4 Best Reverb Pedals for Bass Guitar

Bass Guitar Close-Up 2

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The most amazing thing about music, to me, is the endless possibilities it represents. Particularly in the modern era- inexpensive electronic technology has made us musical superhumans compared to just a generation or two ago. The power of music studios that used to fill rooms, cost a year’s salary, and require years of experience to learn is now available to the average person in tiny affordable packages that anyone can learn as a hobby. Laptops, smartphones, pedals, and more are all democratizing music.

The powerful little reverb pedal for your bass guitar is a great example of this. Turn a couple of knobs and you’re able to add full, rich sound to your bass and even replicate the sound of playing in a massive venue.

Yes, you can just stick with your stock amp which is going to have some reverb to it but it’s not going to compare to a purpose-built pedal. And if you’re pursuing a specific sound (especially in the blues, surf, or country music genres) you might not be able to count on your bass guitar’s built-in reverb settings to get the job done.

Even if you’re just experimenting, it’s still worth exploring reverb with your basslines and reverb is one of the oldest (and most natural) audio effects that have been used in music. In other words, you’re in good company.

I’ll explain everything you need to know about picking out a great reverb pedal for your bass (or even your guitar) but if you just want to skip ahead and my favorites you can check them out here:

Best Overall
EBS DynaVerb
9.9
  • Specifically designed for bass which is somewhat rare in the world of reverb pedals
  • Easy to use with low bass frequencies
  • Flexible and affordable, it's a great all-around reverb pedal
Best On A Budget
TC Electronic Hall of Fame 2
9.8
  • Tons of features all at a budget-friendly price
  • More than 300 five-star reviews on Amazon
Premium Pick
Eventide Space
9.7
  • A huge range of sounds with 12 dials to produce just about every type of reverb sound you could want
  • This reverb pedal works with more than just the bass guitar which makes it a good addition to pedalboard for any intrument

Let’s Talk About The Basics Of Reverberation

Reverb can be confusing at first. Every time we hear any sound, we experience it in two ways- the sound itself, and the sound it makes as it echoes and decays in its environment. In fact, we constantly experience and understand reverb- but on a subconscious level within a specific part of the brain. Every time we hear a sound, we make a quick judgment about what kind of environment it is, based on the reverberations.

In general, adding reverb to music improves it. It gives the music depth, presence, and power. Most of all, an immersive quality. For centuries, we have built churches and music halls with reverberation in mind, so that choirs and orchestras will echo loudly. It’s also the reason it’s fun to sing in the shower. The shower provides a handy echo chamber!

And since the mid-20th-century and the advent of recording music, we have explored ways to capture, create, and manipulate reverb. The effect is really quite magical. Why do you think Morrissey’s voice and 80s drums sound so good?

Capturing and Creating Reverb (With and Without Pedals)

Primitive recording studios in the 60s had dedicated rooms in the basement, huge concrete chambers, with a bank of speakers on one wall and mics opposite. After recording music, it would be sent to the room, and the echo it created would be recorded and layered on top. Alternately, spring reverbs and plate reverbs were relatively practical, mechanical reverb emulators. Spring reverbs are still built into many Fender amps!

The 80s examples I linked to above were enthusiastic celebrations of the development of digital reverb (and audio modulation in general). Suddenly, adding space and power to recordings (or live performances) was far simpler and more effective!

But reverb is a tricky thing to tame. The same force that can make musicians and singers sound huge, powerful, and epic, can just as easily ruin the music by smearing all the detail away. In particular, reverb should stay away from the bass frequencies. The exact cutoff is a matter of taste, but I personally put it around 500 Hz in my productions. Reverb below that point creates the dreaded mud and turns music into a sound bath that lacks rhythm and melody.

Reverb Pedals Are Underutilized With Bass Guitar

Funk Bassist

So why the hell are we talking about reverb pedals for bass players? The fundamental frequencies of the bass’s strings range from about 40 Hz on the E string to ~98 Hz on the G. The truth is that reverb pedals are not on most bassists’ radars. They are much more commonly associated with guitar, vocals, or perhaps keys. In short, middle frequencies.

That said, there is definitely a time and a place for them with the bass guitar! I’d even go so far as to say that they’re underused.

