View Poll Results: Do you think that reverb pedals change a guitar's tone and not just add reverb?

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  • Yes

    42 63.64%
  • No

    24 36.36%
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  1. #1

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    I've been looking at Reverb Schematics and they seem to all have Caps and Resistors in the signal path, these must filter the signals high and low frequencies.

    Do you think that reverb pedals change a guitar's tone and not just add reverb?


    Here's the older Boss Digital Reverb circuit.



    http://www.modkitsdiy.com/sites/modk..._schematic.pdf
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  3. #2

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  4. #3

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    I think they do. I think reverb itself gives "the illusion" of rolling off some highs, primarily because it makes the sound smoother (or muffled, depending on whether you like reverb!). It's the same with compressors - they may or may not have eq's or even a heavy dose of caps in the path, but they give the impression that the highs are reduced.

    while reverbs have certainly moved on since the RV-3, I feel the same about modern verbs. May be in my head, may be filtering, not sure.

  5. #4

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    Doesn't sound that way on my TC Hall of Fame:



    The FX Level knob controls the mix of the wet signal with the dry (true bypass) signal. I may have drunk the KoolAid, but the punching and unpunching the on button doesn't change the sound of the dry signal.
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  6. #5

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    I use a T.C Electronic studio reverb and although it's not a pedal, it certainly changes the guitar's tone. I thinking of building my own DIY reverb pedal, I've built quite a few pedals, but reverb pedals are so inexpensive to buy.
    “I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.”
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  7. #6

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    I have a Boss RV-3! (Digital Reverb/Delay) It makes the guitar sound like "Pat Metheny in the 80's", lol... (it stays in the gear closet pretty much...)

    The other reverbs I have used all provide slightly different characteristics. Most do seem to add something (other than reverb) to the sound, with most it's a nice musical addition though, which is what matters to me.

    The only reverb I have used which seems to "just add reverb" is the Hermida Reverb.
    Do you think that reverb pedals change a guitar's tone and not just add reverb?-download-jpg

    I have used:
    Donner Surge Rotator (coloration, musical)
    Electro Harmonix Holygrail nano (coloration, musical)
    Malekko Chicklet Reverb (colorization - that I didn't really like, high end frequencies accented?)

    I think like everything it depends on the quality/make/model. (schematic)

    I have not used any of the real high end boutique stuff, like Strymon, Dr. Scientist, Jackson (Mr. Springy), etc, but I would assume they do not color the sound much.

    I sometimes play without any reverb but I find people respond better when there is at least a little reverb, or maybe I play better with it on...
    Last edited by s1track3d; 02-20-2015 at 04:06 PM.

  8. #7

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    Depends... on the pedal design and the reverb algorithm. Spring revetb usually adds highs although some darken the sound. Halls tend to be dark too. The room side of the Spring Theory is the least intrusive reverb I ever tried.

    Anyway if you keep the reverb at decent levels it almost won't impact your tone.. And some reverb have tone controls.

  9. #8

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    Use a TC Electronics HOF Mini doesn't change it or at least negatively in any way!

  10. #9

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    I think that older Boss pedal s so far from the contemporary pedals that it's not at all a representative sample. Enormous amounts of circuitry has disappeared from that design.
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  11. #10

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    There is no single answer to this. I can tell you that the topanga and the sole-mate brighten the guitar tone. I felt that the wet reverb didn't change the tone. I like the older boss RV-2 and the RV-3. I don't remember them changing the tone but it was a long time since I played through one.

    My digitech digiverb doesn't change the tone.

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by GuyBoden View Post
    I've been looking at Reverb Schematics and they seem to all have Caps and Resistors in the signal path, these must filter the signals high and low frequencies.
    Do you think that reverb pedals change a guitar's tone and not just add reverb?
    The fact that there are caps and resistors in the signal path doesn't necessarily mean they have changed the frequency response. In the RV-3 the dry signal does get amplified and buffered, but I assume the intent was to keep the frequency response flat. In my RV-3 the dry signal (with the effect knob full left) seems the same as when I plug the guitar directly into the amp, which is how it should be.
    Of course the guitar's tone is greatly affected by the reverb channel, especially if a dark reverb setting is selected. When the reverb is blended with the dry signal, it might create the illusion that the dry signal has gotten darker, but I don't think it has.
    My main gripe about the RV-3 is that the effect level control is way too touchy at the low levels of reverb. I wish the level control had an audio taper..

