What is the best analog reverb pedal today? This is a question that’s ironically both tough and easier to answer given the lack of available choices of analog reverb pedals on the market.
Ever since the famous Fender 1963 tube-driven spring reverb unit was released, providing beautifully deep and lush spring reverb, with controls for dwell, mix and tone, the obsession with analog reverb pedals began.
Nothing comes close to the Fender for surf guitar or “Dick Dale” sounds…But, good luck finding it today, and for a fair price! Luckily, there are still a few true spring analog reverb pedals around.
What we’re sure of is that a good analog reverb pedal can improve the sound quality of your music. It can make your sounds richer, warmer and more natural sounding.
We’ve reviewed some for you and below are our favorite and best analog reverb pedals on the market today…
The best analog reverb pedals can fool you into thinking you are rocking out in a stadium full of screaming fans.
Best Analog Reverb Pedals
Alternative Digital Reverb Pedals (Close to Analog)
While digital reverb pedals can’t compare to the best analog reverb pedals, they’re getting pretty close.
If you can’t find any of our recommended true spring analog recommendations, below are some very capable digital options.
Editor Rating: 4.7/5
The Hall of Fame reverb pedal has a very daunting name. But for most of the satisfied owners and users of this reverb pedal, the name is very fitting. It is indicative of the quality and performance of the reverb pedal.
Most analog reverb pedal reviews online include the TC Electronic Hall of Fame in their list of the best analog reverb pedals. This goes to show how highly rated this pedal is
The TC Electronic Hall of Fame reverb pedal offers 10 reverb types including a custom TonePrint.
The reverb options include:
It can be said that the Hall of Fame reverb pedal is very versatile. It is one of the few standard sized pedals with so many great sounding reverbs.
The 11th reverb setting Tone Print, allows users to download settings created by pro guitarists and soundlabs.
The consensus is that all reverb types sound fantastic.
Guitarists will also love the Tone Print setting. They say that it is very easy to use. Users simply have to go to the TCE website, download patches, and save it on their computer.
From their computer, they can transfer those patches to the Hall of Fame pedal. There’s no need to go to the Internet if users want to change patches. And it even has an app which allows users to transfer patches from their phones.
The build quality of this pedal is also worth mentioning. It is very solidly built. Many reviewers on Amazon.com say their units have lasted for them for many years.
There are a few complaints about this reverb pedal. One is the color—red isn’t exactly a color you expect reverb pedals to be available in, and there aren't other options which is unfortunate. However, it's definitely not a deal breaker.
Another is the price—this isn’t exactly the cheapest analog reverb pedal around.
The TC Electronic Hall of Fame Reverb Pedal is truly a great analog reverb pedal. It is versatile, easy to use, and well-made.
This reverb pedal gets a rating of 5 stars.
Editor Rating: 4.6/5
The TC Electronic Arena Reverb Pedal is basically the TC Electronic Hall of Fame reverb pedal. But it has four exclusive Tone Prints to boot. It’s basically a souped-up version of the Hall of Fame.
As mentioned earlier, the Tone Prints allow users to download custom patches.
The four Tone Prints included in this pedal were carefully picked by Barry Mitchell of Guitar Centers.
The first TonePrint, Royal, would remind you of those classic hall and church reverbs. Parliament has a more detailed vibe than a typical Hall reverb.
Passage, on the other hand, expands the typical room reverb into a fuller-sounding effect. Season is a smoother spring reverb. Think of it as a dreamy spring sound.
Of course, there are the traditional reverbs as well like Hall, Plate, Spring, Room, and Church. There’s also the Modulated reverb which gives an animated sound, perfect for leads.
Similar to the Hall of Fame, the quality of the reverbs of the Arena is clean and very realistic. It doesn’t sound like any low cost pedal. Moreover, the longer reverbs have a very distinctive, smooth delay.
And just like the Hall of Fame, accessing those patches in the Tone Print mode is very easy.
Simply go to the TC Electronic website, download a file, patch it to your computer, and open the downloaded file. This would create an applet that aids in uploading the Tone Print to the pedal.
There’s also an iPhone and Android app that users can turn to in transferring patches to the pedal.
As you would expect from a reverb pedal with TC Electronic’s logo on it, this model is very well built.
It is housed in a rugged and die-cast aluminum case. It is about 4.75 inches by 3 inches including the in/out jack nuts on the sides.
It gets power from a 9V battery. You can also plug it in using an Ibanez adapter. The latter is a more practical option given the hefty power drain of this device.
The TC Electronic Arena Reverb Pedal could be the best analog pedal right now. Its price is its only flaw or weakness.
Things We Liked
- Very versatile
- Manufactured with quality
- Awesome features
Things We Didn't Like
- On the more expensive side
Editor Rating: 4.2/5
The Ibanez AD MINI Analog Delay Effect Pedal is compact and affordable. It also sounds great. With those qualities, it is not a shock that it has a lot of very positive reviews online.
One of the first things that will strike you about this mini pedal is its size. It is very compact with dimensions of 10 x 2 x 4 inches.
While small, the pedal is built like a tank. Even the small knobs for repeat and mix controls are quite steady.
You can forget about incidental damage ruining this pink colored pedal, like accidentally crushing the pedal during an inspired performance on stage.
In terms of performance, you can hardly find any shortcomings from this mini pedal.
