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2021 Top 20 Stereo Reverb Workstation Pedal Roundup

Ambient EffectsAmpliTubeAnalog ReverbBossChase Bliss AudioCusack MusicDeath By AudioDigital ReverbDigiTechDreadbox FXElectro-HarmonixEmpress EffectsEventideFlux EffectsFree The ToneGFI SystemIK MultimediaKeeley EngineeringLastgasp Art LaboratoriesMeris EffectsMooerMr Black PedalsNeunaberPlate ReverbPoly EffectsRack Style ReverbRed Panda LabReverbReverb WorkstationReverse ReverbSeymour DuncanShimmer ReverbSource AudioSpacey ReverbSpring ReverbStrymonTC ElectronicUAFXUniversal AudioVongon EffectsWalrus Audio+-
2021GPX20ReverbWorkstations700V5.jpg

Since we have had 5 cool new and formidable Stereo Reverb pedals this year - it seems opportune to review the category and figure out which are the standout options and alternatives - past and present.

 

My own journey into Reverb started with the Strymon BigSky - which was my mainstay for a while, then Source Audio announced its new Dual-Channel Ventris and I was very keen on that - but that edition was very slow to materialise, and so I moved instead to Boss’s excellent RV-500 ...

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Neunaber Levels Up with its Smart New 17-Algorithm, Preset-Laden Illumine Reverb Workstation

Ambient EffectsDigital ReverbNeunaberPlate ReverbRack Style ReverbReverbReverb WorkstationShimmer ReverbSpacey ReverbSpring Reverb+-
2021GPXNeunaberIllumine700V2.jpg

Neunaber has massively levelled up from its much celebrated compact Immerse Reverberator with its 8 Algorithms - Wet V3, Plate, Hall, Spring, Sustain, Echo, Detune, and Shimmer.

 

The new Illumine more than doubles the amount of Algorithms to 17, with 5 Parameter Controls for each. A very compact horizontal BB-size enclosure with highly visible screen and top-mounted jacks sets it apart form most of its competitors - which are typically much larger affairs.

 

My only ...

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When will we finally get the Boss RV-200 Reverb, and what should its algorithms be?

Ambient EffectsAnalog ReverbBossBoss MonthDigital ReverbEffects Pedal MakersPlate ReverbRack Style ReverbReverbReverb WorkstationReverse ReverbShimmer ReverbSpacey ReverbSpring Reverb+-
2021GPXBossRV200Deviation700V2.jpg

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...

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Personal Polarbear Effects Capsule Collection and Range Overview

Big Muff Style FuzzBitcrushing and Lo-FiBoostBoost and OverdriveDelayDigital DelayDigital ReverbEffects Pedal MakersFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGlitchLo-Fi DelayModulationOddball DelayOpAmp FuzzOverdrivePLBR EffectsPolarbear EffectsReverbShimmer ReverbSilicon FuzzTape DelayTubescreamer Style Overdrive+-
2021GPXPolarbearFXCapsule700V3.jpg

I’ve had an odd sort of relationship with Polarbear Effects’ Darko Vadja since 2018, where in the interim I have acquired most of his pedals. In fact the only notable omission as far as I’m aware is the original BB-size Floral Drive - for which there was a plan - which never quite materialised in the end.

 

The early part of the relationship was relatively communicative - while I’ve not had a response from Darko - bar for a Christmas Greeting - in nearly two years...

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2021 June Pedal-Chain Update - Episode VI - Particle Acceleration

Alexander PedalsBeetronics FXBig Muff Style FuzzBitcrushing and Lo-FiBoostBoost and OverdriveBossCatalinbreadChorus and VibratoCornerstone Music GearDelayDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDriveDrunk BeaverDryBell EffectsDumble Style OverdriveEl GaratgeEnvelope Filter and Auto WahFlower PedalsFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGermanium FuzzHarmonizerJoe GoreLo-Fi DelayMarshall Style DistortionModulationOctaverOverdrivePitchPitch-ShiftingPLBR EffectsPolarbear EffectsRedbeard EffectsReverbRotary SpeakerShimmer ReverbSilicon FuzzTone Bender Style FuzzTsakalis Audio WorksTubescreamer Style OverdriveWah and Fixed Wah+-
2021GPXSKPedalChainUpdateJune700V5.jpg

June has been another incredibly busy month - with editorials going out on almost a daily basis - which kind of leaves me a little exhausted, but still warmly satisfied with proceedings. There has been something of a plethora of releases in June - a number of which were delayed from previous months because of parts sourcing issues and other production challenges.

 

A very respectable 23 pedals were added to the collection in June - and most have been featured on the site already, with ...

