Many of us were surprised when there was no RV-200 to match its DD-200 and MD-200 siblings when the 200-Series was originally launched back over two years ago now. And plenty of us are still surprised that it has failed to materialise in the interim. I would have thought it would be obvious for Boss to want to have mid-size versions of its 500 series workstations - while there is still a gaping hole where the RV-200 should be - and Boss has nothing to directly challenge the Source Audio Ventris or Electro-Harmonics Oceans 12. Both of those mid-size options deliver dual-channel reverbs with lots of additional smart features. Possibly Boss felt that a single stereo Channel edition was not enough to go up against those formidable adversaries!
The DD-200 Digital Delay has been an absolute triumph and is the best realised of Boss’s 200-Series range thus far. It has the perfect combination of algorithms and features, with an intuitive ease of use. For some reason the MD-200 did not quite make the grade for me - I feel it’s not quite up to the best of its competitors - the GFI Synesthesia and Wampler Terraform- which both have a slightly superior selection of algorithms - including two of my must-haves - Harmonic Tremolo and Dimension Phasey Feedback Chorus. Ironically a Boss staple - which both those competitors have, but Boss won’t deign to include that on it’s mid-size option. That just makes it uncompetitive really and ranks as an oversight to me - also the 3 parameter controls need to be more systemically organised and labelled for more ease of use! I’ve possibly been a little harsh on the MD-200 - while I feel Boss should reissues it with Dimension and Harmonic Tremolo algorithms and a more usable and better-labelled control topology!
To avoid potential disappointment, I've decided to take a lead in helping to define which algorithms the hopefully relatively soon arriving RV-200 should have. For those purpose I have reviewed Boss's two existing Reverb options - the RV-6 and RV-500 - and kind of extrapolated and pooled those algorithms with some of the best the competitors have to offer.
This has 4 Controls - Effect Level, Tone, Time, and Mode.
With the 8 Modes being :
All great classic reverb algorithms - with the last option being a sort of simplified flavour of Echo Space!
The RV-500 is an immensely powerful Reverb Workstations - and one of this most formidable out there. Delivering Dual Stereo Channels - each with the possibility of a delay added to said channel too. Has a huge spread of algorithms - albeit missing a couple of contemporary popular flavours I highlight below.
It has 10 Controls - Mode, Time/Value, Pre-Delay, Effect Level, Down/Up, Exit, Edit + Write, Low, and High.
And it has the following 12 key algorithms, with a few subsets :
Obviously loved by both me and Scott 'Knobs_Demos' Harper - this is just a superbly smart all-round device - with a hole plethora of complex sub-menu settings - particularly as regards assigning special function and defaults to footswitches.
One of my favourite Boss Pedals and probably the most powerful Reverb still on the market - in terms of its 4 simultaneous effects - 2 x Reverb + Delay!
Here I've largely grabbed most of the same controls from the larger 500 series - Time, Pre-Delay, Effect Level, Mode, Param, Low, and High.
I've combined the best of RV-6 and RV-500 algorithms with a few more killer algorithms from competing peers - like the Source Audio Ventris. :
I feel this is the strongest and most pertinently selection of algorithms the RV-200 could have :
By having a Dual Reverb Mode - we can get around needing to have dual independent channels for all algorithms. I feel this has to have the Space Echo mode as it's a Boss Staple - while Reverse, Lo-Fi and Swell are popular contemporary modes which would make this pedal particularly competitive.
I've also set it up so the the RV-500 still has a lot of unique and differentiated features!
Boss can move in somewhat mysterious ways - and it's still a mystery to me why quite so many core 500-series algorithms are missing from the GT-1000 Core for instance - it really makes no sense to me - especially considering that Boss has far fewer algorithms than the much longer established Line 6 Helix Stomp - which is its natural competition.
I sincerely hope that the MD-200 can be somewhat rehabilitated, and I hope Boss don't make the same mistake with the RV-200 as they did with the MD-200 and render is slightly uncompetitive. The ultimate Boss Reverb signature voicing is that Space Echo EchoVerb. And even though Boss may still do a stand-alone RE-200 variant eventually - it still needs to be a flavour on the RV-200.
I've included 3 of the more popular contemporary modes - namely Reverse, Lo-Fi and Swell. And I've still left out plenty of RV-500's features - to make that pedal still distinct and more capable. Including area like its ability to have delays active on each dual Reverb - meaning no less than 4 simultaneous effects!
Boss really needs to put its best foot forward at every level - and stop that thing of holding back certain algorithms - as it will just continue to make Boss uncompetitive in those areas. Boss has the expertise to put out world-beating solutions, but every now and again they weirdly seem to hold back.
The DD-200 has been a total triumph - and I hope boss follow up with the RV-200 in similar glorious fashion - with all the best possibly algorithms onboard.
I've put a lot of thought into what the RV-200 pedal should encompass, and feel that my speculatively illustrated variety is the best version of what is possible - what do you readers think - do you concur?