15 Best Hardware Reverb Rack Units

best hardware reverb

Let’s get your productions sounding glorious and lush with the best hardware reverb in the industry today.

Quick answer: If you’re looking for “world-class” then get the Lexicon PCM92, it’s a definite “no-brainer” for many in the industry. 

If you’re not shy on spending a couple thousand more for premium results, the Bricasti Design Model 7 may prove to be the “secret sauce” you may may be looking for.

For those on a budget the Behringer Virtualizer 3D FX2000 is a popular multi effects unit that also has reverb, and only at a fraction of the cost of the ones mentioned, but without sacrificing too much for satisfactory results.

If for some reason you didn’t like the ones we selected above, we have a total of 15 that we reviewed that you can take a look at below to see which one is right for your particular application.

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Best Hardware Reverbs

  1. Behringer Virtualizer 3D FX2000
  2. Lexicon PCM96
  3. Eventide Reverb 2016
  4. Bricasti Design Model 7
  5. Lexicon PCM92
  6. Dreadbox Hypnosis Time Effects Processor Spring Reverb
  7. Eventide Eclipse V4
  8. TC Electronics DVR250-DT
  9. Dr. Z Z-Verb Tube Reverb Tank Spring Reverb
  10. Yamaha SPX2000
  11. TC Electronics M3000
  12. Eventide H9000 Multi-Effects Processor
  13. TC Electronic M-One XL
  14. Lexicon MX200
  15. TC Electronics M350

Find more great gear here:

The Best Hardware Reverb Units

Behringer Virtualizer 3D FX2000

Behringer Virtualizer 3D FX2000 reverb

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Behringer’s Virtualizer 3D FX2000 is a great all-around unit that punches well above its weight, with quality reverb algorithms and a wide range of delay, modulation, and even dynamics algorithms. A full complement of audio and MIDI connectivity options is provide here, making this unit hang easily with the rest of your equipment, whether on stage or in the studio.

You can even set up effects chains in serial or parallel configurations, making it a versatile effects unit that you will continue to find use for even after you upgrade to a higher-priced reverb.

Specs and useful features
  • Wave-adaptive algorithms for natural reverb and delay
  • Real Sound Modeling (RSM) stereo and 3D effects
  • 71 new algorithms
  • Modulation, dynamic, psychoacoustic and EQ algorithms
  • Authentic amp simulation, distortion and special effects
  • 11 effect combinations with serial/parallel configuration options
  • User impressions

Users of the Virtualizer 3D typically mention its solid build and excellent sound. The common consensus seems to be that this is a surprisingly good unit, considering that Behringer devices are commonly viewed as poorly-built, with less-than-optimal sound quality.

Although some have observed that the effects tend to be somewhat upfront and “in your face,” most users generally agree that the Virtualizer 3D is a versatile and great sounding unit that offers superb bang-for-the-buck.


The Behringer Virtualizer 3D FX2000 is a great choice for home recording enthusiasts, project studio owners, and even mid-level pros that need an inexpensive all-around effects unit. Although the reverb probably won’t win any awards for lushness or authenticity, it is the best hardware reverb, bang-for-buck.


Lexicon PCM96

Lexicon PCM96 reverb

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Another Lex verb in the line-up, this Lexicon PCM96 is a combination stereo reverb and multi-effects processor that packs a comprehensive selection of new and classic Lexicon reverbs with delays and modulation effects in a single rackmount package.

More than a rehash of revered Lexicon reverb units (famous for that “Lexicon sound”), this iteration offers a handful of new reverb flavors along with a host of modern features that make it ideally suited for integration into a modern recording studio. Even with its expanded features and capabilities however, the PCM96 stays true to the company’s ethos of delivering unmistakably recognizable Lexicon-quality reverbs.

