The best reverb pedals for guitar provide a cornerstone effect for most guitarists. It is able to thicken, add color and character to your signal. With the volume, mix, decay, pre-delay and tone controls apparent on most reverb pedals you're able to adjust your reverb effect to exactly how you want it.
Reverb pedals have been around since the late 50s. Although these early models are far simpler than the modern day versions. The original reverb pedal designs are known as 'plate reverb.
By mounting a metal plate using spring clips and running a the guitars signal though. An audio signal is able to vibrate the plate. Microphones positioned throughout the pedal are able to pick up the vast array of micro-vibrations. The signal is layers with these sounds, resulting in a convincing rendition of a resonant room. Plate reverb pedals were a hit.
Later advancements in the 60s lead to the creation of spring reverb pedals. This effect not only appears in pedal form but is apparent on many guitar amplifiers. The audio signal is sent down a coiled metal spring inside the pedal. A transducer at one end and a pickup at the other. Vibrations are caused within the metal spring. The signal is defused down the spring, resulting in the effect being captured by the pickup.
Fast forward to today and you'll find it's possible to achieve the same 'real room' tones with the use of digital processors. Furthermore, as these pedals create an entirely emulated sound, the reverb can be customized with a few simple configurations.
Digital reverb pedals can come with a range of controls. The following settings are common on some of the most popular reverb pedals for guitarists.
The effect ration is quite a straight forward configuration. You have two signals, the original dry input signal from your guitar. The second is the 'reverberated' signal created by the pedal. The effect ration is the difference in volume between the two signals. A 'dry' mix prioritizes the unaffected original signal, while a 'wet' mix prioritizes the reverberated signal. The 'wetter' a configuration the further way the guitar sounds.
Also known as 'reverberation time'. Decay time is a measurement of the reverberated signals strength. A higher decay time results in a reflective sound that takes longer to fade to the point it is no longer audible. Achieve different room size emulations with this setting. A longer delay simulates a larger room.
Pre-decay time is less common however has a subtle and useful effect on your reverb. This setting configures the time between the direct signal starting and the modified signal starting. It offers the guitarist a way to mimic the time it takes for the dry signal to hit a wall and reverberate back to the microphone or amplifier.
Not all reverb pedals are complex and littered with configurable knobs. Some come with a single control. Specifying the extremity of the effect. This is perfect for some who would find the sheer number of options on a more complex pedal confusing. However, it can feel restricting to others who would prefer a little more freedom to find their perfect sound.
Reverb can be used to create an ambience, a 'concert hall' effect. Giving your signal a depth that would rival that of a cathedral. The best reverb pedals try to emulate this authentic reverb effect and encapsulate it into a pedal. Allowing you to get the awe inspiring sound without the need for a breathtaking surrounding.
Natural reverb is a necessary effect for all types of music genres. It adds layers to the sound. On the other hand reverb pedals give configurable depth and tonal utilization. Consequently, this can add to your sound and lead to a sense of ambiance. A 'true bypass reverb pedal' will give you a sudden stop when deactivated. The main benefit is that the signal is unaltered when the pedal is off. The alternative type of pedal would be a 'buffered bypass reverb pedal'. These allow the reverb to trail away when the pedal is turned off. The disadvantage is that a buffered bypass circuit can and will still have an effect on the circuit when off.
Reverb pedals are paramount to a guitarists tonal sound. Finding the best one for your circumstance is something we've tried to help with. We're confident that with the list we've created you can find the right reverb pedal for you.