A reverb pedal is a reverb pedal… isn’t it? Not when you are standing over the RV-6 from Boss. This popular digital reverb pedal promises all the power and performance that the effects-masters are known for, along with a few surprises. There may be nothing boutique about this one, but a down-to-earth pedal with eight effects that doesn’t break the bank? That sounds worthy of a closer look!
Most notably, the RV-6 packs eight different reverb modes into its tiny package – each one driven by updated studio-grade algorithms and powered by the latest Boss DSP technology. Everything is stuffed into the traditional heavy-duty Boss stompbox design, which would look great on any pedalboard (especially if your other pedals are from Boss).
Now, sometimes a single foot pedal can limit your flexibility by allowing only one effect setting at a time. The RV-6 is unique in that regard, as it has an input for an optional expression pedal – allowing you to change the overall level on the fly.
The RV-6 also supports both mono and stereo operations, and it can be powered by either a single 9V battery (with a handy battery strength LED indicator) or by an optional AC adaptor. Having the adaptor included would have been nice, but this isn’t standard practice with most Boss pedals, so it’s hard to complain.
As with just about every other Boss foot pedal on the planet, the RV-6 is controlled exclusively by knobs – four of them to be exact. Simplicity is the name of the game here, with a single knob each for the overall reverb effect level, the tonal color, and the length of the reverb as it trails off.
The fourth knob activates each of the eight reverb settings (more on that in a moment). Finally, the two input and two output jacks on the side of the unit allow for multiple configurations, from a simple mono setup to full-blown stereo.
The RV-6 very effectively shows what a good reverb effect can do to your overall sound, especially with the modes that aren’t your typical options. Of course, the standard Room, Hall, Plate, and Spring reverbs are there and very impressive, but the remaining four add a new dimension to your tone.
For example, the Modulate mode adds a touch of pitch modulation to the Hall reverb effect, and the +Delay setting adds a little delay to beef things up. With the Shimmer effect, you get an awesome otherworldly sound, thanks to added high frequencies that create pleasing overtones. Meanwhile, the Dynamic setting automatically adjusts based on how hard or soft you are playing.
While it’s true that this pedal offers a lot of options considering its size, that same size could be seen as a limitation as well. There is no way to alter any of the unique parameters for a specific mode. Having the ability to do so would really open up all that this pedal can do. Don’t get us wrong – each of the modes are very impressive as they are. However, we feel having some level of extra control would really top off the package.
While reverb pedals can be one of those effects that are easily overlooked, the Boss RV-6 has enough under the hood to easily change that perception. For a relatively affordable pedal, it sounds great, is easy to control, and has options that can take your sonic palette to a completely new level.
For more info about the Boss RV-6 Digital Stereo Reverb, click here.
For more of the best reverb pedals, click here.