Specs and useful features
  • Two channels XLR analog I/O
  • Two channels XLR digital AES/EBU I/O
  • Four channels streaming via FireWire
  • Automation and control via Ethernet or Firewire
  • Can function as an RTAS, VST and Audio Units software plug-in
User impressions

Many users laud the PCM96’s combination of cutting-edge features while still staying true to the classic Lexicon reverb sound.

That being said, some users still prefer older Lexicon hardware units, claiming the PCM96 is “too smooth” and has “less character”. There have also been some complaints with regard to slow boot up speeds. Nevertheless, this model is generally considered to be a significant step forward in reverb design, due to its DAW integration, 96kHz support, and full range of connectivity options.


The Lexicon PCM96 is well equipped to handle most every imaginable need for a studio reverb. Although somewhat pricey compared to other reverb units, its modern features and the (arguably) close approximation of the classic Lexicon sound make it a powerful and flexible tool for studio recording and live applications.


Eventide Reverb 2016

Eventide Reverb 2016

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The Eventide Reverb 2016 is a recreation of the company’s own legendary reverb unit, the SP2016, which was originally manufactured in the 1980s. The classic stereo room, room reverb and high density plate algorithms are included here in all their quality and detail, and even the user parameters remain virtually unchanged from the earlier model.

But the Eventide Reverb 2016 is more than just a rethread. Also part of the package is a host of new enhancement and features that make this reverb ideally suited to the needs of the 21st century recording artist or producer. With 24-bit DSP, 24-bit analog audio I/O, digital I/O, and a highly intuitive user interface, the Reverb 2016 is every bit a modern studio essential.

Specs and useful features
  • Stereo room, room reverb and high density plate settings
  • 99 user presets
  • 24-bit DSP
  • 24-bit analog audio I/O, digital I/O and MIDI interface
  • Dedicated controls for each parameter
  • Intuitive controls and display
  • Optimized for studio and live use
User impressions

Many of the buyer reviews of the Reverb 2016 attest to its lush and musical quality. The unit has also been favorably compared to its predecessor, the SP2016. Some users feel that the Reverb 2016 is better suited to creative musical applications than to film or TV production. Concerns have also been raised with regard to the instability of certain algorithms and the wider-than-standard physical dimensions of the unit, which makes it impossible to fit into some racks. Nevertheless, the general consensus is that the Eventide Reverb 2016 is a versatile must have.


The Reverb 2016 continues on admirably from where the classic SP2016 left off. Although it has a sonic quality that could best be described as “complex” and “lifelike”, it somehow manages to always fit seamlessly into a mix. The one knob-per-function interface is an especially nice touch, which combined with the detailed display makes parameter changes easy and straightforward.


Bricasti Design Model 7

Bricasti Design Model 7

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If you’ve been searching for state of the art stereo reverb processing, Bricasti Design’s Model 7 is defining a new standard. It’s powered by six dual-core DSP processors which means you can expect great things in terms of sound quality and performance!

The Model 7’s revolutionary reverb algorithm is what’s put this hardware reverb in a category of its own. Once you’ve heard what it’s capable of, you’ll never want to go back to software reverbs. It’s the perfect balance of analog/digital technology.

Specs and useful features
  • Performs using six dual-core DSP processors
  • Powered by two dedicated power supplies
  • Handles resolutions of up to 24-bit/192kHz
  • 2-in/2-out XLR, MIDI I/O & AES digital I/O
  • It’s chassis is made of stainless steel
  • Includes 100 factory presets and 50 user presets
  • It’s front-panel features 4 “favourite” preset buttons
  • Each program provides 12 adjustable parameters
  • It’s capable of receiving future firmware updates
User impressions

To their disbelief, users have claimed the Model 7 to be quite simple to use. It sounds spectacular right out of the box and requires minimal tweaking. The factory presets are so well designed that most producers aren’t bothered by its small number of editable parameters.