Bassists who prefer to play melodically, who want to solo in the middle to upper registers, or who like to experiment with sonic texture, should all start thinking about investing in a reverb pedal.

Perhaps you’ve heard of Jaco? A reverb pedal could achieve a similar gorgeous bass presence that you can hear in his playing on this recording of Blackbird:

Or check out this incredible Japanese jazz fusion recording. I’m not going to lie, I’ve never actually figured out if that’s a bass playing the lead. But a fretless bass, playing in the upper registers and using a reverb pedal, could easily achieve that gorgeously unique tone. A bass tone that carries the melody of a band, imagine that!

There are a handful of reverb pedals designed for bass. As you can probably imagine, it’s a highly specialty item compared to general reverb pedals. As a result, many are expensive and/or hard to find.

But guitar pedals are perfectly compatible with basses as well, at least in theory. It’s more a question of how they translate. And with reverb, as I mentioned, adding reverb without muddying the low frequencies could be a challenge.

4 Best Reverb Pedals For Bass Guitar

Now that you’re up to date on the history of reverb and you’re seeing just how powerful reverb can be for a bass let’s get into the best pedals for the job.

Best Overall: EBS DynaVerb

Best Overall
EBS DynaVerb
  • Specifically designed for bass which is somewhat rare in the world of reverb pedals
  • Easy to use with low bass frequencies
  • Flexible and affordable, it's a great all-around reverb pedal

Honestly, the biggest reason I gave this pedal top billing is that it’s the only one on this list that was actually designed for bass. And it has a moderate price, about the middle of the pack for really great reverb pedals.

But the EBS DynaVerb has a lot more going for it than just a good price.

Since it’s designed for bass, the pedal rolls off excess low frequencies, so mud won’t be a problem. Listening to samples, I was impressed by the warm and very natural tone. With a little tweaking, you can get it to sound great on a clean guitar as well. In terms of features, I’d say that the DynaVerb more than gets the job done. You can actually switch between room, plate, and hall reverb emulations, and between three presets of each, for a total of 8 reverbs. Two dials allow you to control the tone of the reverb and the level.

That gives you a lot of flexibility- even more than you might think. This video does a great of illustrating the flexibility of this reverb pedal and even gives you the exact settings that are used on the pedal to create the effect:

And one of the biggest perks: stereo out, not just mono. In the studio, this can allow you to create some incredible immersive recordings. But you’ll probably want to stick with mono in live settings.

Overall, this is a great first reverb pedal for bassists and a solid addition to just about any bass player’s pedalboard. You can check out more reviews, take a closer look at the specifications and see today’s price on Amazon by clicking here.

Premium Pick: Eventide Space

Premium Pick
Eventide Space
  • A huge range of sounds with 12 dials to produce just about every type of reverb sound you could want
  • This reverb pedal works with more than just the bass guitar which makes it a good addition to pedalboard for any intrument

When you start in the middle, what better direction to go than up?

The Eventide Space is a premium pedal which also means premium pricing. However, you get what you pay for, and what you get with the Eventide Space is a reverb pedal for bass guitar that is second to none. Phil Spector probably wishes he had this unit in the 1960s. The twelve (!!!) dials on its face make the DynaVerb look like a toy for kids. But those dials aren’t for show and you can really get weird with this thing.

As a quick side note, I love the name of this reverb pedal and simply calling it “space” is perfect. After all, that’s the effect we’re after right? We’re creating space where there isn’t any. And if you’re the legend Adrian Utley (of Portishead fame) then you’re also using this pedal to create sounds that sound like they came from space. That video also highlights that while I love this reverb pedal for bass you can use this on a wide range of instruments.

You can check out the wide variety of sounds that specifically on the bass in this video which is really only showing a small sample of what you can expect from the 12 dials:

The Space also has stereo out, as well as a USB port to deepen the experience with software upgrades. And this pedal is compatible with line or instrument level signals, so it can basically act as the only necessary reverb unit in a pro studio. Note that two of the knobs are reverb EQ- when using the Space with bass, you can cut the bass EQ to avoid mud. That’s to be expected with any reverb pedals that aren’t made specifically made for bass guitar but there’s no problem avoiding mud with a few turns of the dial.

In short though: money well spent. Whatever your reverb needs are, the Eventide Space has you covered- whether that’s a bass guitar or just about anything else you can think of. You can check out more reviews and see today’s price on Amazon by clicking here.

