best reverb pedal for bass

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by ARES75, Feb 13, 2005.

  1. ARES75


    Feb 4, 2005
    Which reverb pedal is perfect for bass.BOSS? DIGITECH?
  2. Samurai


    Sep 13, 2003
    Although I don't know anything about individual reverb pedals, I can tell you one thing for the sake of responding to this thread. Most reverb pedals, like delay pedals, shouldn’t be affecting tone in a way that makes them not suitable for bass like distortion pedals will. My bet would be that any decent pedal you find will work great, so there isn’t a big need to shop around. Go to Harmony Central and look under the review section to see if anyone posts about any major flaws on a specific pedal, and if things look good then get it.
  3. Tecx

    Tecx Radio Rock Leads To Sterility

    Jun 9, 2002
    Halifax, NS, Canada
    Not exactly true... I have owned many reverb pedals (boss, alesis, EHX, Digitech) and some do effect bass tone, by cutting the lows on the actual reverb itself or cliping the circuit. My personal favorite for all around reverb needs is the EHX Holy Grail - BUT try before you buy, you can play 5 Holy Grail's and every one could sound different...


  4. NioeZero


    Sep 2, 2001
    I use a Digitech Digiverb, and it does more or less everything I want it to. Of course, it may not work for you, so I recommend you try one out before you commit to purchasing. They're pretty easy to find in most music stores.
  5. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    I'd like some reverb on bass (before the amp), but my concern would be having too LONG a reverb time. For bass I'd like it to have VERY short hang-time, like 0.6sec MAX.

    Sheesh - you check almost any multieffects unit or dedicated reverb (haven't heard any pedal-verbs), and you're calling up presets with REDICULOUS 3- and 4- and 5-sec reverb times! You call-up a "normal ROOM", and usually get a default of 2 or 3! Most of these settings are hardly normal.

    Even the gregorian chanters who can actually resonably USE 'verbs like that will tell you that the basilica or whatever that they're chanting in is a highly unusual-sounding room! They'll tell you how those pesky Lutherans, with all their happy-happy hymns had to put in balconies and stuff to cut down the reverb time in old cathedrals that they bought - else anything but a slow chant would be a MESS, like my guitarists sound out of his POD (I DID get him to cut-down on it a little - I told him: "if you want loud reverb, that's fine, just turn the reverb DECAY TIME down!!).

    I'm done.

    beer&bass likes this.
  6. Tecx

    Tecx Radio Rock Leads To Sterility

    Jun 9, 2002
    Halifax, NS, Canada
    Normal??? Who cares about normal??? Seriosuly, what is "normal" about digital reverb? What is rediculus about it!? Sure some presets have an option of long decays, because some people i.e. me - like there to. If I wanted a lush room delay, I would record in a lush room. Reverb like that can not be heard live anyway (if you are in a band situaltion). I like having anywhere from less than a second of "room" verb, to 40 seconds of 100% wet hall verb. Sure you don't need it, but some people do - so be a little more open minded. Listen to some Brian Eno, Stars on the lid, and Godspeed you black emperor (just to list a few). Or if you want to hear the benifets of huge sounding reverb with long decay check out some of my stuff in my signature...



    p.s. don't be so hard on your guitarist, mabey ambience is his thing?..

  7. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    Well - many care about "natural".
    Reverb is very normal in music - 'extremly normal' I'd say. Do you mean 'natural'? Modern digiverbs sound very natural with the right algorithms and user-settings.
    That the manufacturer CALLS a certain setting "n-o-r-m-a-l r-o-o-m", which would imply either 'normal' or 'natural', and in my experience it DOES only when you turn-down the RT60 time.
    No, most of them default to long decays (that was just-about my main-main point), and you have to tweek'em to sound not-cheesy, or to not mash-up your note definition, or to not only work with the wet-part way in the background. I like LOTS of reverb - but to me 'lots' means LOUD, and I can't make it loud enough with too long of a decay time (the time would have much to do with the speed of the song - for a gregorian chant I'd probably consider 2sec to be too short, but I play rock and pop and country and blues and.. - well more normal - music).
    Whoa - most of the rest of us carry digital rooms in our equipment racks these days.
    I've found (over twenty years ago - what was that thing?.. a Yamaha unit of some sort, I think) that you can even mix-in equal-parts reverb and dry, and it sounds great - IF the decay time isn't too long.
    Whoa again - I can only speak for like .2sec to maybe seven or something. But we're talking about reverb to a bass amp, right? In that case I'd almost always want it really short, I'd think. For long 'verb I'd go with the PA, I think.