See customer reviews

If you think hardware reverbs are “done”, think again! The Model 7 from Bricasti Designs is revolutionizing stereo reverb processing and competing with the best hardware reverbs. It’s algorithms can reproduce the character of any acoustical space with breathtaking realism… Would you believe me if I told you it was more affordable than all its competitors?

Lexicon PCM92

Lexicon PCM92

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The Lexicon PCM92 is luxurious to say the least. It’s both a stereo/mono reverb processor, multi-effects processor and it’s all powered by Lexicon’s latest DSP processors and algorithms. It’s become the “gold-standard” for both music producers and filmmakers.

You’ll get 28 reverbs, delays and multi-effects to choose from and over 1200 factory presets to get you started. It’ll be difficult going back to your favorite plugins once you’ve got your ears accustomed to the PCM92. The reverbs in particular are world-class and capable of recreating the sound of any space.

Specs and useful features
  • Performs using the latest DSP processors
  • Features a high-resolution OLED display
  • Handles resolutions of up to 24-bit/96kHz
  • Includes over 1200 factory presets
  • Includes 28 reverbs, delays & multi-effects
  • 2-in/2-out XLR + ¼”, MIDI I/O & AES/EBU digital I/O
  • Compatible with footswitch/foot control
  • Ethernet connection and external BNC Word Clock
User impressions

The first thing users of the PCM92 will tell you is that it’s got a distinct tone, exclusive to Lexicon. The fact that they’ve integrated “multimode filters” into this model allows you to shape your effects while preserving their signature sound. Most reviewers will agree that it’s quite difficult to make the PCM92 sound bad and this was certainly intended.


If your recording studio needs both industry-standard reverb processing and multi-effects processing, look no further than the PCM92 from Lexicon. It’s not exactly the most affordable option out there, but think of it as an investment. One of these units can potentially take care of all of a music producer’s needs.

Dreadbox Hypnosis Time Effects Processor

Dreadbox Hypnosis Time Effects Processor

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Dreadbox Hypnosis Time Effects Processor is truly a throwback of the signature sound of the 80s! The unit itself looks astounding, but it sounds just as good (if not better) than it looks. It combines both analog and digital circuitry under the same hood.

The Hypnosis features three effects: an analog spring reverb (3-springs), a stereo analog chorus/flanger and a stereo digital delay. Each one of these modules also features a unique “twist”, so there’s nothing quite like this one!

Specs and useful features
  • 3 independent effects (spring reverb, chorus/flanger & delay)
  • Spring reverb includes a unique pitch modulation circuit
  • Chorus/flanger features a BBD chip and LFO
  • Digital delay includes a “freeze” button
  • 2-in/2-out TRS (L/R channels)
  • Independent input/output gain
  • Powered by a 15V DC adapter
  • Save up to 49 presets
User impressions

Obviously, many users have become quite fond of the overall aesthetic of the Hypnosis. It features some pretty cool 80s graphics, but it’s also got some modern elements that make it stand out. Most reviewers find the ability to adjust input/output gains for compatibility with microphone and/or eurorack useful. It’s retro, but functional!


Whether you’re just looking for a “groovy” piece of gear or a fantastic recreation of that 80s signature sound, Hypnosis by Dreadbox is for you! The interface is actually quite user-friendly, but you can spend days discovering new sounds. It’s ability to store up to 49 presets will surely come in handy.

Eventide Eclipse V4

Eventide Eclipse V4

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Eventide Eclipse V4 is probably one of the most user-friendly rack processors on the market. Editing and creating presets on this multi-effects processor’s uncluttered interface will never rupture your creative process.

It may not be apparent on the surface, but the Eclipse V4 is actually 2-in-1. In other words, you can route this unit to function as two independent multi-effects processors. Smaller recording studios can really benefit from its ergonomic approach to signal processing.

