Home » Music » Boss RV-5 vs. RV-6 Reverb Pedal Shoot-Out (Here’s the EXPERT Pick!)

Boss RV-5 vs. RV-6 Reverb Pedal Shoot-Out (Here’s the EXPERT Pick!)

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If you are a guitarist or planning to become one, your guitarist set is incomplete without a reverb pedal. If you are on the lookout for the right one but do not seem to find the most relevant guide, you have come to the right place.

Among the most popular reverb pedals are the reverb Boss pedals. There are many options available, but in this article, we will be talking primarily about the Boss RV-6 and Boss RV-5. So, what is the difference between RV 5 and RV 6? Time to find out!

Apart from the Boss RV-6 and RV-5, the other options include the Boss Hall of Fame 2.0, which brings us to our second point of discussion, Boss RV-5, Boss RV-6, or Hall of Fame 2.0.

Do not worry about all the numerous options available, as we will help you navigate through and decide on the reverb pedal that is ideal for you. Let’s jump right into it!

Why are Reverb Pedals Important?

A reverb pedal is basically a digital device that helps you emulate the reverberation effects.

It alters the incoming instrument signals, such as a guitar’s signals, and puts it through pre-delay, decay, or other audio parameters so the real acoustic reverb can be mimicked.

The produced signal is then combined with the output signal to give the player what they want.

A reverb pedal is a must-have for any guitarist as it adds an ambient touch to the beat. You can also use a reverb pedal to make springy surf sounds and recreate sounds within vast spaces during concerts or large gatherings.

The correct reverb effect will enhance your sound quality regardless of the genre you are playing.

Once you master this skill, pretty much no sound is too tough for you to play. Apart from gaining progressive belief in your talent, others will also enjoy your playing skills.

How to Choose the Right Reverb Pedal

Boss has a lot of options for you to choose from; these include the following:

  • Boss RV-6
  • Boss RV-5
  • Boss RV-500
  • Boss RV-3
  • Boss FRV-1
  • Boss FDR-1

With all these options on the market, how do you pick the one most suited to your needs? Let’s find out

Choosing the correct reverb pedal can be quite tricky since so many have now been introduced from different brands.

Even if you just stick to one brand, such as Boss, there are still plenty of factors to consider for you to make the right choice. Here are the factors you should be looking at:

  • Flexibility
  • Sound Quality
  • Simplicity
  • Type of Reverb
  • Price

Here is the summary of the leading Boss Reverb Pedals:

Boss RV-6

The Boss RV-6 reverb pedal is a good choice if you want a simple design that is flexible but rugged. Overall, it has received a score of 4.5 /5 stars. Some believe it has replaced the Boss RV-5 reverb pedal as the flagship Boss compact pedal.

The Boss RV-6 reverb pedal offers eight reverb modes, while the Boss RV-5 reverb pedal only features five. The Boss RV-6 reverb pedal has a standard room mode, hall, spring, plate, and modulate modes, and three new modes:

  • Delay Mode: this combination mode is for the classic mixes.
  • Dynamic Mode: This mode adjusts the volume and mix that respond to what you are playing.
  • Shimmer Mode: This is an octave pitch shifter mode that provides lush overtones.

The delay that the Boss RV-6 reverb pedal offers is not as flexible or fully featured as you may get on the best delay pedals in the market.

However, it does the job well, especially considering the price point and the amount of space it takes.

The shimmer and modulate modes are also great, but you will come across some mixed reviews about the spring reverb mode. While some users cannot stop raving about it, others think it sounds somewhat ‘splashy.’

The Boss RV-6 reverb pedal features the same mono capabilities and stereo as the Boss RV-5 reverb pedal.

However, it comes with an extra input jack that allows the user to control the mix they are playing with an expression pedal.

All in all, the Boss RV-6 reverb pedal has good sound and fine build quality and is definitely an improvement compared to the Boss RV-5 reverb pedal’s sound quality.

The additional delay mode makes it a good choice over the Boss RV-3 reverb pedal as well.

Maintains the high-quality that other Boss reverb pedals doSome users find the spring reverb too ‘splashy’
Features a better sound quality than the Boss RV-5 reverb pedalGate mode is no longer available
Comes with a delay mode

Boss RV-5 Reverb Pedal

The Boss RV-5 reverb pedal is a decent-quality pedal with a considerable number of features. It has an overall rating of 4/5 stars, but most users prefer the more updated Boss RV-6 reverb pedal since it has additional reverb modes.

Until only a few years, the Boss RV-5 reverb pedal was the go-to pedal whenever someone planned on buying a Boss reverb pedal.

It features six different reverb modes, hall, spring, room, plate, gate, and modulate. The Boss RV-6 reverb pedal has all these except for the gate mode.

The Boss RV-5 reverb pedal also has 4 controlling mix/ level knobs that give you control over the decay, tone, time, and the reverb mode itself.

This provides a guitarist with a significant number of options and sufficient control over the resultant reverb shape.

The Boss RV-5 reverb pedal also has decent sound quality, so that you can compare it with other similarly priced reverb models. It leaves the dry signal intact without being too overbearing.

Unlike many effect pedals today, it does not entirely envelop the sound but lets the hearer enjoy the actual beat.

The pitch-shifting mod reverb really stands out, providing the user with a detuned shimmer effect that is hard to miss.

The slow, subtle, and deep modulation works pretty well over the chords, which is not too common with other shimmer modes.

Like for any other product, there are some setbacks, such as short decay times, along with some bright top-end tones.

The users have complained of a flat plastic-like sound when the amplitude is too high. The Boss RV-6 reverb pedal is a better choice if you are a gigging guitarist.

Another thing to note here is that the Boss RV-5 reverb pedal’s gate mode is what links it to the classic reverb pedals.

