An effect device is right for you if you would like to influence your sound in a certain way and give it an unnatural character.
There are many different types of effect devices whose sound characteristics you should look at carefully before buying.
Many good effect devices are already around for the $100 to have. Multi-effect devices offer you several options in one device, but they are also more expensive.
These effect pedals convince us and will inspire you too: These are the best effects units from different categories.
The reverb could be called the father of the effects for guitar and bass. Painstakingly created in-studio spaces or mechanically in the ’50s, a reverb is now standard equipment on every pedalboard. We took a closer look at the different functions and types of common hall machines.
BOSS CH-1 Stereo Super Chorus
Our recommendation: The best Chorus effect device.
This product recommendation is what we believe is the best effects device that varies your sound with a chorus. The sound is clear and brilliant in the clean area.
If you are looking for a chorus for your electric guitar, you can not go wrong with this device.
TC Electronic Helix
Our recommendation: The best phaser effect unit.
There are a lot of phaser effect devices on the market. We recommend you the best in our opinion. It offers good sound and suitable settings for the effect.
You are looking for a phaser that gives you good quality? Then you are best advised with this device.
BOSS BF-3 Flanger
Our recommendation: the best flanger effect device.
Here we recommend a flanger, which gets high scores on the Internet from many users because he knows how to convince with a wide variety of sound and thus forget his famous predecessor, the BF-2 by Boss.
If you want to be on the safe side when buying your Flanger, we can recommend the Boss BF-3 to you.
TC Electronic FlashBack
Our recommendation: the best delay effect device.
Delay is a very popular and much-used effect. The device recommended here always enjoys good ratings and convinces many customers. It also can update via a USB port and even has a built-in looper.
You are looking for a good sounding delay? Then take a closer look at this model.
BOSS TR-2 tremolo
Our recommendation: The best tremolo effect unit.
This recommendation is about a tremolo effect unit of convincing quality. We found the BOSS TR-2 to be the best after research because it impressed us just because of its versatile attitude of tone character.
If you want to make a safe purchase of a high-quality and versatile tremolo effects unit, you’re not doing anything wrong with this variant.
TC Electronic Shaker
Our recommendation: the best vibrato effect unit
The vibrato effect can be created in addition to the lever on the electric guitar with an effect device. In this case, it is even possible via a knob to adjust the effect over time. In our opinion, the shaker by TC Electronic is the best vibrato, which always gets good reviews on the internet.
You are interested in a vibrato effect? Then you are very well advised with this model.
TC Electronic Hall of Fame
Our recommendation: The best reverb effect device.
The reverb is one of the most used effects. You even get 10 different basic sounds with the Hall of Fame from TC Electronics, which you can vary yourself.
Do you still need a reverb effect in your repertoire? Then you should look at this device and its many possibilities.
Xotic RC Booster
Our recommendation: The best booster effect device.
A booster accelerates the saturation of your amp, resulting in earlier power amp distortion. The following booster effects device boosts up to 20 dB without alienating the sound. We can recommend it to you with a clear conscience.
If you need the services of a booster, we recommend you to this model.
Full tone OCD
Our recommendation: The best overdrive effect device
For a rich overdrive sound provides this effect device. The Fulltone OCD, in our opinion, makes the race, despite the large selection.
You are looking for an overdrive effects device? This device enjoys a lot of recognition online.
BOSS DS-1 Distortion
Our recommendation: The best distortion effect device.
The most popular way to get a very strong distortion, which sounds good, is usually a distortion effect device. This model has convinced us the most, and not only by its bargain price.
If you’re looking for a very distorted sound, head to the BOSS DS-1 Distortion device.
Dunlop CryBaby GCB95
Our recommendation: The best WahWah pedal
The WahWah effect has always been a popular effect for solos. Even small licks and riffs, he can spice up. The CryBaby is an absolute classic and convinces with quality and the typical WahWah sound for a small price.
If you are looking for a very good WahWah pedal, you will make an excellent decision with this one from Dunlop.
Digitech JamMan Stereo
Our recommendation: The best Looper effect unit
Looper is very popular these days and offers you many cool uses. We recommend you this, which has convinced us the most. It can loop for up to 35 minutes and offers more than enough space with 99 memory slots.
If you are looking for a good and easy-to-use looper, you are well-advised with this variant.
Line 6 POD HD500X
Our recommendation: The best multi-effect device
There are quite a few different multi-effects devices that offer a whole lot. We present you our favorites. The POD HD500X from Line 6 offers over 100 effects, 512 memory slots and the possibility to use 8 effects at the same time and with outstanding quality.
You would like to have all the effects you need in an easy-to-use device? Then choose this device.