    I assume that 40sec at 100% would be for a 'wash' or texture or abiance effect, right? I mean I bet it wasn't speed Metal.
    I didn't get across to you what I meant to be my main point. Here it is, more clearly: Rack units let you tweak them, but I assume pedals have less adjustable parameters. Since every reverb that I'm used to seeing (rack or table-top units) defaults to rather LONG decay times, I'd be concerned that if that parameter wasn't adjustable - or if it was, but the maybe-simpler algorithm wasn't optimized for shorter times, and would start to sound goofy - then they too would maybe 'default' to longer decays, and then I wouldn't like that. that's one thing that would be important to me in a bass pedal 'verb - remember that it was said early in the thread something to the effect that different brands shouldn't make much difference, and just about any decent one should be fine.

    If it's on the input-side of the amp, then I'd want it really short. I experimented on our band's multitracker, and found that a longer verb-time on bass sounds ok if I roll-off the lows on the effects return channel, but if it were on the input of the amp, I think I'd want the low end to 'verb too, but in that case I'd want a real short time - it'd make the bass sound more like an upright double-bass then!

    Y'know, Tecx: I don't need to have an 'open mind' toward my own opinions. I hope it goes-without-saying that whatever I say concerning my music or sound preferences is "just my opinion"! I'm maybe starting to understand why I roll my eyes twenty times a day about folks saying "IMHO" all the time, when it's obvious - OF COURSE it's their opinion!! I think to myself "what! are they afraid that everyone out there is all 'sensitive' or something, and'll think they're being all dogmatic; trying to lord-it-over them or something??". But maybe some do habitually forget, or somehow can't connect a statement with it's context? It seems kind of crippling to conversation to me - heck, it could be pretty hard on friendships too, I'd think.

    In fact, ( appalling as it may seem) I'm here on TB trying to narrow my focus; narrow my preferances; more precisely plot my course; fine-tune my understanding - NOT to get all ecclectic; to go-all-mushy, like a reverb with a long decay time.

  8. RoyQBiv


    Nov 8, 2002
    Bellingam, WA
    Uh...back on topic...

    I have an EH Holy Grail. It has three modes: room, spring, and flerb. The spring is very authentic; the room can be noisy at times, but in moderation is quite usable. Flerb is a weird, weird sound. I love it for guitar, but I personally don't care for it on bass. Operation is very simple: one dial and a 3-way mode switch. If you want more control, EH also makes a Holier Grail, and they've just come out with a Holiest Grail--both of which are supposed to be excellent.
  9. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    We are, Man.

    The EH: Does it offer some nice, SHORT decay times?


  10. maxvalentino

    maxvalentino Endorsing Artist Godin Guitars/ Thomastik-Infeld

    I am a big proponent of using reverb on bass. It is not all that weird, and applied carefully it can actually add dimension and focus to your tone, not making is muddled and unclear. The use of reverb on bass has many historical references (yes, Eno would be one…as would Bill Laswell), in fact most recordings have light washes of verb added the bass in the mix to give the track some dimension….and washing out a bass track in verb is a tried and true dub reggae technique. The key is to use reverb judiciously, and be aware and educated as to what the principles and particulars of reverb are.

    I am not too sure about the quality of reverb pedals, per se, although I have heard some good things about the EBS reverb pedal, and of the EH pedal….but, since we are talking about digital processors, and namely reverb, please let me toss a few points out to you:

    Firstly, about all this “natural reverb” stuff: almost all digital reverbs begin their sound algorithms by generating a series of individual reflections in an effort to create or emulate a natural acoustic space. Yet, in real acoustics reverb are made through an infinite series of reflections, all interacting with and against each other to build, rather quickly, into a complex and dense reverb field. Individual reflections simply do not exist. Natural reverb is quite homogenous, digital reverb is not. For use with bass, these digital emulations of acoustic spaces can present some interesting problems, as they can vie with the “natural” acoustics you are playing in: creating a sound which is neither appealing not what you intended.

    In the recording studio, digital processors are used often to augment the sound of analog spring or plate reverb units (and often, unless a totally lo-fi sound is desired, these are usually high end processors like Eventide or Lexicon 480s)., and not as stand alone reverbs. Plates, and to some extent spring reverbs, build up a quick and dense reverb sound in a much more homogenous and “natural” way than digital processors. High quality plates and springs are very expensive (with plates being very large as well) and so are not viable as tools for live work.

    Next to the concept of digital hardware in general. All of these units use some type of digital conversion to convert your instruments analog signal to the digital domain where it is treated and then converted back on the output. Almost always, you signal is continuously routed thru these converters, regardless of your devices mix level. Now a $150 pedal is certainly not going to have converters of high quality as those used in recording formats (and here I am not speaking of those cheap buck-fifty converters found in you Audigy soundcards….converters used in serious recording can cost as much a $10k per channel) and the converters found in higher end processors such as the Lexicon MPX and Eventide HD’s are certainly top notch and why the cost of those units are so high….

