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


Editor Rating: 4.8/5

Gamechanger Audio LIGHT Analog Optical Spring Reverb PedalThe Gamechanger Audio LIGHT Analog Optical Spring Reverb Pedal
is one of few analog spring reverb pedals on the market, but my word, it’s a good one.

 

We found it not only offers some very unique and ambient sounds, (including creative lo-fi), but the effects come through highly organic…more than most reverb pedals we’ve reviewed.

 

We found the Gamechanger highly customizable and produced a wide range of effects, some which were very subtle. We loved this level of control over our sound.

 

Most analog reverb pedal reviews online and on forums include this one in their list of the best analog reverb pedals, and we tend to agree. We rate this pedal very highly. 

 

It’s also one of few analog reverb pedals which are fairly available on the market, where most aren’t anymore. Especially not brand new anyway.

 

The Gamechanger Audio LIGHT Analog Optical Spring Reverb Pedal offers 6 unique effects.

 

The reverb options include:

  • sweep (modulation)
  • optics (frequency and texture calibration)
  • tremolo
  • feedback
  • reflect (delay)
  • harmonic (added harmonics and octave tracking)

The pedal also has multiple effect stacking options.


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 consensus from everyone that uses it is that the reverb you get out of this is a cut above. We wouldn't argue either. 


We especially loved the adjustable shock sensor which totally stopped any spring clicks and thuds in its tracks. (Something you sometimes get with analog spring pedals) 


The tone knob gave us a phenomenal range of rumbling lows and some glass shattering highs. No complaints here...apart from your neighbors, maybe. 


Build quality of this pedal feels top notch - it feels solid, which can't always be said about some of the others we've reviewed.


But, of course, we can't make a call on how long it lasts just yet. Other users have had theirs for years with no problem, though. 


There are a couple of downsides we should mention: 


Price — at just under $400 at the time of reviewing, this isn’t exactly the cheapest analog reverb pedal around, but analog spring reverb pedals never are! So, you'll be expecting that. It's still great value. 


No Power Adaptor - A minor gripe, don't forget to buy a standard 9V DC center negative power supply, as it isn't supplied. These are cheap, so no biggie. Just a minor inconvenience if you don't have one already


The Gamechanger Audio LIGHT Analog Optical Spring Reverb Pedal is overall an amazing analog reverb pedal. It has everything you need, and importantly, is actually commonly available and in stock. How long for? Who knows. 


This reverb pedal is our highest rated for all of those reasons.

Things We Liked

  • Very versatile
  • Availability
  • Effects Quality

Things We Didn't Like

  • Not the cheapest
  • No Power Supply

Price:

$$$$

 

 

Editor Rating: 4.5/5

Price:

$$

Danelectro DSR-1 Spring King Analog Reverb

The Danelectro DSR-1 Spring King Analog Reverb Pedal is one of the only budget true spring reverb pedals we could find.

 

And for the price, it more than holds its own.

 

You’re not getting a million different settings, or any bells and whistles with this analog pedal (spring effect only) but what it does, it does very well.

 

We found it gave us a rich, organic sounding reverb that you just can’t get on digital reverb pedals (though, the gap is closing fast with the higher quality digital options!)

 

It travels pretty well despite its size but that’s better than carrying a pedal board unfriendly tank around as your reverb solution.

 

The reverb options include:


  • Chicken-head knobs easily movable with feet too. Control knobs settings for:
  • Volume
  • Tone
  • Reverb Intensity
  • Comes with a Kick Pad


Build quality of this pedal feels pretty standard - it doesn't feel the most robust piece of kit, but we've no reason to believe it won't last (and this is confirmed by positive reviews by people who have had them for years!)


The general concensus from other users is generally similar to ours; that this analog spring pedal is a very solid option for an unbelievable price.


With many guitarists enjoying the natural sound and getting the authentic "splashy" surf effect that we found this pedal to be so good at too.


Some user negatives were that the surf effect lacked the oomph of some more expensive models, while others mentioned feedback when turning the volume to max.


There are a couple of downsides we should mention: 


Cheesy, cheap design — We didn't mind at all, but some may find it a bit cheap and tacky looking. Who cares if it does its job, right?