Specs and useful features
  • Digital I/O: AES/EBU, S/PDIF, ADAT & Lightpipe
  • Analog I/O: XLR & TRS
  • Includes MIDI I/O and external BNC Word Clock
  • Dual-routing configuration “splits” it into two effects units
  • Handles resolutions of up to 24-bit/96kHz
  • Includes a Compact Flash socket
  • Features a dedicated tap button
  • Features hotkeys that can be assigned
  • Capable of receiving firmware updates
User impressions

One thing that distinguishes the Eclipse V4, according to users, is the fact that it’s especially friendly to guitar players. To be more specific, it’s great for performers in general because of its simple yet effective layout. The accommodation for nearly every type of connection has also been mentioned and the massive library of effects has won the hearts of many.

Read Customer Reviews

Eventide’s Eclipse V4 has been around for almost two decades now! It’s a rare occurrence in the world of hardware reverbs, so it stands as a testament to this unit’s overall success. It’s been a favourite amongst music producers, sound engineers, but mostly with performers for its ease of use.

TC Electronics DVR250-DT

TC Electronics DVR250-DT

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The DVR250-DT from TC Electronics is somewhat of a homage to the legendary EMT 250 Electronic Reverberator. Sonically and aesthetically, they’ve managed to encapsulate its huge character into an ergonomic desktop interface. However, it can do much more than process reverb.

he DVR250-DT also includes several effects including phaser, chorus, echo and space. It’s also been designed to work in unison with your DAW as a USB/MIDI controller. TC Electronics has even included accurate input/output level displays!

Specs and useful features
  • Emulates the legendary EMT 250 Electronic Reverberator
  • Captures the unique tactile “feel” of the EMT 250
  • Includes plugins are available as VST, AU & AAX
  • Works seamlessly with your DAW as a USB/MIDI controller
  • Can be automated using your DAW
  • Accurate input/output level displays for monitoring
  • Bus-powered via USB port
  • Includes signature presets from world-renowned producers
  • Includes multi-effects processing (delay, phaser, chorus, echo & space)
User impressions

Most users will agree that the DVR250-DT does an excellent job at replicating the vintage EMT 250. This compact desktop interface has become a favourite for many small music producers. However, some reviewers have claimed that the actual hardware is not as solid as it can be. In other words, the build-quality doesn’t match the sound quality.


Music producers with minimalist setups can definitely benefit from such a compact and powerful unit. TC Electronics’ DVR250-DT is quite enticing as a USB/MIDI controller, but the real advantage is its accurate recreation of the legendary EMT 250. It’s one of the best digital vintage reverbs on the market!

Dr. Z Z-Verb Tube Reverb Tank

Dr. Z Z-Verb Tube Reverb Tank

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In short, Dr. Z’s Z-Verb Tube Reverb Tank is a tube-powered spring reverb head. It’s known for providing that iconic “surf guitar” tone reminiscent of the Beach Boys.

Its interface is relatively basic, featuring only 3 knobs (dwell, mix & tone) and the included footswitch allows you to control this unit on-stage. The recent addition of a “ground-lift” switch is useful for eliminating any unwanted “hum” from your signal. It may be simple, but it’s capable of creating some complex reverbs.

Specs and useful features
  • Output Tubes: 1x 6V6
  • Preamp Tubes: 1x 12AX7/1x 12AT7
  • Includes a “ground-lift” switch to eliminate mains hum
  • Features 3 knobs (dwell, mix & tone)
  • Includes a footswitch to trigger the reverb
User impressions

As it turns out, most surf players find the Z-Verb to be lacking “drip”. It’s a tonal characteristic that has defined the guitar tones of this genre. However, it’s been said that this unit is optimal for studio recordings (in all genres). It’s a great sounding reverb, no reviewer has denied that, but it may have difficulty cutting through the mix in a live performance.

See customer reviews

Surf players may need to look elsewhere, but anyone looking for a tube-powered reverb processor will adore the Z-Verb from Dr. Z. Its tubes can really add a distinct “warmth” to your tracks, but these units aren’t the most affordable. It’s ideal for studio recording and has proven itself to be quite versatile.

