Boss FRV-1 Reverb Pedal With Pedal Steel Guitar

"BOSS and Fender USA have collaborated to create the BOSS FRV-1 pedal, a stunning recreation of the legendary '63 Fender Reverb via COSM technology. The FRV-1 puts that timeless tube-driven reverb sound under your foot in a tough, reliable compact reverb pedal" That's the marketing hype! I'll be checking out how this pedal fares with a pedal steel guitar. You can see my home recording setup on the Zoom R24 page on this site. One unique thing about this pedal is the fact that it is mono only, no stereo ins or outs. It has the usual tough Boss construction and I'll be powering it with the Danelectro DA-1 "zero-hum" AC adapter. The FRV-1 features only 3 controls, Dwell, Tone and Mix and comes with a user manual which I've scanned in and converted to a pdf for you. Current draw is only 37 mA compared to the Boss RV-5's 50 mA. It's also street priced about $31 lower than the RV-5. My frame of reference for reverb is based on my extensive use of Fender tube reverbs, Verbzilla, RV-5, RV-7 and the Lexicon MPX-1 rack. If you like just a touch of reverb to go with some delay almost any reverb box will do. I like a lot of reverb and seldom use delay and have no interest in surf reverb sounds so those preferences may alter my opinions of this device! This pedal also only offers a Spring reverb setting where many others offer Hall, Plate and Spring settings.

Here's the user manual, sound samples and a song recorded with the FRV-1.

Boss FRV-1 User Manual pdf

Sound Sample 1 - User Manual Surf Setting

Sound Sample 2 - User Manual Blues Setting

Sound Sample 3 - My Setting : Mix 12:00, Tone 10:30, Dwell 02:30

Florence Jean (solid country song!) - Hear It!

Comments After A Few Days Of Use

  1. Like most Boss pedals this unit does not offer true bypass but that's fine with me because I never switch my reverb off.
  2. If you're looking for a lush full digital reverb this is not it. It really is more like a true spring reverb and not a Lexicon or RV-5 for example
  3. Having just played through a Fender Dual Showman Silver Face head, I have to say this sounds just like that Fender tube reverb. Same initial delay, tone quirks and decay.

You can listen to the sound samples above and see how it sits in the mix with the song above. Of course there's tons of web sites where you can hear how this thing sounds with a standard guitar. For a smooth lush reverb I greatly prefer the RV-5, RV-7 or Lexicon units. The FRV-1 sounds a bit thinner, harsher and less lush than those units. It does a great job of recreating a vintage Fender tube reverb so your mileage with this unit will depend a lot on your preferences. Higher treble settings get harsh with the steel and there are no Hall or Plate sounds so this is a one trick pony in my opinion. I left the steel sound with no EQ just as it sounds in my home studio and you can hear definite peaks in the sound on certain notes, much more so on the steel than on the lead guitar. You can also hear distinct echos in the reverb tails. By the way, I used the FRV-1 on the lead guitar part but not on the fiddle. The fiddle reverb is part Boss RV-5 set on hall and some reverb was added in Reaper using the Ambience shareware plug-in.

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