Boss RV-5 Digital Reverb

Boss RV-5 Digital Reverb

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RV-5 Digital Reverb, Reverb for Guitar from Boss.

15 user reviews

Boss RV-5 Digital Reverb tech. sheet

  • Manufacturer: Boss
  • Model: RV-5 Digital Reverb
  • Category: Reverbs for Guitar
  • Added in our database on: 04/18/2004

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Boss RV-5 Digital Reverb user reviews

Average Score:4.6( 4.6/5 based on 15 reviews )
 11 reviews73 %
 3 reviews20 %
 1 user review7 %
Value For Money :
MGR/Frank Ashley www.ashleyarts.com11/08/2003

MGR/Frank Ashley's review"Boss RV-5 Digital Reverb"

Boss RV-5 Digital Reverb
A few years ago, I bought my dream guitar amp: A Marshall triple channel 6101 30th Anniversary combo with blue tolex covering! Man, that baby puts out 100 Watts with four EL34s and a 240 watt special edition speaker. It has 32 switches and knobs on the front and the back panel is loaded too. Here's the point-it has no reverb! I asked Marshall about this seemingly senseless omission. The rep explained that if a bloke could plop down $2300 USD for an amp, then they should be able to use the reverb of their choice and nobody could agree what sort of verb would suit everybody. So, for years, I used Lexicons, Quadraverbs and all sorts of rack mount gear. Lugging around the rack mount was just getting to be an unplesant ordeal. I used lots of reverb/echo pedals and none of them ever came close to the rack mount equipment until now. I heard about the new Boss RV-5 and had to check it out.

I was immediately impressed when I ran it through two amps placed about 12 feet apart in the store. The sounds reminded me of some of the warmth and separation you get with a nice set of headphones. It has both stereo inputs and stereo outputs. Use it with a stereo chorus pedal like the Marshall Supervibe SV-1 and you get that spacious, floating feeling that gives you one of those natural highs. Most pedals seem to have a few great sounds and a hundred useless garbled patches that have names that somebody pulled out of a techno magazine. Let's just say they pulled it out of "somewhere." The pedal has four knobs:effects level, tone, time and mode select. The modes are:spring, plate, hall, room, gate, and modulate. It is quiet and uses the usual FET silent switching. There are plenty of choices.

If it seems like I love the RV-5 so much that I take it for long walks and let it share my bed you should wipe those thoughts away immediately. If you plan on using it on a dark stage, forget about tweaking it since you'll be on your knees with a flashlight; which just doesn't have the stage appeal of Jimi igniting his Strat. This thing is no Lexicon by any means but for $139 USD it shouldn't pretend to be. I was not too fond of the plate setting or the "modulate" effect. I'd say that an Alesis Microverb comes way closer to the plate vibe. If you don't know why they call the sound "plate" you better get on the net and Google around because it's not what most people think. The modulate setting is way overdone and is not what I expected. Keep the settings knobs way down on this baby or it launches into overkill mode in a hurry.I like the FX and tone knobs at 10:00 and the time knob at dead noon. One other thing that really makes me want the settings low is that when I go from the clean channel on the Marshall to a boosted channel the effect goes into hyperdrive. So, I finally dial in a cool setting for clean and switching channels is equivalent to reaching down and tweaking the FX level knob to "11."

It's not as bullet proof as a Marshall or old Vox Tonebender but it sure beats Danelectro and a host of plastic stomp boxes. If the stereo reverb doesn't knock 'em out, just use it as a bludgeon and that'll take 'em out for sure!

I think that the pedal was a bit pricey. I actually bought it locally and got it out the door at $160 USD. I know I could have bought it on the NET for $139 but I had a gig and didn't have the patience to wait around to save $10 bucks (don't forget handling costs.) I have been looking for years for an affordable stereo reverb stomp pedal and this is a good one. It doesn't rob your tone like the other pedals I've tried. Like I said before, it's still one of those things that you pick a good setting and don't try to mess with it on stage and it definitely does the job quite nicely.

This review was originally published on

Fireguy8402's review"Modulated Reverb and many others."

Boss RV-5 Digital Reverb
The Boss RV-5 is a stereo Reverb pedal from Boss. This next pedal in the RV series does away with the delay settings found on the discontinued RV-3 model, and that’s a shame. This reverb has a four knob design. The pedal has an Effect Level knob that adjusts the amount of reverb that is mixed with the dry tone, a Tone knob that allows the reverb to be brighter or duller, a Time knob that adjusts the length and amount of reverb, and a six way Mode knob that adjusts between the pedal modes. Spring, plate, hall, and room modes are all standard reverb models that are available and then Boss throws in a couple specialty verbs for us, modulate and gated. The first of it’s kind, modulated reverb, detunes the reverb for added spatial effect. The gated reverb was taken from high end Roland gear and applies a gate to the reverb sound. The pedal can be powered by 9 volt batter or external AC adapter. Dimensions of the pedal are Boss’s typical 2.4" x 5.1" x 2.9" and it weighs about a pound. This pedal has stereo inputs and outputs.