Yamaha SPX2000

Yamaha SPX2000

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You’ll get nothing less than industry-standard effects processing with Yamaha’s SPX2000. It features their critically acclaimed REV-X reverb algorithm and an abundance of DSP processing power.

In short, the SPX2000 follows a legacy of revolutionary reverb processors established by its ancestor, the SPX90. Yamaha has preserved some of its classic presets while offering newer and more advanced reverb algorithms. Interconnectivity has also been improved and it even includes a USB port which can be paired with the included editing software.

Specs and useful features
  • Uses Yamaha’s REV-X reverb algorithm
  • Handles resolutions of up to 24-bit/96kHz
  • Analog I/O: 2x XLR + 2x TRS
  • Digital I/O: AES/EBU
  • Features a variety of multi-effects (gate reverb, delay, pitch, modulation, etc…)
  • Included MIDI I/O and external BNC Word Clock
  • Includes 97 factory presets, 25 classic presets & 99user presets
  • Includes SPX2000 editing software
User impressions

Longtime users of Yamaha’s SPX-series are pleased with the familiar, easy to use interface. The SPX2000’s comprehensive analog/digital I/O has also made it worth upgrading according to some. However, the real highlight based on most reviews is its ability to accurately model the early reflections of smaller rooms. Reverb “savants” are aware that this is no easy task to accomplish.


Yamaha has created a legacy of industry-standard reverb/effects processors with the SPX-series. The SPX2000 pushes the envelope even further by providing a few modern upgrades such as USB connectivity and software editing. You’ll instantly fall in love with its ultra-realistic reverb algorithms!

TC Electronics M3000

TC Electronics M3000

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The M3000 is one of TC Electronics’ legacy products meaning it’s been around for awhile (with good reason). It’s mainly a reverb processor but it also includes a variety of multi-effects. With a total of 600 factory presets to choose from, it’s difficult to compete with this unit.

What makes it even more compelling is the organization of these presets which basically separates them by application. This feature caters both to music producers and filmmakers, so this unit is versatile enough to meet both of these industries’ demands.

Specs and useful features
  • Dual-engine structure and six routing options
  • Virtual Space Simulation (VSS) reverb algorithms provide astounding realism
  • Multi-effects processing (delay, pitch, chorus, flanger, tremolo, etc…)
  • Includes 600 factory presets and 300 user presets(organized by application)
  • Easy mode/expert mode to facilitate preset editing
  • Compatible with PCMCIA cards for an additional 300 user presets
  • Analog I/O: 2-in/2-out XLR
  • Digital I/O: S/PDIF and ADAT
  • MIDI I/O and external BNC Word Clock
  • Features “tap tempo” function for time-based effects
User impressions

One of the things most reviewers have pointed out is the clever organization of the M3000’s layout. It also allows users to toggle between easy mode/expert mode to adapt to each situation. Users have also shown appreciation for the 4 “favourite” buttons for quick recall of their most used presets.


The M3000 from TC Electronics is a powerhouse of realistic reverbs and convenient multi-effects processing. The ability to “split” this unit into two allows music producers and filmmakers more flexibility without the addition of an extra processor.

Eventide H9000 Multi-Effects Processor

Eventide H9000 Multi-Effects Processor

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The H9000 is Eventide’s ultimate effects processor building on over fifty years of research! It features 1600 algorithms to recreate both the sound Eventide’s signature classics along with newest innovations. In short, this unit comes loaded with more content than anything I’ve seen.

It does the 21st century justice by including modern interconnectivity such as the ability to store preset on USB drives and the capacity to receive updates via Wi-Fi. It can even be paired with its software controller, Emote, using your computer!