  13. #12

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    First, magnetic guitar pickups absorb the vibration (waves) of strings and turn it into electric signal. This signal is pure. Electric signal goes into your pedal and the word Digital in itself means that your pure electric signal will be converted into digital code and then back to electric signal.

    Inside every digital pedal there is a main digital chip. Those chips are programmed to perform tasks - like Delay effect or Reverb or Chorus or whatever... But it can not perform these tasks on electric signals it undestand only digital codes. So chip will translate your electric signal into zeros and ones and then perform the task. Then it will convert back to electric signal and put it out into your amp. It's like a computer program.

    The conversion is what matters. Some do good conversions, some - don't.
    However Digital Technology generally is pretty advanced today. A lot of people won't be able to tell difference between analog and digital delay, if they hear it without knowing which one is which.
    Last edited by nikolozj; 02-21-2015 at 07:23 AM.

  14. #13

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    you're missing the most important part. Almost every digital pedal has an analog component that does not go through the digital section. That's why there's a mix control.

    Quote Originally Posted by nikolozj View Post
    First, magnetic guitar pickups absorb the vibration (waves) of strings and turn it into electric signal. This signal is pure. Electric signal goes into your pedal and the word Digital in itself means that your pure electric signal will be converted into digital code and then back to electric signal.

    Inside every digital pedal there is a main digital chip. Those chips are programmed to perform tasks - like Delay effect or Reverb or Chorus or whatever... But it can not perform these tasks on electric signals it undestand only digital codes. So chip will translate your electric signal into zeros and ones and then perform the task. Then it will convert back to electric signal and put it out into your amp. It's like a computer program.

    The conversion is what matters. Some do good conversions, some - don't.
    However Digital Technology generally is pretty advanced today. A lot of people won't be able to tell difference between analog and digital delay, if they hear it without knowing which one is which.

  15. #14

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    I chose the Bluesky because I liked the tone change. Have reverb on my Vox which I also like.

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by jorgemg1984 View Post
    .... the Spring Theory ....
    As an aside I've just discovered the Spring Theory is out of production.
    It's been replaced by the Super Spring Theory

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by jzucker View Post
    you're missing the most important part. Almost every digital pedal has an analog component that does not go through the digital section. That's why there's a mix control.
    My impression has been that the more regular reverb pedals will A/D the whole signal, add more or less reverb (hence the mix control), and then D/A the whole signal.

    A mix knob that actually adds reverb to a dry signal bypassing the A/D conversion seems (to me) like a feature found in more sophisticated (and expensive) pedals.

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by nikolozj View Post
    First, magnetic guitar pickups absorb the vibration (waves) of strings and turn it into electric signal. This signal is pure. Electric signal goes into your pedal and the word Digital in itself means that your pure electric signal will be converted into digital code and then back to electric signal.

    Inside every digital pedal there is a main digital chip. Those chips are programmed to perform tasks - like Delay effect or Reverb or Chorus or whatever... But it can not perform these tasks on electric signals it undestand only digital codes. So chip will translate your electric signal into zeros and ones and then perform the task. Then it will convert back to electric signal and put it out into your amp. It's like a computer program.

    The conversion is what matters. Some do good conversions, some - don't.
    However Digital Technology generally is pretty advanced today. A lot of people won't be able to tell difference between analog and digital delay, if they hear it without knowing which one is which.