Battery Life - it's a neat feature to run on battery, but we wouldn't rely on it for a lengthy performance. In our tests, it lasted 38 minutes and 43 minutes the second time.


Maybe this can be extended with a few tweaks. Some users had better luck. Perfomance on a standard 9v DC adaptor was fine, of course. 


Versatility - You're not getting a multitude of effects here. It does one single type of reverb which is spring, but it does it very well. Go for the other options if you want loads of settings

The Danelectro DSR-1 Spring King Analog Reverb Pedal is a phenomenal offering for the price.


It does its job well and sounds almost as good as the higher cost options, but perhaps doesn't contain the bells and whistles that other musicians may want.


We found it fairly easy to source and, as of now, it's pretty commonly available and in stock at the time of this review. That can always change with analog reverb pedals though.


Overall an amazing analog reverb pedal by the Danish brand, especially for those on a budget. Highly recommended.

Things We Liked

  • Great Value
  • Kick Pedal
  • Availability

Things We Didn't Like

  • Lack of versatility
  • Battery Life

 

 

Editor Rating: 4.7/5

Price: $$$


Carl Martin headroom analog reverb pedal

The Carl Martin Headroom Analog Reverb Guitar Effects Pedal is a Danish offering that is a very solid analog reverb pedal.

 

We found this analog spring pedal an overall phenomenal value proposition.

 

It’s a middle of the road priced piece of kit and it looks the part, but, is the sound as quality as the looks?

 

The answer to that is a resounding “yes!”. The sound we got out of this pedal was rich, warm and very natural-sounding, with some super drip as you’d expect from a true spring.

 

We didn’t find it gave us as splashy tones as a pedal with a reverb tank but we’re nit-picking because this analog pedal is super good.

 

It delivered us true bypass with its real springs and, as expected, blew many digital alternatives out of the water with it’s accurate and rich-sounding reverb.

 

It’s a big pedal, but not too big. You’re looking at taking up about the space that 3 standard-sized pedals would take up.

 

It’s close to perfect, outside of an old-school full on reverb tank, you’re not going to get much better sound but it does have a couple of drawbacks (we’ll explain further down)

 

We found it quite hard to get hold of brand new with only a few places holding it, so you may need to source a used or second hand version, depending on your location.

 

Our most-loved features include:

  • Accurate and organic sounding reverb
  • Beautifully minimal, retro design
  • Two channel tone knobs
  • One of few analog reverb pedals that comes with a 9V DC power supply AND runs on a battery with decent battery life.
  • Reverb, Select and Bypass switches


Build quality of this is up there with the best analog reverb pedals. It's simple in design, which I personal love, especially the minimal, retro design, but still feels solid.


Some users online and on forums said they'd been through so many spring pedals, that they were ready to give up until purchasing this one.


High praise indeed, but we get it. This thing rocks.


Some users said the reverb had it's own "unique" sound compared to other analogs but said it was a good thing (but said it may not be for every musicians tastes.)


We saw one person online who didn't like the signature sound of the Headroom. Us? We loved it.


While we kind of understand what they mean by "different" sound (and we couldn't put our finger on it!), we couldn't fault what we were hearing.


No real major issues with this analog pedal, but the odd thing we weren't fond of includes:


Availability — As we mentioned, there aren't many places selling this brand new (we found one, and at a discount! Click the orange "Check Price" button below!)


Size - didn't bother us, but is slightly on the "long side" which some people have mentioned. A minor gripe depending on where you're placing it.


Overall, The Headroom Analog Reverb Pedal by Carl Martin is the best mid-range offering you're going to get.


Versatile enough, but not all the bells and whistles of our top analog reverb pedal..but more so than our budget recommendation.


It does its job superbly and the reverb you'll get out of this thing is as good as any high cost option, (depending on your taste based on online users.)


Availability may be a problem, especially if you want to pick one up brand new, but we have found an option with a link below.


The Danish brand has knocked this out of the park and we'd definitely recommend grabbing this fairly quickly if you find it, as they aren't too common (brand new with discount via the button below - we've got you covered!)