Specs and useful features
  • Performs using four quad-core DSP processors (16 DSP engines)
  • Networking is possible with additional expansion cards (up to 32 channels)
  • Accurate metering allows you to monitor each node in your signal chain
  • Can be controlled via Emote, its software controller
  • Analog I/O: 2-in/2-out XLR
  • Digital I/O: AES/EBU, S/PDIF & optical
  • MIDI I/O and external BNC Word Clock
  • Can connect up to 4 footswitches
  • USB 2.0, ethernet & Wi-Fi connectivity
User impressions

Probably the only negative users have mentioned is the H9000’s slow booting. However, it’s understandable considering how much content it can deliver! Most reviewers have praised Eventide’s ability to provide an appealing interface despite the overwhelming amount of effects. The Emote application also makes navigation even easier.


There’s nothing else quite like Eventide’s H9000. It’s certainly one of least affordable effects processors on the market, but that’s because it caters to large recording studios. With up to 96 channels of simultaneous signal processing, it can handle just about anything. Once you’ve heard what its world-class algorithms can produce, you’ll never go back!

TC Electronic M-One XL

TC Electronic M-One XL reverb

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TC Electronic has a pretty good track record with this all-in-one TC Electronic M-One XL unit that combines studio-quality reverb with a host of delay and modulation capabilities. It was designed for clarity and accuracy, so you’ll find that the reverbs of the M-One XL can be customized to a precise degree, with a wide spatial imaging range that is totally independent of the decay time. The result is a wide selection of rich and natural sounding reverbs, all of which can find its way into a variety of recording situations.

Specs and useful features
  • Improved spatial perspectives produce a wide range of reverbs
  • Simulates real room and vintage reverbs as well as chorused and detuned reverbs
  • 200 factory presets, 100 user presets
  • Settings range from short and snappy “live” reverbs to cavernous 3-second reverbs
  • TC Electronic-quality flanger, gate, expander, de-esser, tremolo and phaser algorithms
User impressions

The M-One XL has been compared favorably with classic Lexicon reverbs, and even higher-priced units with many more features and capabilities. In addition to its great sound, the M-One XL also won users over with a intuitive interface and the modification and customization options.

In recording scenarios, the unit handles vocal, synth, saxophone, and guitar tracks equally well, with a clear and present sound that always manages to cut through the mix without overpowering it.

About the only criticism we could find about the M-One XL is periodic freezing, which has been attributed to failing power supplies. In most cases, this is an easy fix requiring only the replacement of a few capacitors.

Read the customer reviews on Amazon.

The M-One XL is a great all-around reverb that works well for a variety of sound sources. Its reasonable price makes it suitable for home recording setups and project studios, and even mid-range recording facilities.

Lexicon MX200

Lexicon MX200 reverb

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This Lexicon MX200 is considered something of a standard as far as studio reverbs go. It’s credited for a rich, smooth, and complex sound and intuitive front panel interface, as well as being a versatile reverb unit that’s just as useful in the studio as on stage. Add to that the DAW integration, the dual processor design, and a host of delay and modulation algorithms (all with the famous “Lexicon sound”), and the MX200 may be a worthy addition to your studio effects toolbox.

Specs and useful features
  • 16 legendary Lexicon reverbs
  • Lexicon quality delays and modulation effects
  • dbx dynamics
  • Dual-processor design
  • 4 routing configurations
  • 99 factory programs, 99 user programs
  • USB “Hardware Plug-In” feature
  • VST and Audio Units plug-in software
User impressions

Among the most welcome features of the MX200 is the option to design custom effects chains and to save them for later use. Many users also appreciate the dual-engine design, which adds even more versatility to the unit. Although some users have reported automation issues with Logic, the MX200 is generally a stable, reliable, and all-around good-sounding effects unit for the price.

Read the customer reviews on Amazon.

The Lexicon MX200 offers superb bang-for-the-buck in a reasonably priced package. With VST integration, dual-engine design, and varied delay and modulation capabilities, this is a great all-rounder that imparts that classic Lexicon reverb mojo to any studio recording.

