The Boss FRV–1 ’63 Fender Reverb pedal (that’s a mouthful, so we’ll call it the FRV-1 from here on) is a solidly constructed digital model of the spring reverb found in old Fender amps. To get one of the actual spring reverb tanks from those amps, you’d have to pay a lot of money. The FRV-1 lets you recreate that sound at a fraction of the cost
- Tone – Depending on your guitar, this knob will need some fine-tuned tweaking. If your tone has a lot of high-end twang, then roll off it to mellow it out a bit. If your tone is dark, then this knob can be turned up to give some more mids and treble to your signal, thus helping you cut through the mix a little more.
- Dwell – This control affects how long the reverberated signal sticks around in the mix. Be careful with this one, because too much of it will cause some nasty feedback issues.
- Mixer – This knob adjusts how much of your dry signal travels through the pedal without being affected. When it’s cranked all the way up, your pick attack practically disappears, but it makes it a little difficult to control where your sound lands in the mix. When turned all the way counter-clockwise, the reverb effect is negligible. Find that sweet spot in the middle, and your tone is golden.
Power – Uses a single 9V battery or a 9V power adaptor.
True to the Original – Yes, it’s only a model of the classic Fender’s spring reverb tank. Though nothing really compares to the sound of the original spring reverb, the FRV-1 does an admirable job of trying. In live settings, most people won’t be able to tell the difference. If you’re in the studio, though, try to use the real thing if you can.
Tank Issue Fix – Sometimes the built-in reverb tank in an amp can be fickle due to mishandling or plain-old wear with age. Sticking this pedal at the end of your chain can help alleviate some of those built-in tank headaches that inevitably occur.
Durability – Boss is known for making sturdy, dependable pedals, and the FRV-1 is no exception. If this is in your chain, expect it to last for a lifetime. It also doesn’t hurt that the foot switch is literally the bottom half of the pedal, so stomp away.
Appearance – It has absolutely nothing to do with your tone, but it has a nice retro aesthetic that will spruce up your pedalboard… if you’re into that kind of thing.
Price – Even used, this pedal is still on the pricey end for something that isn’t boutique. On the flip side, if you buy it used and decide you don’t like it, you’ll most likely be able to turn it for nearly what you spent.
Sound – For what you’d pay for this pedal, you could get a different one with more options and warmer sound. Unless you’re a diehard Fender spring reverb tank fan, your investment in a reverb pedal is best spent elsewhere.
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