Things We Liked

  • High Value/Quality Ratio
  • Availability
  • Design

Things We Didn't Like

  • Lack of Availability
  • May Be Too Wide For Some

 

 

Editor Rating: 4.5/5

Price:

$$$

anasounds la brute element spring reverb pedal bundle

The Anasounds Element Spring Reverb Bundle is a French offering that is slightly unique to previous offerings in our review.

 

It’s another mid-range priced analog reverb pedal, but comes with 3 reverb tank size options – the Le Bon bundle at $249 (shortest), La Brute bundle at $279-$299 (mid-size tank) and the La Brute at $299 (longest)

 

Overall, we were super impressed with this. We managed to get thick, rich and surprisingly authentic sounds out of every sound test we did, whether it was surf tones or low-key ambiance.

 

We found the reverb we were able to achieve with this nifty bit of kit could even rival classic amps for organic reverb effect (I know, crazy talk!)

 

We were only able to source the La Brute bundle but we could replicate justa bout every reverb sound we were going for by playing with the variety of settings.

 

It’s not perfect and there were some drawbacks (more on this later) but the value on this rig is insane.

 

The tank means carrying an extra bit of equipment with you if you travel to perform but it’s no biggie for what is an extremely good analog reverb pedal (and WAY more portable than the original Fender’s).

 

The extra tank will be a positive for some audiophiles. The supposed difference in tanks is that as you go a size up in tank size, your transitions and decay gets smoother.

 

We don’t know as we were only able to source the middle option, but other reviewers online said this wasn’t too noticeable if your settings are pretty conservative.

 

Our favorite features include:

 

  • Choice of tank for your needs
  • Variety of effects and sounds all done really well


Build quality of this pedal feels solid, but you won't want to be knocking it around and that goes for any analog pedal - we loved the stylish wood finish.


Other users of the Anasounds Element agree our findings, with some going as far as calling the sound "world class" and "blows digital reverb pedals out the water"


Some user cons were that you might need some added padding if you're planning to place this on your pedalboard to avoid knocking the unit out, especially if you stomp heavily while playing.


We didn't find this to be much of an issue but there are a couple of downsides we should mention: 


Availability — We could only find the mid-sized tank. This analog reverb pedal was released 3 years ago, so this is normal, but is a negative, especially if you want a particular tank that fits your playing style.


The Anasounds Element Spring Reverb Pedal Bundle is superb value for what you're paying.


It does its job well and sounds as good as the higher cost options, but perhaps is let down by how difficult it is to find and the need for the extra tank (though some will see this as positive, understandably.)


This brand from France has definitely hit the spot with their analog reverb spring pedal and will give your sounds some added "Va Va Voom".


You can't go wrong with this offering and when you find it, we definitely recommend taking a punt on it...IF you find it.

Things We Liked

  • Superb Reverb Quality
  • Choice of Tank
  • Versatility

Things We Didn't Like

  • Lack of Availability
  • Tank Inconvenient?

 

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:

  • Room
  • Hall
  • Spring
  • Plate
  • Church
  • Modulated
  • LoFi
  • Tile
  • Ambient
  • Gated

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.

Things We Liked

  • Very versatile
  • Small footprint
  • Easy to use

Things We Didn't Like

  • Not the cheapest

Price:

$$$

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

Price:

$$$

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

Price:

$$

Editor Rating:


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

Price:

$

Buying Guide

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. 

Versatility

Versatile Tool Kit

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. 

Compatibility

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.

Overall Quality

Led ZeppelinIf 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.

 

Conclusion

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. 

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3 Comments

  1. You have described the two TC Electronic reverb pedals as being “analog.” Why? They are digital pedals. An analog reverb pedal or unit would require actual springs, such as in the famous Fender reverb tank. There are some pedals, however, that use a spring or springs such as the Danelectro Spring King.

    Not to be rude, I suggest you check your sources and edit this listing to reflect the fact. Both reverb pedals, however, are fine pedals for the money; but they are just not analog pedals.

  2. These are all 100% Digital Reverb Pedals!
    This Page is a lie!

  3. I agree the only true analog reverb pedals that come to mind are the danalectro spring king or carl martin headroom

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