TC Electronics M350

TC Electronics M350

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The TC Electronics M350 is both a reverb processor and a multi-effects processor. However, because of its “dual-engine” structure, you’ll never need to sacrifice quality! It has an engine dedicated for reverb processing and one for multi-effects processing.

This makes it more than suitable for both live and studio applications. It’s actually been Jónsi’s (Sigur Rós) rack processor of choice as of late! I believe it’s the M350’s ease of use that has made it a favourite amongst artists.

Specs and useful features
  • Two engines dedicated to reverb and multi-effects
  • Two routing configurations (serial or parallel)
  • 2-in/2-out TRS, MIDI I/O & Digital I/O
  • Handles resolutions of up to 24-bit/48kHz
  • Adaptive 100-240V power supply
  • Ability to connect a “tap tempo” pedal
  • Includes 15 reverbs and 15 multi-effects
  • 256 factory presets and 99 user presets
User impressions

One of the features that has gotten the most praise from reviewers is the M350’s software editor which allows you to edit in real-time. Other than that, it’s affordability has made this the rack processor of choice for those seeking an “all-in-one solution”. The only downside according to most is the inability to combine certain effects.


TC Electronics has certainly made some innovations in the music industry over the years and the M350 is one of them. It’s got everything a working musician needs without breaking the bank! However, it’s the ability to route your inputs in series/parallel that really distinguishes this effects processor from the others.

Rack mount Reverb Buying Guide

What is a Reverberation Unit?

The term “reverb” refers to the sonic effect produced by sound waves reflected off the surfaces of a physical space.

Most every space has some sort of reverberant quality, and the effect may even be present outdoors.

However, each indoor space has its own unique reverb signature, which may or may not appropriate to the intended musical or audio application. In a recording studio scenario, reverb is usually simulated via artificial means.

The earliest types of artificial reverb units were hardware devices that utilized springs or metal plates to create the desired reverberating effect. Although these early devices were not especially accurate at mimicking or approximating “natural” reverb, the aesthetically pleasing tonal qualities they imparted made them popular among artists and producers then, and even to this day.

Later hardware reverbs utilized digital signal processing (DSP) instead of spring or plate mechanisms. This made it possible to approximate natural reverb more accurately, and also to produce complex–and even unusual–types of reverb effects.

Even with the advent of high-quality reverb plug-ins, like the spring reverb variants, many hardware units continue to be favored for their sound quality, immediacy, and ease of use.

Hardware versus Software Reverb

Most hardware reverb units utilize algorithms that approximate reverb as it occurs in different physical spaces. A variety of different reverb types such as ‘room’, and ‘hall’ are usually available, along with plate and spring reverb approximations.

Most reverb plug-ins are algorithm-based as well, with many approximating the sound, and even physical appearance of hardware reverb units. Other reverb plug-ins employ convolution processing, which simulates reverb via recordings of actual physical spaces called impulse responses. Convolution reverbs are generally considered to be more realistic approximations of reverb as it occurs in a real-world space. You can read more about convolution reverb and the algorithmic components of from this Tutsplus article.

The past several years has seen the release of many reverb plugins that compare favorably to even the most revered hardware units. Some have even introduced new features and functionalities that would be costly or impossible to implement in hardware designs. Some of the more advanced software reverbs have raised the bar for accuracy and authenticity, while some make it possible to create reverb sounds that do not even exist in nature.

Nevertheless, many artists and producers continue to favor hardware reverbs due to their more aesthetically-pleasant tonal qualities, even if they aren’t quite as accurate as their software counterparts.

Choosing a Hardware Reverb

When choosing a hardware reverb for studio recording and mixing, many producers prioritize high quality and natural sound above all else.

For recording voice or acoustic instruments, it is usually preferable to have the reverb approximate a real-world acoustic environment as closely as possible. This often translates into a smooth and lush reverb that closely captures the listening environment of a real physical space.