What is reverb?
Reverb is the English term for reverb or reverberation. In principle, a reverb is nothing more than an infinite number of echoes that combine to form a spatial impression.
The reverb effect is one of the oldest guitar effects ever and was as Federhall in many amplifiers, eg. As well as the company Fender, usual.
A Fender tube reverberation is still considered the measure by which to measure an intense and warm reverberant effect. The control possibilities of the spring reverb were limited only to an intensity controller. Room size or reverberation time of the effect could not be controlled due to the design.
Meanwhile, guitarists can also use studio-quality digital studio pedals as a floor pedal to integrate the popular reverb effect into the guitar sound.
Delay, as well as reverb sounds, seem to be among the essential effects for guitarists. The desire to add more space to the guitar sound is quite old. With reverb spirals in the amplifiers, first aid has already been provided since the 1960s.
How does reverb work?
Hall effects were for the guitarists of the 1950s, a phenomenon that was created only by the space that you just recorded. Small boxes, which provided different, adjustable Hall sounds, were unthinkable back then.
In the recording studio, Hall could only be created with elaborate methods. Either you needed a large room that provided the necessary reflections, or you sent the signal into an Echo Chamber – a chamber with stone walls with a loudspeaker in one corner.
With the help of one or more microphones, which were positioned at a considerable distance from the speaker, the signal was re-recorded – including the resulting space reflections.
Even a plate hall was not transportable at that time: an electronic converter transmitted the signal to a metal plate, which was thereby set in vibration. A pickup then converted the electromagnetic signal into an audio signal mixed with the original signal.
Back-friendly remedy created the reverb, which was first used in Hammond organs and from 1961 in the Fender Reverb Unit delivered the first portable Hall for guitarists. A reverb spiral is technically similar to a plate reverb:
A transducer sends the guitar signal into the reverb, which is vibrated by the stop signal. At the end of the reverb, the processed signal is tapped and mixed with the original sound.
What types of reverb effects are there?
We differentiate between analog and digital reverbs, as well as between different modes or types of sounds, which in turn are due to their production: room reverb, jumping and plate reverb.
Each of the basic modes of reverb can be generated analogously or digitally modeled. This results in a wide range of timbres, which must be distinguished.
First, the classic Room Reverb or Raumhall: The analog or natural version of this hall is created by the simple spatial sound reflection. A special kind of sound production takes place in dedicated Echo Chambers.
Digital reverb pedals model this sound using digital components that replicate space reflection using echo circuitry. They behave similarly to digital delays.
A spring reverb or spring reverb is created analogously by a reverb spiral. The classic sound of the Fender Reverb Unit can serve as an example here. This reverb is also trying to be imitated artificially by digital pedals.
What are the best reverb pedals?
As always, the question of the best pedal can not be solved by a common saying. Whether the price or age of the delay is as high or as low as possible, the pedal should contain sophisticated new functions, or the reverberation should be classic vintage, it depends heavily on the use of the effect, the user’s wishes, and the type of music he is using to be bound.
When buying you should not high or low prices, but rather decide your taste. Of course, a few (modern) classics can still be presented here:
If you want to use a solid vintage sound, you’ll be well advised with an Electro Harmonix Holy Grail or a Replex by Hughes & Kettner.
Strymon’s Big Sky or Eventides Space, as flexible hall machines, is the material of choice when it comes to modern flexibility.
Reverb Effect: Which reverb should it be?
In this episode, we look for alternatives to the good old Fender Tube Reverb. There are numerous product groups, which also require differences in the application. If you have a small effects board and want to add a little reverb in the background to other effects, you will notice an upstream effect pedal. Whether analog or digital, inexpensive or expensive, the taste and the budget of the user decide.
With reverb fans, you can argue for days about the supposedly best reverb effect. Some swear by vintage sounds such as those offered by Electro-Harmonix’s Holy Grail or Hughes & Kettner’s Replex, while others demand the modern flexibility offered by the Strymon Big Sky or Eventide Space. Since I am asked about it, again and again, I would also like to reveal which reverb effects are among my favorite devices.
In front of the amp, I only like two devices. My absolute favorite is the big Tube Reverb by Thomas Reußenzehn. The device is about the size of a 100-watt head and costs over € 1500. A heavyweight in every respect. The sound results, however, are so seductive tight and warm that you could call the device in this league as unrivaled. Depending on your wishes, you can play in a telephone booth, in the Cologne Cathedral or Frankfurt Central Station. The reverberations are huge, always extremely complex, warm and well-sounding. When I asked Thomas Reußenzehn some time ago what his reverb would sound like, he said, “Like John Lord’s organ at Child In Time.” And that’s pretty much true.
