreates small to medium natural ambiences, this pedal is great. It is the perfect solution to tune the knobs the way you like and just leave it there. You’ll see how it’ll just make you sound better.

Alternatives to the Mad Professor Silver Spring Reverb

The Wampler Faux Spring Reverb is a very similar pedal within the same price range. It’ll be a matter of personal taste if you prefer one over the other.

If what you really like is spring reverb, you have better options that recreate vintage sounds of outboard spring tanks. In my opinion, the best of those is Catalinbread Topanga Spring Reverb. It is pure old school. On the other hand, you also have the Mr. Black Deluxe Plus, this one is great for surf music, and looks so cool…

On the other end, you have one of the beasts of Strymon, the blueSky. This one will allow you recreating the best reverbs you can imagine. You may think it’s pricy, but will change your mind if you have the chance to play with it.

Conclusion

This is the summary of my review of the Mad Professor Silver Spring Reverb:

PROS

  • It sounds really warm
  • It is true bypass
  • The dry signal stays fully analog
  • The sound quality is great, the pedal is noiseless
  • Very easily tunable, the knobs will just make what you want them to do

CONS

  • It doesn’t really sound like a vintage outboard spring unit
  • It’s not capable of extreme reverbs

I love spring reverb pedals, because they are simple to use and because I love the feeling of vintage spring tanks of the early sixties. You won’t find that stuff in the Silver Spring Reverb though. It sounds great, but too HiFi, although this pristine sound is great for recreating natural reverberating ambients too…

Check out the price of this pedal here.

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Mooer Shimverb

I absolutely love the Micro series of Mooer pedals. They are small, you have a wide selection of pedals to chose from, they look nice and they sound awesome. And, if you are looking for budget gear, you should check them out.

You have two choices if looking for a micro reverb pedal by Mooer: the Skyverb and the Shimverb. I’ve included the Shimverb in my Best Reverb Pedal Top-15 list because of its shimmery effects, which I absolutely love. It also has Room and Spring reverb modes, so plenty of flexibility here.

You can read here what other people is saying about this pedal.

Features and controls

This pedal is powered via 9V negative power supply. Even though Mooer says that the pedal requires 128mA of current to operate, I’ve read some reviews saying that the Shimverb only draws 10mA, which will allow you to daisy chain a lot of these pedals with a standard power supply.

In any case, I’m not very fan of daisy chaining and I haven’t verified the power consumption, so you better take this feature with some care. It includes the mono input and output connectors in the common asymmetrical layout to optimize staging a few more Mooer pedals with their special PC-Z connectors.

This pedal has three knobs (Level, Color and Decay), a small switch for changing the type of the reverb (Room, Spring, Shimmer), and a single stomp switch (true bypass) to activate the pedal. This is how the knobs of the pedal work:

  • Level controls the amount of reverb that will add to the dry sound.
  • Color changes the tone of the reverb by taking over high frequencies
  • Decay will adjust the length of the reverb.

Sound

Now it’s time to talk about how it sounds. Well, the Mooer Shimverb is the cheapest pedal of this list, and you can be sure that it won’t sound like the others. However, I think it sounds pretty good too.

In my opinion, the Room mode sounds warm and feels analog. You can set small studio-like reverbs or bigger hall ambiences. On the other hand, I love the heavenly sweet sounds that the Shimmer gives you by adding a 5th.

However, the Spring reverb doesn’t sound as realistic as it does in other spring reverb pedals. It feels a little digital. Once thing that I noticed is that the output volume is kind of reduced when using this pedal, so better use a boost in front of it.

In any case, you better check out the videos in the playlist below and see what this little boy is capable of.

Should you buy this pedal?

You may be interested in buying this pedal if your budget for a reverb pedal is very tight. Don’t spend 40 bucks in other cheap reverb pedals that you may find, just spend a little more and get a Shimverb.

On the other hand, you may like this pedal for its Shimmer feature. Some people hate it, but other love it. If that is your case, you’ll buy it, the price is great.

Think about it if you don’t have much room on your pedalboard. The Shimverb is really tiny and very easily daisy-chained, as its power consumption is low (I’ve read some other reviews that say its just about 10mA).

Don’t think about the Shimverb if you are serious about reverb. If you are looking a reverb pedal that sounds analog or love vintage spring tanks, you have better options out there.

Alternatives to the Mooer Shimverb

You may find other cheaper reverb pedals in the market, but they are more toys than real pedals. The Shimverb in the cheapest pedal on the best reverb pedal list, and its alternatives are all more expensive. And yes, they sound better too…

A kind of alternative could be the Electro Harmonix Holy Grail Nano. It also has Spring and Room effects (Hall in the case of the Holy Grail), and they sound much better than the in the Shimverb. It doesn’t have Shimmer, but has a mixture between reverb and flanger called Flerb, that is kind of unique among reverb pedals.

Conclusion

The Mooer Shimverb is a tiny little pedal that sounds pretty good and has a great price. This is the summary of my review.

PROS

  • True bypass
  • It’s tiny and looks great
  • Very low power consumption, so you can daisy-chain a lot of pedals from the Micro Series by Mooer
  • A different sounding (but so cool) Shimmery effect
  • Great price
  • The Room reverb sounds warm and analog

CONS

  • Spring reverb sounds a little fake and too digital
  • Not very natural sounding at higher frequencies (Color control all the way up)

The Mooer Shimverb is a tiny little reverb pedal that will do the job, unless you are serious about reverb. Its price is great and it will fit on any pedalboard, so it can be a good thing to include in your gigbag, just in case.