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Polarbear Effects' Drowner Fuzz/Crush/Reverb Combination Effector is the Absolute Perfect Shoegazer-Style Pedal

Ambient EffectsBig Muff Style FuzzBitcrushing and Lo-FiFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionModulationPLBR EffectsReverbShimmer ReverbSilicon FuzzSpacey Reverb+-
2021GPXPLBRDeowner700.jpg

I’ve known about this one for a while - just haven’t been able to snag one yet - while I am hoping to get one from the next batch whenever that is - while Darko Vadja seems to be sort of suffering from the same parts supply issues that are plaguing most builders - so no word on when the next batch is likely, while these tend to be fairly short runs of just 10 or so pedals.

 

Per the above visual - the controls here are relatively simple - with 7 knobs and 2 x 2-way option ...

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Cooper FX Arcades Modular Multi-FX Workstation : Card Spotlight Series #8 : PITCH

Cooper FXOctaverPitchPitch-ShiftingShimmer Reverb+-
2021GPXCooperFXArcadesPitchCard700.jpg

The PITCH Card covers everything from standard Octaver, through POG, arpeggiation and classic twinkly shimmers - with all kinds of shades in-between. You can of course endeavour to make it sound as natural and subtle as possible, or you can get totally experimental with some otherworldly tones and textures.

 

Beware of slightly ice-picky upper pitch-shifted notes - meaning that judicious application of the Tone control is necessary - either on your guitar or on the actual device. I found...

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32 Key Guitar Effects Pedal Types - Preferred Compact Pedal per Type

Acoustic SimulatorAmbient EffectsAmp and Cab IR SimAnalog DelayBeat MachineBig Muff Style FuzzBitcrushing and Lo-FiBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionBufferChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCompressorCrazy Tube CircuitsCryBabyDelayDelay WorkstationDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDouble TrackingDr ScientistDriveDrive WorkstationDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveDunlop EffectsEchoverbElectro-HarmonixEnvelope Filter and Auto WahEQFeaturedFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzGlitchGranular DelayGuitar Synth and SequencerJackson AudioJAM PedalsJHS PedalsKlone and Transparent OverdriveLo-Fi DelayLooperMaestro Style FuzzMarshall Style DistortionModulated FuzzModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveMulti-FXNoise GateOCD Style OverdriveOctave FuzzOctaverOddball DelayOddball FuzzODR Style OverdriveOpAmp FuzzOverdrivePeterson TunersPhaserPitchPlate ReverbRack Style ReverbRat Style FuzzReverbReverb WorkstationRotary SpeakerShimmer ReverbSilicon FuzzSinvertekSource AudioSpacey ReverbSpring ReverbSuper-Fuzz StyleTape DelayTC ElectronicTimmyTone Bender Style FuzzTremoloTubescreamer Style OverdriveTunersTweed Style OverdriveUni-Vibe and VibeUtilityVolumeVox Style DistortionVS AudioWah and Fixed WahWalrus Audio+-
2021AfBlg32CompactPedalType700.jpg

It was only natural that the Compact Format Preferred Versions feature should follow the Mini examples. Again largely inspired by the recent ’12 Degrees’ projects.

 

Once more I’ve had a change of mind on some of the candidates and the preferred examples are slightly different to those previous references. Obviously new pedals have arisen, and priorities and preferences can shift fairly regularly based on prevailing mood.

 

That said, most of these are long-term...

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EarthQuaker Devices Releases the Divine Astral Destiny Octal Octave Reverberation Unit

Ambient EffectsDigital ReverbEarthQuaker DevicesReverbShimmer ReverbSpacey Reverb+-
2020GPXEQDAstralDestinyOctalOctaveReverb700.jpg

Upon first seeing this pedal it calls to mind both the Strymon NightSky and Walrus Audio Slö to a degree - both of which offer somewhat similar Octave and Shimmery Reverb delights. The Astral Destiny is very obviously very much dedicated towards adding in floaty textures above and below the baseline. It’s actually a pretty straightforward and elegant reverb by and large - and extremely successful in delivering those floaty cosmic / ambient tones.

 

The Control Topology could ...

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Walrus Audio Delivers Beautifully Calibrated Mako Series R1 High-Fidelity Stereo Reverb to Match its D1 Delay

Ambient EffectsDigital ReverbPlate ReverbRack Style ReverbReverbReverb WorkstationShimmer ReverbSpacey ReverbSpring ReverbWalrus Audio+-
2021GPXWalrusAudioMakoR1Reverb700V3.jpg

There’s no question about it - Walrus Audio has delivered a killer reverb in every which way - and which properly challenges the bigger reverb workstations. This is a darn fine bit of engineering to get all this magic to fit within a compact enclosure. I dare say this is even more impressive than the Mako D1 Delay - certainly for my tastes.

 

I’m almost instantly smitten after having viewed just a couple of demos. My current thinking is that this could be a great rotational ...

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