« Surprisingly very good »Published on 02/25/12 at 17:43
Re-creates the legendary sound of the 1963 Fender Reverb via COSM technology
Easy operation with three classic controls for Dwell, Tone, and Mix for creating sounds from buttery warmth to sparkling twang
Cool, retro appearance
Road-tough BOSS metal construction
I have always been that snobby kind of guy who stayed away from boss pedals in general. Besides maybe the giga delay, I have never really played a boss pedal I liked very much. However, due to the curious lack of *budget* reverb pedals that seem to be on the market, I recently decided to try the Fender Reverb pedal boss offers. The first thing you realized about the frv-1 is how simple it is. I don't know about you, but 3 knobs on a reverb pedal is a relief coming from a guy who just spent a week messing with an eventide space echo. You literally get a mix, tone, and dwell control. Honestly I don't even think the tone control is all that needed. But it doesn't hurt. Boss pedals, for all my gripes about them, are pretty well made. I really wish they had switchcraft style switches or something, but beggars can't choose I suppose.
I actually have the honor of having a 68' Fender Blackface 4x10 to compare this to. So that's a plus. I'm aware this is based on a 63 fender, so I'm not going to expect it to be an exact replica or anything.
Now let me be clear here when I say why the actual blackface reverb is better to me. The blackface has that sparkle and depth you can only get from a real reverb tank. There's just something highly organic about a 40 year old reverb unit that you will never be able to model in a pedal. It's a shame but I'm admitting it.
Here's the good news. The boss is way clearer and less noisy. With the original blackface reverb you lose a lot of fidelity, which isn't always a bad thing, but I think the boss is less "lo-fi" in a good way sometimes if you catch my meaning.
So for complete authenticity, I give it a 7. For getting the job done the right way, I would say an 8 or 9 is in order. It sounds good.
I'm shocked at how good this pedal sounds. Boss is really onto something here. It's a good deal for a classic sounding reverb folks. Get on it. As far as other reverbs in this price range, I have tried most of them and this is probably the best unless you want something more wacky sounding.