The Boss RV-5 reverb pedal plays excellently when used for 80’s pop music but no longer works as well for modern guitarists. Therefore, it has largely been replaced with the Boss RV-6 reverb pedal.

Features the gated reverb mode; not found in other Boss pedalsRelatively shorter decay time
Has a high-quality buildMay sound too bright for some users’ liking

Boss RV-3 vs Boss RV-5 vs Boss RV-6

It would be unfair to leave out the Boss RV-3 reverb pedal after discussing the Boss RV-5 reverb pedal and Boss RV-6 reverb pedal in such detail.

The Boss RV-3 reverb pedal scores 3 out of 5 stars and seems to be behind the Boss RV-6 reverb pedal in terms of performance and features.

The Boss RV-3 reverb pedal brings together the standard reverb models and the newer, digital ones. It has delay effects and has been used by popular bands, such as Radiohead and Incubus.

The Boss RV-3 reverb pedal is said to have a ‘metallic’ sound, which is not similar to the modern Boss reverb pedals. But this is understandable since rock and roll was a more popular genre at that time and was the need of the time.

The Boss RV-3 reverb pedal offers four reverb modes, hall, plate, and two-room modes. The room 1 mode offers a tight studio ambiance, whereas the room 2 mode slides more towards expansive settings with slow decays.

You will also find three delay modes on the Boss RV-3 reverb pedal that are up to 2000 ms. These delay effects can be combined to produce some really cool and innovative sounds if you are making your own music.

The Boss RV-3 reverb pedal’s production began in 1994 but was discontinued in 2002. It was quite the popular pedal then and still has some loyal fans that have priced it at a considerable amount.

Combines the classic reverb and delay effectsOnly has four reverb modes
Pretty easy to understand and useThe sound is described as ‘metallic,’ making it less versatile
Simple designProduction has been discontinued, so harder to find than other Boss models
Works well for old genres

Strymon Blue Sky vs Boss RV-5/6

Boss RV-6 vs. Hall of Fame 2.0

The Boss Hall of Fame 2.0 reverb pedal is an updated version of the original Boss Hall of Fame. It is among the most hit models from Boss and continues to be used even today for various genres.

It delivers shimmer reverb algorithms with an innovative Mash footswitch, making expressive effects possible.

Apart from toggling the reverb effects on and off, the Boss Hall of Fame 2.0 reverb pedal’s Mash footswitch is also pressure sensitive for controlling reverb parameters.

The TonePrint fans can rejoice as it also offers preset effects. The Boss Hall of Fame 2.0 reverb pedal has three slots for the TonePrint presets, allowing the user to experience three custom reverb effects that they can use as they please.

The shimmer reverb on the Boss Hall of Fame 2.0 reverb pedal is ethereal, as it is ideal for shoegaze, ambient styles, and worship. The highlight of the Boss Hall of Fame 2.0 reverb pedal, however, is the shimmer reverb.

The Boss Hall of Fame 2.0 reverb pedal also has three TonePrint slots that allow you to customize your reverb tone. You can also use the TonePrint editor software to make your custom verbs.

The Boss Hall of Fame 2.0 reverb pedal allows the user to upload up to three different TruePrint presets with flexibility onstage.

The Mash footswitch on the Boss Hall of Fame 2.0 reverb pedal is ideal for expressive effects. Giving it creative potential, it is pressure-sensitive and has a toggling reverb effect. You can use the Mash footswitch to dynamically enhance or lower the reverb effect or make changes to other reverb parameters for sonic creativity.

The other Boss Hall of Fame 2.0 reverb pedal features include the TonePrint-enabled updated reverb algorithms, shimmer reverb algorithms shift-pitch for up to 1 octave for some fantastic effects, expression pedal for manipulating reverb parameters, and easy battery access.

Moreover, the Boss Hall of Fame 2.0 reverb pedal offers the beaming of new TonePrints directly to the pedal through the guitar pickups via the TonePrint app.

It also allows you to use the TonePrint app for PC/MAC/ iPad for customizing and tweaking reverb presets. The buffered bypass/ true bypass has pedalboard flexibility.


While both the Boss RV-5 and RV-6 are good options, some features set them apart and make them ideal for different uses.

The Boss RV-6 pedal reverb is a newer model with more reverb options. While the Boss RV-5 has five reverb options, the RV-6 has eight.

The Boss RV-5 pedal does not have a long decay time and is better for brighter sounds, such as rock and roll or classic pop. The Boss RV-6 is a better option for modern genres and dark, ambient sounds.

For more customizable options, go for Boss RV-6 unless you are a Gate reverb fan. The latter does not have the Gate reverb option.

In simple terms, the RV-5 has a bright, aggressive sound, while the Boss RV-6 has a dark, smooth, subtle, and mellow sound. Even in extreme settings, the RV-6 performs well enough to compete with other reverb models in its price range.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is better- RV-5 or RV-6?

Both models are great. However, the Boss RV-5 is a better option for the classic and bright genres, while the RV-6 is more suited to modern music or dark sounds since it maintains the ideal balance between bright and dark sounds.

How well does the Boss RV-6 perform?

The Boss RV-6 is a simple and straightforward reverb that can be run mono or with stereo. It has a standard 9 V battery supply, four knobs, and an EXP jack. It has eight settings, spring, modulate, plate, hall, dynamic, shimmer, and +delay, giving the user a lot to work with.

What is the dynamic reverb mode?

The dynamic reverb mode refers to the neat mode responsible for the amount of reverb applied to the notes. When played gently, the reverb blooms with every note, but when played aggressively, the reverb backs off. The dynamic mode is pretty helpful for playing various rhythms in different ways.