Best On A Budget:TC Electronic Hall of Fame 2

Best On A Budget
TC Electronic Hall of Fame 2
  • Tons of features all at a budget-friendly price
  • More than 300 five-star reviews on Amazon

Now for the opposite end of the spectrum: TC Electronic’s Hall of Fame 2 is more about staying affordable than trying to give you an entire galaxy of reverb as we saw in the Eventide Space. But that doesn’t mean it’s not an awesome reverb pedal for bass and I’ve spoken to several bassists who speak very highly of it. I’ve also heard it a few times live with a bass guitar and I’ve been impressed and the fullness it brings- which is exactly what you want from a reverb in the first place.

It’s a guitar pedal, so it’s not designed for bass specifically. But I’ve also listened to a ton of samples and didn’t hear any muddiness in the tones. You can check out a little sampler platter of sound in the video below to see exactly what I mean:

And for its price, the Hall of Fame has a fairly impressive feature list. Not only can you select between about a half dozen reverb modes- there are actually three empty slots to download your own. In fact, the company even offers an editor to create your own! The three other knobs allow control over reverb decay time, tone, and level.

On top of that, the Hall of Fame features TC’s proprietary new “MASH” pressure sensitive button. Rather than a simple on-off, you can vary the amount of reverb by applying more pressure with your foot while playing.

And the “shimmer” reverb setting creates a unique overtone-based reverb, by pitch-shifting your playing up an octave during the processing. I’m having a hard time not sending this pedal to the top of the list! I mean, that’s a lot of features for a very budget-friendly price. In fact, that might be too many features for someone who’s just getting started with reverb on the bass.

It also helps that there are more than 300 five-star reviews for this reverb pedal on Amazon and a handful of them are from bass players. You can read some of those reviews and check today’s price on Amazon by clicking here.

Most Ethereal Sound: Earthquaker Afterneath

Most Ethereal Sound:
Earthquaker Afterneath
  • Unique, dreamy, and ethereal sounds that pair perfectly with the bass guitar
  • Easy on the budget and great reviews makes this an easy pickup for folks that want to explore

The Afterneath is the pedal for players who want to really go into outer space. This is the pedal that pushes sonic boundaries. It’s so ethereal and honestly, weird, it’s best for the true space cadets that want to take their bass to an entirely new place.

Okay, I’m joking (a little) but just check out the sound on this with a bass guitar and tell me if you don’t immediately get some spacey, dark and post rock vibes:

No mud here and even though this reverb pedal isn’t designed for the bass I think it should have been!

The 6 dials give you a lot of variety and my favorite is the reflect knob which feeds the output back through again to give you a truly unique and almost haunting blend of sound.

The biggest critique you can make of this pedal is that it’s a bit of a “one trick pony” in that it just gives you that haunting sound like you’re dreaming in space. But being a one trick pony is only a bad thing if it’s a bad trick and the Afterneath delivers one awesome trick.

Okay, maybe I’m being too metaphorical but what I’m trying to say is that this is a very niche reverb pedal for bass players. You’re not going to get the range of sounds with the Afterneath that you would with something like the EBS DynaVerb or just about any other reverb pedal on this list. But instead, what you get is every version of a specific style of sound and it’s a sound style that works really well with the bass.

If you know what you’re getting yourself into, this could be perfect. But if you’re expecting an all-around reverb pedal workhorse for your bass then you’ll want something like the EBS DynaVerb instead. But for the right bassists, this is thing is pure gold.

If you think you might just be that kind of bassist, you can check out more reviews and see today’s price on Amazon by clicking here.

Conclusion

It was hard to pare this list down. Reverb is such a powerful, subtle, and honestly subjective effect that it’s hard to just limit this to a handful of reverb pedals. You really do have dozens of great options.

In fact, I’d say there might be too many options so rather than giving you a list of a dozen reverb pedals I really tried to narrow it down to the pedals that I think will work best for most bassists. As much fun as it is to nerd out on gear, I’d rather be playing and producing than reading specs and I’m guess you’re in the same boat.

So while there are many other great reverb pedals out there besides what made this list, I’m confident this will get you started. Only with jamming and careful tone-shaping, will you discover the perfect reverb to elevate your sound. Keep working, and feel the joy of the music!