Boss Rv-6 vs Mxr Reverb

The Rv-6 and the Mxr reverb are good reverb pedals that wouldn’t put a hole in your wallet. The key question however is which model offers the best value for money?

Both RV-6 and Mxr reverb sound great but their price difference is significant as the RV-6 costs about $50 less than Mxr. Boss Rv-6 also draws less power as it needs only 65mA vs Mxr’s 240mA. This will reduce the burden on our pedal board power supply and is another strong reason to choose Rv-6.

In the rest of the article, I will go into more details about their differences.


Audio difference

Beyond the price, the audio quality is the most important factor in deciding on which reverb is a better buy. Both pedals have their strengths.

In terms of modes, here are their differences:

Boss Rv-6 has 8 modes

  • Spring
  • Plate
  • Hall
  • Room
  • Dynamic
  • +Delay
  • Shimmer
  • Modulated

Among the list, the modulated mode is the one that make the Rv-6 have such an appeal. The beautiful thing about this mode is the dreamy decal that extends your note by a longer time. If you like your tone to be darker and have decays, the Rc-6 will be a better choice

Another popular mode is the shimmer, which is pretty unique and is new. What you get is almost like a harmonized backing of your notes, as if there is an orchestra accompanying your playing. Most reverb pedals don’t have this effect.

The knob control gives you different favors of the shimmer and makes it even better. The Mxr reverb doesn’t have shimmer options., although it does have the Pad mode which is similar but not quite the same.

For the Mxr reverb, they have 6 modes

  • Spring
  • Plate
  • Room
  • Mod
  • Epic
  • Pad

In terms of similarity, the spring, plate and room modes are pretty similar in tone. However, I find that The Mxr reverb is better at these basic reverb sounds. Its spring sound for example is fantastic and is better than the Rv-6.

Some folks say for these basic modes, the Mxr is more natural sounding and I sort of agree. You can read more about this in the tonal difference comparison below.

Epic and Pad can be seen to be the Modulated equivalent for the Mxr reverb. They have long decals and are suitable for ambient music. Depending on whether the delays are short or long, you get different kinds of decals.

Pad also offers some form of shimmering but it is quite below what the shimmer mode in Rv-16 can offer. For example, the -6 lets you experience the different shades of the shimmer while the Mxr is more of a blanket sound.

If you don’t have an existing reverb which covers these basic sounds well, then the Mxr might be a better purchase. However, if you already has one such reverb, then the Rv-6, with its excellent shimmer and modulated modes, might be a better choice.

Below are more differences in terms of their audio options and quality:

  • Tonial differences: Although the Rv-6 has more modes than the Mxr, there is a similar base timber effect present in all the modes. This is one reason why some say the Mxr has sounds that seems to be truer to the original sound. In contrast, the Mxr’s different modes seems to be made of different tonial foundations, thus giving true differences in tones.
  • Ambient music: If you like or are into playing ambient music, then the shimmer and modulated modes of the Rv-16 is the way to go. They produce very smooth tone texture that is right for this genre of sound.

Technical difference

  • Stereo inputs and outputs: Rv-6 uses the traditional stereo inputs and outputs so you don’t need any extra cable to run the audio. Mxr uses the TRS cables to be able to run stereo or the output will be monotone. As a result, you will need to spend more time and money to buy and arrange the necessary cables to fit with your pedal board.
  • Weight: Rv-16 is slightly lighter at 0.98 pounds while the Mxr reverb comes in at 1.12 pounds
  • Power requirement: Rv-6 needs only 65mA while the Mxr needs 240mA of power
    Heating up: Maybe due to the high power requirements, the Mxr heats up much faster than the Rv-6. I don’t know how long it can run hot before breaking down so it is definitely a risk you need to consider if you go for the Mxr.

Other difference

Here are some other differences:

  • Size: The Rv-6 has a smaller footprint than the Mxr, so it leaves more room on your pedel board for other pedals.
  • Build quality: There is a saying in the market that the Rv-6 is indestructible and that is meant the feeling I get. It feels very solid and seem to be able to take a lot of physical abuses. This will be great for those who gigs.


Both Boss Rv-6 and Msr reverb are good pedal options. I don’t think anyone will be unhappy if they purchase either as their reverb pedals.

Their main difference are in (i) the type of audio tone (ii) price and (iii) power consumption.

For audio output, the Rv-6 is better if you want something that is smooth and well textured that is suited for ambient music.

If you want something that is more suited to crunchy play with strong tonal contrast, the Mxr reverb will be a better purchase.

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