    I'm agreeing with Jack, and I thought I'd share some info from my fav Manchester based pedal designer:

    "The main signal isn't digitised, so the dry signal goes through a buffer and then the reverb is mixed in at the end of the circuit, so with only the effect being digitised I don't think it should sound digital in the same way as some poor rack or pedal effects that convert everything to 1s and 0s can do. "
    “I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.”
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  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazz_175 View Post
    As an aside I've just discovered the Spring Theory is out of production.
    It's been replaced by the Super Spring Theory
    Yes but the algorithms are the same I believe... they just added a few controls and a fet preamp on the spring side.

  20. #19

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    i listened to a bunch of spring theory clips and it seems to me that it sounds more like the outboard fender reverb unit (surfy). I like the BF fender reverb but frankly, i'm not tied to spring reverb. I'd rather have a good plate or hall. As an experiment, I put my digiverb in stereo in the loop of my kemper and I think I like it better than the kemper reverb. In fact, i may not need the wet reverb after all. It's good enough.

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by GuyBoden View Post
    "The main signal isn't digitised, so the dry signal goes through a buffer and then the reverb is mixed in at the end of the circuit, so with only the effect being digitised I don't think it should sound digital in the same way as some poor rack or pedal effects that convert everything to 1s and 0s can do. "
    In the OP's RV-3 schematic, it's not clear whether the dry signal is digitized or kept digital. But it's a misconception that "converting to 1s and 0s" causes an audio signal to "sound digital". Audio digitization is a very mature technology. With appropriate bit depth and sampling rate it's not difficult to digitize a signal then bring it back to analog in its original form.
    It's digital processing that causes the problems. A reverb processor must simulate all the signal paths in a room, plate or spring with with an infinite number of delayed signals bouncing back multiple times until they've faded out to the point they are inaudible.
    It was very difficult to accomplish all of that in a pedal when the RV-3 came out over 15 years ago. The designers undoubtedly had to approximate the theoretically infinite number of reflected signals by a just a few return signals. Since the reverb signals must go through the process multiple times, the approximations made in the simulation become more audible with each iteration.
    Those approximations are especially audible (on the RV-3) if you dial it up for 100% reverb (no dry signal) play something staccato then listen as the reverb fades to nothing. As it fades you may hear each of the individual delayed signals drop off, which is a bit unnatural. But with the effect blend set to the low level I prefer, it sounds pretty good to me.
    Last edited by KirkP; 02-21-2015 at 12:46 PM.

  22. #21

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    no jazz guitarist dials the reverb up to 100% mix though and I did literally hundreds of jazz gigs with an RV-2 and it was just fine with a low mix.

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by KIRKP View Post
    With appropriate bit depth and sampling rate it's not difficult to digitize a signal then bring it back to analog in its original form. It's digital processing that causes the problems.
    Was just going to just Like your post and leave it at that, but then wondered if the maturity of the technology has really reached the point of high-quality converters being THAT high quality in 80-bucks pedals (or, for that matter, if sample rate and bit depth is really all there is to it).

    Perhaps we have reached this point, but if so, this is a very recent development. What about quality loss in loopers? (Again, this may be solved by now, but has been an issue until very recently.)

    That said, my feeling is that you are right about digital processing being the more important part.

  24. #23

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    Yes, reverb pedals change a guitar's tone too, but I would respectfully add that I'm not sure what the "so what?" is. First of all, even if a reverb pedal replicated the incoming spectrum precisely but with some delay(s) and attenuation(s), that alone would be enough to change the tone. And second, isn't the whole point of most pedals to change the tone?

    All that said, I really love my Strymon Bluesky. It has great hall, plate, and spring reverbs, and enough controls to dial in exactly what I want.

  25. #24

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    i would postulate that a good one doesn't, shouldn't and/or allows you to dial the change in and out. and if it did change my base tone in some (unpleasant) way, it would be out the door. i'm quite ok with the effect my reverb pedals do or do not have on my base tone, whatever it is or isn't.

    and like jack, i prefer a plate as the go to, and the hall for more of an effect. spring lies somewhere in between for me. the rest i rarely, if ever use. i use a flint and a mini reverberator when i do, but lately, i've been playing in such a live room, i don't use one at all. natural reverb doesn't change my tone, either.