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The Boss FRV-1 ’63 Fender Reverb pedal is a (great) attempt to reproduce the reverb sound of a vintage Fender Tube Reverb, the popular spring tube-driven reverb tank that contributed shaping surf and blues music in the early sixties. And you know what? Boss really nailed it.

The built-in digital signal processing algorithms do a great job by emulating the sound of this mythical reverb. It uses a modeling technology called COSM, which also gives character to other great Boss products. If you’re interested about digital sound modeling, check out this great article about the COSM technology.

The legendary sound of the 1963 Fender® Spring Reverb returns as a modern stompbox

You can read here what real people say about this pedal. In the words of Boss:

A classic reborn — the legendary sound of the 1963 Fender® Spring Reverb returns as a modern stompbox. BOSS and Fender® USA have collaborated to create the FRV-1, a stunning recreation of the legendary ’63 Fender® Reverb via COSM technology. 

The FRV-1 puts that timeless tube-driven reverb sound under your foot in a tough, reliable compact pedal. A timeless classic — the Fender® Spring Reverb is the sound that launched the surf-music phenomenon, and is a staple of rockabilly, country, and blues. 

Later, it became commonplace in grunge and other modern genres. Now the same legendary sound can be had in an affordable, rugged compact pedal.

With this pedal you won’t simply get just another spring reverb pedal: what you’ll get is the sound of a ’63 Fender Tube Reverb.

Features and controls

You must recall that this reverb was different than spring reverbs you can find in any vintage (and modern) tube amp. These reverbs only have a knob that basically controls the amount of reverb that is mixed with the dry sound, being the reverb placed between the power and preamp stages.

On the other hand, the ’63 Reverb was used in front of the preamp, not good for distortion sounds, but it could give an special taste to overdriven amps.

The stompbox is very simple concerning its connectivity: it has an instrument input (mono) and instrument output (mono), and it’s powered with a 9V negative power supply, driving about 37mA of current.

As the original unit, it has 3 knobs: Mix, Tone and Dwell, and a single stomp switch:

  • Mix controls the ratio of the dry and wet sounds.
  • Tone shapes the high frequencies, by making the reverb sound brighter or darker.
  • Dwell adjusts the amount of the original signal that is sent to the reverb circuit.

Sound

Now, how does it sound like? Of course, like with any other digitally modeled effect, the sound the Boss FRV-1 will get is not exactly like the one of a vintage tube-driven unit. But it’s indeed very close. It would definitely challenge you in a blind test.

Once thing that I like about this pedal is how easy is to make it sound great. It is not my favorite spring reverb pedal though, but it’s a good choice if you one to get the approximate sound of the ’63 unit reissue, but in a stompbox size (and for less than one fifth of the price).

The only thing that I didn’t like about its sound is when I turned the Tone control all the way up. I was using a Fender amp with its EQ controls at noon, and it sounded a little harsh. But it is ok, you may not need to go that bright anyway…

Check out the videos in the playlist below and find out if you like how it sounds

Should you buy this pedal?

You should buy this pedal if it’s clear to you that you want a pedal that gives you the sound of a classic Fender spring reverb tank of the early sixties.

If you are a hardcore surfer guitar you will see that there is no way that this pedal may sound like an outboard spring reverb unit. Well, you know, it gets pretty close. Give it a go, it can come handy as a backup for your outboard unit. Either to play at home or when is not practical to bring your tube-driven reverb unit to a gig, you will be happy to see the Boss FRV-1 in your gigbag or on your pedalboard.

You won’t like this pedal if you are looking for a “natural” sounding reverb. If you want to recreate natural reverberating environments, The Boss FRV-1 is not for you. Spring reverb is by no means natural; in fact, it was the artificial way to recreate a natural reverb in the sixties, when no digital modeling technology was available.

Alternatives to the Boss FRV-1 ’63 Fender Reverb

If vintage spring reverb sound is what you like, you should check the Catalinbread Topanga Spring Reverb. It is a very similar stompbox, but it includes an extra knob (preamp volume control) that will add a magic juice to your tone when driving your tube amplifier. In my opinion, it sounds a little better than the Boss FRV-1.

You have other great spring reverb pedals that don’t sound that old (to me). They have a slight more modern sound, and they can even recreate room-like reverbs, even though they have very simple controls (don’t allow you selecting between different types of reverb). These models are the Wampler Faux Spring Reverb and the Mad Professor Silver Spring Reverb.

Conclusion

The Boss FRV-1 has loads of positive reviews, and that’s because it’s a great pedal. This is the short summary of my personal review.

PROS

  • The recreation of the ’63 Fender Reverb gets pretty close to the original unit
  • You will agree that you love to see the Fender logo on the pedal, its look is awesome
  • It is a Boss pedal, so it’s clear that is a reliable and durable pedal
  • Great price

CONS

  • The signal is fully converted to digital, processed and then back to analog. A dry fully analog would be great
  • The sound of the reverb may get too harsh when the Tone control is set all the way up.
  • It is not true bypass

My personal conclusion is that the Boss FRV-1 ’63 Fender Reverb is a great reverb pedal if you’re looking for a vintage spring reverb sound. Not good if you’re looking for natural room-like reverbs or crystal-clear orbital sounds… The pedal looks great, sounds pretty close to the original outboard Fender unit and the price is great!