Boss is known to be a quality company when it comes to the durability of their pedals. The RV-5 can take a beating and provide studio quality reverb that used to be available only in rack mount gear. It is a very reliable pedal and I’ve never heard any complaints in the build of the pedal or quality control. . The housing and jacks are metal and will deal with life on the road. This pedal is great for guitar and can be used in a mono fashion with one amplifier or in a full on stereo approach using two amps. Boss also added stereo inputs so this could be used after other stereo effects in your signal path, or with keyboards and syths.


With this pedal Boss really does pack studio quality reverb into a small, sturdy, gig-able pedal. Hall and plate are probably the most convincing to my ears, but spring is pretty close to an onboard spring tank and room, though subtle, is usable as well. I use amp reverb, so I only use this pedal for airy effects, but it works well. I believe Boss is the first to put the modulated reverb sound into a pedal, and that’s why a lot of people go with this pedal. It’s a very neat effect and is something all on it’s own. The gated reverb has never been of a use to me, I don’t like how it chops off at the end of the trail, though it works as it should.


Overall the Boss RV-5 is a really great reverb pedal that captures a lot of tones that could only be obtained from rack mount units in studios years ago. It’s reliable and sturdy, so it beats worrying about a vintage reverb tank and the maintenance and added noise if you ask me. There are several different reverb effects available via the mode knob, so surely there is something in there that can be dialed in to work with any genre of music you play from short and barely there, to drenched lush soundscapes.

ericthegreat's review"nice stomp box"

Boss RV-5 Digital Reverb
The Boss RV-5 is a digital reverb pedal. It has 1/4 inch inputs and outputs and is not rackable as it is a stomp box. It has ten different types of reverbs and four parameters to control them. It has a wide variety of reverb sounds and easy to use overall.


The setup of this pedal is extremely easy, as is getting a good sound out of it. It has five knobs total - one for to choose the type of reverb, one for tone, one for time, one for decay, and one of mix. These controls are basic and manipulating it is quite easy. Some of the types of reverbs include hall, chamber, gate, spring, and plate. I don't have a manual for this pedal, but have never had a use to look into getting one.


The sound quality of the effects on this pedal are top notch. I have only used this with guitar - usually a Schecter Ultra III and a '76 Fender Twin Reverb. With this set up I am able to get some great reverbs from this pedal. Being that it has ten different types of reverbs, the pedal has the capability of getting a number of different types of reverb sounds. My favorite reverbs on this pedal are the plate and the chamber effects. This is a high quality pedal with a number of very usable reverb sounds.


I've been using the RV-5 for two years. I have found it to be an above average reverb pedal because of the overall sound quality and its ability to get a vast number of different types of reverbs. It is hard for me to choose between both pedals, as I think both are great options. The Verbzilla has great tone quality and it won't break the bank. It has a sleek design and its versatility makes it a great all purpose reverb pedal.

moosers's review

Boss RV-5 Digital Reverb
The Boss RV-5 Digital Reverb is a newest version of the compact Boss reverb, following the RV-2 and the RV-3. The RV-5 is the most complete reverb of the bunch in my opinion, and although it's digital, it has a realistic and warm sound. The pedal has a pretty standard configuration, with stereo 1/4" connections for inputs and outputs. It's definitely nice that you've got the stereo option here! It can be powered up by either a nine volt power supply or battery. It's not going to be rack mountable as it's a stomp box...


The make up of the Boss RV-5 Digital Reverb is really straight forward, as this is a trend you'll find with most Boss pedals and is definitely something that I welcome. There are six different modes to choose from - spring, plate, hall, room, gate, and modulation. It then gives you further parameters for setting the amount of the effect you'd like, tone, and time of the reverb. It's easy enough to use that a manual surely isn't necessary.


The overall sound of the Boss RV-5 Digital Reverb is really impressive. With the RV-5 you're getting some really awesome reverb sounds and a ton of flexibility. In general I would tend to use the gated reverb, modulation, and plate reverb the most, but all of the modes are cool in their own ways and are certainly more than useful when used in the right situations. I primarily used the RV-5 with my Fender Jazzmaster and '76 Fender Twin Reverb when I wasn't using the built in spring reverb for the amp...


The Boss RV-5 Digital Reverb is probably the best bang for your buck for a professional reverb pedal. I don't own it anymore but did have it for a few years a little while back before I replaced it with my Electro-Harmonix Cathedral Reverb pedal. The Cathedral Reverb is really great and is a lot more in depth, but it's about double the price. The RV-5 can get the job done just as well for the most part, it's just simpler. At around $100 US dollars new, if you're looking for some bang for your buck in a digital reveb pedal for your guitar, the Boss RV-5 is definitely the model I'd recommend...

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