  26. #25

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    My all time favorite reverb is the vintage Ampeg Reverberocket. It makes the tone darker. I assume that's the physics of the vibrating spring, since it's not perfectly flexible at every frequency.

  27. #26

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    I use reverb to bring the guitar up in the mix without radically changing the volume - kind of adds a little sonic "glow" and is best used somewhat sparingly i.e., to enhance a solo. I thus prefer amps with an on/off switch. I have been known to use echo to the same effect.
    Best regards, k

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar View Post
    My all time favorite reverb is the vintage Ampeg Reverberocket. It makes the tone darker. I assume that's the physics of the vibrating spring, since it's not perfectly flexible at every frequency.
    The HOF mini is pretty &^%$ practical, and I'm a big fan of Ampeg reverb as well. But this is my resting state for reverb:
    Attached Images Attached Images Do you think that reverb pedals change a guitar's tone and not just add reverb?-budda-verbmaster-serial-003-2-jpg 
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  29. #28

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    As an aside, those that would like to have more tone control over their spring reverb in Fender tube amps may disconnect the reverb return line where it connects to the amp chassis, place a female RCA to male 1/4 inch adapter on it, and plug it into the Normal channel. You play through the Vibrato channel and the reverb goes through the Normal channel, but now you have the Normal channel volume controlling the reverb level and two or three tone controls to shape the reverb's sound independently from the Vibrato channel tone controls for the guitar... so you can have bright reverb with dark guitar, or dark reverb with bright guitar... worth a try for reverb tone seekers and searchers.
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  30. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar View Post
    My all time favorite reverb is the vintage Ampeg Reverberocket. It makes the tone darker. I assume that's the physics of the vibrating spring, since it's not perfectly flexible at every frequency.
    Do you know of any pedals that get close to the old Ampeg reverb? I’m looking for one now that will get me close to that, or a blackface otherwise.

  31. #30

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    I have tried a few different reverb pedals and finally settled on the Tone Candy Spring fever. It is a simple pedal that only does one thing, spring reverb (since it uses a series of mini amplifiers to create the reverb, it can also be used a s a boost pedal). I do find that it warms the tone just a tad but that does not bother me at all.
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  32. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by p1p View Post
    Do you know of any pedals that get close to the old Ampeg reverb? I’m looking for one now that will get me close to that, or a blackface otherwise.
    I use a Boss ME80. With the reverb dial about 2 o'oclock (23 when you check the number), it's roughly in the ballpark of Ampeg, to my ear. Not the same, but usable.

  33. #32

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    I'm a plate reverb fan. I use a Catalinbread Talisman which has a High Pass to control certain inherent tone changes -
    From Catalinbread:-

    "The HIGH PASS is a filter control that gradually removes lower frequencies fromthe reverbed signal to keep things from getting muddy within the context of a mixor when hit with a signal with a wide EQ spread. This can be especially usefulwhen playing chords or when using a lot of distortion. Pay attention to itsrelationship to the TIME, control - you may find even when playing clean that atlonger delay times that removing some low end via this knob helps to keep thingslight and airy."

    so seems like a yes!

    Will

  34. #33

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    I figured that if reverb sounded good going into the front end (input/preamp) of an amp, then amp designers would have designed onboard reverb that way.

  35. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo View Post
    I figured that if reverb sounded good going into the front end (input/preamp) of an amp, then amp designers would have designed onboard reverb that way.
    What’s the best solution for an amp without reverb? And without an effects loop. If you want a hint of reverb for example. I think I’m happy without it mostly, but it would be nice to have once in a while for some solo stuff. Anyone have any magic tricks for placement of the amp or anything like that?

  36. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by p1p View Post
    What’s the best solution for an amp without reverb? And without an effects loop. If you want a hint of reverb for example. I think I’m happy without it mostly, but it would be nice to have once in a while for some solo stuff. Anyone have any magic tricks for placement of the amp or anything like that?
    I used to be a reverb addict and would not look at amps without reverb. But I now own two (tube-)amps without reverb (a 1962 Framus Strato 345 and a 1958 Dynacord DA-16/v). I use the Boss FRV-1 in front of that (If I use effect, the reverb always comes last. It sounds great to me and I hear little - if any - difference with my Twin Reverb. I even recorded the Framus with the FRV-1 in front and it sounds great to me.