One of the most important qualities of this reverb is its unproblematic behavior in front of a guitar amp. Here you can hear no difference to the direct signal. A privilege that hardly any other device offers. And that makes it so difficult with the reverbs. Henrik Freischlader played for a long time a Holy Grail of Electro-Harmonix in the Einschleifweg of his realtone amplifier. This low-fi-hall has its charm, but only in the Einschleifweg. Upstream, it reacts a bit bitchy in conjunction with boosters and dampens the quality of the guitar signal. But there is still a second device that I can endure pretty well: an ancient Yamaha FX 500 multi-effect. I’ve used this 9.5-inch device on live gigs for years, even before my 1956 Tweed Tremolux, without having to go without the crunchy vintage tone of this amp.
Eventually, he broke down and was scrapped. The reverb was okay, if not impressive. After all, my sound was preserved. Shortly thereafter, I found a true reverb bead for my sound: the old Lexicon LXP-1. The Hall chip was uniquely good. The sound was warm and tight. Switching the amp was not so good. The sound changed drastically. So I used a trick to loop in the LXP-1. At the time I was playing a Marshall JTM-45 with two channels (high and low) and four inputs. I plugged the guitar into channel 1 (high input). Then I went out of the low input with a patch cable back into the Lexicon Hall and connected its output to the low input of the second channel.
Now I used the volume control as a return control for the reverb effect. That worked perfectly. No trace of digital cold or overload in the signal path. For an incredibly high effect quality. Later, I had a loop-in built into the Marshall but continued to use the mix over the two channels because the sound was better here. You could also connect the output of the reverb unit to a second amp. I also used that sometimes. You then play in a wet-dry mode, which can generate a lot of room depth. After some time I got an old Guyatone microverb, which I could integrate into my footboard. Incidentally, it had the same Lexicon chip as the LXP-1 onboard and is, therefore, a real insider tip.
Unfortunately, the microverb is not built anymore. Looped through the two channels of an amplifier, the Room-Mate by TRex or the T2 by TC electronic also give quite good results, even if they sound a bit cooler and more sterile than the Microverb or LXP-1. For quite some time I play a single channel, which is why I had to do without my auxiliary grinding path. But I quickly found an equally useful solution. I copied this circuit from Jeff Beck. Beck uses the line-out of a load box (THD Hot Plate) on his Marshall to control various effects, which are laterally housed in a rack on the stage. The advantage of this is that you control the effects with the complete signal from the power amp, making the sound for the effect even thicker and more musical.
The output of the effects then goes to the monitor desk and finally to the P.A. And to the side fills on stage. So Jeff Beck has gigantic spaces on stage. Larry Carlton does the same, but instead of using the line-out, he uses a microphone in front of the speaker, which feeds into a mixer, into which the effects are looped. Very comfortable. A similar setup is used by Pat Metheny.
In the rehearsal room I do not need a second amp behind my effects but just go to the vocal section. That makes a huge sound. You can easily build a line-out into the external speaker socket. All you need is a 270-ohm resistor between tip and ground of the line-out jack. Then connect the tip of the line-out jack via a resistor with the tip of the speaker jack. I use a 22k resistor for that because the output signal then roughly matches the unamplified guitar signal.
After all, you do not want to override its effects. Even if one introduces (reverb) effects in this way into its signal path, the power supply is the linchpin of the sound quality, especially with digital effects. If you want a particularly natural and dense Hall effect, you should resort to the best power supply. And this is currently the GigRig system with the timelord module. Without this supply, you will hardly be able to enjoy the benefits of the Strymonoder Eventide products.
The sound differences compared to conventional power supplies blew me away. A good alternative to the LineOut or two-channel mix is, of course, a well-built grinding-in path. Again, I have experimented diligently in the past. But unfortunately, I did not like most of the solutions. The direct signal suffers audibly (so you could also switch the effect immediately before the amplifier) or there are problems with the volume balance.
That can be pretty annoying. Very good Einschleifwege I found only in the high-quality amplifiers of Larry Grohmann (Larry amps) or Schröter amps. I also liked the adjustable and tube-buffered solution of the Rivera-Fender amps from the years 1982 to 1984. This Einschleifweg was excellent because he settled in the send and return and worked sound lossless. However, many guitarists today play smaller 18-watt amps or small tweed combos that do not have a loop-in path. This is where the so-called Parallel L-Box by Burkhard Lehle can help. This is an upstream grinding path with send, return and mix controls. The Hall effect is therefore not directly in the signal path but contributed in parallel, which works very, very well. In the next issue, we’ll cover some vintage Hall legends.