Most reviewers on Amazon.com agree that this mini pedal sounds very great. It never sounds too distorted or clipped, even when you set it at repeat.
While it is far from digital pedals in terms of clarity, the mini-pedal has a nice, warm and classic delay.
With its great sound and compact size, the Ibanez AD Mini Analog Delay Effect Pedal is a very good buy. It can enhance your sound without taking up a lot of pedalboard space, or causing a hole in your pockets.
The Ibanez AD MINI Analog Delay Effect Pedal may be the best reverb pedal for its size. With a very compact frame, this pedal can be a great addition to your pedal board.
It is cheap and easy to use as well. And the build quality is just impressive for a pedal of this size.
The Ibanez AD MINI Analog Delay Effect Pedal gets a rating of 4.5 stars.
Things We Liked
- Nice and compact
- Build to last
- Very afforable
Things We Didn't Like
- No power adapter
The Behringer Vintage Delay VD400 is very simple, easy to use, and affordable. It can help you achieve a sound that would remind you of the sounds of the 50s and 60s.
This pedal is fairly straightforward to use. You can refer to the bright blue LED to know if the vintage delay has been activated.
There are only three knobs to use. One is for adjusting delay time (Repeat Rate); anther for adjusting output level (Echo), and the last for adjusting number of repetitions (Intensity).
It is powered by a 9V battery, or through direct current with a DC power supply which isn’t included in the product package.
The delay time is 300ms which is pretty much the standard for an analog reverb pedal.
It is made of ABS plastic, an industrial grade plastic that is also used in construction helmets and motorcycle helmets. It is impact proof.
As reported by satisfied reviewers on Amazon.com, the pedal is very durable. Some reviewers shared stories of how they’ve dropped this pedal numerous times. They say that it can resist bumps and bruises.
However, not all Amazon.com reviewers are all praises for this pedal.
Some point out that it has certain design flaws.
One common complaint is that it is hard to change batteries of this reverb pedal. Also, other reviewers wish that it is customizable.
But for its price, this pedal is one of the best. You can’t ask for anything cheaper but of good quality than this pedal.
The Behringer Vintage Delay VD400 is one of the cheapest analog reverb pedals you can find online. It is well built, durable, and very easy to operate.
While it has its share of flaws, the BEHRINGER VINTAGE DELAY VD400 remains a highly recommended analog reverb pedal.
Things We Liked
- Very affordable
- Easy to use
- Extremely durable
Things We Didn't Like
- Not customizable
- Hard to change batteries
Although we are talking about 2 different pedal types, the buying advice for the two types is pretty much the same.
You already know that analog pedals are generally of a higher quality and produce better sound than digital versions..
(but the gap has closed to the point that it’s difficult for the human ear to tell when you’re using a very high quality digital reverb pedal!)
Here are some of the things you may want to consider when looking for a digital or an analog reverb pedal.
Fake Analog Reverb Pedals
There are very few true spring reverb pedals.
If the price is too good to be true, it probably is.
Look out for fake use of the “spring” or “analog” name on some analog pedals.
Some digital pedals will use the word spring to describe the effect they put out. But aren’t actually “true spring” pedals.
Most pedals have a suite of functions and type of reverb/delay. The more options you have means you can play around with different effects without having to spend more money.
If you’re still honing your guitar skills having a pedal that specializes in having a bunch of different options is great so you can see which one(s) you like.
However, if you’re already very experienced and have gone through pedals before, it is better to get ones that specialize in a particular type of reverb (Spring, Hall, etc) or delay because they will produce higher quality for their particular sounds.
You know the saying – jack of all trades, master of none. The same can apply to pedals with all the bells and whistles.
Lower quality pedals tend not to mesh with others which means if you are playing songs that require different effects than you’ll probably want a higher quality pedal.
For example, with some lower quality reverb pedals you may hear unwanted echo effects in a song, and sometimes it can skew the sound produced while other pedals are playing.
Although there typically isn’t as big of a problem for delay pedals, you’ll want to understand that this could be a large problem if you are using a number of pedals with different effects.
If you’re a beginner this won’t matter much since you’re just testing out pedals and finding your sound.
However, if you are doing performances or recordings you want pedals that are definitely on the higher end of the quality scale.
This way, you won’t have to worry about compatibility issues and overall sound quality.
No matter how good cheap ones claim to be, they just can’t measure up to more expensive, higher quality pedals.
We’re not saying cheap can’t be good – we’ve tested some amazing budget pedals. But if you’re doing this professionally, it’s worth paying the difference for that bit more quality.
If you’re doing a demo or performance you won’t want to risk a lower quality one messing up your performance/demo.
P.S. If you’re not sure about what kind of reverb pedal you want you may want to check out our overall list of what we consider to be the best reverb pedals.
Original, “old school” analog reverb pedals are the real deal. Digital reverb pedals get the job done because technology is so good, but they can’t beat high quality analog pedals.
The same thing goes for delay pedals.
While digital versions for both of these types of pedals are decent alternatives and are cost effective, you don’t want to skimp on quality if you are serious about your guitar playing.
To borrow a line from GuitarWorld.com, the best analog reverb pedals can fool you into thinking you are rocking out in a stadium full of screaming fans!
Enjoy yours and we hope this article helped you choose the best one for your playing style.