But accuracy and authenticity aren’t always preferred or even desired, particularly for more creative applications.

Many older reverb units have a sonic signature that is often described as ‘grainy,’ with little in common with the smoothness of a high-quality reverb. Nevertheless, the less-than-perfect sonic characteristics of these devices may provide a unique texture to the recording, making them better suited to specific production styles.

When choosing hardware reverb units, you should therefore consider not only their sound quality and features, but also your desired effect and intended application.

Final thoughts

There are many reverbs in this guide, but take a look at 5 that we particularly like. And according to us, the one we like the most is the Lexicon PCM96.

In addition to carrying on the formidable Lexicon heritage proudly, its modern features and sheer sound quality places it way ahead of the competition.

While some users may nitpick about the differences in sound between this and the legendary Lexicon reverb units, there is no denying that it is a great-sounding and impressive unit, even with the somewhat high price tag.

For those looking for equally-capable and similarly great-sounding hardware reverbs, the Eventide Reverb 2016 and the TC Electronic M-One XL are worthy of serious consideration. While not as immediately impressive as the PCM96, they are versatile enough for most recording applications, and will certainly address your needs for high-quality reverb.

Don’t discount the Lexicon MX200 and the Behringer Virtualizer 3D FX2000 either. Even though these two units come close to falling into the budget category, they are surprisingly useful and versatile units that offer excellent bang-for-the-buck.

If you already have a great reverb and are looking for something relatively cheap-and-cheerful for character sounds or more general applications, these two will more than suffice.

Don’t dismiss the other choices, though. They are there for a reason. Make sure to discuss what’s write for you with your sales representative to find out the best for you.


What is the purpose of reverb?

You may be wondering if having reverb in your music is at all essential. After all, reverb is not something that we normally think about when we’re considering making music. Yet, you may realize how essential it can be when you try to create music without it.

The purpose of reverb is to add dimension and space to your sound. Reverb also points out to the listener the position that the sound has in its “soundstage.”

What are the 3 types of reverb?

It’s said that there are three main groups of reverb them being nature reverb, man-made environment, and man-made devices.

Nature reverb means that the reverberation effect takes place in the space that was created by nature, such as caves, canyons, or valleys. The man-made environment is more about places that were created by human beings, such as churches, cathedrals, rooms, chambers, and halls. And man-made devices mean pedals, hardware rack units, and plugins that give you a reverberation effect.

Which type of reverb should I use?

There are numerous ways how you can choose the right reverb that will complement your track rather than turn it into mud.

Firstly, you should think about the tempo of your track. If you’re composing a ballad, then you should opt for reverbs with long tails, hall or cathedral reverb would do the trick just fine. If you’re doing a piece with a fast tempo, then you should choose a reverb that has short tails, such as room, chamber, or spring reverbs.

Secondly, you should decide whether you want your track to sound ‘in your face’ or further back. For having more smooth mix with a lot of dense echoes, you can choose plate reverb. To reach the intimate sound, you can choose room reverb.

Thirdly, think of the tempo of the vocals, if you have any. Probably it wouldn’t be a wise idea to put the reverb with long tails on a rap song and the reverb with short tails on romantic and intimate vocals.

What is the difference between plate reverb and spring reverb?

There is a very tiny line that differs spring from plate reverbs. The sound is made by the same principle – a reverberating piece of metal, but in one case, it’s a reverberating spring and the other is a metal sheet. But there’s more, spring reverbs sound way darker than plate reverbs, and they have from short to middle decay time. Plate reverbs tend to have smooth tails and dense echoes and add lots of high-end frequencies to the mix.

Should I put reverb on guitar?

Whether to do it or not depends solely on your musical idea. But there’re many great songs where guitars only benefited from reverbs being placed on them. For example, spring reverb was added on the guitars in the song by The Lively Ones, “Surf Rider”. In addition to that, you can put the reverb on the guitars when you need to glue the mix, just a smudge.