    I don’t think you will find a pedal which can compete with most rack mount reverbs, and, especially for use with bass, the “artificial” quality” of most digital reverbs can be vexing.

    I have been using reverb with my bass for many years, and have tried and own quite a few digital processors (Lexicon, TC, and far too many plug-ins….) yet I have only until lately been quite frustrated with the aforementioned problems with digital verb. My remedy: a high end, and expensive, all-analog spring reverb…which sounds great, and much richer than any of my digital processors. I have found having a device that does only one single thing ( in this case reverb) exceptionally well is infinitely better than having a device that does a hundred things ”adequately”. So I dropped a grand on an analog reverb…..but that part of my live set up is taken care of.

    My $.02

  11. Tecx

    Tecx Radio Rock Leads To Sterility

    Jun 9, 2002
    Halifax, NS, Canada
    That was not meant as an attack, so I have no idea why you felt the need to attack me. And don't give me that bass has a set role in music, because that is BS IMHO. I guess I forgot to include thoughts stupid smilies, and as a last note - its the internet, no one can tell what anyone means unless they use thoughts silly little internet abbreviations (IMHO, IMO, JK, etc.) The net is without tone and emotion... So take a chill pill, and get that testosterone under control.


    ps. if you would like to continue this coversation, please do so through PM's as to not tie up bandwidth - any more than I just did...

  12. adam on bass

    adam on bass Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2002
    New Braunfels, Texas
    Endorsing Artist: Spector, GK, EMG and D'Addario
    none. a nice chorus pedal should suffice.
  13. Tecx

    Tecx Radio Rock Leads To Sterility

    Jun 9, 2002
    Halifax, NS, Canada
    As always Max, your post humbles me.... Very informative... Thank you! So was it a AKG or somthing like a soladano?..


  14. maxvalentino

    maxvalentino Endorsing Artist Godin Guitars/ Thomastik-Infeld

    ...Demeter RV1, is what is is. Quite comparable to an AKG BX or one of the Orban units...and just as expensive...but has a bit more stability,is quieter and really does shine when used with bass.
  15. Tecx

    Tecx Radio Rock Leads To Sterility

    Jun 9, 2002
    Halifax, NS, Canada
    Very NICE!!! So can it get wet and drippy ala Lee Perry and Bill Laswell?..


  16. maxvalentino

    maxvalentino Endorsing Artist Godin Guitars/ Thomastik-Infeld

    why, yes....being a big and long time Laswell fan, some of my frustration with digi-verbs was the inability to get "that" kinda sound.
    Listening closely to a lot of Laswell's recordings, and knowing his affinity of classic dub reggae plates...I found the secret: spring reverb (well, to be fair...there are a lot of plate reverb stuff happening in Laswell's stuff as well, but I know he has a large collection of of old spring reverbs: early Eventides, AKGs Electrocomps and such). The Lee Perry stuff is all spring (when it dubs out, listen to "boing" in the regeneration.....)

    The Demeter is quite a thing of beauty...amazingly rich and lush (much more so than a digital reverb) and all analog real-time is quite refreshing to use my ears to achieve a sound rather than various parameters with algorithms based on a rather narrow view of a very complex sound.

  17. Tecx

    Tecx Radio Rock Leads To Sterility

    Jun 9, 2002
    Halifax, NS, Canada
    I feel ya max, when I mastered my last album all my post verb was done through a huge AKG floor unit with 8 springs (I forget the modle number). You should check THIS out. Tons of great dub techniques....



  18. bassman314

    bassman314 I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2005
    Bay Area, CA
    I was never satidfied with any pedal reverbs. I did try both BOSS and Digitech. I never got to test an EHX, as I did have an Alesis rack for awhile..

    The Alesis was nice, but it's a "pro-audio" verb, so it takes some serious EQ work to get something that sounds good. I did like having at the touch of a foot switch several reverb settings.

    My current Reverb is as far from the Alesis as possible. I have one of those Vintage Fender Spring Reverbs. The max reverb dwell isn't cavernous. The "biggest" room would be roughly the size of a 500-person hall.

    The only potential downside to the true springs is slaps and pops shake the springs a lil. I don't mind this.. it's almost like a super-fast, slap-back echo.

    If you can get a vintage unit, you'll need to do some work to it. I had to replace all 6 of the electrolytic caps, the full compliment of tubes, and I replaced the power cord with a grounded plug. The work was absolutely worth it!!

    Fender did re-release it as the '63 Reverb, but I haven't heard how it compares to the original.
  19. BassGod


    Jan 21, 2004
    What is the difference between the EHX Holy Grail, Holier Grail, and Holiest Grail?


    EDIT: Nevermind, I found out.
  20. Humabass

    Humabass Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2002
    Northern Virginia
    I too like reverb for bass. I've owned the Boss RV-2 and RV-3 and various rack units. I currently use the EBS Dynaverb. Nice pedal.