Ultimate BOSS RV-6 Review
Classy new reverb pedal promises ambience aplenty
BOSS has released a brand new iteration of what is, certainly in our eyes, a classic stomper. The BOSS RV-6 takes the already excellent RV-5 reverb pedal and propels it toward new frontiers of textural sonic adventure.
The RV-5 offered six of BOSS’ lush reverbs in a stereo effects pedal. The included reverb types were typically high quality; a highly convincing spring reverb emulation and a gate reverb covered most ‘standard’ uses, while the modulate mode offered gloriously spacious detuned sounds. When used in conjunction with a delay, like the DD-7, and a looper, such as the RC-30, all manner of quite wonderful tones were but a few stomps away. It covered all bases, creating everything from a zingy bit of slapback to ambient textures, all delivered with reliable BOSS quality.
Then along came the TE-2. This unique pedal took things a step more towards the esoteric by melding reverb and delay, and adding its own unique twist on time and space. However, with the introduction of the RV-6, we might just have found a complete reverb all-rounder… Here’s our BOSS RV-6 review to explain more.
The RV-6 is a multi function, high quality reverb packing pro-level quality into the tried, tested and trusted BOSS compact pedal model. It houses newly developed studio-grade algorithms which provide a total of eight different modes, three more than the RV-5. It includes all the standard reverb types like the ones found in the RV-5 but, in addition to that, there are three interesting new types that are immediately usable for live performance or recording.
First up is the delay setting, which is a very welcome addition and can add warm delay analogue-type trails topped with a lush reverb to your playing. Delay and reverb are natural bedfellows and while it won’t completely replace your delay pedal in terms of adaptability, you could now potentially use this one pedal, along with a looper, and make some lovely sonic textures in a live environment.
There’s also a thing that BOSS have been doing very well since the inception of pedals like the DA-2, and that is dynamics. By dynamics we mean the journey between quiet and loud, fast and slow. Introducing dynamics into your playing through, for example, your pick attack is a great way of introducing expression and emotion. Thankfully, the RV-6 has a mode dedicated to this very subject and it’s really intuitive. How it translates is that the softer you play, the more reverb comes through allowing you to create ambience. Then, as you dig in with your pick or fingers, the reverb backs away to allow clarity to your single note lines.
Last up though is our favourite of the three new modes; shimmer. And, on this occasion, we really have saved the best until last. Shimmer is simply a joy to use. It should come with a warning in relation to the amount of time you are likely to spend simply ringing out individual chords as a result of how great they will sound. Put simply, it’s a synth-esque, spacious reverb which adds bell like qualities to delay trails. The best way we can describe it would be like a cross between a subtly set up TE-2, with the richness of a synth chorus from the MO-2. It sounds rich, exciting, cavernous and you could probably get paid gigs just playing a good old open G Major chord using this function on its own.
It is all too easy to become flippant and forget to appreciate the care, work and dedication that is put into everyday objects that simply work, without fail. BOSS compacts fall into this category. The build quality is unparalleled, certainly at this price point. And, as with the entire range, reliability is just one of those things that you don’t have to worry about. You’ll never regret buying a BOSS.
Sonically, Roland and BOSS are consistently pushing on the technological and aural boundaries and, with the RV-6, we feel they’ve continued on a great run of releasing well thought out, expertly engineered compacts. The RV-6 is a high quality, warm sounding reverb unit with three new, surprisingly lush modes that will instantly inspire creativity. It has stereo ins/outs for today’s modern guitarist either on stage or in studio environment and you can even plug in an EV-5 Expression Pedal to control reverb depth manually on all modes. A quality offer, all told.