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  37. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by jzucker View Post
    I felt that the wet reverb didn't change the tone.
    Is that the Neunaber WET Reverb?

    Thanks

  38. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by pauln View Post
    As an aside, those that would like to have more tone control over their spring reverb in Fender tube amps may disconnect the reverb return line where it connects to the amp chassis, place a female RCA to male 1/4 inch adapter on it, and plug it into the Normal channel. You play through the Vibrato channel and the reverb goes through the Normal channel, but now you have the Normal channel volume controlling the reverb level and two or three tone controls to shape the reverb's sound independently from the Vibrato channel tone controls for the guitar... so you can have bright reverb with dark guitar, or dark reverb with bright guitar... worth a try for reverb tone seekers and searchers.
    I do this with my DRRI. It allows me more options for tuning to the room. Inexpensive and completely reversible.
    Best regards, k

  39. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Jay View Post
    I used to be a reverb addict and would not look at amps without reverb. But I now own two (tube-)amps without reverb (a 1962 Framus Strato 345 and a 1958 Dynacord DA-16/v). I use the Boss FRV-1 in front of that (If I use effect, the reverb always comes last. It sounds great to me and I hear little - if any - difference with my Twin Reverb. I even recorded the Framus with the FRV-1 in front and it sounds great to me.

    (You can hear the recording here:
    )
    Y'all really got it goin' on, Little Jay! A lovely and talented singer, a saxophonist with volume discipline and chops; and a drummer with brushes. Bliss.

    Not to mention the guitarist ain't bad either!
    Best regards, k

  40. #39

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    The presence of capacitors and resistors won't tell you anything - all pedals (including the most pristine of clean boosts) and all amps have these components.

    Some reverbs definitely alter the fundamental tone, some do not. Just depends on the specific design.

  41. #40

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    Wow, this thread was dragged out of the vault! But I’m glad it was. I use the TC Hall of Fame 2, and don’t notice it, but I use very little reverb and it’s mostly dry. But to answer it fairly, there really should be a “depends” option to vote for, because each pedal is designed differently. If I use the shimmer, modulated, or lo-fi setting then it’s definitely very tone-altering.

    edited to add: Before I had the HoF2, I had a E-H Holy Grail (traded it in for the HoF2 because it was WAY too noisy, especially with P-90s). I don’t remember it coloring the sound with light use, it that “Flerb” setting...most definitely!
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  42. #41

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    even natural reverb (extreme example: church) changes the tone character and not just adds reverb.

  43. #42

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    There is only one way to do not have changes in guitar tone with effects. They must be used in a tube parallel effect send /return, with the reverb set "all wet" without guitar signal processed. I build amps for jazz guitar and I mount a parallel tube effect send. I mount an Accustronics Reverb brick set all wet in the tube send ret chain. In this way your guitar signal is untouched.

  44. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by sonicguitars View Post
    There is only one way to do not have changes in guitar tone with effects. They must be used in a tube parallel effect send /return, with the reverb set "all wet" without guitar signal processed. I build amps for jazz guitar and I mount a parallel tube effect send. I mount an Accustronics Reverb brick set all wet in the tube send ret chain. In this way your guitar signal is untouched.
    Best regards, k

  45. #44

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    Do you think that reverb pedals change a guitar's tone and not just add reverb?-quilter_mach_ii-jpg

  46. #45

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    My kitchen and dining area, with tile floors and lots of windows, and silestone countertops, and tiled dining table, is very live.

    My adjacent music room, with carpet, and acoustic panels for sound absorption, is fairly dead.

    If I sing or talk from room to room the tone changes. I perceive a cut in the high end as I sing my way into the music room, even though I have six panels in corners trapping the bass.

    I think it's natural sounding for reverb to introduce more high end to the sound.
    B+
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